Saturday, March 4, 2017

I’m making medical education tuition-free –Ricky Madison

Dr Ricky Madison
Dr. Ricky Madison, a Pharmacist moved to the United States few years ago. He worked with the United States Army for seven years in Iraq. His dream was to hit the ground running as a Pharmacist immediately he arrived his new home. But the real complexity of actually settling down to life in the United States ignited a vital immigrant’s need in him which culminated in the establishment of the Continents Foundation, and then the Continents Academy, a tuition-free Medical School.

While recounting his experience, Ricky told TheNewAmericans that “Traveling to the U.S. is not an easy step and finding job is not easy too.”

He submitted his foreign degrees in Pharmacy for evaluation, meaning that he had to work in other jobs pending the outcome of the evaluation. With the an understanding of the situation, Ricky decided to be schooled in America’s educational system and therefore applied for a Master’s Degree at the Ohio Dominican University in Health Administration. His appetite for knowledge drove him further to add a second Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduating with 4.0 GPA. Now, he is a PhD student in Pharmacology.
Ricky’s wife, a Physical Therapist recently completed her Master’s degree in Medical Physiology at Duke University. She’s going for a Ph.D. in Medical Neuroscience and also on the line for Ohio state licensed educator.

Every step Ricky took towards studying and passing the National Board Certification examination for a license to practice as a Pharmacist in the US made him resolute in doing something for other immigrants and to a large extent, Americans.
According to him, “it is really a hard time for immigrants to write their resume, or get their foreign educational qualification evaluated.” He learned that every foreign degree must be evaluated and for professionals, they must sit for board certification examination for a license to practice.

To achieve his dream, his first step was registering Continents Foundation in August 1, 2015. Out of the foundation, Continents Academy was born and accredited by the Ohio Board of Colleges and Schools on Monday, August 15, 2016. The school is online.

“We’ve been running the school for a couple of months and we have five students already who are doing the Pharmacy Technician Diploma course and they will graduate at the beginning of the next circle in April 15,” he said. 

“Students pay $65 admission processing fees; $50 for the test every week and $120 graduation fees. It’s a three-month course and total cost is $785. Pharmacy technicians work behind the counters at the Pharmacies. We have arrangements with CVS Pharmacy® nationwide to place our students for internship in addition to full time job with the CVS Pharmacy® or any other pharmacies.” Ricky disclosed.

On funding, he said that, “right now the school is seeking for grants. The school is built by volunteers. We have volunteers from all over the world including India, Egypt, Iraq, Canada, Mexico, US and international organizations as well from Ireland and United Kingdom.”

Future plans include license renewal in May 2017, and start offering Associate Degree in Health Science in few years’ time.

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