CLEVELAND CLINIC ABU DHABI’S US-ACCREDITED PHARMACY RESIDENCY PROGRAM TO BUILD UAE CAPABILITY

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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Three UAE nationals will be among the first in the country to graduate from a rigorous pharmacy residency program that is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), enabling them to apply international best practice and enhance pharmaceutical care for patients in the region.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy Residency Program (PGY1) was recently accredited for a full eight-year cycle by ASHP, one of America’s largest accredited providers of continuing education for pharmacists. The hospital, an integral part of Mubadala Health, is among only a handful of academic medical centers in the region to offer this accredited pharmacy residency.

The two-year program has residents perform as licensed healthcare providers under the supervision of preceptors who are residency trained in the US and includes direct patient care and practice management. Residents who successfully complete the program can take on pharmacy generalist positions, specialized residencies and fellowships within the field.

“We launched the residency program in 2018 and it underwent a very thorough assessment by ASHP last year of our progressive instruction model and mentorship in patient-centered care and pharmacy services. Our program for pharmacists empowers residents to be part of some of the most crucial decision-making at the hospital, and they network with peers from all over the world to broaden their knowledge and apply the best care solutions for patients,” says Rania El-Lababidi, the Director of the Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy Residency Program.

“This eight-year prestigious accreditation, which is the highest number of years awarded for a PGY1 residency program, is a testament to the quality of education that we provide at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Our residents are being prepared to advance their careers and shape the profession of pharmacy while raising its profile in the UAE,” she adds.

Zohour Anouassi, the first pharmacy resident at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi who graduates in August this year, is proud to be a role model to many future pharmacists and Emiratis, having always been passionate about the medical field. “Many of us Emiratis choose medicine but very few select pharmacy as their profession. Therefore, I decided to become a pharmacist to contribute to the UAE’s vision of building a world-class healthcare system.”

“The last two years have been a fruitful journey full of exposure to various specialties and world-class services. Every day has been like a new adventure for me. I attend daily rounds with the hospital’s multidisciplinary teams, attend clinic visits, perform therapeutic drug monitoring consults, and deliver medication-related patient care and counseling. This residency has opened many doors for me and my fellow residents, giving us the opportunity to enhance our decision-making skills, mentor other pharmacists, pursue further specialization or even become a researcher,” she says.

Zohour’s ultimate goal is to become an oncology pharmacotherapy specialist and to further advance pharmacy practice in the UAE. As a result, she plans to further specialize with a PGY2 oncology pharmacy residency program.

Salma Al Shaqfa, who will be graduating from the hospital’s residency program at the end of this year, says the role of a pharmacist is more than just dispensing medications, and actually serves as an integral part of the healthcare system.

“My experience so far has been exceptional. Being exposed to various operational, ambulatory care, research and drug information and pharmacotherapy rotations has allowed me to hone my clinical and social skills. It has enabled me to become an active member of the international pharmacy community, participate in conferences and explore my areas of interest,” she says.

Salma adds that there need to be more role models in the profession to encourage UAE nationals to consider careers in pharmacy.

“To anyone who is hesitant, I would tell them that if they are passionate about helping others, directly interacting with patients, and want a wide variety of career opportunities, while getting involved in medical therapy innovations and working with state-of-the-art technology, then pharmacy is definitely the way to go.”

About Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi:

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, is a multispecialty hospital on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a unique and unparalleled extension of US-based Cleveland Clinic’s model of care, specifically designed to address a range of complex and critical care requirements unique to the Abu Dhabi population.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has the following Institutes: Heart & Vascular, Neurological, Digestive Disease, Eye, Respiratory, Critical Care, Surgical Subspecialties, Medical Subspecialties, Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, Quality & Patient Safety, and Clinical & Nursing. In all, more than 40 medical and surgical specialties are represented at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

The facilities at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi combine state-of-the-art amenities and world-class service standards. The hospital is a 394 (expandable to 490) bed facility, with five clinical floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units. It is a physician-led medical facility served by North American/European Board Certified (or equivalent) physicians. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides patients in the region direct access to the world’s best healthcare providers and Cleveland Clinic’s unique model of care, reducing their need to travel abroad for treatment.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – Al Ain began offering select medical services in December 2017. The facility is located on the Tawam Hospital Campus in Al Ain.

About Mubadala Health:

Mubadala Health is the integrated healthcare network of Mubadala Investment Company. Established 2021, Mubadala Health operates, manages, and develops a portfolio of healthcare assets including: Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre (ADTC), Amana Healthcare, Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC), Healthpoint, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), and National Reference Laboratory (NRL). In addition, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is an integral part of Mubadala Health. With a vision to transform the regional healthcare landscape, Mubadala Health sets a new benchmark for the UAE and regional healthcare industry through its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class caregivers who strive to put patients first across its continuum of care. Innovation, research, and education are the foundational pillars of Mubadala Health, supporting the further development of a sustainable healthcare sector in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and the region.