Complex Made Simple

Dubai Health Authority continues its pioneering program to train doctors

More than 200 interviews conducted to select top 80 candidates for the residency program across 13 specialities.

The Department of Medical Education at the Dubai Health Authority(DHA) recently interviewed 200 medical graduates from various universities within and outside the UAE to join the residency program in Dubai.

After medical students complete their MBBS and a one year-internship, they look for opportunities as residents so that they can specialize in the medical field of their choice. The aim of the program is to attract medical graduates to be trained across various specialties.

Dr Jamila Sheikh, Director of Medical Education at the DHA said the interviews were conducted in line with the requirements of a residency program and in line with international standards to access the capability of the healthcare professional.

She explained that the multiple mini interview (MMI) format was used and that this is the fourth consecutive year that DHA has conducted this program. The MMI style of interview uses many short independent assessments, typically in a timed circuit, to obtain an aggregate score of each candidate’s skills. The format is widely used in medical schools especially in North America and Australia.

More than 70 consultants and senior doctors from the DHA and 25 organisers helped conduct the interview. Of the 200 interviewees, top 80 candidates, will be selected to practise medicine across 13 specialities.

Al Sheikh said: “MMI is a series of eight interview stations consisting of timed (six-minute) interview scenarios. Applicants rotate through the stations, each with its own interviewer and scenario. This ensures the interviewer only assesses the interviewee for the questions he or she has asked and does not have access to how the interviewee performed in the earlier or later stations, ensuring an absolute unbiased result. The final score is based on the aggregate of all the eight stations.”

She said the results of the interviews will be announced by mid-July and that the program will start in October 2015.

Dr. Ashraf Ahmed, Head of the Academic Affairs Centre at DHA’s medical education department said the duration of the program is four to six years, depending on the specialty chosen. Once residents successfully complete the program they will be certified as a specialist by the Arab Board and will be given membership to the Royal College of UK.

Dr Fatima Lootah, one of the applicants for this programme said it is of vital importance for doctors to seek higher education and pursue specializations to ensure provision of high quality of medical services and to serve their community members to the best of their abilities.

Ahmed highlighted the importance of the residency program and its active role in attracting qualified medical professionals which will enhance the healthcare system of Dubai.