The Hamad Medical Corporation of Qatar launched the vision of Academic Health System and I was invited to attend its unveiling. The outdoor temperature in Doha was approximately 45℃ (115 F), very hot, and in addition to the heat, the city was in the midst of the Ramadan.
I made use of this opportunity to visit the Qatar Foundation (Ref.1, 2) again. From here, I extended my visit to Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Texas A&M University in Qatar, and Qatar Science Technology Park.
These Universities use the same curriculum and same texts as in the United States and the faculty members are recruited according to the same qualification criteria as in the States, so the students graduating from these universities receive degrees equivalent to the home Universities. The students of medical schools, after graduation, are matched for residency and the list includes first class hospitals in the United States such as Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinics. Just take a look at the web site of the Qatar Foundation and you will find much information about variety of special programs they run with many universities.
These places of education and research not only have cutting edge utilities, but are very open and international. I think it would be nice if we developed programs with Japanese researchers or enhanced exchange programs for students, graduate students, and research fellows.
Hamad Medical Corporation is now building a number of new hospitals as well as reinforcing their research laboratories. While expanding hospitals that are about a quarter of a century old, they also manage to keep providing health care very actively. Emergency medicine, especially traumatic wound is a huge department here. They have a large number of patients from traffic accidents and construction accidents.
Many staffs and Doctors are from overseas but they are working very aggressively.
I think the Academic Health System is a nice ambitious program, too. It has a strong vision for structuring a “Healthy Community” and is determined to “Expand Globally”.
Although the Middle East today has a number of unsteady elements after the Tunisian resistance and revolution, Qatar is by far more peaceful. Why not have more exchanges with them?