Multifaceted Support for a New Medical School in Nepal Devoted to Rural Health by a Canadian Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

  •  Kim Solez    
  •  Arjun Karki    
  •  Sabita Rana    
  •  Holli Bjerland    
  •  Bibiana Cujec    
  •  Stephen Aaron    
  •  Don Morrish    
  •  MaryAnn Walker    
  •  Manjula Gowrishankar    
  •  Fiona Bamforth    
  •  Lalith Satkunam    
  •  Naomi Glick    
  •  Thomas Stevenson    
  •  Shelly Ross    
  •  Sanjaya Dhakal    
  •  Dominic Allain    
  •  Jill Konkin    
  •  David Zakus    
  •  Darren Nichols    


Nepal and Alberta are literally a world apart. Yet they share a common problem of restricted access to health services in remote and rural areas. In Nepal, urban-rural disparities were one of the main issues in the recent civil war, which ended in 2006. In response to the need for improved health equity in Nepal a dedicated group of Nepali physicians began planning the Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS), a new health sciences university dedicated to the education of rural health providers in the early 2000s.

Beginning with a medical school the Patan Academy of Health Sciences uses international help to plan, deliver and assess its curriculum. PAHS developed an International Advisory Board (IAB) attracting international help using a model of broad, intentional recruitment and then on individuals’ natural attraction to a clear mission of peace-making through health equity. Such a model provides for flexible recruitment of globally diverse experts, though it risks a lack of coordination. Until recently, the PAHS IAB has not enjoyed significant or formal support from any single international institution.

However, an increasing number of the international consultants recruited by PAHS to its International Advisory Board are from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (UAlberta). The number of UAlberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry members involved in the project has risen to fifteen, providing a critical mass for a coordinated effort to leverage institutional support for this partnership. This paper describes the organic growth of the UAlberta group supporting PAHS, and the ways in which it supports a sister institution in a developing nation.

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