Sino-U.S. partnerships in research, education, and patient care: The experience of the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC
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In 2011, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) and Tsinghua University formed a partnership to further the education of Tsinghua medical students. These students come to UPSOM as visiting research scholars for two years of their eight-year MD curriculum. During this time, the students, who have completed four years at Tsinghua, work full-time in medical school laboratories and research programs of their choice, essentially functioning as graduate students. In their first two months in Pittsburgh, the scholars have a one-week orientation to biomedical research, followed by two-week rotations in four labs selected on the basis of the scholars’ scientific interests, after which they choose one of these labs for the remainder of the two years. Selected labs may be in basic science departments, basic science divisions of clinical departments, or specialized centers that focus on approaches like simulation and modeling. The Tsinghua students also have a brief exposure to clinical medicine. UPSOM has also formed a similar partnership with Central South University Xiangya School of Medicine in Changsha, Hunan Province. The Xiangya students come to UPSOM for two years of research training after their sixth year and, thus, unlike the Tsinghua students, have already completed their clinical rotations. UPSOM faculty members have also paved the way for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), UPSOM’s clinical partner, to engage with clinical centers in China. Major relationships involving advisory, training, managerial, and/or equity roles exist with Xiangya International Medical Center, KingMED Diagnostics, First Chengmei Medical Industry Group, and Macare Women’s Hospital. Both UPSOM and UPMC are actively exploring other clinical and academic opportunities in China.
Keywordsmedical education research training partnership
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The authors would like to thank Jeremy Berg, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of Science and the Science family of journals and associate vice chancellor for science strategy and planning, health sciences, at the University of Pittsburgh, and Timothy R. Billiar, MD, George Vance Foster Professor and Chair of Surgery at UPSOM, who provided oversight to the THU and Xiangya programs, respectively.
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