The School of Medicine operates on a global stage, with active collaborations connecting Pittsburgh with China, Colombia, France, Ghana, Honduras, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malawi, the Philippines, and many other nations. Medical students and young investigators who train in this milieu encounter a wide variety of influences and discover many opportunities to broaden their horizons. Through School of Medicine programs, international students continue to study and thrive on Pitt's campus while experiencing American and Pittsburgh culture.
Tsinghua University School of Medicine
In 2012, Pitt's School of Medicine initiated highly successful collaborations with two premier institutions of learning in the People's Republic of China. These programs are continuing to evolve, mature, and thrive. Through the School of Medicine's partnership with Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing, medical students at this most prestigious of Chinese scientific institutions undergo a rigorous two-year biomedical research training program in Pittsburgh before returning to Beijing to complete their medical education.
Since 2012, a significant proportion of students from Tsinghua's medical school spend two years in Pittsburgh immersed in biomedical research in the labs of some of Pitt's most accomplished scientists. The annual Pitt-Tsinghua Joint Symposium provides a platform for faculty and students from each school to share their research findings, tour each other's facilities, and strengthen the partnership between the two institutions. The symposium is held in either Pittsburgh or Beijing, alternating locations each year.
Also in 2012, the School of Medicine began a collaboration with China's prestigious Central South University Xiangya School of Medicine to provide two years of intensive biomedical research training to Xiangya medical students, most of whom have already undergone six years of medical school, including clinical training. In 2014, bolstered by the program's success, Xiangya Hospital formed a partnership with UPMC to establish the Xiangya International Medical Center, which opened the following year and has improved access to high-quality care for patients within the Hunan Province of China and beyond.
Republic of Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University (NU)
The School of Medicine was selected in 2012 to guide the Republic of Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University (NU) as it established its own medical school, which aims to educate physician-scientists to become this Central Asian nation's next leaders in health care, medical education, and biomedical research. Pitt has partnered with NU to institute a U.S.-style curriculum; design and develop teaching facilities; recruit and train school leadership and faculty; plan organizational and administrative structures, policies, and procedures; and develop courses, syllabi, and clinical experiences with the participation of physician-educators from Kazakhstan and around the globe. The school aims to become a hub of medical education and biomedical research in Central Asia.
In August 2015, the Nazarbayev University School of Medicine (NUSOM) welcomed its first class of 20 students, with new students continuing to enroll annually. As of 2017, NUSOM began accepting international students.
Partnerships with French Research Institutions
In 2017, the School of Medicine and UPMC partnered with the Sorbonne’s Vision Institute in Paris, a global leader of basic and clinical vision research that is developing treatments for currently untreatable retinal diseases and vision disorders. The School of Medicine then entered an agreement with three additional world-renowned French research institutions: the Université Pierre et Marie Curie of the Sorbonne Universités in Paris, the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm), and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). These partnerships have enabled collaborative ophthalmology, vision, and neuroscience research, as well as extensive scientific and educational exchange.
The School of Medicine has also maintained a robust relationship with Malawi. School of Medicine residents recently completed rotations at Kamuzu Central Hospital, a government referral and teaching hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. These residents, along with other School of Medicine personnel, have been critical to inpatient hospital care and to teaching and training initiatives for Malawian medical students and trainees.