“She has given birth in the hallway,” office specialist Kevin Velez said of the high-fidelity simulator. “She has given birth in the elevator. We try to make it as realistic as possible and as messy as possible.”
The six Chinese doctors he is leading on a tour of the simulation center don’t seem fazed by this. They are part of a new international partnership the university has begun with Jiangsu Province Department of Health. The six will be paired with GRU doctors in the same speciality in a month-long program.
“I want to learn the modern technology and the modern science here,” said Dr. Liqun Sun, a critical care specialist and associate chief physician of The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University.
It is different than some of the exchanges the university has done before with China, said Dr. Peter Buckley, dean of Medical College of Georgia at GRU.
“These are outstanding doctors in their own right and also this is the beginning of a partnership with the Jiangsu Province Department of Health so there will be more doctors on the way,” he said.
GRU was recently awarded Confucius Institute designation in partnership with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine that will foster greater exchanges and has also reached out to Augusta’s Chinese communities, some of which date back to the 1870s. Those groups are also helping with this latest exchange, Buckley said.
“They’ve been welcomed greatly by the Chinese community within Augusta,” he said. “We could not have done this without their support.”
There is an increasing recognition that universities need to reach across borders and strengthen ties, Buckley said.
“I just think it is a globalization of both health care and of education in general,” he said.
The hope is that if the program goes well that more collaborations will happen in the future with that region of China, Buckley said.
“There is a bigger picture to it and I believe if the province is pleased with the feedback from the doctors in the program that this will blossom further over time and lead to other opportunities,” he said.
Although her visit has just begun, Sun said she would like to see her collaborator, Dr. Phillip Coule of the Department of Emergency Medicine, come over and lecture there. And she could see herself returning as well.
“If I have the chance, I’d like to learn here more, for a longer period,” Sun said. “That would be great.”