The Business Year

Dr. Hassan Abolghasemi

IRAN - Health & Education

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Chancellor, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences

Bio

Dr. Hassan Abolghasemi obtained a Doctorate in Medicine from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran in 1989. He achieved a specialty in pediatric medicine at the same university in 1992. In 2000, he became Head of the Iranian Pediatric Hematology and Cancer Scientific Association. From 2005-2011, he served as Managing Director of the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization. He has been Chancellor of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences since 2011.

How would you judge the level of expertise of Iranian medical students and the quality of the medical education they receive? The government has allocated a large amount of investment […]

How would you judge the level of expertise of Iranian medical students and the quality of the medical education they receive?

The government has allocated a large amount of investment into the system in order to create and expand the scope of medical education. Before the Revolution, there were too few medical graduates and we were dependent on other countries. Cultural differences and the language barrier were among the chief difficulties we were facing. From this experience on, we started to “mass produce” medical staff, from physicians to pharmacists. In order to guarantee quality, we introduced an integration system. This system allows us to connect and link health services to the education process. One of the ways to measure the quality of graduates is to evaluate their performance. Our specialties and sub-specialties for medical sciences mean we don’t need foreign expertise or technology for medical purposes. This doesn’t mean that we have cut off our relations with other countries. On the contrary, we are in collaboration and cooperation with other academies and universities. Another example is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has always tried to spot the best experts in the fields it requires to fulfill the needs of other countries. The WHO relies on many Iranian consultants, and at this university we have eight collaborating centers that work with the WHO on different health technology aspects. Another indicator of the quality of the Iranian healthcare system is that many people in the region come to Iran in order to receive medical care for complicated conditions. According to my impressions, with the speed of development we are going through, within the next few years many Iranian universities and centers will be ranked among the top education and health institutions in the world.

Shahid Beheshti has 48 research centers. How is the medical university keeping up with international standards and what are the innovations your university can bring to the international stage?

Around 15 years ago we decided to expand our research centers and allocate some of the budget the government provides to university research centers. Our aim is to reach 70 research centers. They provide strong impetus to young professionals to work hard and succeed. They are under constant supervision and create healthy competition in the sector. Rewards are also offered every year, and this encourages many researchers to work harder on developing medical instruments, for example.

Shahid Beheshti University has an international branch. What is the purpose of this branch and how are you preparing your students to enter the international medical job market?

We know that medical education is not very well developed in the region around Iran. Saying this, we are preparing our students to be able to do their job in the surrounding region and export expertise and know-how. Our winning card at this university is our staff. Our specialized departments are well known, and this is the base on which we collaborate internationally. The second issue is that the exchange of staff and students we have creates many bridges with countries and academies around the world, especially in Europe and the Americas. Then, we opened up room for fellowships and sub-specialties so external students can come in and gain skills. We are among the leaders in the world for kidney and heart transplants, reconstructive surgery, and other complex procedures. This kind of collaboration is vast and extensive and nationally, of course, we hold a strong position because many of the leading scientists come from this university.

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