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Laos and Calgary Medical Educators  are creating "made in Laos"

solutions for improving Family Medical Care in remote and

rural areas.  The Laos post-graduate Family Medicine

Specialists program is in its 14th year.


Note travel by University of Calgary team members is temporarily suspended

due to Covid19.


Current Initiatives


*Upgrade skills and provide specialty training (surgery, pediatrics,

gynecology, internal medicine, others) to rural family medicine specialists


* Professional Development Education events for the Family Medicine

graduates provide ongoing medical education. This includes the

Annual Continuing Medical Education event bringing Laos Family

Medicine Specialists together to attend workshops and collaborate

with their peers


* Maternal and child health training including the Helping Babies Breathe, Helping Mothers Survive, Pre-Eclampsia/ Eclampsia, Bleeding After Birth.


*The Laos  Family Medicine Specialist graduates are currently in process of forming their own Family Medicine

Alumni Association to further strengthen their ability to network and share knowledge and experiences.



Past Achievements and Successes


* Early 2000's - A Collaboration was established between the Lao PDR

Ministry of Health, Lao PDR University Health Sciences, and the

University of Calgary to create a Family Medicine Specialist Training

Program. Development of a two-year Family Medicine Specialist (FMS) training

program began.  The purpose was to provide the foundations of primary care for

the country and to enhance rural healthcare.


*2002 - Rebuilding the undergraduate medical education curriculum

promoting problem-based, practical, hands-on learning and student centered

learning techniques. Rural training sites were developed with the aim to produce

"Five Star Doctor": clinician, educator, community leader, manager, researcher.


* 2002 to present - Updating the training of medical educators and students.

Initially, key Lao Medical Educators and Health Care Officials traveled to Calgary for

exposure to the Canadian medical education training system.  Existing Lao faculty

members were introduced to different teaching tools, including role modeling,

hands-on bedside learning and “one-minute lectures”.  These teaching techniques

were implemented in Laos to promote problem based, practical, hands-on learning.                 First Textbook of Family Medicine written in Laos language

Calgary and Lao Medical Educators have been promoting and facilitating these

techniques in Laos ever since.


*2006 to present- Establishing and sustaining medical training facilities in key locations throughout Laos. Four Provincial Hospitals

have been developed into teaching centers and are now training facilities for medical students and for the Family Medicine Specialty Training Program.  These are located in:

    • Savannaket (Savannakhet Province)
    • Maria Theresa hospital (Vientiane Province)
    • Pakse (Champasak Province)
    • Thakhek

These facilities provide high standards of educational training by Lao Medical Educators to Lao Medical Students and Family Medicine Specialty Training Program Residents.


* 2006 -  The first graduating year from the Family Medicine Specialty Training Program.  To date there are more than 190 graduates

(approximately 50% male and 50% female) who are skilled physicians providing improved health care to the people of Laos. These graduates

now practice medicine throughout Laos, many in smaller community medical facilities.


*2015 - Facilitating and funding the first textbook of Family Medicine written in Laos language.  The textbook was authored by Lao Family MedicineSpecialty graduates and represents the knowledge, skills, attitudes and scope of work of Lao Family Medicine Specialists.




© 2020 Improving Rural Health Initiative