Michigan State University (MSU) will become the first U.S. school to partner with Cuban hospitals in having medical students honing their skills in Cuba, at the state run-hospitals.
Although some U.S. students have attended Cuba’s medical school on their own in the past, the latest move by MSU marks a new development for U.S. institutions of higher education since bilateral ties were reestablished in July.
“This is a first … for American medical students to be able to walk the halls of three of Cuba’s main hospitals in Havana and receive credit for the experience,” William Cunningham, assistant dean for the College of Osteopathic Medicine in West Michigan, said in a statement.
The aim of the two-week program for osteopathic and human medicine students, which starts in April, is to study how Cuba’s universal health care has achieved stellar low infant mortality rates while operating on a shoestring budget.
“We want them to understand that even with all of the advances in medical technology here in America, Cuba’s medical system is grounded in primary care and public health and they’ve truly been able to track the health statistics of their population with a lot less,” Cunningham added.
Communist Cuba’s state medical care is grounded in primary and preventative care.
About 30 U.S. students have applied for the program so far, MSU said.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
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