AGUSM Medical School in Belize responds to media queries

agu-web-logoAll this week we have been covering medical school operations in Belize. Yesterday we featured the concerns of one protestor who feels that the American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) has not been doing enough for Belize, and that school’s response. Today, vice president of operations for American Academic Services (AAS), the company that holds the wuhs-logo3charters for both AGUSM and Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS), Peggy Allen, called PLUSNews to offer a lengthy and candid response to our questions emailed to her on Wednesday. According to Allen the university has graduated over 200 students with an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree dating back to November of vlcsnap-2013-04-18-21h02m47s2552005; (and not 2007 as previously reported.) 90% of those, she notes, are presently in practice, including Belizeans, and the school does offer multiple scholarships to Belizeans to study at both universities. Regarding the campus’ relocation to Ladyville earlier this year, Allen told us that it was for purposes of expansion in conjunction with the opening of WUHS. The 4-acre Airport Road property, she said, is near the International Airport AND offers space for more buildings. Allen maintains that they were not forced to move from Belmopan to San Pedro and then later to Ladyville; and added that they have a good relationship with the Ministry of Education and follow all  MOE guidelines for both schools’ charters. Regarding community involvement, according to Allen, AGUSM students were vlcsnap-2013-04-18-21h03m47s101and are active through the student government association in both the health sector as well as at schools and the George Price center among others. On Ambergris Caye, she says, WUHS will make its campus available for public events once renovations are complete in May and PLUS News has been invited to tour the facility.  Allen says the clientele is expected to be different for the Ambergris school though each School offers opportunity for accreditation in the U.S. or the student’s respective home country. As for any notion of a BMCrivalry or competition with near-neighbours Central America Health Sciences University (CAHSU) on the Burrell Boom Road, Allen dismisses it, saying that as far as AGUSM is concerned the two schools are “apples and oranges” and they do not look at CAHSU as a direct competitor.

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