HMC’s Psychiatry Residents Achieve 100% Pass Rate in Arab Board Exams for Psychiatry Residency
Residents from the Psychiatry Residency Program Were Commended for Outstanding Scholastic and Work Achievements Despite COVID-19 Challenges
Doha, 29 March, 2021: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Mental Health Service announced that all of their medical residents in the Psychiatry Residency Training Program achieved a 100% pass rate in the recent Arab Board Exams.
The Executive Leadership Team commended the Program Director, Dr. Zerak Al-Salihy, and the residents for the outstanding scholastic achievement despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout most of 2020. Nine residents successfully passed part 1 of Arab Board exam, which is taken two years into their Residency; and five residents completed the second part of Arab Board exams, denoting the completion of the four-year training period and their readiness to take the final clinical exams later this year before they become fully qualified psychiatrists.
Dr. Majid Al Abdulla, Chairman of Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Mental Health Service praised the achievement, saying it was a testament to HMC’s ongoing commitment to professional education and development of staff.
“HMC has always been dedicated to delivering a high standard of education for our trainee doctors and we are determined to ensure that the caliber of Psychiatry residents who have qualified trough HMC is on par with international levels. The strength of our training program has resulted in more medical students considering psychiatry as their field of specialization,” said Dr. Al Abdulla. “This year around 30 students applied to join the Psychiatry residency program, they are competing for up to 10 placement vacancies. The Psychiatry residency program has become much more popular among the new generation of medical students and we have seen many applications for medicine at both Qatar University and Weil Cornell Medicine, which is an excellent outcome of our efforts”.
“We have remained committed to promoting professional education for young doctors, despite the significant challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic. I am immensely proud of these residents, not only for having been able to do so well in their exams, but also because of the valuable support they provided during the height of the pandemic, when a lot of clinical resources were redirected to focus on providing COVID-19 related support,” added Dr. Abdulla.
Psychiatry residents played an important role in the COVID-19 pandemic efforts from the beginning. The program deployed five residents to work in different COVID-19 sites for several months, providing onsite assessment and counselling to patients as well as staff. The remaining residents were assigned to help cover clinical duties, including the emergency department during on-call shifts to ensure patients received the best psychiatric care possible despite the pandemic situation.
Dr. Abdulla expressed his deep appreciation for the support received from HMC’s Medical Education Department: “The Mental Health Service has benefited hugely from the professional and collegiate support received by all members of the Medical Education team. We are very thankful to Dr. Abdullatif Al-Khal (Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Director of Medical Education), as well as his Associate Directors doctors Margaret Allen and Adeel Ghaffar, and the rest of the team for their continued support for Mental Health Training Program.”
The Mental Health Service, in collaboration with Medical Education, expanded the professional specialization opportunities for medical students by adding two new fellowship programs. The Learning Disability Fellowship and Women’s Mental Health Fellowship are important contributions to the professional education portfolio at HMC. In addition, efforts are well underway in the development of a fellowship in Addiction Medicine, which will have a positive impact on enhancing our Mental Health services.
Dr. Zerak Al-Salihy -Senior Consultant Geriatric Psychiatrist at HMC and Psychiatry Residency Program Director, Mental Health Service, explained the strategic aim is to promote well-rounded psychiatrists.
“We believe that we can best serve our future patients by promoting a high caliber of next generation doctors in psychiatry. We want our young psychiatrists to be high achievers in academic terms but also be able to demonstrate compassion, empathy and patient centered care and therefore these are essential aspects of their overall training,” said Dr. Al-Salihy.
The internationally accredited training programs are delivered in English, however, for mental health services, a particular emphasis is placed on competency in a variety of languages, alongside Arabic, to reflect Qatar’s multi-lingual population.
The Arab Board for Health Specializations (ABHS) aims at advancing the medical knowledge in the Arab countries. ABHS offers training programs and administer certification examinations in various medical specialties, including Psychiatry.