Posted on March 13, 2018

Last week Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) commitment to patient care and safety and graduate medical education was acknowledged during an award ceremony honoring Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Director of Medical Education.

The Physician International Award was presented to Dr. Al Khal during a ceremony held in Florida as part of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) annual conference. Dr. Al Khal is the first-ever recipient of the prestigious award, which was created to honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions toward ensuring and improving the quality of graduate medical education for physicians in training. The award was presented to Dr. Al Khal by Dr. Thomas Nasca, the President of ACGME.

The ACGME is a US-based organization that accredits hospitals and medical centers with the aim of creating a safer and higher quality training environment for doctors in their residency and fellowship years. Five fellowship programs and 14 residency programs at HMC have been accredited by the ACGME-I, the international arm of the ACGME. HMC is the first healthcare organization outside the US and Singapore to achieve ACGME-I accreditation; additional residency and fellowship programs will go forward for accreditation in 2018 and 2019. Dr. Diane M. Hartmann, Chair of the ACGME Awards Committee, said Dr. Al Khal was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the award as a reflection of his exemplary contribution to preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care.

“Dr. Al Khal has contributed to international accreditation efforts on various levels. He was instrumental in bringing ACGME International accreditation to Qatar, helping to achieve HMC’s vision of providing high-quality training programs for its physician trainees.  He has also contributed actively to the accreditation community, serving as an inaugural international member of the ACGME-I Review Committee International.  Thanks to his tireless efforts, he was selected to receive the inaugural international award for contribution from a physician in 2018,” said Dr. Hartmann, who is also a member of the ACGME Board of Directors.

HMC's Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari said the award further validates HMC’s commitment to patient safety and high-quality healthcare.  He described Dr. Al Khal as the driving force behind efforts to ensure that HMC’s residents and fellows, as the next generation of physicians, receive the training and education needed to provide their patients with the very best care.

“I am delighted that Dr. Al Khal has been given this award and celebrate his excellent efforts; the whole Corporation is proud of this achievement and the wider clinical team in HMC should also feel honored by this success. I would encourage all HMC staff to engage in their work with the same passion and drive as Dr. Al Khal. For many years Dr. Al Khal has been a great advocate for medical education and training that cultivates approaches to healthcare in which quality of care and patient experience are central. This award further elevates HMC’s position as a premier teaching hospital, which is instrumental in attracting exceptional new physicians and increasing access to high-quality care in Qatar. It demonstrates our dedication to ensuring patient safety is at the forefront of the minds of new medical graduates and reflects our commitment to embedding safety-conscious behaviors, attitudes, and values into real clinical experience so that it doesn’t become an abstract concept in the classroom,” said Dr. Al Ansari.

Each year HMC accepts approximately 150 new residents to its 21 residency programs. At any given time, upwards of 700 residents are working across HMC’s network of hospitals. Over 300 fellows are currently part of more than 60 HMC-sponsored fellowship programs.

Dr. Al Khal began his career at HMC in 1989 after graduating from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Upon completing a one-year internship at Hamad General Hospital, he joined the Internal Medicine Residency training program at the University of Connecticut Medical Center in Farmington, Connecticut, USA, and later went on to complete Fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at Hartford Hospital. He is certified by both the American Board in Internal Medicine and the American Board of Infectious Diseases. In addition to his roles at HMC, Dr. Al Khal serves as the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at Qatar University’s College of Medicine, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and has an advisory role with several public health programs led by the Ministry of Public Health.