Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has become the first medical facility in the region to be recognised as a training center for emergency ultrasound training.

The recognition was made official at an award ceremony attended by distinguished officials from HMC and the Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society (CEUS). The training center status followed the successful completion of four Emergency Department Echo/Ultrasound (EDE) courses that have been offered at HMC since March 2013.

Speaking at the ceremony, CEUS President Dr Peter Ross said:

It is truly an honour to inaugurate the first CEUS training center, outside Canada, in the Middle East. We are quite proud of the fact that the CEUS has the highest standards of training, not only in Canada, but around the world. We share the vision of HMC to enhance competencies for their residents and faculty, and we will continue these efforts in order to reach the ultimate goal for every physician; to offer the best patient care.’

The courses were the initiative of a number of specialists in the field, comprising of Hamad General Hospital’s (HGH) Specialist in Emergency Medicine, Dr Aftab Mohamad Azad, who was the first Qatari to complete the North American Emergency Medicine Training Program; Director of a Montreal-based General Hospital, Dr Joel Turner; and HGH’s Emergency Medicine Senior Consultant and Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director Dr Azhar Abdul Aziz.

Fifty-five emergency physicians, including 48 from HMC and seven from Oman, Kuwait and UAE, completed the courses. In addition, 10 emergency physicians from HMC were honored at the ceremony as ‘Independent Practitioners’, a role which means they can continue to offer the training to other physicians in Qatar.

The EDE course, which has been taught to over 10,000 physicians internationally, enables physicians to rapidly diagnose critical illnesses for the patients who come in to emergency departments with often life-threatening and serious medical problems.

Dr Azad, who is designated to be the first regional director for the CEUS in the Middle East, said:

This is a great achievement for us since we as a team at HMC are always working to improve ourselves in every aspect, which is reflected in better care for our patients. We constantly encourage each other to improve and discover better ways to practice.’

He stressed that, in emergency medicine, decisions are often paired with urgency and critical thinking, so every single modality of diagnosing signs makes a tremendous difference to outcomes.

The initiative to have a CEUS training site in Qatar was backed by HMC’s Managing Director, Hanan Al Kuwari PhD, the Department of Medical Education’s Medical, Research and Academic Affairs Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, and Emergency Department Chair, Professor Peter Cameron.

The award ceremony was headed by HGH’s Medical Director Dr Yousef Al Masalmani, during which the plaque recognising HMC as the first CEUS training site in the region was received by Medical Education Department’s Deputy Director, Dr Ismail Helmy and Assistant Director of Medical Education for Graduate Medical Education, Dr Mohamed El Tawil. A certificate of honour was received by HMC’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director Dr Abdul Aziz.