Associate Professor George Dias recently spent two weeks at the National University of Samoa (NUS) teaching anatomy. His visit was part of the ongoing development of the undergraduate medical programme at the University.George is a member of the University of Otago Advisory Group to the NUS Faculty of Medicine. His visit involved mentoring Faculty of Medicine staff, and lecturing to first, second and third year medical students.
His teaching followed the NUS medical curriculum, focusing on head and neck clinical anatomy for the first and second year students, and surgical anatomy in relation to ENT for the third year students.
This was George's second visit to the University. In 2016 he spent a week in Samoa with the medical students. That visit was so successful, the Faculty asked him to come back this year to spend two full weeks with the students and staff.
The Faculty of Medicine at NUS was established in 2014, and the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme was officially launched in 2015. The six year programme aims to graduate doctors with the skills and knowledge to practice medicine professionally and effectively in Samoa and the Pacific.
The intake of students is relatively small, with approximately 10 - 12 students studying each year.
The University of Otago has a commitment to support teaching in the Pacific, as part of its Pacific Strategic Framework.
The Department of Anatomy has a strong relationship with medical schools in the Pacific. Professor Hallie Buckley has previously visited the National University of Samoa, and Dr Latika Samalia and a team from the Department visited the Umanand Prasad School of Medicine in Lautoka, Fiji in 2013, and the Fiji National University College of Medicine (Suva) in 2012.