Detroit Medical Center
J. Edson Pontes, MD, has been appointed assistant dean for international affairs at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. This new position has been established to reflect the medical school’s involvement in the global marketplace and to formalize many of the international programs and relationships that have been in place for decades. Dr. Pontes will coordinate international efforts related to: telemedicine, academic meetings, student exchange programs, university partnerships, scientific projects, medical education, and patient care.
“Exposure to other nations, governments, economies and health care systems is very good for doctors and medical students,” said Dr. Pontes. “We have much to learn from observing the way other physicians do things; and they, in turn, have much to learn from us. It is important for the WSU School of Medicine and it’s important for our society.”
As director of the Detroit Medical Center’s International Center, a position created by Dr. Arthur Porter, president and CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, Dr. Pontes has been hosting guests, training health care professionals and treating patients from around the globe for many years. He has also been instrumental in Wayne State University President Irvin Reid’s global initiative to expand the university’s presence throughout the world.
In addition to arranging participation in many international medical conferences and training visits, he has facilitated formal partnerships in medical education with such institutions as the University of Ankara in Turkey, Mie University in Japan, and three universities in Brazil (Universidade Federal do Parana, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, and Universidade Federal do Ceará). Other areas of the world that have expressed interest in more formal programs with Wayne State University are Egypt (for public health), Syria (for pharmacy and nursing) and other Middle Eastern areas (for medical training and student exchanges).
“The efforts of Dr. Pontes will expand global learning opportunities and enrich the cultural competence of our students, faculty and staff,” said John Crissman, MD, dean of the WSU School of Medicine. “The university is interested in fostering ‘learning communities’ that will share resources and technology for medical and scientific advancement throughout the world.”
Dr. Pontes is professor and chair of urology at the WSU School of Medicine and chief of urology at Harper Hospital. He is urologist-inchief for the Detroit Medical Center and director of the DMC’s Clinical Cancer Center.
A native of Brazil, Dr. Pontes earned his bachelor’s degree from the Collegio S. Joao and his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza-Ceara, Brazil. He interned in Rio de Janeiro and at Grace Hospital in Detroit. Prior to joining Wayne State University, he led urologic oncology at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
He is a founding member of the Society of Urologic Oncology, and is respected internationally for his research in prostate cancer.