Reinventing Excellence in Medical Education
December 2015

Reinventing Excellence in Medical Education

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Thumbay Moideen, Founder President, Thumbay Group, UAE

Thumbay Moideen, Founder President, Thumbay Group, UAE

Thumbay Moideen, Founder President, Thumbay Group, UAE has expanded the Group’s business to new areas and under his guidance, the group has established the first private teaching hospital in UAE. In an interaction with Ravi Gupta, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Elets Technomedia, he shares about his journey in the medical education space, how medical education has evolved, best practices adopted at GMU and more

Please share your journey in the medical education space.

The journey so far has been exciting. Immediately after my graduation, I was involved in our family business. At a young age of 21, I became the Managing Director of our business. I worked hard, implemented many innovative ideas and expanded our business to new areas. I have travelled extensively to Africa, Far East to develop business partnerships. Very soon, our business turnover grew manifold and we started venturing into new areas.

The journey so far has been exciting. Immediately after my graduation, I was involved in our family business. At a young age of 21, I became the Managing Director of our business. I worked hard, implemented many innovative ideas and expanded our business to new areas. I have travelled extensively to Africa, Far East to develop business partnerships. Very soon, our business turnover grew manifold and we started venturing into new areas.

Gulf Medical University (GMU) was established as Gulf Medical College in the year 1998. Ever since the college was established, we focused all our efforts in making the institution one of the best in the region, and we succeeded. Today, students from over 74 countries pursue their career at our university in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Biomedical Sciences. We also offer masters programmes in Clinical Pathology, Toxicology, Human Reproductive Biology, Public Health and Physiotherapy.

Research is the main focus area at GMU, along with education and healthcare. The University has established Center for Advanced Biomedical Research & Innovation (CABRI) to pursue excellence in biomedical research that shall have an impact on the education and the outcome of clinical care and Center for Advanced Simulation in Healthcare (CASH) – a multidisciplinary educational facility that provides high-tech simulated and virtually created hospital set-up for clinical and communication skills teaching and training for students and healthcare professionals.

The Summer Training Program (STP) which is a special feature of our university, is a unique concept introduced by us to enable students to get international exposure and experience in clinical settings. Every year the University sends students to participate in STP, which helps them understand the methodologies in healthcare and research, and expose them to various nuances of medical advances, which helps in carving out their own future. Training is conducted in leading hospitals in several countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan.

Later, we were the first to establish the first private teaching hospital, today known under the banner of Thumbay Network of Teaching Hospitals, in the region. Even establishing a hospital was a big challenge as we did not get enough support from the existing government hospitals and facilities. But, due to our perseverance and hard work, we are today one of the biggest healthcare providers in the country. We treat patients from 175 nationalities. We are accredited by JCI International which is an international recognition of our high quality affordable healthcare services.

How Medical Education has evolved over the last decade?

The strength of any university is its committed and dedicated faculty and staff. The faculty at GMU is constantly attending professional development activities to improve their skills at teaching and facilitating learning. For the past few years, the faculty has taken initiatives to review and revamp the curriculum as per the changing trends in medical education

Medical education has undergone major changes over the years. Especially in the last decade, medical schools increasingly have incorporated technology and expanded instruction to simulated exam rooms, clinical facilities and clinical training. There’s an increased focus on community-based care, patient safety and global health. We feel that the educational standards need to be refreshed, refined and improved as technology changes.

What have been the best practices being followed at the Gulf Medical University?

The focus of the GMU is in three core areas: Medical Education, Healthcare and Research. The University strives to develop these three core areas as spotlights of medical excellence. The strength of any university is its committed and dedicated faculty and staff. The faculty at GMU is constantly attending professional development activities to improve their skills at teaching and facilitating learning. For the past few years, the faculty has taken initiatives to review and revamp the curriculum as per the changing trends in medical education. The products of these efforts are incorporated in the curriculum that is being taught presently in the University.

GMU is the first medical institution in the region, which offers admissions to both boys and girls of all nationalities. The University has infrastructure and facilities, which is on par with some of the established medical institutions in the world. GMU aspires to attract the best of students by offering a variety of excellent programmes supported by quality administration and student support services.

Apart from academic programmes, GMU is in the forefront of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. The University has been organising well-acclaimed International and Regional conferences and symposia. The University also publishes a bimonthly Health magazine as part of its commitment to informative medical journalism.

What best practices have you seen during your rich and expansive journey?

One thing is that the education and healthcare are a must at any time. We grew due to our concrete plans and innovative approach. We can succeed only when our vision and the means to attain our goals are clear, strong and remain as our main focus. We have developed a very strong value system in our organisation. We have always supported integration and a sense of belonging. We concentrated on Excellence, Trust, Knowledge, Innovation and Integrity as our main pillars of the organisation.

It is easy to gain the confidence, as long as we as promoters are clear in our ideas and involve the team in decision making. Similarly, we developed great confidence in our clients by offering them the best of education and healthcare.

What can the Indian Medical Education adapt from global best practices?

In realising the dynamics of medical education, relevant authorities must initiate procedures for regular review and updating of the structure, function and quality of training programmes in India and must rectify identified deficiencies.

The process of renewal should be based on prospective studies and analysis and should lead to the revision of policies and practices of medical training programmes in accordance with past experience, present activities and future perspectives.

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