|Interview of Dr. Camil Nassar, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences at the University of Balamand
|Why would you advise a student to choose the faculty of Medicine at the University of Balamand rather than any other faculty of medicine in Lebanon?
The medical program at UOB was launched in 2001 with the aim of establishing foundations for postgraduate training and leadership in the provision of quality health care in Lebanon. The most fundamental way in which we do this is to provide high quality educational preparation for practice in medicine.
This was achieved in association with St. George Hospital University Medical Center (in Achrafieh-Beirut); one of Lebanon's leading medical centers. Our four-year medical program provides comprehensive and integrated medical education. Teaching methods are diverse, but there is emphasis on small class-group teaching. Besides, in our curriculum patient contact starts early in a medical studentâ€™s training at the first year level. FOM at UOB collaborates with leading centers of excellence in Europe and North America. Our Faculty of Medicine in association with St. George Hospital University Medical Center is growing, building momentum and moving ahead in the areas of teaching, research and medical service.
The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Balamand gives its undivided attention to each student. Not only the number of accepted applicants is smaller (40) in comparison to that of other medical schools, but each faculty member is assigned as an advisor to an even smaller number of students (a maximum of 6) to follow up on their academic performance and lend them support. Faculty committees also meet on regular basis to discuss student performance case by case. Moreover, faculty-student interaction is encouraged through an open door policy with faculty members, administrators, and the Dean. The University facilities and laboratories are designed to respond to the educational needs of medical students. Moreover, a characteristic feature of our Faculty is its admission of qualified applicants from local, European, and North American Universities. This is in accordance with our policy to create diversity and facilitate communication among students from different social, educational, and regional backgrounds.
Finally, the University is located on the hills of the scenic Kurah region overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, a one-hour drive north of Beirut. So, whether students are in search for the quiet environment to study or the recreational attractions, our University campus provides both professional and personal development.
What makes you proud of your students?
Their achievements, competence, dedication, attending to the needs of patients and compassion for them, service to their patients and community, and their approach to medicine and life. I am proud of their journey of becoming physicians and tolerating responsibilities.
What can students be proud of when they complete the courses?
Students can be proud of the medical education and training they have received at the University of Balamand in association with Saint George Hospital University Medical Center. They should take pride in their performance, the medical knowledge they have acquired for the practice of Medicine, their performance in the international exams especially the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), and the communication skills that allow them to interact with each other and with patients.
How important is the new version of the University website for the Faculty of Medical Sciences?
Nowadays, students are using the internet as the first tool to conduct a search on the Medical school they are planning to apply for. The website is the first tool of acquaintance with the Faculty of Medicine. An attractive website reflects a modern and innovative approach for the school in the eyes of the applicant. It is a matter of minutes to highlight the specific features of the school. The website should be easy to navigate through in order to answer the inquiries of the applicant.