Medical students conducting blood tests for diabetes. The new medical school to be developed in Abu Dhabi will help raise the next generation of physicians for the region. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: A new medical school will be established in Abu Dhabi following an agreement between health-care provider VPS Healthcare and the University of Calgary in Canada.

The school will help develop the next generation of physicians for the region, officials said following the agreement. It will offer an accelerated three-year Doctor of Medicine programme and acceptance to a residency slot at one of the 24 VPS Healthcare hospitals upon graduation.

Supporting health-care system

Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, VPS founder and chairman, said the school will generate positive economic and social benefits for the region.

“After graduation, these highly educated professionals will remain here to be part of a world-class academic medical health system, which will improve the quality of health care in our communities. It will also create a research and development ecosystem with high-paying jobs and provide [residents] with access to top-quality health-care professionals close to home,” he said.

VPS Healthcare will continue its mission to attract and train primary care and clinical specialists to ensure the future of health-care and patient wellbeing in the UAE, Dr Vayalil added.

Collaboration with university

“This is an exciting opportunity for the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and VPS Healthcare. The Cumming School of Medicine has an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health-care research and education, said Dr Teri Balser, provost and vice-president (academic) at the University of Calgary. Founded in 1966, the university boasts of more than 33,000 students in five campuses and is one of Canada’s top comprehensive research universities.

“VPS Healthcare takes pride in upscaling the private sector into another level by its partnership with the School of Medicine of the University of Calgary. The medical school will reshape and redefine the health services in the private sector by merging clinical practice with academic medicine,” said Dr Taleb Almansoori, academic advisor at VPS Healthcare.

‘World-class medical education’

“We constantly strive for excellence aiming for knowledgeable and innovative Emiratis ready to serve our community and lead the health-care sector. Interested students in joining this school will get a world-class medical education accompanied by hands-on clinical education at VPS facilities. It truly has the potential to become a prestigious medical ecosystem — with innovative teaching and programmes that will impact our whole community and far beyond,” he added.

The new school, along with VPS Healthcare’s hospitals, will focus on improving medical care by supporting multidisciplinary research, education, clinical service and community programmes.

With VPS Healthcare’s existing and upcoming partnerships with other academic and research institutions, faculty and students in computer science, engineering, social sciences, business and other areas will collaborate with the school. Having the medical school and the teaching hospital in one location will also accelerate the spirit of cooperation and exchange, with the potential to support an integrated medical ecosystem.

Read more

Search for staff

A search for the school’s founding president, dean and faculty will begin immediately. Once fully staffed and accredited, the school is expected to begin actively recruiting students, with the first class matriculating in three years.