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1. BRIEF HISTORY of the Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City.

The old Saigon Faculty of Medicine was founded in 1947 with its main office located on Tran Quy Cap street (now Vo Van Tan street, district 3, HCMC). At that time, the school had only two departments (Internal Medicine & Pediatrics and Surgery & Gynaeco-Obstetrics) combined together and headed by French professors.

After the Paris Peace Accords of 1973, more Vietnamese professors came from Hanoi Medical School and the Saigon Faculty of Medicine was expanded into four separate departments including Internal Medicine, Surgery, Gynaecology – Obstetrics and Pediatrics. The first Vietnamese Dean of Saigon Medical School was Professor Pham Bieu Tam and the First Head of the Department of Pediatrics was Professor Phan Dinh Tuan.

The present Department of Pediatrics was established after April 30th 1975. Professor Vu Thi Thoa was the first Head of Department, succeeded by Professor Ta Thi Anh Hoa from Hanoi Medical School from 1978 to 1998.

Professor Hoang Trong Kim continued as the 3rd Head of Department until he relinquished this position in April 2010 and was succeeded by Associate Professor Vu Minh Phuc until now.


2.1. Organisational structure and staffing:

At present, Department of Pediatrics composes 37 personnel divided into 2 groups working at 2 teaching hospitals, Children’s hospital I and Children’s Hospital II.

Current Head of Department is Associate Professor Vu Minh Phuc with two
Vice Heads of Department, Associate Professor Vu Huy Tru and Associate Professor Pham Thi Minh Hong.

Associate Professor Bui Quoc Thang is in charge of Post-graduate Affairs and
Nguyen Anh Tuan PhD., Undergraduate Affairs.

2.2. Office facilities and equipment:
Department of Pediatrics has the main office in Children’s Hospital I at Ho Chi Minh city to manage its staff and look after medical students sent there for clinical practice. The Department tries to raise funds through scientific activities, book and magazine writing to set up internet websites, install computers and LCD projectors and obtain other teaching materials. All lecturers of the Department now have laptop computers to teach and conduct research more effectively.

2.3. Function and responsibilities of Department of Pediatrics:
To teach both post-graduate and undergraduate students, take care of patients, help 2 pediatric teaching hospitals in management and other duties, write textbooks and other teaching materials, do scientific researches, assist and train staff of medical outfits in provinces and smaller administrative locations, handle international affairs…

2.4. Working ethics:

- Maintaining solidarity and harmony within the Department.
- Planning carefully all projects and types of work in the department.
- Making final collective decisions for all projects and types of work.
- Adhering strictly to all managerial regulations for staff, students and teachers in performing their duties.
- Informing students of study objectives, clinical practice requirements, course contents, school conduct regulations, examination rules…at the beginning of their courses.
- Invigilating seriously examinations; marking examination papers strictly in accordance to preset answer keys and with complete impartiality.
- Handling international cooperation with enthusiasm and tact.


Department of Pediatrics has always fulfilled all its given tasks.
3.1. Teaching:
Covers without fail the complete syllabuses for both theoretical and practical courses for students of all levels, undergraduate and post graduate.
Since 1995, the Department has formulated 23 PhDs ( 9 are due to graduate soon), 123 Masters, 75 Pedatricians of Second Degree, 661 Pediatricians of First Degree and 65 Internees.
3.2. Assessment:
Formative assessment and summative assessment are carried out seriously for
students of all levels using active and objective methods (MCQ, OSCE…)
3.3. Preparing lesson plans for theoretical and practical sessions according to existing
3.4. Textbook writing:
- published and republished Pediatric books for undergraduate and post-graduate levels, Guides for clinical practice, Referrence books, and bliographies etc…
- collaborated with 2 Pediatric teaching Hospitals I and II to write “ Pediatric Emergency Guideline”.

3.5. Textbook translation to enhance teaching and training quality:
With permission of foreign publishers, the Department has translated many textbooks
1. Neonatal resuscitation, 5th edition, 2006, published by American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association
2. Pediatrics in disasters, copyright 2008 © American Academy of Pediatrics, edition: Acindes, Association for Health Research and Development
3. Guidelines for clinical management of thalassemia, 2nd revised edition, Nov.2008, Thalassemia International Federation, N0.9 ISBN:978-9963-623-70-9
4. Diagnosis and treatment of feeding disorders in infants, todders, and young children, 1st edition, 2009, published by Zero to Three – Washington DC

3.6. Writing scientific research papers: Most lecturers at the Department must each
write a scientific research paper a year.

3.7. Collaborating with 2 teaching pediatric hospitals:

- The Pediatric Department always maintains good relationship with the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospitals I and II to help create conducive environment for
medical students to go for clinical practice and its lecturers to work there.
- Lecturers of the Department also take part in examining, treating and giving emergency treatment to patients of the hospitals and assess serious cases in conjunction with ward doctors.
- A number of lecturers actively participate in the management of the two hospitals holding high positions such as Head and Vice Head of clinical wards (Associate
Professor Vu Minh Phuc, Associate Professor Phan Huu Nguyet Diem, Associate Professor Doan Thi Ngoc Diep, Dr. Nguyen Thai Son, Dr. Do Nguyen Tin…)
3.8. Taking part in managerial duties at the Medical School and at the University
of Medicine and Pharmacy. (Associate Professor Tran Diep Tuan, Associate
Professor Pham Le An, Associate Professor Bui Quoc Thang, Dr. Nguyen Hoai


In order to help its teaching staff to further study, refresh their knowledge and upgrade their professional skills, particularly to give them opportunities to go overseas for postgraduate training, the Department of Pediatrics has established relationship with WHO and partnership with various universities and NGOs in Japan, USA, France, Australia, Sweden, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore…

Since 1990, the Department of Pediatrics has cooperated with Pediatric departments in Universities in Tokyo, Paris, Melbourne, Chicago, Lousiana, Sweden’s Umea to organize post-graduate training for thousands of Pediatric specialists in Southern provinces of Vietnam.

The Department of Pediatrics is the first teaching institution in Vietnam and the 5th in the world to have cooperated with WHO to introduce IMCI training to their medical programs since 1999. Many doctors have graduated through this IMCI program. This has helped the Department of Pediatrics receive high evaluation from the Ministry of Health. It has been instructed to help our neighbouring Laos to set up the same IMCI program in their Medical University. Three lecturers from the Department have been invited by WHO to be advisors to the setting up and implementation of the IMCI program in Medical Schools (Professor Hoang Trong Kim, Dr. Tran Thi Thanh Tam and Associate Professor Doan Thi Ngoc Diep).

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Project Vietnam Foundation, the Vinacapital Foundation in USA, the Melbourne University in Australia and the International Association of Nephrology have been helping our Department of Pediatrics to organize many classes on advanced pediatric emergency, newborn resuscitation and pediatric nephrology for Vietnamese pediatricians in Ho Chi Minh city, Ha Noi, Thanh Hoa, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Can Tho, Kien Giang …

In addition, we work with the Asia Pacific Pediatric Sleep Alliance and Asia Pacific Feeding Difficulties in Children Alliance to train our pediatricians in managing sleep disorder and feeding problems. Professor Hoang Trong Kim, Associate Professor Vu Huy Tru and Dr. Huynh Thi Duy Huong are now members of these organisations.


Lecturers and staff of the Department are frequently reminded of the ethical codes for medical professional and advised to serve with dedication, humility and scientific truthfullness.

They must be exemplary in their conduct as teachers to command respect and earn love from their students and colleagues; mix well with colleagues and students, be compassionate and approachable to patients; maintain good relationship with the management and staff of the two Children’s hospitals to help lecturers and students of the Department to teach and do clinical practice comfortably there.

Associate Professor Tran Diep Tuan: John Bonica Award in 2002 from International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and Outstanding Award in 2003 from International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), Marquis’ Who’s Who in America 2005


7.1. To improve teaching quality of the Department.
7.1.1. For undergraduate and post-graduate students:
- To apply new learning and teaching methods (Problem Based Learning and E-
learning), improve the quality of clinical skills, give more practical and less theoretical lessons so as to help students think for themselves, be more innovative and more capable of solving problems.
- To find more overseas student exchange programs with Denmark, France, USA and Canada.

7.1.2. For lecturers:

- To set up a core medical pedagogy group to help improve the overall teaching quality of the Department.
- To republish and update textbooks, reference books and bibliographies.
- To collaborate with the Ha Noi Department of Pediatrics to write a Vietnam National Textbook of Pediatrics.
- To carry out regular and periodical surveys to get feedback from students of all levels to ameliorate the syllabuses and teaching method.
- To strengthen the lecturers’exchange program with universities of other countries such as Sweeden, France, USA, Australia etc…
7.2. Expand international cooperation:
7.2.1.To continue to work with WHO to improve the teaching of clinical practice
at outpatient departments and communities by using ICATT- IMCI (Integrated
Management of Childhood Illnesses Adaptation Training Tool)
7.2.2.To continue to create opportunities and find training funds to help lecturers
to go overseas for lecturers to further study overseas to upgrade their teaching and
research skills.
7.2.3.To continue to work with other medical schools and NGOs to develop in
depth pediatric specialisation programs.

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