190910 khalifa university
Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed tours the Body Worlds exhibition after opening it at Khalifa University. The German exhibition displays dissected and preserved human and animal bodies. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The first batch of students to join the UAE’s only post-graduate Doctor of Medicine (MD) programme were on Tuesday welcomed at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.

This batch of 30 students is enrolled in the university’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS). They will graduate in 2023 with a four-year, post-baccalaureate, allopathic medical degree that will allow them to pursue residency programmes in the UAE, US and Canada.

The White Coat welcoming ceremony for students and their families was attended by Shaikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the university. Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State, were present.

The students donned a white coat and took the Hippocratic oath historically taken by physicians.

Speaking to Gulf News, Dr John Rock, founding dean of CMHS, said there are 13 Emirati students in the first batch.


Tuition is fully covered by the university and textbooks are provided free of charge, along with housing if available. Emirati students also receive a monthly stipend of Dh28,000.

Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the ceremony, Dr Rock said the university has already begun processing admissions for the next batch.

“We hope to raise the number to 50 students. Once our students graduate, they can directly enter residency programmes. We have strong links with public healthcare facilities under the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company facilities, as well as facilities operated by Mubadala Healthcare,” he said.

The MD programme will be offered in five strands: Biomedical science, clinical medicine, medicine and society, physicianship, and research, technology and innovation.

What the students say

Aliya Al Marzouqi, 23, an Emirati student in the first batch, will be the first doctor in her family when she graduates.

“I have an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, and now want to specialise as a physician in obstetrics and gynaecology or paediatrics. This is a great graduate programme, and even though I will be studying and working for four more years, my family is completely supportive of my aspirations,” she said.

Saif Al Nuaimi, 23, another Emirati student, said: “I have a bioengineering degree, but I would really like to be able to help children born with congenital cardiac defects. This is why I’ve chosen to be part of this programme,” he said.

Body Worlds exhibition

Body Worlds, a touring German science exhibition, is now open at Khalifa University.

The exhibition displays dissected and preserved human and animal bodies, organs and animal structures to showcase the differences between healthy and diseased bodies.

Created by German anatomist Dr Gunther von Hagens in 1977, the exhibition is the most visited travelling exhibit in the world. Since the exhibits are plastinated, the organs and body parts do not decay, and can be seen clearly.