HMC is positioning itself as a leading centre of excellence for medical education and training in the region, as it has graduated a fresh batch of physicians and doctors from its residency and fellowship programmes. At a Medical Education Day award ceremony jointly held by HMC and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) on Tuesday, a total of 149 HMC physicians as well as WCMC-Q faculty were felicitated having completed various training courses. In all, there were seven different categories of awards given away during the event, including resident awards to those who have successfully completed residency training as of October 2011 and also passed their final board examinations; fellowship awards were given to those physicians who have completed their training during the period ending April 2011; and scholarship programme awards were presented to some 13 Qataris who have finished training abroad and acquired postgraduate certificates. Other awards were ‘best teacher’ awards, best resident awards and outstanding resident awards. Speaking to mediapersons after the ceremony, HMC Medical Education Department Director Dr Abdul Latif al-Khal said that each of the awardees has spent between four years and seven years, depending on the specialty to finish their residency, on top of the additional two or three years of fellowship. “Some of them will join fellowships, or go to join work as medical staff while majority of them will stay back at HMC. They will start caring for patients as consultants or as specialists. This is helping HMC meet its needs in terms of medical manpower,” he noted. “This year, as we graduated 149 people, we have to take another equal number of new residents or trainees to fill the gaps. Because at the end, we reach equilibrium where we graduate about 150, and we take new 150 residents where they spend the next four to seven years training until they graduate and become board certified and then start either working independently or joining subspecialty programmes,” he stated. The official mentioned that HMC has this year 10 of the 30 graduates from WCMC-Q joining its new programmes, adding that some 140 new residents have also been recruited from overseas. Some of the graduating doctors, who were invited from Palestine to acquire training in HMC as part of a project aiming to train top 10 Palestinian physicians, will be returning to their country to help their people. So far, around 20 doctors have been trained at HMC and since returned to Palestine. “We are going towards becoming the top education and training centre for doctors in the Gulf region and maybe in the Middle East. And hopefully once we get the American Centre for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation, this will be a testimony that we are a high quality training centre,” he added. While making a speech via a video message, HMC Managing Director Dr Hanan al-Kuwari urged the residents and fellows to keep themselves at the cutting edge of medical knowledge so as to provide the best evidence-based care for their patients. “I also urge you to show the highest level of professionalism and compassion towards your patients,” she said. According to the official, HMC is being recognised regionally and internationally for the high standard of its residency and fellowship programmes and the quality and diversity of its medical care. “The number of medical graduates applying to join our residency programmes has been increasing every year. Our graduates are seen as highly competent physicians, both regionally and internationally,” she said. She reaffirmed HMC’s commitment to the education of its residents, fellows and medical students and to the professional development of its medical staff, adding that it was for this reason that HMC was committed to achieving ACGME–International accreditation. “We look forward to obtaining accreditation before the end of this year and to start the individual programmes’ accreditation starting next year. Our ambitions remain high and we are looking forward to becoming one of the best training and research centre in the region and in the world,” she said. The event was also attended by WCMC-Q Dean Dr Javaid Sheikh.