A Scottish-led venture to revolutionise medical education through e-learning will be launched on Monday at the World eLearning Conference 2003 in Edinburgh.
The first virtual international medical school, Ivimeds, has attracted pledges of more than $1 million (£600,000). It is designed to allow students around the world to study medicine through a combination of e-learning and clinical experience in local health facilities.
Whether students are studying in high-tech cities or remote and underdeveloped areas, they will have access to the best international expertise.
The school has more than 30 founder partners, including universities in the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Malaysia, China and Australia, as well as bodies such as the American National Board of Medical Examiners and the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.
Donna Shalala, president of Miami University, a former US secretary of health and human services, is to join the Ivimeds board. Ronald Harden, who as director of Dundee University's Centre for Medical Education was one of the principal instigators of Ivimeds, has been appointed its director of education.
Pilot courses will be pioneered by Hull York medical school from August, with the first Ivimeds students enrolling in August 2004.