In the two decades since a group of Marshall Islanders trained as doctors at the Pohnpei-based Medical Officers Training Program in the 1990s, few RMI citizens have gained degrees in medical fields.
But this picture will change dramatically thanks to the intake by Taiwan of a sizable number of Marshallese students to study medicine. Eight of the 25 students now at universities in the Republic of China are in medical school. The first, David Alfred, graduates in 2017. Two more, Cody Jack and Ethel Briand, are on track to graduate in 2018 and five are scheduled to graduate in 2019.
A key part of the medical training program was solidified with an agreement signed in Taipei last month by RMI Minister of Health Kalani Kaneko and Dr. Lee Fei-Peng Lee, Superintendent of ShuangHo Hospital in Taipei, which sets out a plan for ShaungHo to oversee a residency/internship program for Marshallese medical doctors graduating from Taiwan. The plan is for the internship to take place at Majuro hospital under the supervision of ShuangHo doctors, which will provide the newly minted doctors their required hands-on training under supervision.
RMI Ambassador to Taiwan Frederick Muller said the three Marshallese students expected to graduate in 2017 and 2018 have already indicated their medical fields of interest, with Alfred choosing cardiology, Jack focused on pediatrics, and Briand aiming for internal medicine.
Read more about this in the November 18, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.