Our Mission
Download Page
Contact Us


Continuing Medical Education Project

The first year of the project was devoted to researching the needs and possibilities in the Vietnamese healthcare community. With the assistance of the local health departments and hospital directors in central Vietnam, surveys and questionnaires were distributed to a large number of practicing physicians. These surveys reflected the needs, desires, facilities and populations served by individual physicians. Once these were completed, the results were compared with national health statistics from the Ministry of Health over the previous ten years. A list of priorities and needs was developed from this research. The basic tenet was that there was a huge gap between the completion of medical school and the daily practice of medicine in many parts of Vietnam. 

The second year was spent developing a suitable program and building teams to help accomplish these goals. Site visits were made to close to 15 universities around the country and thorough studies were undertaken to carefully evaluate what types of programs might be successful as collaborations with the Vietnamese government. Universities were selected based on three criteria:

  • Previous international teaching experience
  • National rank within their field
  • Employment of staff who were Vietnamese

Within Universities, department Chairman and Deans helped to select professors and staff who would be receptive to this difficult and time-consuming effort, and those people were contacted and recruited. Five basic divisions were made:

  • General Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Trauma

Once the University was selected, teams of about six people were assembled to design a learning module based on the data gathered from Vietnam in the first year of the program. Although the Physician Education Program has been responsible for translating all materials into Vietnamese, each team has been responsible for the following:

  • Designing and delivering a one week hands on basic teaching session for Vietnamese physicians, taught in central Vietnam
  • Written materials
  • Ten lectures
  • One advanced topic lecture
  • Pre- and post-tests
  • Case studies
  • Composition of a learning supplement (textbook)

The regional health ministries were responsible for producing a list of candidates to attend these sessions. Participants for the session were selected based on their potential as teachers within the community. This was done by careful evaluation of their performance history, the size of the population they served, number of physicians in the area, their willingness to participate in a seminar such as this and letters of recommendation. Time was also spent with the People’s Committee, Ministry of Health, local and regional Health Departments and Hospital Directors to obtain the appropriate official approvals and permits. Although the official support of these organizations is necessary for any such program in Vietnam, their advice and counsel on an unofficial level has been extremely helpful and much appreciated.

Year three of the program was devoted to implementation of the first stage of the program which includes basic training for physicians in Vietnam. Each team of American physicians was sent to Central Vietnam to implement the session that they prepared and to deliver “hands on” teaching sessions. All of the materials were delivered in both English and Vietnamese and are available on this website for viewing. In addition to this, some photographs and comments by the American teams have been posted as well.

Year four was devoted to developing all teaching materials into written materials.  These materials were summarized and reformatted into small booklets that were published and distributed at no charge to physicians throughout Central Vietnam.  Topics for the written texts were selected based on popularity from surveys.  Follow up testing was performed on all participants in the form of a questionnaire, and a topic specific post-test.

This program was generously supported through the East Meets West Foundation and the donations of its patrons. No American physician was paid for their time or effort, including the program founder/director. Vietnamese physicians were given a small stipend for travel and lodging in order to attend the sessions at the Danang General Hospital. Weekly Medical English courses were taught at the hospital by the one of the Program Managers, Alex Lemon. The Physician Education Program has been approved by the Ministry of Health of Vietnam as well as the People’s Committee. All verbal and written materials undergo a process of translation and acceptance by various government ministries in Hanoi before they are reproduced or distributed.

Sessions took place at the Danang General Hospital in Danang, Vietnam under the guidance and supervision of the Danang / Quang Nam Health Departments and the People’s Committee of Danang.

This project was completed in August 2003.

Lectures are available for download in Vietnamese and English.


This site is optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer.  All information (c) 1998-2006, Physician Education, Seattle, WA, USA