Chinese university delegation to tour Western to prepare for dual PhD program

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two leaders from the West China School of Medicine at Sichuan University will be touring The University of Western Ontario on Monday, September 20. Dr. Xuehong Wan, Vice Dean, Education and Dr. Tian Xia, Director of the Clinical Training Centre will be officially welcomed by the Dean of Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Dr. Michael Strong and other university leaders at 9:00 a.m. in the Medical Sciences Building, Room 105 before being taken on a tour of the Clinical Skills Training Facility and Robarts Research Institute.

The West China Hospital, associated with the medical school, was founded by a Canadian missionary, Dr. Leslie Kilborn, 100 years ago. His grandson, Dr. Robert Kilborn, a retired anesthetist from Kitchener, will be joining the welcome and tour. The West China Hospital has 4,300 beds handling 2.5 million outpatient visits a year and 63,000 in-patient surgeries.

While here, Dr. Wan will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to negotiate an agreement allowing Chinese PhD students to study at both Sichuan University and Western, graduating with dual degrees. The MOU will be signed on behalf of Western by its Vice-President of Research and International Relations, Ted Hewitt and Dr. Strong in a ceremony at 2:00 p.m. in Conron Hall, University College (Rm 224A).

The MOU is the next step in a partnership established in 2009 between Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and the West China School of Medicine at Sichuan University. The Chair/Chief of the Department of Surgery, Dr. John Denstedt has made several trips to China to help reform postgraduate medical education at the West China School of Medicine.

The students will benefit from being awarded a doctorate from two well recognized institutions simultaneously, gaining first-hand experience with learning two languages and cultures, and developing strong research skills and networks for fostering a productive research career. They will have to meet the requirements for, and be accepted into graduate programs from both universities. It's expected that most dual degree students will complete their studies within five years of entrance, and that their time would be split equally between the two universities.