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17 October 2016- The New York State Education Department (NYSED) formally accredits the College of Medicine of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU-CoM) as an institution that can “place students in long-term clinical clerkships in New York”. Such is expressed in an official letter of approval from Douglas E. Lentivech, The Professions Deputy Commissioner, addressed to Dr. Reynaldo Olazo, Dean of OLFU-CoM. Further, the communiqué specifies approval by the New York State Board of Regents for a period of seven years.
This is considered to be a big honor. As part of the NYSED’s accreditation policy, institutions with deficiencies are given only a 3-year accreditation term, with a required visitation at the end-of-term. On the other hand, institutions that satisfy most, if not all, requirements are given a 5-year term. But NYSED has granted OLFU-CoM a 7-year term, and this the University deems as a truly special achievement.
The terminology “clinical clerkships” in this context encompasses the International Students of OLFU-CoM, and is also synonymous to “medical rotation” whereby students in their 4th year of medical education undergo intensive learning and hands-on training in New York State-run teaching hospitals. Students are to be “rotated” through different medical specialties and departments with the aim of providing as much experience as possible of a hospital setting. This could mean immersion in some or most of the following: internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, radiology, and neurology; and, at times, even emergency medicine and intensive care medicine. Under the supervision of physicians, medical students seek out and deep-dive into patient histories, conduct physical examinations, document patients’ progress records, and assist in medical procedures and surgeries. They make treatment recommendations based on their observations and study, which are all subject to the review and approval of senior physicians. Clinical clerkship demands full-time hours from a student, very much like work. Overtime, rendering service over holidays and weekends, and being perennially on-call are all “part of the territory”.
This latest achievement amplifies even more strongly the advantages of being an international student of OLFU-CoM. Through intensive training in state-of-the-art medical facilities and educational tutelage from expert, global-standard doctors, OLFU’s students will undoubtedly benefit from the experience and further boost their bid in becoming world-class medical professionals.