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Last modified: December 22, 2013 08:51:03.

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PharmD Students to US for First-time Internships

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students Amaal Hersi Gulied and Rihab Mohamed Kaissi from the College of Pharmacy left Doha last Monday for the US to undertake clinical internships at the University of South Carolina (USC) and Xavier University (XU).  This was the first time QU pharmacy students have travelled outside of the country for training purposes.
Amaal and Rihab are among the class of ten students who will be the first PharmD degree trained graduates from Qatar.  The internships follow the signing of two clinical training agreements (CTA) this year involving QU CPH and both the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCU CPH) and Xavier University College of Pharmacy (XU CPH).  The agreements facilitate the bilateral student exchange among all three universities to ensure that, as future health care professionals, they are better prepared for the advanced pharmacy practice.
Under the two agreements, up to five selected QU CPH PharmD students will participate annually in 4-week elective clinical/academic internships at SCU and XU in a teaching hospital setting, under the mentorship of academic pharmacy clinicians.  On a reciprocal basis, up to 5 students from each of the SCU and XU Doctor of Pharmacy programs will participate annually in international pharmacy education and practice internships in Qatar under the mentorship of a CPH faculty member.
XU College of Pharmacy has the distinction of being the recipient of a US$12.5 million donation from His Highness The Emir to rebuild it after it was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  The building is aptly named the ‘Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion’.  The donation also included scholarships valued at US$5 million for students who were affected by the disaster.  During the 2010 academic year, QU CPH hosted clinical professor and Fulbright Scholar Dr Sara Al Dahir from XU CPH.
Commenting on their placements at the respective universities, Amaal and Rihab both agreed that it was an invaluable opportunity for them to be exposed to a different setting and to a new set of faculty and students.  Amaal stated that “being accepted for an international drug information rotation at SCU is a great privilege and opportunity that would add to my clinical experience as a clinical pharmacist. I anticipate a very challenging experience that would help me become a drug information expert. I would like to send my thanks to SCU and QU CPH for making this possible”.  
Rihab said of her first day at XU: “It was wonderful meeting with the surgical team, participating in critical care patient rounds and attending a lecture on brain death and withdrawal of care.  I also met students from an Islamic social group and have been made to feel very welcome here”.
CPH Dean Prof Peter Jewesson said: “This activity marks another important milestone in the short history of this college.  I congratulate these young pioneers on being the first QU pharmacy students to venture beyond the borders of this region to further their training.  They will be excellent ambassadors for Qatar.  Placing our students in a US-based health care environment for part of their training will help to ensure they are better prepared to meet the demands of the evolving health care system in Qatar, and to meet the expectations of the national health strategy.  The program will also give US students the opportunity to experience pharmacy education and practice in Qatar, and will serve to broaden their perspectives about the country and the region”.  
Dr Jewesson also congratulated CPH PharmD Program Director Dr Kerry Wilbur and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr Sherief Khalifa, SCU CPH Executive Dean Dr Joe diPiro, XU CPH Dean Dr Kathleen Kennedy, and Dr Sara Al Dahir for making the exchange possible.  “The future of pharmacy education and practice in Qatar looks bright, thanks to the collaboration and commitment of these individuals”, he said.