Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


30/03/2015

I am pleased to update you this week on the progress of the College of Medicine (CMED) – as at writing, we have accomplished a host of timelines that demonstrate our readiness to welcome the first batch of Qatar University’s future doctors this Fall.  It also adds to our ongoing mission to effectively and seamlessly integrate programs in medicine, pharmacy, public health, nutrition, health sciences and biomedical sciences within the organization’s academic and research portfolio.

By complementing each other, sharing resources and aligning efforts, these programs will synergize to strengthen healthcare related education and research in Qatar and empower the country’s growing healthcare sector in line with national priorities in healthcare and education.

Very encouraging outcomes of the recent CMED Steering Committee meeting showcased the level of progress we have made – the physical building is on schedule, College leaders and faculty members have been recruited, student applicant numbers exceeded expectations (over 500 to date and growing), and the study plan and curriculum are being finalized.  Our outreach activities have been very successful, engaging a wide spectrum of the society and engendering positive public and media interest.

Additionally, a number of partnerships are underway which include healthcare providers in Qatar such as Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Sidra and international academic partners such as the medical schools at Johns Hopkins University, Maastricht University and Groningen University.

In the meeting of the College’s International Advisory Board last Sunday, experts and leaders of established medical schools also highlighted the progress and contributed opinions on developments.  One member, Professor Charles Wiener from Johns Hopkins University, said: “I have seen first-hand the remarkable progress towards establishing an outstanding world-class medical school.  From its initial conception to address national needs for quality health care professionals, the University and the founding team have adhered to the mission statement to develop a high quality medical curriculum, build excellent facilities, and recruit an outstanding academic and administrative staff.  I am confident that College of Medicine will recruit high quality students who will benefit from an active learning curriculum and supportive mentorship.   I think the College is well on its way to meeting or exceeding international standards and contributing to improving the health of Qatar and the world.”

We are pleased to have guidance and support from current and former leaders and members from international medical schools at Stanford University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, American University of Beirut, University of Sharjah and leading agencies such as the US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and many others.  At the steering committee level, we have national leaders in healthcare and education include the PHCC and HMC Managing Directors and several key HMC members such as the Chief of Scientific, Faculty and Academic Affairs, Deputy Chief of Medical Education, Head of Trauma and Vascular Surgery, and others. Input from both local and international experts ensures that while the needs of the local healthcare sector are our priority, international best practice is a key guiding element in how these needs can be met.

A very critical and noteworthy development in the College’s progress is the adoption of the most current student-centered approaches in problem-based, research-based and team-based learning.  A workshop on latest trends in such methods in medical education was offered to members of various colleges and healthcare providers in Qatar last week. This will contribute to ensuring the success of the College’s competency-based curriculum which is a blend of these techniques with traditional teaching methods.

We continue to seek ways in which to engage our students and inspire their creativity and innovative talents and motivate them towards success.  The recent Math Day that impacted over 200 students across QU colleges employed engaging and fun activities to promote math learning as well as highlighted the number of resources and services provided by the Student Learning Support Center.  They include a number of student success labs and coaching workshops on science, Math, English and Arabic language, as well as a peer-tutoring program.

QU continues to strengthen its efforts to ensure students’ learning environment is of an international standard to raise their competitiveness and ready them for future responsibilities within the country’s development and progress.