Meet Professor Maurizio Trevisan, VinUniversity’s Dean of the College of Health Sciences.
In a recent interview with VTC News, Professor Trevisan shared that what attracted him to Vietnam, in particular VinUniversity, was the exciting challenge of directing the brand new university’s College of Health Sciences. Professor Trevisan has past experience designing new programs; he formerly served as founding dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions at the State University of Buffalo, New York. Internationally, he is one of the most frequently cited scientists in the field of Health Sciences.
As a professor and one of the world’s leading doctors, why did you decide to come to Vietnam and assume the hard work of beginning a new program at a new school like VinUni?
I am fortunate to work with this very special university called VinUni. I share the same viewpoints on educational values and philosophies, especially the creative approaches of interdisciplinary and inter-professional education. VinUni’s motto, Think differently, act differently, resonates with my personal and professional outlook and goals. As Dean of the College of Health Sciences, I have an awesome opportunity to help create the next generation of Vietnamese healthcare professionals. These will be professionals who possess expertise in the fields of medicine and nursing as well as compassion. They will perform valuable research and make great contributions to the advancement of medicine in Vietnam and the world.
In the context of the current Covid-19 epidemic, how do you assess the importance of Health Sciences in controlling global epidemics?
The Covid-19 virus is a tragic and unprecedented worldwide challenge. The danger we face is that this disease is not a respecter of boundaries either between nations or between the rich and the poor. A knowledgeable workforce of expert healthcare professionals who are trained in international environments is fundamental in addressing world health issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Healthcare models vary from country to country. Do you anticipate any challenges specific to the Vietnamese healthcare system?
I see the challenges of the Vietnamese healthcare system as the same as those in other countries — training students in the best practices while using the best methods. Firstly, we need to provide our students with high-quality clinical teaching in first-rate clinical facilities. VinUni is very lucky to have Vinmec as a clinical partner. Next, we need to prepare this next generation of healthcare workers for work in international environments and according to internationally recognized standards. Our partnerships with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and other prestigious medical schools around the world will allow us to expose and train our students in international settings. In addition, we want to address the low ratio of doctors to patients that is currently the case in Vietnam as compared to other Asian countries. Our aim is to develop and expand this workforce by training new doctors through the use of a competency-based curriculum that combines evidence-based training with an interdisciplinary approach.
Currently VinUni is actively preparing for its inaugural first semester. Please describe the type of students who have already been admitted to VinUni’s inaugural class?
So far, hundreds of applications have been evaluated and many students have been interviewed in the Early Admission process. I am very satisfied with the quality of the candidates, their intellectual curiosity, and their passion for medicine and nursing. The candidates who were awarded full scholarships to study in the College of Health Sciences boast exemplary academic records, passion, and clear career goals for the medical profession.
What is your plan for VinUni in the near future?
I have three major priorities. The first is to utilize evidence-based teaching methods within a practical hands-on clinical setting, by closely collaborating with the Vinmec Health System. Specialists from Vinmec will teach at VinUni and our clinical study program will be implemented with Vinmec as the main practice hospital of the College of Health Sciences. As we hold that an important part of education is the learning that takes place beyond the classroom, VinUni is planning a collaborative approach with other universities and hospitals (including public hospitals) in Vietnam. The VinUni College of Health Sciences sets high standards that are equivalent to best-practice standards in developed countries.
The second priority is the training of lecturers. I admire the skill and expertise of Vietnamese doctors. However, in fact, in many places, being a good doctor is not necessarily equivalent to being a good teacher. Therefore, we will be developing special training programs specifically for seasoned clinical professionals, in order to empower them to become good clinical trainers, in addition to top clinicians.
The third priority is the development of our residency program. The growing demand for resident doctors makes an excellent residency program that is based on international standards and in line with ACGME-I accreditation of great consequence to Vietnam. VinUni’s residency program will help produce the human resources needed in every hospital, as well as, the future teachers who will return to teach and help develop new generations of talented young doctors.
Certainly, VinUni will make a real difference in the training of Health Sciences in Vietnam.
Dr. Trevisan has served as Provost, Vice Provost, President, and Dean at prestigious universities in the United States. His special career is associated with laying the foundations for the development of medical and medical science training institutes at prestigious universities, such as the City University of New York (CUNY), State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Nevada.
Professor Maurizio Trevisan has published more than 300 research works in many influential journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal. Medicine, and The New England Journal of Medicine.