ACP Leaders on the Road: UAE

Tanveer Mir, MD, MACP
Chair, ACP Board of Regents

The Sheikh Khalifa Medical City is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The health care facilities that comprise SKMC are situated on an island about five miles wide and nine miles long. Architecturally, Abu Dhabi is an intriguing city where the domes and minarets of traditional mosques are surrounded by ultramodern skyscrapers, tree-lined boulevards, gleaming fountains and parks. The Sheikh Khalifa Medical City operates under the management and direction of Health Authority - Abu Dhabi. The Medical City has several 'Centers of Excellence' and aspires to practice contemporary medicine comparable to the best hospitals and medical centers. SKMC provides comprehensive health care services in all of the disciplines relevant to the needs and priorities of the community. Additionally it has a 500 plus bed tertiary medical-surgical facility that provides state of the art Medical care to the residents of Abu Dhabi.

The second annual SKMC Multispecialty Conference was held in October at the Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi. This was the second conference held by SKMC and had dual tracks in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. This five day conference offered separate registration for each day of the conference to encourage trainees from SKMC to attend. The Gulf Chapter joined ACP in 2015 as an international chapter. This conference received ACP endorsement and I was happy to attend as an International Ambassador of the ACP and faculty. The conference was well-organized and covered a wide range of topics. Cardio-metabolic syndrome was emphasized but sessions covered most specialties in Internal Medicine with an expert speaker covering each topic. Since this was a board review course as well, audience response system was utilized to cover questions on each topic followed by the core topic. The audio-visual and facilities arrangements were impeccable with high level of technical expertise available on site. Four other faculty members from the United States participated in this conference, and mainly covered pediatrics topics. I spoke on the topic of 'The Geriatric Tsunami' during the plenary and a session on MCQ's covering Geriatric assessment and management. Dr. Abdulmajeed Al Zubaidi, the Conference President, and Dr. Bisher Mustafa hosted a faculty dinner and this offered additional opportunity to enjoy the Abu Dhabi hospitality and academic exchange.

During this conference, I had ample time to interact with residents and faculty in Abu Dhabi. In addition to the local attendees, some delegates came from Dubai and Saudi Arabia as well. A significant number of faculty at SKMC are US or Canadian trained in Internal Medicine and sub-specialties as well. Abu Dhabi does not have a medical school, but the SKMC sponsors an Internal Medicine Residency Program. This is an ACGME-I (International) accredited program, with 15 residents in each year, a total of 45. After the completion of residency, candidates are eligible for the Arab Board of Internal Medicine. One of the notable facts was that almost 60 percent of each class of residents is comprised of women. The need for CME conferences and Board Review Courses such as this multi-specialty conference fulfills the needs for the preparation for the board examination. I was pleasantly surprised to meet two of my former residents who trained in the United States and were now serving as key faculty at SKMC. One of them, trained in cardiology and EPS, discussed the significant number of cases of Brugada syndrome, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in young males and fascicular Ventricular Tachycardia case clusters in Abu Dhabi. Since these are rare entities in the medical literature, he was proposing a genetic basis and hoping for time and support to further explore and publish his series. The interest in ACP remains significant and the trainees were generally hoping to complete fellowships in subspecialties of Internal Medicine. Many of them are ACP members and the faculty are fellows of the college. The upcoming combined Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Gulf chapter meeting in February 2016 was being advertised as well, with keen interest on the part of the residents and faculty.

Overall this was a short and enjoyable visit and one can hope that we at ACP can involve and encourage young faculty and residents to stay engaged with the college in a meaningful way.

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