Generic stock pic of doctor for illustrative purposes only
For illustrative purposes only Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: A total of 433 graduates have been admitted into medical, dental and pharmacy residency and fellowship programmes as part of Abu Dhabi Medical Education programme, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) announced recently.

The health sector regulator said the current batch is 28 per cent bigger than last year, and brings the total number of trainees in the programme to 767 at present.

DoH developed a distinct system for its programmes, which includes new registration conditions that guarantee the availability of training opportunities for Emirati applicants, graduates residing in the UAE, and graduates from universities outside the country. Out of the 237 residency and fellowship seats open for the year, 125 Emirati doctors and 109 expat doctors were admitted.

The DoH has also witnessed a “remarkable participation” in its Distinction in Medical Internship Programme from both the private and public sectors in the emirate. It received 196 trainees this year compared to 126 trainees last year, recording an increase of 34 per cent. The Medical Internship Programme was adopted by additional healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi, including Danat Al Emarat Hospital, VPS Healthcare, Mediclinic Middle East, and NMC Healthcare.

‘Leading healthcare destination’

“The DoH continues its efforts to attract more national and international human capabilities to the healthcare sector by providing educational and training programmes in accordance with international best practices. The distinguished competencies and expertise, in addition to the emirate’s advanced infrastructure and agile healthcare system, contribute to achieving DoH’s goals to consolidate Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for healthcare globally,” said Dr Rashid Al Suwaidi, executive director of the healthcare workforce sector at the DoH.

“We are keen to continue cooperating and working alongside healthcare facilities in public and private sectors in the emirate to ensure and facilitate community access to care services in various specialties. We recently added new specialisations including Community Medicine, Emergency Medicine - Paediatrics, Rheumatology - Paediatrics, and Infectious Diseases to the programme at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City Hospital, Tawam Hospital and the outpatient clinics of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company – SEHA, while the Pediatrics Programme and the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Programme have been accredited at Danat Al Emarat Hospital,” he added.

Expanded specialities

This year, DoH’s programmes has expanded to offer 32 medical specialities in eight accredited institutions for advanced training, compared to just 28 last year. The specialities include general surgery, internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, anaesthesiology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, dermatology, urology and radiology. As well as a number of fellowships sub-specialities including oncology, rheumatology, hematology, neonatology, cardiology, nephrology and gastroenterology. In addition to specialities in dentistry such as paediatric dentistry, orthodontics and prosthodontics.

As part of the Clinical Pharmacy Residency Programme, a total of ten training opportunities were provided at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Tawam Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

In 2010, DoH launched its Medical Education Programme in an effort empower healthcare professionals to pursue further education on specialities. Training opportunities are accredited by The Arab Board of Health Specialisation, Jordan Medical Council and the National Institute for Health Specialities (Emirati Board). The programmes have witnessed the participation of over 1,771 trainees till date.