Posted on August 28, 2018

This month Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Medical Education Department welcomed students attending Qatar University’s College of Medicine to orientation sessions aimed at enabling them to find out more about Qatar’s largest healthcare provider.

The orientation sessions, which took place on 13 and 14 August, provided the medical students with an opportunity to visit some of HMC’s clinical sites, and more broadly, helped to stimulate their interest in potential specialties as they begin their medical school journey.

In total, one hundred medical students attended the orientation sessions, which were held over two days. The program included a visit to HMC’s Medical Education Center followed by talks from Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, HMC’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at Qatar University, Dr. Yousef Maslamani, Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital, and Ms. Maitha Al Bouainain, Executive Director of Community Affairs and Patient Engagement at Hamad General Hospital. The students learned about HMC as an organization, and specifically its role as the main provider of secondary and tertiary healthcare in Qatar. They were given an overview of HMC’s twelve hospitals and national ambulance service and were provided with information on the organization’s many academic accreditations and programs, including the Qatar Organ Donation program.

The formal sessions were followed by a visit to eight clinical areas in Hamad General Hospital, with small groups of five or six students rotating across each area. Students were introduced to HMC clinicians and staff working in the various departments. Dr. Al Khal, who is also Director of Medical Education at HMC, highlighted the importance of both introducing students to Qatar’s largest public healthcare provider and giving them a more accurate perception of the lifestyle and work they can expect if they choose a given specialty.

“We have a close working relationship with the College of Medicine at Qatar University and are pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Qatar’s future doctors to HMC. It is extremely important that the medical students appreciate how important they are to HMC and to Qatar. The opportunity to take part in these orientation sessions enables the students to meet clinicians at their future clinical training site, ask any questions they may have, and learn more about what a career as a doctor entails,” said Dr. Al Khal.

Dr. Al Maslamani said that HMC is committed to providing the population of Qatar with access to high-quality medical services and sees working closely with Qatar University’s College of Medicine as an important part of meeting that objective. “As the population of Qatar continues to grow, it is important to increase our cohort of highly qualified clinicians who have studied and trained within our healthcare system. These future physicians will take care of Qatar’s population which is why it is so important that we (as HMC) work closely with the College of Medicine at Qatar University to support and train their medical students,” said Dr. Al Maslamani.

Ms. Al Bouainain noted that the orientation sessions are important because they allow students to hear about the experiences of current clinical leaders. She said by understanding the environment and culture at Hamad General Hospital, as well as the needs of the patients themselves, the students learn about delivering the best possible support and treatment. She said the orientation helps the future doctors not only learn about the clinical roles they will fill but also to feel a sense of inspiration and excitement as they begin their medical education journey.

The students participating in the orientation sessions were joined by senior representatives from Qatar University’s College of Medicine. Professor Egon Toft, Vice President for Medicine and Health and Dean of the College of Medicine, participated and reinforced the importance of the orientation sessions. 

“HMC’s Medical Education Department and Qatar University’s College of Medicine have worked together very effectively to provide students about to embark upon a career in medicine with the opportunity to attend orientation sessions at HMC. The feedback from these sessions has been extremely positive. Our students have observed what it means to work as a clinician across a number of specialties and also what they can expect from their chosen career. This is a unique opportunity which our students found to be extremely valuable,” said Professor Toft.