New medical school a reality

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 47            November 29, 2001

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Dr. Jeffery Sersland in front of new medical school

Dr. Jeffrey Sersland and the Medical University of the Americas (MUA) are proud to announce the opening of a branch Medical University in San Pedro Town. "The plans we announced this past August in the San Pedro Sun have finally come to fruition," exclaimed a beaming Dr. Sersland. Dr. David Fredrick, founder of SABA Medical School and Medical School of the Americas (St. Christopher-Nevis), states he is pleased to join Dr. Sersland in co-founding the Medical University of the Americas - Belize (MUAB). As soon as January 14th, 2002, 30 medical students are scheduled to begin classes at the university's location in the former Coral Sand Convention Center at the Belize Yacht Club.

    Medical University of the Americas was founded in 1998 in an effort to provide a comprehensive four-year program leading to a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. MUA was established to provide quality education for students from around the world. Recognizing that education is more than mastering the required courses, MUA incorporates opportunities for intellectual achievement, sound decision making skills and moral-ethical development. MUA believes by combining intellectual and personal skills the student will develop into a well-rounded professional.

    MUAB will operate on a trimester system admitting students three times a year in January, May and September. Dr. Sersland stated that besides the 30 students already enrolled in the two-year basic science program, the school has 60 clinical students doing rotations in hospitals abroad and 150 applicants for the May semester. He anticipates 150 additional students to join MUAB by September, 2002. Overall, the total number of students enrolled in the consortium of MUA schools is over 1000. Dr. Sersland commented, "I personally welcome the opportunity to be associated with Dr. Fredrick's exceptional track record of success in the basic science portion of the program and in placing students in quality U.S. hospitals for their clinical training. Additionally, his success in having graduates match in residencies across America is unprecedented."

    Medical University of the Americas - Belize will transform the basement of the former convention center into the school's laboratory. The first floor will be utilized for three lecture halls. The second floor will be used as a library and as administrative offices for his staff. Joining President Jeffrey Sersland are his wife Renae Sersland, Dr. Mary Beth Downs; Anatomist, Dr. Armando Rosales; Pathologist, Dr. Abdul Shamsuddin and his wife Sahara, a histologist; Terry Anderson as University Coordinator and Liz Cechini as Chief Financial Officer. Gary Pletcher is named as the Provost and Dr. David Fredrick the Chancellor for the university. Additional professors from Glasgow, Scotland and the United Kingdom are scheduled to come aboard in the near future.

    Dr. Fredrick, who has over 20 years of experience in Caribbean Medical Education, shares the same vision and desire as Dr. Sersland. Both plan to provide quality medical education that benefits both the student and the community where the university is located. To that effect, Dr. Sersland mentioned that MUAB is currently setting up their equipment and will soon be hiring office and maintenance personnel. "I am looking forward to providing not only a quality educational facility but many positive benefits to the community through MUAB," commented Dr. Sersland.

    An open house to dedicate the new Medical University of the Americas - Belize facility is scheduled for December 7th. Dr. Sersland takes this opportunity to welcome the entire community to join him and his staff at this memorable event.
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