Headed and directed by Majd Zayzafoon, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Assistant Dean, UAB International Education creates and maintains graduate study abroad programs with top tier international universities and organizations from several countries such as China, Peru, and Taiwan.

“The creating and launching of the U.S. Culture & Medical Education Summer Program was a huge success,” said Majd Zayzafoon, M.D., Ph.D., MBA. "This success was the direct result of the support, effort and time invested from the Provost’s Office; School of Health Professions leadership, faculty and staff; INTO UAB’s leadership, teachers and staff; the International Education staff and the staff of the UAB dormitory and recreation center. Together, we delivered an amazing program that resulted in extreme satisfaction for each participant.”

One of the visiting students said it best, “I will never forget that doctors and teachers are so kind. Thank you so much for providing such a wonderful experience!”

Throughout this four-week training, the Wenzhou students (a combination of first, second, and third year medical students) studied a wide variety of topics like patient history, physical examination, phlebotomy, basic life support and hands-on suturing.

See UAB/Wenzhou Photos

Wei Li with StudentWei Li, Ph.D., with Wenzhou studentFor the School of Health Professions, James “Rick” Kilgore, Ph.D., formerly with the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, and Wei Li, Ph.D., with the Physician Assistant Studies program, led the didactic and clinical portions of the program.

In addition, Howard Houser, Ph.D., Shannon Houser, Ph.D., and Amy Landry, Ph.D., with the Department of Health Services Administration, delivered an educational experience that focused on the differences between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China healthcare systems.

“Ultimately this is a partnership that fortifies UAB’s international efforts as well as our reputation for excellence in teaching; however, this is also a unique opportunity for learning on both sides of the academic arena,” said Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., Senior Executive Associate Dean, UAB School of Health Professions. “The Chinese students learn distinct skills for practicing medicine, while UAB faculty glean first-hand knowledge about the medical education experience and the health care system process of China that will only strengthen their work in the classroom.”

Outside of the classroom experience, the students visited many places around the UAB Academic Medical Center. There were tours of the UAB Center for Interprofessional Simulation for Innovative Clinical Practice, the School of Optometry, and the UAB Health System clinics and hospital where they witnessed U.S. medical care firsthand.

Throughout the four-week program, the Chinese students also studied English courses at INTO UAB. They performed plays in front of their peers, faculty and staff as part of their final project.

UAB International Education also added cultural exchange activities in the program. These included a traditional outdoor picnic at Oak Mountain State Park with hiking and U.S. outdoor games, shopping, and eating at local Birmingham restaurants. UAB School of Health Professions also took them to a Birmingham Barons baseball game and hosted them at a faculty BBQ.