The Welcare Learning Circle and Continuing Medical Education in the UAE
A viewpoint by Welcare Hospital CEO Michael Stroud
There’s an old adage that a wise man never stops learning. In healthcare, this is more than just good advice, it’s essential to being a good doctor. Just as technological innovation leads to constantly improving mobile devices and computers, medicine too is always developing and advancing as research reveals more and more about the human body and mind.
One of the most effective ways that doctors and other professionals in developed healthcare environments keep up with the latest in disease/illness prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care is through continuing medical education (CME) programs.
In the UAE, Welcare World Health Systems was the first private healthcare provider to initiate a regularly scheduled program of this kind. We call it “Welcare Learning Circle” because learning never comes to an end in the medical field.
We began this lecture series – to which we have always welcomed all UAE community doctors as well as our own practitioners – eight years ago, almost as soon as we launched Welcare Hospital. We recognized the need for CME in the country and felt that the Welcare Learning Circle would reinforce our fundamental commitments to holistic care and evidence-based medicine.
Holistic patient care means ensuring a concerned and caring bedside manner is practiced by all who interact with patients. Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an approach built both on diagnosing and treating patients with a strong focus on each patient’s individual symptoms and responses to treatment and on applied research techniques that can be conveyed to practitioners through CME programs.
The Welcare Learning Circle serves as a twice-monthly forum where UAE-based doctors attend lectures delivered by top clinicians and experts from around the world and the local community, as well as Welcare’s own specialists. Topics address the latest research, treatments, therapies and best practices across a broad range of specializations. In recent sessions a Welcare specialist spoke on developments in coronary diagnostics while at another a leading German hernia expert lectured on the latest surgical treatment options.
We have seen the Welcare Learning Circle attract a steadily increasing number of doctors, with attendance now often exceeding 150 people. In fact, the popularity and success of these also is reflected in our having celebrated our 100th session on January 19. More than 270 clinicians attended this lecture, which included presentations by Dr. Charles Ilsley, Director of Cardiology at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital, UK; Dr. Mark Mason, Cardiologist at Harefield Hospital, and Dr. Rajesh Raipancholia, Specialist Cardiologist, Welcare Hospital.
We at Welcare World will continue to promote CMEs, given the level of dedication and interest expressed by local practitioners, who also show by their attendance that our program is adding value to their practices.
What’s more, Welcare Learning Circle also has embarked on speciality continuing medical education forums once a month on a variety of topics such as Ophthalmology.
Looking to the future, the strong attendance at the Welcare Learning Circle lectures indicates a keen interest from UAE-based doctors and bodes well for a local industry on the verge of dramatic growth, led by the development of Dubai Healthcare City. Ultimately, our goal is to help all doctors provide continually improving care and treatment to patients and to promote the culture of continuing medical education, something that will help reinforce the strong reputation of the UAE healthcare industry as a whole.
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