Posted on November 10, 2015

Vice-Chair of QU Board of Regents H.E. Sheikh Dr Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, and Qatar Ministers of Public Health H.E. Abdulla Al Qahtani, of Education and Higher Education and Supreme Education Council Secretary General H.E. Dr Mohammed Abdul Wahed Al-Hammadi, and of Administrative Development H.E. Dr Issa Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi honored the inauguration ceremony of Qatar University College of Medicine (QU-CMED) held yesterday at the College.

The ceremony was attended by QU President Dr Hassan Al-Derham, QU Board of Regents members, CMED’s International Advisory Board and Johns Hopkins Medicine International VP of Academic Affairs and Professor of Medicine and Physiology Prof Charles Wiener, QU VP for Medical Education and CMED dean Dr Egon Toft, as well as QU officials, deans, associate deans, faculty, students and staff. Also attending was Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad, 5th president of Qatar University under whose leadership the College was founded.

As the organization’s eighth college, CMED was established in 2014 by QU Board of Regents based on a directive from His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The establishment of the College addresses the increasing need for Qatar-trained physicians, and supports the country’s growing healthcare sector and national strategies in healthcare and education. The ceremony included speeches by H.E. Abdulla Al Qahtani, Dr Hassan Al-Derham, Prof Charles Wiener, Dr Egon Toft, and CMED student Mohamed Adam Bosa, as well as a short film screening on CMED students’ experience, and a tour of the College.

In his opening remarks H.E. Al Qahtani applauded the large number of Qatari youth who enrolled in the College of Medicine, and highlighted the high-quality education the College offers, and which is aligned with the highest international standards and best practices. “Qatar University is a key partner in driving forward the healthcare sector by providing the wider community with high-qualified professionals who will contribute to support the country’s healthcare sector and increasing need for healthcare providers. Building a global health system contributes to offering integrated health services which require well-qualified human resources who are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and capacities to shape a cadre of national professionals who will provide high-quality health services, in line with the goals of Qatar Vision 2030. There is no doubt that Qatar University, which is Qatar’s national university, plays a core role in achieving national strategies in healthcare and education,” His Excellency said.

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Dr Al-Derham said: “The main task of this College, which we all attach great hopes for is the graduation of qualified national medical doctors, according to global curricula and standards, which are designed to meet the specific needs of Qatar. This requires a qualitative shift in several ways, perhaps the most important is the student learning methods, which should qualify them to adapt to a learning system that requires a large degree of autonomy and self-learning ability and working in a team, as well as learning based on problem-solving and collective learning and other methods of modern medical education.

“The College of Medicine puts the quality of education and its impact on the overall impact on the College outputs from the scientific and professional sides at the top of its priorities, with the aim of making medical education with all its components and elements reach a comparative level of international standards, and in order to graduate doctors who are able to achieve the best performance and proper exercise of the medical profession, whether inside or outside the country.”

He added: “The elements of the quality educational process for the College are not limited to the curriculum and teaching, but also cover aspects of leadership and management, and educational goals, and strategies, and technological and non-technological methods, and content. These elements also include faculty, and students, and methods of student assessment, and the available resources, and evaluation of the educational program, and international arbitration, and continuous development. All of this in line with the priorities and needs of the healthcare sector in Qatar.”

Dr Al-Derham also noted that the College intends to adopt the approved standards of quality in the field of medical education for the bachelor degree as set by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) for the undergraduate stage. “Also in post-graduate stage and continuing medical education stage, the College will adopt the international standards of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) as a basic reference in the design of the curriculum and determining the clinical skills of graduates”, Dr Al-Derham said, adding, “The College will also apply the US standards of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) with the assistance of external reviews from this committee to make sure that the College programs match the approved standards.”

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Dr Al-Derham also pointed at the “quality assurance committee, and evaluation of programs, and academic accreditation”, which follows up on all matters relating to the development of the academic side of the College, particularly quality assurance procedures, effectiveness, and their impact on the program, and identifying appropriate indicators of reference and comparisons, and overseeing the accreditation process for the College, and activating the continuous development program for faculty members in order to entrench the principles of quality assurance.

Prof Wiener said: “One of the reasons that so many people inside and outside Qatar are excited about this College is its vision to train physicians to serve the needs of the country. But while the program is designed around the specific context and priorities of Qatar, successful graduates will be competitive to enter the best medical institutions in the world for their residency training. This is exactly what many of us believe should be the future of international medical education -- developing high-quality schools and clinical training programs that attract local students who are committed to improving the health of the country through clinical care, education, and research, following international standards and measures of competence.”

Dr Toft said: “I am delighted and honored to witness with you today this historical moment that marks the inauguration of the first national college of medicine in the history of Qatar University, and in the presence of the leaders of the healthcare sector. The College philosophy is focused on offering a medical education of international standards and levels design specifically to service the national priorities and needs. I envision standing with all of you again in 6 years to graduate this special cohort of future doctors.”

Student Bosa said: “The College of Medicine has the mission to lay the foundations now for tomorrow’s doctors, the first cohort of which will be graduating in 2021, projecting the needs of the healthcare system and of society for future physicians. My colleagues and I dream that Qatar becomes a destination to get the latest and most advanced healthcare treatment from the best doctors. This is why we are here, and this is the reason why we want to become not only future doctors but also the leaders in promoting Qatar’s healthcare sector.”