Thirty medical undergraduates from China and Thailand visited University of Alberta Surgical Simulation facilities this month. The Global Medical Summer Program is a four-week academic medical program offered by the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry to medical students from international partner universities that provides exposure to the Canadian health-care system, including hospitals, laboratories and surgical simulation. PangFei Wang, International Program Assistant, says it promotes the University of Alberta brand and may attract them to do graduate studies here.
Medical student Valery Gu Qiozhi says, “Canada and China’s healthcare systems are very different – in China we don’t have simulated patients: actors who say what symptoms they’ve got.” Another thing that interested her are the computers that simulate organs and the multi-disciplinary nature of the Surgical Simulation Research Laboratory.
SSRL Director Dr. Bin Zheng says “If you ask medical students in China what research is, 99 percent would think of a someone in a white coat with test tubes: It’s good for them to see how wide research is - that it includes computer science and engineering.” His team benefits from gaining experience as simulation instructors and working in an international setting. “This is like a mini-conference” he says. “It builds a more cohesive team.”