July 28, 2015
Background Information No. 041
I-Shou University held a ceremony to present white coats to students attending its School of Medicine for International Students on July 28. At this solemn and heartwarming event, President Ma Ying-jeou delivered a speech to the 600-plus attendants, comprising students and faculty members of the school and representatives of the diplomatic corps.
At the onset of the ceremony, held at the Incubation and Research Building’s International Conference Hall, video clips were played, showing the students’ lives in Taiwan over the past two years. In his speech, President Ma congratulated the 34 outstanding students on advancing to their third year after finishing their basic medical courses. He also encouraged them to extend hope and compassion to patients and become respected doctors. This ceremony represented a rite of passage into the medical students’ hospital internships.
The origin of the I-Shou medical program for international students can be traced to President Ma’s state trip in April 2012, when he witnessed the valuable experience and concrete achievements of ROC medical missions in setting up health facilities in allied African countries and providing humanitarian assistance, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals. The president realized that these countries need to cultivate their own medical personnel and that the ROC can offer considerable assistance toward realizing this aim. With this in mind, upon returning to Taiwan, President Ma immediately instructed the competent authorities to study the feasibility of establishing a special medical school program for students from ROC allies.
Since the four-year program was launched in 2013, it has admitted 108 outstanding medical students from 17 allies, whose presence contributes to the internationalization of Taiwan’s higher education and medicine. In addition to helping allies train physicians and improve their overall healthcare, the program highlights the quality of Taiwan’s medical care and education, as well as its role as a humanitarian aid provider. (E)