Based on a directive from His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Board of Regents of Qatar University (QU) approved strategic and action plans to establish a College of Medicine at Qatar University. This was during the Board’s first meeting for the new academic year chaired by HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani.
The decision was based on the result of a thorough feasibility study conducted by a team of high-ranking members from Qatar University (QU), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Qatar Leadership Center (QLC). The team was further advised by an international advisory board including current and former Deans of medical colleges at Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Heidelberg University, American University of Beirut, and University of Sharjah.
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. Working collaboratively with key healthcare providers and educators, the College will make invaluable contributions to strengthening clinical practice, medical education and research in Qatar overall.
The Steering Committee for the College of Medicine included: Chair — Dr Abdulla Ali Al Thani, Chairman, Executive Management Committee, QU Board of Regents; Vice Chair — Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad, QU President; and members Dr Khalid Al Ali, QU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr Mohamed Ahmedna, QU College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies; Dr Asmaa Al Thani, QU-CAS Head, Health Sciences Department; Prof Edward Hillhouse, HMC Chief of Scientific, Faculty & Academic Affairs; Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, HMC Deputy Chief of Medical Education; Dr Hassan Al Thani HMC Head, Trauma and Vascular Surgery; and Dr Christiane Mück, QLC Project Consultant.
Commenting on the occasion, QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad said, “The College of Medicine marks a new phase of development for Qatar University. It builds on the strengths of existing programs and research at the university, and on our partnerships with Hamad Medical Corporation, the Supreme Council of Health, Primary Health Care Corporation, and other health providers in the country. This national initiative is an extension of QU’s organic integration with society and of its commitment to serving the growing needs of Qatar. It will remain our focus to offer a high-quality education that employers and patients can trust, and underlines our unwavering commitment to providing a first-class medical education. We look forward to welcoming the first class of students to the College of Medicine in Fall 2015.”
Stakeholders from the healthcare and education sectors welcomed this addition to Qatar’s academic and research landscape. HMC Managing Director Dr Hanan Al Kuwari, said: “As an academic healthcare provider, Hamad Medical Corporation has an active and collaborative partnership with Qatar University. This longstanding relationship has given us the opportunity to work closely through our staff, joint research projects and teaching programs to bring together and strengthen healthcare, education and research”.
She added, “We are extremely proud to continue to support Qatar University in the next step of its journey in healthcare education with the opening of the College of Medicine. The College will facilitate continued collaboration between the two organizations to train and develop the healthcare providers of the future as we strive to develop a skilled and sustainable local workforce”.
Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) Managing Director Dr Mariam Abdelmalik said: “I am very pleased and proud to learn of Qatar University’s new college – the College of Medicine. This will facilitate generations of Qataris and non-Qataris to study medicine in Qatar that conforms to international standards and best practice. The College will contribute to developing a cadre of medical professionals to deliver healthcare and treatment to the Qatari community with an understanding of patients’ environment and lifestyle which is a critical component in appropriate disease diagnosis, prevention, and care”.
She added that cooperation on information exchange as well as discussion on the requirements of the labor market will contribute to the development of educational and training programs at the higher education level. “Such programs will also attract, identify, and track distinguished students to join national organizations following graduation”, she said.