by Dawn Brazell
The bad news is that Jeffrey G. Wong, M.D., will be thousands of miles away from his family for six months.
The good news is that they will get to visit him in Japan, where he will be going this fall having been selected for the Kimitaka Kaga Visiting Professorship in Medical Education at The University of Tokyo School of Medicine.
Dr. Jeffrey G. Wong leaves in September to serve a six-month professorship working with the University of Tokyo's International Research Center for Medical Education.
Wong, a professor of medicine and internist at MUSC, will be working with the University of Tokyo's International Research Center for Medical Education (IRCME). "It's an incredible opportunity for personal growth by learning about Japanese culture and the conduct of Japanese medical education."
Wong, who was selected to fill this appointment after an international search process, said he decided to apply for the professorship because it offers opportunities to collaborate with medical educators at the University of Tokyo, IRCME and colleagues throughout Japan who may share similar interests.
Wong will work together with medical education and clinical colleagues in the areas of:
- Curriculum development at the clinical clerkship/senior student level to support Tokyo University Medical School's response to new national and international accreditation standards,
- Medical education research – collaborating with the IRCME faculty on educational research and development projects, and
- Clinical teaching at a generalist level, primarily with medical students but also with residents in the university hospital.
Wong, who also cares for patients in general internal medicine, has a long-standing passion for medical education. He received his medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. He then served on the Duke faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine for eight years, attaining the rank of assistant professor and serving in several educational administrative roles for Duke medical residents.
He was recruited to Washington University in St. Louis in 1996 and was the chief of medical education in the Division of General Medical Sciences.
In 1998, he was recruited to Yale University where he served in a number of educational leadership roles in the Yale Primary Care Residency Program. It was with the Yale program that Wong had his first international medical education experience conducting a series of faculty development workshop programs for basic science and clinical teachers at Kazan State Medical University in Tatarstan, Russia. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary professorship at Kazan just as he was being recruited to MUSC by Jerry Reves, M.D., former dean of the College of Medicine.
At MUSC, Wong was the senior associate dean for medical education in the College of Medicine. He worked to improve the local educational environment for medical students and residents as well as enhancing MUSC's educational reputation nationally and internationally. He has worked with medical educators from France, Spain, China, Canada and Singapore and shared many of MUSC's educational innovations through published papers and presentations nationally and internationally.
Wong said this new experience with the IRCME professorship will further enrich him as a physician and educator when he returns to MUSC.
"I hope that my personal experiences in clinical teaching, faculty development and in administering and organizing medical education will prove beneficial for those at the University of Tokyo's IRCME as they work to improve and adapt clinical training and medical education to meet societal needs in Japan."
This collaboration seems to fit into MUSC's strategic plan for global initiative, which is exciting, he said.
"I believe that having an MUSC professor serving as the Kimitaka Kaga Visiting Professor for 2012-2013 reflects positively on MUSC as a medical educational institution. In addition to the teaching and educational research projects I will be conducting, I hope to learn a bit about the administrative operations of the IRCME. MUSC is moving forward with its Center for Global Initiatives, and I believe that my experiences with IRCME could potentially benefit MUSC in the future. It also can help foster collaborative educational opportunities between our institution and institutions in Japan."
Wong, who will be leaving in September, said he has been personally enriched by his previous overseas projects and strongly believes in the intrinsic value that the diversity of these international experiences can provide. International interconnectedness is necessary for the future survival of all institutions of higher education, he said.
"Having a diverse campus comprised of learners and teachers who come from a multitude of backgrounds creates an exciting place to study and work. Through the exchange of these varying points of view, ideas can emerge providing impetus for advancement and innovation, thus augmenting the value of everyone's experience. The friendships I have established with international colleagues and learners in different parts of the world are wonderful, and I look forward to establishing new relationships with this visit."