UPMC International Training Center Goes Virtual Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Courtney Caprara

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the UPMC International Training Center (ITC) welcomed international medical professionals to Pittsburgh for in-person training at UPMC facilities. Guests came from countries around the world to learn from UPMC experts in various medical specialties and administrative roles.

When the pandemic halted international travel, the ITC, like many other parts of UPMC, adapted for an online environment. Last month, the center conducted its first virtual training course for nearly 40 students from the Imaging Technology Department at Huaxi Medical School of Sichuan University, one of the top medical schools in China.

“This is the first time the ITC has implemented online learning, and I hope this training can broaden students’ horizons and thinking. More importantly, I hope this program can increase the frequency and depth of medical education exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries,” said Jeffrey Bernstein, country manager, UPMC in China.

The radiology course will last for eight weeks, with a total of 16 online lessons. Students will focus on building their professional knowledge and learning about new technologies while improving their cross-cultural communication abilities.

UPMC is collaborating with Huaxi to explore additional clinical, observership and training opportunities for medical students. In the future, the ITC plans to expand its online course offering beyond radiology.

“This is the start of a new chapter for the UPMC International Training Center, responding amid the pandemic to convert from a traditional learning program to a hybrid in-person and online solution,” said Susan Gallant, director of the ITC. “This platform will be a catalyst for UPMC to share its world-class clinical and organizational talent with partners around the world.”