Home Missions Education Education News TCU, UST renew friendship with MOA signing

TCU, UST renew friendship with MOA signing

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 11:11 AM | ARTICLE BY | Erin Uy
TCU College of Medicine dean Dr. Yang Jen-hung (seated, left) and UST's Faculty of Medicine & Surgery dean Ma. Lourdes Domingao-Malinao, M.D. (seated, right) signs the Memorandum of Agreement. The MoA serves to strengthen the bond between the two universities and their respective faculties of Medicine.【Photo by Erin Uy】

Story Highlights

  • On the afternoon of their first day in the Philippines, Tzu Chi University medical students proceeded to the University of Santo Tomas for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and an educational tour of the university’s museum.
  • Strengthening ties between the two universities, the Memorandum of Agreement ratifies the exchange of knowledge about their different approaches in teaching medicine.

After a stopover at the Jing Si (Still Thoughts) Hall in Quezon City, the group of 24 Tzu Chi University (TCU) medical students from Taiwan proceeded to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the two universities and a tour of the campus facilities.

Signed by both TCU College of Medicine dean Yang Jen-hung and UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery dean Ma. Lourdes Domingo-Maglinao, M.D., the MOA strengthened the ties between the two institutions. Among its aims are to establish a future exchange student program between the two establishments and to share wisdom with each other.

With the MOA, Yang states that they hope to expand the learning experience between the students. The two universities are adept teachers to generations of future doctors and physicians, yet both colleges have different methods of teaching medicine.

“Along with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between our universities, we want to give our students an eye-opening experience. Our educational tour aims to make our students understand that they are lucky to be living the life that they are, as well as to understand how those who are less fortunate than they are struggle to live from day to day. Hopefully, with the week that they spend here, they will learn and understand how to be compassionate to their patients, and to treat them with dignity and respect,” says Yang.

He adds that Master Cheng Yen encourages medical students to not only broaden their horizons but also learn with compassionate hearts as they immerse themselves in their chosen field of study.

“Even if the students have the knowledge to be able to treat diseases, if they don’t treat their patients with love and compassion, their abilities would be meaningless,” he says.

Whereas TCU hopes to adopt the principles of Western medicine while maintaining Buddhist traditions, UST desires to implement the Silent Mentor program in their medical curriculum. The program involves donors giving their bodies to the advancement of medicine when they pass away, so that generations of medical students can learn from them.

“With the signing of the MOA, we hope to establish and adapt not just the ‘silent mentor’ aspect that they practice, but to learn more from our counterparts and eventually open up a full-time student exchange program between our respective faculties in the near future, so that we can both learn from each other,” says Maglinao.

After the MOA signing, the students went on an educational tour of the University of Santo Tomas Museum of Arts and Sciences. It showcases a sizable display of artifacts indigenous to the Philippines, along with collections of medical history that were used in educating the pioneer generations of medical students.

Huang Yu-ting, who serves as the student leader for the visiting contingent, shares that she looks forward to the learning experience during their stay in the Philippines.

“While this serves as an immersion trip for students like us, I am lucky to appreciate the life we lead back in Taiwan. How we’re blessed to be living with a loving family, and to be able to complete our education at the same time—it puts things into a unique perspective for us, especially now that we see that there are a lot of people who struggle to live from day-to-day,” she says.

Part of the students’ educational tour includes observing and helping out in several medical missions scheduled throughout the week, and visiting assigned patients in their homes and learning more about their respective situations.

Tetsuya Makino, president of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery Student Council, was the TCU delegation’s guide around the museum. He says he was in awe of TCU’s principles of teaching medicine.

“One thing that was very interesting to me was their core values (when it comes to treating patients) is that they are Buddhist. Compared to us here, they have a very different approach in terms of medicine and how they treat people,” he remarks.

A witness to the MOA signing, Makino also has high expectations between the two universities.

“It is nice to see our deans to meet in a diplomatic way since UST’s Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is reaching its 150th anniversary. So, it would be very nice and progressive to build bridges not only with other schools of the country, but outside of the Philippines as well so it was very interesting to see our deans stepping up and building this diplomatic relationship,” he ends.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2017 11:11 AM

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