In 2009, LAU’s new medical school opened its doors for the first time. The Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine was destined to be unique among medical schools in Lebanon. Founded on the principle of creating a “new physician” who would be both a scholar and a healer, the SOM was committed to providing its students with a high-quality American medical education and a deep sense of social responsibility to their community and the world beyond.
The year 2014 witnessed the inauguration of the Chagoury Health Sciences Center on LAU’s Byblos campus. Visionary in concept, this light-filled space embodies the spirit of dynamic, interdisciplinary, and student-centered education at LAU. In addition to laboratories, classrooms, and a center for medical simulation, it includes informal areas created specifically to promote exchange of ideas and social interaction. It boasts an array of rooms dedicated to problem-based-learning, which fosters teamwork and critical thinking in a small-group setting. The Health Sciences Center now houses under one roof the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing.
During its brief history and despite the challenges of regional instability, the SOM has become a driving force for medical education in Lebanon. The school has achieved many “firsts”: the first program in the nation to integrate the clinical and basic sciences beginning with the Med-I year, the first to successfully introduce problem-based learning, the first to utilize simulation as an integral part of teaching and assessment, and the first to adopt a robust workplace-based assessment. The SOM has resolutely worked to provide its students and residents with sufficient clinical exposure, through improvements in the university hospital and engagement with affiliated institutions. LAU’s superbly trained medical graduates are becoming ambassadors for the SOM, as they shine in postgraduate programs both locally and abroad.