News and Updates
ADZU-SOM Faculty Speak at WONCA Rural Health Conference
2006-09-26 21:00:00

Dr. Fortunato Cristobal, Dean of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine (ADZU-SOM) along with Dr. Afdal Kunting, community perceptor for Sergio Osmeña Sr., were recently invited as speakers at the 7th World Organizations of National Colleges and Academies and Academic Association of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) Rural Health Conference held at the picturesque University of Washington in Seattle, USA September 8-10, 2006.

"Creating New Rural Focused Medical Schools, Asian Prespective" was Dr.Cristobal's plenary talk on September 10.  He Talked about the experience of building a Problem-Based Learning School dedicated to addressing the Health Problems of Southwestern Mindanao.  He mentioned that 90% of all the graduates have chosen to remain in the region and that the school is now set to go up another level in health care service, that of ensuring that these graduates have the necessary support in terms of training logistics and environment to be able to do their jobs well.  This talk received and was greeted by sustained applause from the appreciative audience.

Dr.Kunting on the other hand delivered a paper presentation that afternoon of the same day.  His topic, "alternative Residency Program for Rural Physicians" talks about the decision of ADZU-SOM to partner with the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians to come up with a training program for alumni working in the rural areas of western Mindanao.  This was the first step in ADZU-SOM's strategy to enhancing its alumni's capabilities and skills and aid in the retention of these docotrs in the rural communities.

This conference provided the opportunity not just to present the school and its projects but to establish linkages with other universities with the same mission and vision.  The talk of Dr. Cristobal generated many promises of collaboration from North Ontarion Medical School and Memorial University of Newfoundland, both in Canada, as well as Flinders and James Cook Universities in Australia.  There were also interested parties from New Zealand, South Africa and Europe.

The sessions were held at Kane Hall, a beautiful modernistic structure in the exact center of the wide and impeccable maintained campus.  This year's theme was "Transforming Rural Practice through Education".  The next conference is slated to be in 2008 in the African country of Nigeria.