The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) announce the hiring of Monica Rojas, M.D., as the medical director of International Medicine and Cultural Education for the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) to expand its international health opportunities. Dr. Rojas will be tasked with building international relationships and maintaining systems for student cross-cultural learning experiences, including multi-lingual education efforts.
Rance McClain, D.O., dean of ARCOM stated, "We are making concerted efforts to increase our student participation and exposure in the area of international medicine. Dr. Rojas will help us identify and develop collaborative efforts with hospitals and clinics in other parts of the world in order to give our students opportunities for early clinical experiences as well as clinical rotations during their third and fourth year of medical school."
Increasing research prospects is another goal of the new hire. Brian Kim, J.D., president of ACHE elaborated, "We want to pursue potential research avenues on diverse styles of medicine practices around the world and how it compares to osteopathic medicine. An example of this is our current relationship with Jaseng Hospital in South Korea, where students will be able to have hands-on research of comparing the traditional Korean practice of Chuna to Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments." Kim continued, "Dr. Rojas will also help us complete another aspect of our curriculum by incorporating medical Spanish into our teaching modules. As Spanish is a widely spoken language in the United States and we believe that including medical Spanish into our classroom and exposing our students to Spanish words and phrases will help create better avenues of communication for our students with their future patients."
Dr. Rojas was previously a family physician at Mission Activation in Costa Rica. She has over 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in at-risk communities in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico, providing psychological, spiritual and educational support to her patients. "I have participated on several occasions in preventive medicine and ophthalmology campaigns while intentionally developing my career in medicine and ministry to pursue my passion for helping those most in need," explained Dr. Rojas. "The mission at ACHE to ‘serve the underserved’ aligns with the work that I have devoted my career toward achieving." "Part of my work at ARCOM will be developing a fully integrated destination healthcare model and assisting in directing and leading all aspects of international health services.
Additionally, Dr. Rojas will work on preparing ARCOM students with a better understanding of a foreign language and cultural approach to ensure they are prepared for their cross-cultural experience.
"We are committed to making an impact on healthcare in our community. With Dr. Rojas’ guidance, we will strive to make an impact globally as well," stated Kim.