I am privileged and honoured to be part of the Faculty of Medicine at Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, and to work with a team dedicated to the provision of high quality education. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new batch of undergraduates who will make history by being the first group of medical students to the University at Wayamba.
The University is in the process of preparing the background for first year academic training, in keeping with the mission of the faculty to produce highly skilled, socially accountable health care professionals with the highest professional standards and commitment towards advancement of the discipline in a culture that supports diversity, inclusion, critical thinking and creativity. In preparing the curriculum we have been cognizant of the recent developments in the field of medical education which has resulted in horizontal and vertical integration of subjects, assignment based learning, student-centered teaching/learning, small group learning, practical oriented and applied learning, problem based learning, early clinical exposure, critical thinking, and use of information technology in teaching, learning and assessment.
The orientation program which is also titled Professional Transition Program (PTP) is of eight weeks duration and includes English Language for Medicine, Information Technology, soft skills, effective learning methods, introduction to human biology, medical terminology, ethical bahaviour and learning in the university setting. Students who are awaiting enrollment are advised to critically study the content of the PTP. You do not need to spend time trying to learn specific subject matter. A list of books that students are expected to use, and preferably own are given in the faculty web site.
Lectures and practical classes will be conducted in the premises of the main university assigned solely to the Faculty of Medicine until the new building complex is completed. Fifty percent (50%) of construction work of the building complex is complete as I write this message. The building complex is spacious and includes all modern facilities. All students will be given hostel facilities from the beginning in two new hostels assigned to medical students alone.
A large number of eminent academics have pledged their support to the new Faculty. With the experience that I hold, initially as a student in a new faculty at Ruhuna 35 years ago and the experience in scrutiny of the challenges faced by six more new medical faculties which followed Ruhuna, I am certain that I will be able to lead a team successfully to meet challenges faced by the emerging Faculty of Medicine at Wayamba.
Our most central aim is to provide students with a high quality and uninterrupted educational experience. We shall not compromise on either of the two. The duration of the course is exactly five years and the first batch will face their Final MBBS examination in November 2023, with students from other medical faculties. The first batch should leave the faculty in that month to pave way for the sixth batch to be enrolled.
I believe, together, we can make a difference by producing competent and caring doctors that our country needs.
Prof MD Lamawansa
MBBS (Ruhuna), MS (Colombo), PhD (University of Western Australia), FRCS (Edin), FCPS (Pakistan-h.c), FASI (India-h.c), Hon . FAMASI (India-h.c), FCCSL (Sri Lanka-h.c)
Professor of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya and
Former Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya