National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) yesterday said that the Ministry of Education has approved its request to create a Department of Post Baccalaureate Medicine, and that it plans to begin recruiting students for the program before the end of this year.
The application was approved last week at an inter-ministerial meeting called by the ministry, the Hsinchu-based university said in a statement.
All of the faculty members and funds the university needs to provide a medical education are in place, NTHU president Hocheng Hong (賀陳弘) said.
Photo courtesy of National Tsing Hua University
In addition to 180 existing faculty members across different academic disciplines, the university has hired an additional 71 full-time physician-professors at the assistant level or above, he said.
It has also jointly appointed 87 clinician-professors with major medical schools in Taiwan, as well as raised NT$2 billion (US$71.99 million) toward its medical education fund, he added.
Plans to establish a NTHU-affiliated teaching hospital and medical research and development park in the Taoyuan Aerotropolis have been approved by the Ministry of Education, and are being reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, he said.
NTHU’s development of a department of medicine would be helped by its solid foundation in medical research and the comprehensive technology training it can offer by integrating different fields such as big data and artificial intelligence, he said.
The university would cultivate a new generation of physicians with dual expertise and facilitate a “quantum jump” in Taiwan’s medical education, he added.
The department would recruit university graduates with diverse backgrounds in fields ranging from electronics to chemistry, as well as a passion for medical practice, Hocheng said.
It would offer a four-year program, he said, adding that government-sponsored students would serve in local communities for six years after graduation, followed by an opportunity to further their studies at a medical center.
The university expects its first batch of government-sponsored students to enroll next year, it said.
The department would be established under the university’s College of Life Sciences and Medicine, it said.
NTHU established its undergraduate Department of Medical Science 10 years ago, it added.
There are currently 15 departments and institutes at the school related to biomedicine, NTHU said.
Of the four schools that applied to establish a post-baccalaureate medicine department last year, NTHU was the only one whose application was approved, the university said.
The others were Kaohsiung’s National Sun Yat-sen University, Taichung’s National Chung Hsing University and Taoyuan’s Yuan Ze University.
Additional reporting by Rachel Lin
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