UCLan and AUC launch new medical program to help address global doctor shortage

As countries around the globe experience a worsening shortage of doctors, a new partnership based in the United Kingdom offers hope in an innovative approach. Today, leaders from American University of the Caribbean (AUC) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) gathered with dignitaries for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the partnership aimed at educating medical students from around the world.

Together, the universities have launched a new program, operated by AUC and located on UCLan’s Preston campus, to serve as a hub to educate an international group of students, many from nations struggling to supply enough doctors to keep up with population demands.

The shortage of doctors around the globe is quickly approaching crisis levels. This shared public health issue heralds the necessity for international collaboration and innovation. We are proud to stand with our partners at UCLan in the creation of a new program, drawing students from around the globe, helping educate the next generation of doctors.”

Dr Heidi Chumley, Executive Dean, AUC School of Medicine

Today, side-by-side with UCLan, we’re committing to train an international array of students to go forth and improve healthcare outcomes for children, individuals, families and communities. We’re committing to work tirelessly toward achieving health equity around the globe, one doctor at a time. Because, doing nothing is not an option.”

Dr Carol Herbert, Chair of the Board of Trustees, AUC School of Medicine

Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor at UCLan, said:

Fundamentally, the best doctors are those equipped with the skills and outlook to thrive in any country or environment across the world.

Now, with the AUC committing themselves to a base here at UCLan, I feel very optimistic that together we can have a real impact in supplying the next generation of graduates to help solve the chronic skills shortages which have plagued, not just the North West, but countries across the World.

I can only see our growing relationship with the AUC strengthening and developing with new avenues for collaborative working being established in both teaching and research.”

David Taylor, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, added:

The official opening of an AUC base here at UCLan is truly symbolic of a new era in our joint strategy for medical education. Our region will benefit from a constant supply of very high caliber professionals who could work in our local hospitals adding their energy, enthusiasm and expertise to help patients and service users as well as playing a vital role in supporting our health economy.”  

As a part of the collaboration, a new program offers students a postgraduate diploma in International Medical Sciences (PGIMS) from UCLan’s School of Medicine delivered at the University’s Preston Campus, followed by the Doctor of Medicine (MD) postgraduate degree from AUC School of Medicine.

The two universities began working together in 2017, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, when AUC School of Medicine’s Sint Maarten campus was devastated along with the rest of the nation, and UCLan and the city of Preston provided a temporary home for the students to continue their medical education.

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