After recently leaving medical school to pursue what I hope to be a future career in academia I decided that, when asked to find two mission statements from universities/colleges and write a blog post about them, that I might as well look at two medical schools. I thought it might also provide some variety to see other avenues of teaching other than undergraduate/graduate universities and instead a professional school.  If you are wondering why anyone would leave medical school mid-semester to become a graduate research assistant it’s because I realized I envied my professors lifestyle’s more than the physicians. And let’s face it, a physician’s life is tough! But I digress.

I decided to choose two MD, otherwise known as allopathic, medical schools mission statements because I thought it would make it a bit easier to compare and contrast the two. The first school I chose is Busitema Medical School in Mbale, Uganda. I had the honor of giving a guest lecture on public health at this university when I was in Uganda working on my capstone project for my Master in Public Health and thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about the university’s mission.

The second university’s mission statement I chose is Queen’s Schoool of Medicine in Ontario, Canada. I chose this one for several reasons. I wanted to see the comparison of schools who were not only on different contents and have completely different demographics of students, but the differences between a university in a developing country to one that is highly developed, especially in terms of education and healthcare.

The two mission statements and hyperlinks:

Busitema Medical School – Mbale, Uganda  http://www.busitema.ac.ug

Mission

To provide high standard training, engage in quality research and outreach for socio-economic transformation and sustainable development.

Queen’s School of Medicine- Ontario, Canada http://meds.queensu.ca/blog/?page_id=31

Mission Statement Faculty of Health Sciences

Our mission is to educate health professionals and students in the biomedical sciences by conducting research, by generating a spirit of enquiry, and by serving the health needs of the people of southeastern Ontario, drawing on Queen’s learning environment to enable our graduates to become the leading health professionals for Canada’s rural, northern, and urban communities and to provide researchers and educators for the nation’s future.

Looking at the mission statements, my first observation was the obvious discrepancies in lengths between the two. In my opinion, Queen’s has superior mission statement overall. It was well crafted, highlighted what was important, clearly stated who they intended to serve, and gave us a sense of direction for the program. Busitema’s mission statement on the other hand fell a little short of what I would consider well developed. We can clearly see from Busitema’s mission statement that what is important to the program is to “provide a high standard of training” to their students, as well as “quality research and outreach.” It is also evident that this program is aware of the need for “socio-economic transformation and sustainable development.” However, there is no mention of who the program and its graduates intend to serve. Queen’s made it very clear that it’s graduates were intended to practice in “Canada’s rural, northern, and urban communities.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment. From the perspective of the Preparing the Future Professoriate class, I have to say I learned how to get a quick representation of a school’s priorities and goals from it’s mission statement. I feel that this is an important skill to have for when someone begins looking for a teaching position at a university/college. The mission statement is a small window into what a program believes is important, who they intend to serve, and its direction. It can also indicate socio-economic status and the cultural environment integral to the university.