Collaboration to Provide Additional Medical Education for Students and Doctors-in-Training in Puerto RicoNEW ORLEANS , LA Ochsner Health System has entered into a joint agreement with the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico , USA , to identify and develop opportunities to foster collaboration, improve educational and scientific endeavors, and assist in meeting patient care needs in Puerto Rico . The Ponce School of Medicine is one of just two U. S. accredited medical schools on the island and has maintained a strong clinical affiliation with Ochsner for several years. With this partnership, Ochsner is building upon its pre-existing relationship with the Ponce School of Medicine and will develop continuing medical education curricula as well as coordinate rotations for the Ponce medical students and house staff at Ochsner Medical Center . This is the next level in our relationship with the Ponce School of Medicine and we hope to provide an opportunity for these students to train, as well as to introduce them to Ochsner, says Dr. William W. Pinsky, MD, Chief Academic Officer at Ochsner. We are hoping to augment medical training opportunities for medical students from Puerto Rico and train them so that when they consider more formal medical training in the future, its likely theyll choose Ochsner. We also look forward to augmenting the training experience for Ponce house staff. The goal is to continue the development of well prepared and experienced physicians who will practice in Puerto Rico . As a segment of the partnership, Ochsner will work with Ponce to support continuing medical education efforts there and to increase the Latin American presence here in New Orleans . "Ochsner is bringing education abroad as new markets are developed in the Caribbean and Central America in conjunction with the International Health Services Department at Ochsner, explains Ana Milena Hands, International Health Services Director. The Ponce School of Medicine is accredited by the LCME, the same accrediting body that establishes standards for all U.S. medical schools. Since the 1960s and 70s, Ochsner has maintained strong ties to Central America. Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. The system includes a total of seven hospitals, a sub-acute facility, and 25 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana . Through our unique coordinated system, Ochsner provides healthcare with peace of mind because we put the needs of all patients first. Ochsner employs over 600 physicians in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 700 ongoing clinical research trials annually. Ochsner was ranked #1 Best Place to Work by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine in 2005 and 2006 and received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 12 consecutive years.