Posted on October 07, 2018

Diagnosing serious abdominal emergencies in children and distinguishing them from those who are suffering from a more benign complaint was the subject of the latest Grand Rounds lecture at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q).

The talk was delivered by Dr. Dewesh Agrawal, Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine, and Director of the Pediatric Residency Program at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Addressing an audience of medical students, faculty members and other healthcare professionals, Dr. Agrawal said many children who are suffering from abdominal complaints, particularly very young children, often appear before doctors with very vague symptoms.

Dr. Agrawal said: “Most children with true abdominal surgical emergencies present with non-specific signs like vomiting, fussiness, or abdominal pain. Our job is to work out which one of those kids has something else more serious than simply constipation or gastroenteritis.” Dr. Agrawal explained how to diagnose appendicitis in a toddler who may present with vomiting and abdominal pain. He also reviewed the diagnosis and management of other abdominal surgical emergencies, including malrotation presenting with midgut volvulus, intussusception, and infantile pyloric stenosis.

During his three-day visit to Qatar, Dr. Agrawal also toured medical and educational facilities in the country, gave a number of presentations and met with senior medical executives and medical students. Dr. Agrawal spent his first day in Qatar meeting with students and faculty at WCM-Q, as well as presenting to faculty and students on giving effective feedback to medical trainees. He also interacted with WCM-Q students in several other activities, including viewing their research presentations. On his second day he toured HMC’s Pediatric Emergency Center in Al Saad and then HMC’s Al Wakra Hospital, where he met the Head of Pediatrics, Dr. Khalil Salameh, and toured the ER, the nursery, and the inpatient departments.

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On the third day of his visit, Dr. Agrawal visited Sidra, joined the clinical activities there, and met with Dr. Ibrahim Janahi, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Chair and DIO of Medical Education and Division Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology at Sidra Medicine. He then met with Dr. Khalid Al Ansari, Chair of the Department of Emergency at Sidra, and toured the ER there. He also presented a talk on evidence-based medicine biostatistics to the pediatric resident doctors.

Dr. Agrawal said: “It was such a joy to visit Doha through the WCM-Q visiting professorship program. I was extremely impressed not only by the quality of the curriculum and facilities, but also by the quality of trainees—both medical students and residents—and faculty that I met. I sincerely hope that the trainees benefitted from my interactions with them, for the highest achievements of our careers in academic medicine are the people we train.” WCM-Q Associate Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Amal Khidir, who hosted Dr. Agrawal’s visit, said: “It was our great pleasure to welcome such a highly regarded healthcare professional to Qatar to tour the world-class facilities here. We are sure that Dr. Agrawal gained great insight into healthcare in the Gulf region from his visit, and we all benefited from his experience and the astute observations he shared with us.”

The Grand Rounds series is accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).