x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Medical college joins international group

Dubai Medical College hopes to turn out more and better doctors after joining an international body that promotes education and research.

DUBAI // Dubai Medical College hopes to turn out more and better doctors after joining an international body that promotes education and research. The medical college is the first in the Gulf to become a member of the US-based Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (Faimer), and hopes to establish itself as a regional base for the body. Dr Fouzia Shersad, a senior faculty member at the college, has been chosen as one of 20 international health educators to take part in a two-year fellowship programme.

"The aim is to help improve the medical education in the region," she said. "I will be meeting with educators from all around the world to share knowledge and expertise." Although higher education in the UAE had developed significantly over the past 30 years, it was still not at the standard it should be, said Dr Shersad. "We need to make sure that medical education in this region is the best it can be," she said.

"There is increasing demand for medical staff, especially Emiratis. Our college has played a major role but there is more to be done. "Being a member of Faimer will help me and the college learn how to do more and meet the top international standards." A key benefit of membership of Faimer, which is based in Philadelphia, will be the sharing of information on developments in medical education and research.

"We don't have the sharing of knowledge in this region," said Dr Shersad. "This is very important as it shares best practices and there is always room for improvement." According to Faimer, the fellowship programme which Dr Shersad has joined is "intended to provide individual faculty members with the tools and skills to serve as educational resources in their communities". Set up in 1986, the Dubai college has turned out 700 graduates to date, around 300 of whom were Emiratis, Dr Shersad said.

Students are allocated internships and placements at hospitals affiliated with the Dubai Health Authority. The college is considering several expansion plans, including a dental hospital and a specialised nursing college. munderwood@thenational.ae