University bosses in Preston are joining forces with counterparts in the Caribbean again to help ease a medic crisis.
The University of Central Lancashire and American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine) have put together a new programme aimed at helping ease the global shortage of doctors.
The pair linked up in 2017 when almost the entire contingent of the AUC School of Medicine re-located to UCLan while their base on the island of St Maarten was rebuilt following hurricane.
Now the universities are partnering up to offer a new blended programme, to enable students from the UK and across the world to study towards their accredited medical qualification, the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree - the postgraduate degree of physicians in the United States.
The programme, which starts in September, provides students with a postgraduate diploma in International Medical Sciences (PGIMS) from UCLan, followed by their MD with AUC. Students will then be eligible to do clinical rotations at AUC’s clinical sites, which include hospitals in the US, the UK, and Canada.
Dr Heidi Chumley, AUC executive dean, said: “The doctor shortage is an urgent global workforce problem, affecting not just the US and Canada, but so many countries around the world.
“AUC is proud to have such a dedicated partner in UCLan for this historic programme focused on bringing more doctors to countries and communities in need.”
She added: “The opportunity to train in multiple countries, including the US and UK, also provides a unique opportunity for aspiring physicians to develop a global perspective.”
David Taylor, Pro-Chancellor and chairman of the UCLan Board, said: “We are delighted to take our partnership with AUC to the next level through the signing of this landmark agreement. We have come a long way, following the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, when our universities collaborated to build a temporary AUC medical school in Preston in just nine days.”
“Together we have shown that where there is real determination, great things can happen. That same commitment, energy and dedication has now led to this fresh era in our relationship where the successful completion of our new postgraduate diploma enables graduate students to receive an American-style medical education before progressing to the clinical years of the AUC medical programme.”
The UCLan pro-chancellor added: “The course is completely independent of our own MBBS programme and we are recruiting an entirely new team dedicated to teaching the syllabus while working very closely with colleagues at AUC in Sint Maarten.”