The School of Medicine at Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) in western Mindanao in the Philippines was established in 1994. The primary purpose of the school is to train physicians to provide urgently needed medical care. The school itself is a joint project between the Zamboanga Medical School Foundation and ADZU, which is a Jesuit university.
Since opening with 27 students in the first cohort, about 350 doctors have graduated from the School of Medicine so far. Of these, 94% are still practising medicine in the Philippines, 70% within the region, and 50% in remote rural areas.
The school adopts a community-based medical curriculum with emphases on family and rural medical practice. Half of the curriculum is based in a rural community. The students learn first hand about health in a very different setting than they find in a hospital. In the process there is also transformation among the people they serve as people are empowered to address their health requirements and the social inequalities in their community.
The local government is also responding now in very positive ways. They have increased local budgets for health, introduced proper garbage disposal, built more pit latrines, supported immunization campaigns, and so on. Graduates of the School of Medicine have been part of some of these initiatives.
CJI’s current support for the School of Medicine is to enable economic and technical support for students during their Health Intervention Projects and their Intersectoral Community Participation Programs which aim to prevent and control leading health problems in key areas of Mindanao.
Dean: Dr Fortunato Cristobal
Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine
Visit the ADZU School of Medicine website: http://som.adzu.edu.ph
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