According to MEDICC, 20 U.S. students graduated from the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) in Havana, Cuba on July 23. Among the 1,382 graduates, 879 are from nations outside of Cuba, and 29% of those are Peruvian (the largest international constituency). Celebrating the end of their six-year scholarships, the 20 U.S. students participated in a ceremony attended by Cuban Vice President Ramón Machado Ventura and Minister of Health Roberto Morales.
Students say they plan to implement what they have learned by going into rural areas to replicate the work of other Cuban doctors, and serving underrepresented and marginalized groups, while others say they plan to enter family medicine and pediatrics. Since 2005, ELAM has graduated 23,000 students from all over the world.
Graduations are being held at all Cuban provincial medical universities this week, where both Cuban and international ELAM students are receiving their degrees, in addition to those in nursing and allied health professions.
After several unsuccessful attempts to have my previous travel groups visit this medical school, I was recently informed that my groups in November and December have been scheduled for a visit to ELAM. It should be a terrific experience.
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