(MENAFN Editorial) Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) has hosted a meeting of the Global Education in Medicine Exchange (GEMx), a program that promotes international student exchanges among elite medical universities.
GEMx, an initiative of the United States Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), connects the world's medical schools and students, and will allow medical students and educators to engage in a global dialogue.
The meeting at WCMC-Q on 15 January brought the GEMx advisory committee together with members of the ECFMG leadership to discuss strategies to expand and enhance the GEMx program. The first item on the agenda was to announce the appointment of Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, WCMC-Q Associate Dean for Global and Public Health, as Chairman of the International Advisory Committee (IAC).
Welcoming the members, who had traveled from the US and other countries around the world, Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCMC-Q, said: "I am very excited at the opportunities that being a part of GEMx offers us. As we enter a new era of medical education that is far more global in outlook than ever before, GEMx provides a network through which our students can access truly valuable learning experiences in a variety of locations all over the world.
"I think GEMx and WCMC-Q share a desire to embrace the exchange of knowledge and experience among institutions around the world, and we are looking forward to a long and fruitful working relationship with GEMx and ECFMG.
The key function of GEMx is an innovative online system through which universities can publish details of the electives they offer. Students can use the system to apply for the electives, safe in the knowledge that the host school has signed up to the ECFMG charter, which guarantees established standards of student support and pre-agreed learning outcomes. Students who use GEMx can currently apply for electives in Australia, Bahrain, Colombia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Chile, Malaysia, India and Lebanon, among other countries.
Dennis Donohue, ECFMG Seior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said: "We are happy to announce the appointment of Dr. Ravinder Mamtani as Chair of the GEMx Advisory Committee. As Chair, Dr. Mamtani brings a strong belief in the value of international medical student exchanges and a deep appreciation for the need to develop a mutual understanding amongst diverse cultures, so necessary in our increasingly global society. To all who know him, Dr. Mamtani brings a vibrancy of thought and the power of new ideas to the GEMx program. ECFMG is honored by his acceptance and by Dean Sheikh's willingness to provide such a valuable resource to the GEMx program."
The meeting then viewed a presentation by second-year WCMC-Q medical student Ahmed Saleh about his eight-week visit to the Weill Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania for the WCMC-Q Global Health Education and Research Program, which saw him take part in clinical rounds and contribute to a research project.
Dr. Mamtani said: "The purpose of the program and the visit to Tanzania is to provide experience to students both of conducting research and working with patients in a very different environment than they are used to.
"We find that such experiences are of immediate benefit to students because they are able to observe and practice different approaches to medicine while also learning how to relate to patients from a different culture. It is this sort of beneficial experience that GEMx really aims to provide to students.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Emmanuel G. Cassimatis, M.D., President and CEO of ECFMG said: "The meeting of our Global Education in Medicine Exchange International Advisory Committee (GEMx IAC) at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar was very successful. I am particularly pleased, not only about what was accomplished, but about what is just beginning, through Dean Javaid Sheikh's enthusiastic sponsorship of and support for our meeting, and Dr. Ravinder Mamtani's Chairship of the GEMx IAC, which is a growing partnership between ECFMG and WCMC-Q in support of high quality global medical education."