Saturday, 26 September 2015

A Good News Story for the weekend

Some people do really amazing things under very difficult circumstances. In 2008 a team of very dedicated people established the School of Medicine at the Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) in Lalitpur, Nepal. PAHS is a “…public not-for-profit tertiary academic institution dedicated to improving Nepal’s rural health by training health workers for rural Nepal” (

The University of Newcastle provided assistance in establishing the PAHS medical program including making available the Personal Qualities Assessment (PQA) medical student selection tests developed by Miles Bore, Don Munro and David Powis. Approximately 18,000 applicants sit the tests in Nepal each year with the data sent to the PQA team in the School of Psychology for scoring and reporting (pro bono). Professor Powis has visited the School on three occasions to assist local faculty staff with curriculum development and to establish a student selection and admissions procedure modelled on that used here in Newcastle.

News was received this week from Dr Shrijana Shrestha, Dean of Medicine, PAHS, concerning the first cohort of medical graduates’ performance on their final Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) exams. Dr Shrestha stated that “We are really proud to say that all 54 students passed the exam securing greater than 60% marks in both theory and practical examination. This is a real proud moment for us all”.

The students and staff at PAHS have achieved this within the context and challenges of their country’s emerging economy – not to mention a devastating series of earthquakes in 2013 and 2015.

They have done really some amazing things under very difficult circumstances.