A unique collaboration between Abu Dhabi-headquartered VPS Healthcare and Cumming School of Medicine of the University of Calgary, Canada, will help shape the future academic and healthcare landscape in the United Arab Emirates and the region by training the next generation of physicians who are crucial to the future of healthcare in the region.
The two organizations announced the objective to design and deliver distinctive and innovative medical education and research programs to prepare new physicians for the rapidly-evolving and technologically advanced healthcare environment.
For the past several years, VPS Healthcare has created new initiatives for Emirati students. Building on that momentum, these new initiatives will help build capacity and capability for the healthcare sector, starting with the UAE. The first of these programs will be the establishment of this medical school the will help to shape the physicians of tomorrow.
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Founder and Chairman of VPS Healthcare, said that the new School of Medicine will generate significant positive economic and social benefits not just for Abu Dhabi, but for the UAE and the region.
“After graduation, these highly educated professionals will remain here to be part of a world-class academic medical health system, which will improve the quality of healthcare in our communities. It will also create a R&D ecosystem with high-paying jobs and provide the UAE citizens access to top-quality healthcare professionals close to home,” he added.
Additionally, given the highly talented physician faculty attracted to academic medical centers, consumers looking to make healthcare decisions often remain in UAE, rather than traveling to different parts of the world. VPS Healthcare will continue its mission attract and now train primary care and clinical specialists who are so crucial to the future of healthcare and patient well-being in the UAE, said Dr. Shamsheer.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the University of Calgary and VPS Healthcare to work together to have a significant impact on medical education,” said Dr. Teri Balser, PhD, provost and vice-president (academic) University of Calgary. “The Cumming School of Medicine has an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health-care research and education which is evidenced in this new collaboration.”
Founded in 1966, The University of Calgary is ranked among the top universities in the world by numerous publications, including The Academic Ranking of World Universities (also known as the Shanghai Ranking). It has over 33,000 students in five campuses and is one of Canada’s top comprehensive research universities.
The new medical school will offer the only accelerated three-year MD program outside of Canada and the United States and will offer students acceptance to a residency slot at one of the 24 VPS Healthcare hospitals upon graduation. This program will help address the significant demand for physicians in both the UAE and regional marketplaces.
“VPS Healthcare takes pride in upscaling the private sector into another level by its partnership with the School of Medicine of the University of Calgary. The medical school will reshape and redefine the health services in the private sector by merging clinical practice with academic medicine,” said Dr. Taleb Almansoori, Academic Advisor, VPS Healthcare.
“We constantly strive for excellence aiming for knowledgeable and innovative Emiratis ready to serve our community and lead the health care sector. Interested students in joining this school will get a world-class medical education accompanied by hands-on clinical education at VPS facilities. It truly has the potential to become a prestigious medical ecosystem – with innovative teaching and programs that will impact our whole community and far beyond,” he added.
“We are extremely honoured to be chosen to help with this ambitious project,” said Dr. Jon Meddings, MD, dean, Cumming School of Medicine (CSM). “We have world-class education and research programs, and it is very exciting to think about reaching an entirely new group of medical students.”
The new medical school along with VPS Healthcare’s hospitals will focus on improving medical care by supporting multidisciplinary research, education, clinical service and community programs.
With VPS Healthcare’s existing and upcoming partnerships with other academic and research institutions, faculty and students in computer science, engineering, social sciences, business and other areas will collaborate with the school. Having the medical school and the teaching hospital in one location will accelerate the spirit of learning cooperation and exchange of information and has the potential to support an integrated medical ecosystem – with world-class teaching and programs that will impact the whole community.
A search for the School of Medicine’s founding President, the Dean and faculty will begin immediately. Once fully staffed and accredited, the School of Medicine is expected to begin actively recruiting students, with the first-class matriculating in three years.
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