Nepal

The Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS), a public university located in the southwestern part of the Kathmandu valley, was created to improve health in rural areas of Nepal and to provide more health professionals to serve them. It was approved by the Nepalese parliament in 2008.

There are many strategies incorporated into the design to improve health and health services in both urban and rural areas. PAHS is linked with the neighboring Patan Hospital where students learn clinical skills and PAHS faculty provide role models within the hospital. Students in the program are also linked with a rural village where, for the six-year duration of their program, they will develop, implement, and eventually assess a community health project.

Carol Ann Courneya


Carol Ann Courneya

More About Our Nepal Project

Carol-Ann Courneya, one of the three AWB volunteers, has been involved in the development of PAHS since its inception in 2003. She has served as co-chair of the PAHS Faculty Development Committee, and is a member of the Executive Committee for the PAHS International Advisory Board. She has led problem-based learning, tutor training, and case writing workshops at PAHS each year since 2004.

Jason Waechter


Jason Waechter

In 2011, Courneya, along with two other AWB volunteers, Jason Waechter and Jane Gair, delivered two courses in basic medical science to 60 students, who began the program in 2010, the first group attending PAHS.  They worked closely with their PAHS faculty counterparts, Ira Shrestha, Babu Rajha Maharjan, and Mili Joshi, and their teams, in giving the courses. The apprenticeship model that was used incorporated teaching and curriculum development for the faculty. After finishing their assignment at PAHS in 2011, the volunteers continued their relation with PAHS, providing on-site support for the PAHS faculty in 2012 and supporting them on-line in 2013.

Gair, who is also a member of the PAHS International Advisory Board, spent four weeks in 2011 at the institution teaching the Human Biology block to first-year students. This included tutoring small groups three times a week using problem-based cases developed with her PAHS counterpart faculty. She also facilitated tutor training and case writing for faculty members.

Jane Gair


Jane Gair

“Teaching in Nepal is so rewarding—I love interacting with the students and learning so much about international educational differences. In this past visit, I learned far more from the faculty and students at PAHS than I think they learned from me.” – Jane Gair

Courneya and Waechter spent six weeks at PAHS during June and July 2011 delivering the Cardiovascular Block. In addition to  teaching the course, they observed the post-block evaluation that was carried out by students and tutors, and worked with their PAHS faculty counterparts to incorporate the feedback into planning for the following year’s courses.

AWB Volunteers
Carol Ann Courneya, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia), is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia

Jane Gair, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia) is a Senior Instructor in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia

Jason Waechter, MD (University of British Columbia), is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

 

2014

Gap and Upgrade Teaching Cardio Vascular

Olga Toleva Teaching EchographyThree cardiologists from the University of Alberta spent one month at the Patan Academy of Health Sciences in January 2014 teaching first year medical students in the Cardiovascular block. Teaching activities included lectures, small group problem based learning, learning games, art contest and workshops. The volunteers also taught local internal medicine physicians how to perform echocardiography. This bedside ultrasound examination is very useful in the management of patients who are critically ill or have heart disease.

The medical students gained an improved understanding of cardiovascular physiology and disease. During these hands on sessions, internal medicine residents became aware of the utility of handheld ultrasound in clinical decision-making. As well, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff and residents developed skills in echocardiographic image acquisition and interpretation and have new access to on-line resources so they can continue to perform and utilize echocardiography in the daily care of ICU and medical ward patients.

AWB Volunteers:

Dr. Bibiana Cujec


Dr. Bibiana Cujec

Dr. Olga Toleva


Dr. Olga Toleva

Dr. Kristen Lyons


Dr. Kristen Lyons

Dr. Bibiana Cujec, M.Ed (University of Saskatchewan), MD (University of Laval), is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta
Dr. Olga Toleva, MD (Medical University Sofia, Bulgaria) is an Interventional Cardiology Fellow at the University of Alberta
Dr. Kristen Lyons, M.D.C.M. (McGill) is a Cardiology Fellow at the University of Alberta