US health body in UAE for future doctors - GulfToday

US health body in UAE for future doctors


A doctor works at a lab.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

DUBAI: Visiting officials of a 101-year-old not-for-profit paediatric health system in Fort Worth, Texas (US) are looking forward to a solid partnership with the health sector in the UAE.

“The meetings with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) were very productive. We exchanged ideas and we will be following up with the Visiting Physicians Programme (VPP). They are very interested in having physicians from Cook Children’s (Medical Centre) to travel to the UAE for this programme in order to train for specific specialties,” said Cook Children’s Healthcare System International director Cynthia Gonzales on Thursday.

“Our first action is to share the CVs (curriculum vitae) of our physicians,” she added.

MoHaP’s VPP began in 2015 with the goal of enhancing healthcare in the region whereby medical specialists from around the world visit the UAE to render services to patients from consultations to complex surgeries.

Gulf Today interviewed Gonzales and colleague CCHS vice president and chief research officer Dr James Marshall on Sunday, prior to the MoHaP meeting.

They discussed the CCHS aspiration at encouraging aspiring future doctors in the UAE to secure their medical degree at the 146-year-old private Texas Christian University (TCU), “only a few blocks away from the hospital.”

Marshall explained the move to introduce the TCU-School of Medicine (TCU-SM) academic expertise and training to UAE residents is the common objective CCHS has with the other established Fort Worth health systems that include the Methodist Health System and the Presbyterian Health System.

The first batch, composed of the first 60 from 3,000 applications in the US, is expected to graduate in 2023.  Their first year tuitions had been fully paid by an American philanthropist.  

“Students from around the world are welcome to apply. We hope there will also be students from the UAE joining us,” said anaesthesiologist Marshall.  

The concurrent TCU-SM-Paediatrics Department chairman added: “We are not looking at the students’ grades because grades are not what gets one into the medical school in the US. But, the interest and the character that makes one a well-rounded person. They have to pass the medical college admissions test (administered in the US) composed of written exams and interviews.”