The students also said they wanted to replace exams with smaller, more frequent evaluations like quizzes.
“That keeps you on your toes but doesn’t focus your education on just passing tests,” Bayoumi said.
The fourth-year medical student said she became involved in the program after being approached by Dr. Randall Williams in March. Williams, who works in Raleigh, has been working to improve medical education in Iraq for 10 years.
“I was thrilled,” Bayoumi said. “Coming into medical school, my vision was to be able to expand my knowledge of medical practice and the education system beyond the local community.”
Baghdad University’s School of Medicine is composed of 1,500 students — most of whom are female — and is considered the cutting edge of Iraq’s 23 medical schools, Al-Saffar said. The school has been incorporating practices from universities in Edinburgh and Nottingham in the United Kingdom.
“It’s so exciting to be part of such a wonderful project that connects people across thousands of miles regardless of religion or race,” Bayoumi said.
Zina Hasan Abdul-Qahar, head of biochemistry at Baghdad University,
stressed the significance of Iraqi students having similar curriculums as students in the U.S. and the U.K.
She said it helps graduates value their education and encourages them to stay and help advance medicine in Iraq.
Dr. Julie Byerley, vice dean of education for the UNC School of Medicine, detailed changes in UNC’s curriculum, which contributed to the school being chosen for the program.
She said as health care changes, so must medical school curriculums. With the development of technology, Byerley said critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills have become more important than the memorization of information.