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Prof. J M Muscat-Baron

Address on the Graduation Day of Dubai Medical College on  10th  January  2012  
By  Professor  J M Muscat-Baron –Clinical Dean

Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,  Sheikh Haj Saeed Lootah, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Medical College,  Your Excellency Qaadhi Saeed Al-Murooshid, Director General of Dubai Health Authority, colleagues, graduates,  ladies and gentlemen.

I want to specially welcome, congratulate and address the successful candidates because this is their day.  It is a testimony and a reward for all their efforts and hard work over the last few years.

However, it is also the fulfillment of a dream that your parents and indeed the College and the DHA, that has partnered and supported the college throughout the whole of it’s life during the various courses and in the internship programs, an excellent example of a public / private partnership that has successfully existed for over a quarter of a century.

This partnership has benefitted both parties. The college has had access to the excellent facilities for clinical teaching that are present in the department together with the presence of a large number of experienced and well qualified clinicians from whom to build it’s adjunct faculty.

The DHA has imperceptibly gained the status of a teaching hospital group and furthermore has had at it’s disposal a good and increasing number of locally educated medical staff of proven quality from whom to replenish the clinical body.

 This college has graduated well over 800, indeed 896 to be exact, individuals in medicine. Approximately 30% of these are nationals. Many of these graduates are now training as interns and residents, or working in the DHA and other medical institutions in the UAE (not to mention other countries) as consultants, senior specialists, and registrars in Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and in Primary Health Care.

  Primary health care is particularly important in this respect, not only because it has now been publicly accepted as being the foundation rock on which the DHA has decided to build it’s medical services for the public, but also because a large proportion of the physicians working in this vital section are alumni of the college.
You, the graduates of this college, are a ready source of trainees for the excellent resident schemes that are run by the DHA to continually replenish the staff as further expansion of the service continues apace. This resource of new and well trained medical staff will be available to the DHA, the UAE and indeed the whole world, and this is the legacy of this college.

 This success has not come by accident. It has been built on a gradual and imperceptible evolution of the curriculum, extending over several years, that has centred on the integration of the basic sciences and clinical medicine, and I would like to applaud Prof Mohd Galal, the Dean and indeed all the staff of the college for their contribution and support for this endevour.
 
       These changes have not only altered the curriculum into a university type of education, but have freed enough time to allow us to develop a number of courses that add to the experience of learning and development of a doctor that are designed to formally inculcate into the student body those characteristics of professionalism that form the foundation in the life of a physician and which society and the public, whom we as doctors serve, demand that they should be explicitly taught.

I would like to highlight some of the significant changes that have improved the curriculum and it’s delivery and that have been fundamental in improving the quality of our graduates and provoking the remark that Professor Parveen Kumar, an internationally acknowledged expert in medical education and the senior external examiner at your final examination in Medicine and Surgery this year, made after reviewing the curriculum and examining you. “This medical college is now definitely on the international map”

• You, the students, are now introduced as early as the 2nd year to clinical situations making the understanding and appreciation of basic sciences alive and relevant.

• You are introduced to primary health care early in your second year, emphasizing the importance of preventive medicine and the management of chronic disease as the fundamentals in any modern healthcare system - an attitude that mirrors precisely the aims and ambitions of the DHA.

• You have dedicated courses in communication skills, health informatics, ethics and law in relation to medicine, statistics, epidemiology, evidence based medicine, clinical research, and communication skills, all of which are essential in the development of the professional characteristics of a doctor.

• A course in ‘Patient Safety’ has been formally introduced, based on the curriculum set out by the WHO (World Heart Organisation) and we have now acquired the services of an acknowledged international expert in the field to deliver this course


• Your final examination has seen a revolutionary change in the last year, as we believe that improvement in assessment is fundamental in driving the quality of education, training and competence of our graduates.

Your final examination (which spans over 10 hours) is now a combined medical/surgical examination that is designed to thoroughly test your knowledge and skills, not only on the purely academic basis of science and clinical knowledge, but also to test and reflect, in a real clinical practice setting, of how a newly graduated doctor would be expected to perform after qualification, incorporating the assessment of professional requirements that will serve you through your career.


The worth of a tree is measured by the fruit that it bears.  You are the fruit of this college. Be proud of your college. We, the Colleges, the DHA, and the Faculty are proud of your success.  We are convinced that you are ready to meet the challenges of your profession and of the future as well as any other newly qualified doctor from anywhere else in the world.

I told you in my introductory lecture into clinical medicine 3 years ago, that you are indeed fortunate that you have chosen medicine as your career. You are now ready to reap the promise of your success, and to quote from the Holy Quran  “and if any of you have saved a life, it is as if you have saved the whole nation”. What a wonderful promise!! But it comes at a price – and the price is hard work and dedication.

You have been prepared to meet the strictest criteria, and I look forward to seeing many of you, not just a few, benchmarking your worth, skills and abilities by taking on postgraduate examinations such as the USMLE, MRCP, MRCPCH (Paediatrics), MRCOG, MRCS, the MRCGP and the Arab Board Examinations, earlier rather than later, and hopefully within the next year.  All these examinations are now available for you to take in Dubai and the UAE.

Do not listen to those who moan and tell you that you cannot compete on the world stage.  Such comments come from people who are blinkered and have not even bothered to get the facts.

You are proven achievers. Your presence here today is proof enough of that. Go with confidence in your abilities and in what you have achieved and pit yourselves against the world. You have had the training to succeed, just as many of your predecessors have done before you, in Dubai, the UAE, the Gulf, Europe, America and indeed the whole world.

I once again congratulate all of you and your parents and wish you the best of luck.  

 Fi Aman Allah.

Professor J M Muscat-Baron
Professor of Medicine
Clinical Dean
Clinical Faculty – DMC



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