Graduates of the medical program at a Seventh-day Adventist university in Peru were recently acknowledged on national TV after a high percentage of applicants passed the National Medical Exam (ENAM). A February 21, 2022, national news bulletin highlighted medical students who graduated from Peruvian Union University (UPeU) after 96.3% of them passed the licensing exam on their first try. That percentage is higher than every other public medical school in the country and every other private university except for one, a recent national study reported.
Leaders noted this was no small feat. UPeU launched its medical program in 2012 and held its first medical school graduation in January 2019. According to national education officers, ENAM is a comprehensive examination that includes testing students’ basic science, clinical science, and public health knowledge. The UPeU score, based on 2019 data, marks the first time UPeU’s medical program graduates sat for the national licensing exam. The percentage achieved means 26 out of the 27 who sat for the licensing exam passed.
Felipe Segura, UPeU medical program director, said the outcome reflects the importance of God’s blessings added to human effort. “It is the result of the faculty and students’ efforts but above all, of God’s guidance,” Segura said. “We are a school taking its first steps, but we hope to continue improving, to do things in the best way, hand in hand with God. Our goal is to train competent medical professionals with integrity, committed to research and the mission of the church.”
Erton Köhler, secretary for the Adventist Church who until recently was president of the South American Division, said that UPeU and its leaders deserve such results. “They have worked hard to balance a high level of academic instruction with a strong commitment to the Adventist philosophy of education,” he said.
Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, education director for the Adventist Church, concurred with Köhler, noting that UPeU faculty and students not only worked hard on their academic training but also remained active in outreach. “God has blessed them, but they have also enjoyed the strong support of the school and the South American Division [SAD] administration and its departments of education and health ministries,” Beardsley-Hardy said. “We could not be more pleased with this achievement and wish these physicians God’s blessings as they carry out the healing ministry of Christ.”
Peter Landless, health ministries director for the Adventist Church, echoed Beardsley-Hardy’s sentiments. He also congratulated all those involved in the education of students at UPeU. “Heartiest felicitations and congratulations to all involved — parents, students, faculty, and, most importantly, gratitude to God,” Landless said. “We rejoice with you!”
UPeU School of Health Sciences Dean Roger Albornoz shared that the medical program has now started the process of applying for national accreditation. It is the natural next step for a program that, since its inception, strives to leave a quality mark on its students, he said. “The School of Medicine has pioneered in implementing a competency-based education model and the objective and structured clinical examination,” Albornoz explained. “It was one of the first schools to apply it to its students since opening the program in 2012.” Both models focused on the development of practical skills.
Albornoz said that educational quality is guaranteed through ongoing assessment and feedback. And all of that is complemented by an educational philosophy that seeks to restore human beings to God's image, he emphasized. Thus, Albornoz said, “UPeU is training physicians who can improve people’s health and relieve pain in an attitude of respect and service.”