After a trip in May 2012, Dr. Othman Shemisa returned to his home country of Libya on November 2 to deliver on his promise of bringing medical assistance its citizens need. “The trips before were for assistance and helping people who were injured or harmed by the war to get the medical help they need,” Dr. Shemisa says, “as well as to get help for the country as a whole. But this trip will be more in the medical education domain.”
After 40 years of oppression and control under the Gaddafi regime, the country’s educational system fell drastically behind, especially in the medical world.
“The thing that is important to me is medical education,” Dr. Shemisa says. “We want to develop a way to help doctors attain the level that they should be at in terms of health care delivery through continuing education.”
After returning to the United States earlier this year, Dr. Shemisa contacted the American Medical Seminars, a continuing medical education department (previously affiliated with Temple University), for help in Libya. “The director was very receptive and enthused about helping doctors in Libya,” he says. The pair developed a plan to recreate seminars delivered in the U.S. for the university there. “For a nominal fee, they allowed us to use five of their continuing education courses,” Dr. Shemisa says. “This equaled 10 to 15 hours of lecture per seminar.”
- Updating Emergency Medicine
- Radiology for the Non Radiologist
- Updates in Primary Health Care
- Updates in Dermatology for the Non Dermatologist
“We are planning to set up two seminars in the week that I am there to get them started: emergency medicine and radiology,” Dr. Shemisa says. The team also secured exams and evaluation sheets for the doctors to be tested on, and certificates signed by the Dean will be handed out. “We want this to be a nucleus for setting up the department of continuing medical education at the University of Benghazi Medical College,” he says.
How it Will Work
Through Dr. Shemisa’s efforts, the group has obtained the equipment needed to project the lectures, including a new laptop computer. “Everyone we talk to and approach is enthused about the trip,” Dr. Shemisa says. “I am grateful to North Ohio Heart for its help with the technical part, especially the person in the IT department who spent hours trying to set up the equipment so it is ready as soon as we get there.” The first seminar is scheduled to be held Monday, November 5, 2012.
Hope for the Future
“Our hope for the future is that there will be live seminars that can be participated in through the Internet or through satellite, so that, when they are happening in the US, they can be transmitted at the same time in Libya,” Dr. Shemisa says. This way, there could be access to ask questions directly to the speaker.
While it may still be a little ways off, the next step would ideally be done live at the medical school in Libya. “Lecturers and expert doctors would be on the ground there carrying out the seminars,” Dr. Shemisa says, “as well as doing rounds and medical consultations with the doctors and medical staff there.”
If you would like to help the Libyan efforts, contact Dr. Shemisa at (440) 414-9700, and he will help connect your expertise to those in need.