20th November 2009 : Graduate Medical Education Symposium, organised by The Harvard Medical School Dubai Center (HMSDC) Institute for Postgraduate Education and Research, a member of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Dubai, explored the challenges and opportunities of the GME scene in the UAE and the region.
Experts at the symposium highlighted the importance of developing unified international standards for healthcare reforms and urged policymakers in the region to set a regulatory system for the overall benefit of the community.
The Symposium was held at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai. The symposium focused on accreditation for GME and the integrated GME model as a response to the high level of demand for such programs within the region.
Moderated by Ajay Singh, Chief Academic Officer – HMSDC, speakers at the symposium included Kamal F. Badr, Founding Dean, School of Medicine, Lebanese American University (LAU); Zahra Baalawi, Director of Education, Harvard Medical School Dubai Center; Professor Ezimokhai, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University; Kathe Mullally, Director of Licensing, Centre of Planning and Quality (CPQ), Dubai Healthcare City; Khalil Al-Qaed, MD, Director of Continuing Education Department – DHA; Verdi DiSesa, MD, Chair of Surgery, University Hospital, member of the Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Centre; N-Lynn Eckhert, Director of Academic Programs at Partners Harvard Medical International, and Hatem Al Ameri, Section Head, Graduate Medical Education, Health Authority Abu Dhabi – Mafraq Hospital.
Ensuring continued excellence in medical education, clinical services and academic endeavor such as research were some of the other areas that were brought up for discussion at the symposium.
Ajay Singh said: “We believe it is highly relevant to host Graduate Medical Education symposiums in Dubai for driving excellence in healthcare standards and create a competent and adaptable workforce that has the ability to respond to the changing health needs and expectations of the UAE population and the region.
“There is a strong focus on quality and excellence standards with regards to healthcare practice in Dubai and the region. Our initiative to host sessions such as this reflects our continuous efforts to further sustain and foster the sector.”
The symposium came as part of the ‘Healthcare Education and Research Week’ in Dubai that was designed to help healthcare professionals in the region and international medical experts to effectively contribute to graduate medical education in the UAE. In addition, it also aimed to highlight the most effective ways of dealing with various industry challenges in the region.
Dr. N. Lynn Eckhert, Director of Academic Programs at Partners Harvard Medical International, said: “Medical education in the US is a long and winding highway always under construction. There were 125 medical schools between 1980 and 2000 and the numbers started to go up towards the end of the 90s. The GCC region has witnessed a rapid growth since 2000. However, the production pipeline will not be sufficient as there is still a shortage of physicians.
“There is, consequently, an urgent need to adopt competency-based structured programs and apply Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) regulations, patient safety and enhance the medical reporting system.”
The need for a robust form of accurate and hands-on training in addition to licensing bodies was also discussed during the session.
Dr. Kamal Badr, Founding Dean, School of Medicine, Lebanese American University, said:
“Graduate Medical Education is essential in order to reverse the move of students from the East to the West, most of whom leave for the US. Countries including Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, continue to experience brain drain with Lebanon having the highest percentage of emigrants.”
Established as part of the government’s mission to develop excellence in healthcare delivery, medical education and life sciences research, HMSDC seeks to advance the professional development of physicians, nurses, research scientists, and allied health professionals in the region through providing continued medical education and industry-first training programs.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Center (AMC) is a valuable community asset that prioritizes the health status of families in Dubai and the region and serves as a catalyst to healthcare advancements. Some of its entities include the 400-bed University Hospital, Harvard Medical School Dubai Center Institute for Postgraduate Education and Research, Al Maktoum Harvard Medical Library, Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research and Boston University Institute for Dental Research and Education-Dubai.