Posted on November 29, 2014

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) has launched a new program of interactive learning sessions to help practicing healthcare professionals identify the key challenges of meeting a variety of healthcare needs, to discuss how this impacts their ability to manage patients, and to explore the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

The Grand Rounds, developed by WCMC-Q’s Division of Continuing Professional Development, features presentations by expert speakers that aim to engage healthcare professionals in the community to enhance their knowledge of the latest developments in medical technology, research and best practice. The latest Grand Round brought Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, one of the world’s foremost researchers in genetic medicine, to Doha to discuss the cutting-edge research being carried out in his laboratory in New York.

Addressing an audience of approximately 100 medical professionals, students and faculty members convened at WCMC-Q, Dr. Crystal, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, explained how researchers have been able to use viruses as vehicles to insert new genetic material into living cells. It is hoped that the technology, which is still in the early stages of development, could eventually be used to treat hereditary disorders such as hemophilia and cystic fibrosis, and acquired disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and cardiac failure, among others.

Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, WCMC-Q’s Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Continuing Professional Development, said: “The Grand Rounds series offers professionals across the healthcare spectrum opportunities to hear from some of the most talented physicians and researchers working in the field of medicine. This helps to spread knowledge, skills and news of the latest developments in medicine throughout the healthcare community in Qatar and the wider region, which carries great potential for improving patient care in our part of the world.”

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The target audience of the Grand Rounds series brings together physicians, pharmacists, nurses, medical educators, students and other healthcare providers. Dr. Arayssi added: “Grand Rounds events are also a great opportunity for healthcare professionals to network with one another, both within and outside of their normal circles, to share knowledge and discuss the latest advances in medicine.” Dr. Crystal’s lecture concluded with a Question and Answer session, which allowed healthcare professionals to ask about the possible applications of genetic medicine in their particular fields. Dr. Crystal’s lecture was the second in the Grand Rounds series, following a presentation given by Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCMC-Q, about the changing nature of public health campaigns.

The next event in the series is scheduled for 14 December, when Dr. Rayaz A. Malik, Professor of Medicine in the Research Division of WCMC-Q, will speak about early diagnosis and prevention of diabetic neuropathy, a serious and debilitating condition in which high blood sugar levels damage nerve fibers.

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