Member of Board of Trustees of al-Jalila Foundation Raja Easa al-Gurg
Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, yesterday hosted Destination Medicine, an interactive student conference to inspire 400 Emirati
students to pursue a career in medicine. Emirati students from grade nine to 12 from both private and government schools had the opportunity to meet keynote speaker and award-winning international heart surgeon, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub. Sir Magdi, who has established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world where more than 2,500 transplant operations have been performed, shared his inspirational journey with the students. The conference took place at the Mohamed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre, in Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), a health and wellness destination that brings together a wealth of services in healthcare, medical education and research, and was attended by representatives of UAE schools and universities, as well as DHCC business partners and officials from Al Jalila Foundation and DHCC. As part of the mentoring programme, students toured 15 DHCC medical facilities covering a range of specialities; students interacted with healthcare professionals - through workshops and activities - to gain insight into the demands of the medical profession. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Jalila Foundation, said: "Our visionary leadership continues to pave the way for young Emiratis, not only to study medicine at world-leading organisations, but also to thrive in the sector with the support of local guidance and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Destination Medicine has helped expose the students first-hand to the world of medicine. We hope that it has inspired them to become doctors and have the chance to save lives and give back to their community." Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub commented: "With ambition and determination, the UAE is on the path to be a leader in medical innovation. The opportunities that the UAE has provided its youth are impressive, and I hope that this experience will instil in them a spirit of discovery in medicine. I commend Al Jalila Foundation's efforts in supporting the local medical talent though grants and scholarships; enabling young minds to transform the future of healthcare in the UAE." Addressing Emirati students at the event, Sir Magdi added: "You are the future of healthcare!" Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation stated: "Al Jalila Foundation aims to inspire the UAE's future doctors. Through our post-graduate medical scholarships, the development of the Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre and our fellowship and research grants, we hope to develop a generation of home-grown medical professionals who will lead the nation's healthcare sector for years to come." Marwan Abedin, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Healthcare City, and member of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation, said, "To build a sustainable healthcare industry, we require a national workforce - one that is aligned with the regional healthcare challenges and works to address these. In context, welcoming students to an environment like Dubai Healthcare City, which represents healthcare, medical education and research, is an opportunity to encourage young minds to think about a wide choice of career options in medicine." Al Jalila Foundation has started receiving applications for its post-graduate medical scholarships programme for the 2014/2015 academic year. The application deadline is 15 August 2014.