Gulf Medical University, College of Pharmacy Hosts ‘UAE Pharmacy Education Summit’

The College of Pharmacy at GMU hosted the ‘UAE Pharmacy Education Summit’ organized by the Commission for Academic Accreditation- Ministry of Education, UAE, in collaboration with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (USA), the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (USA), during March 6 & 7, 2019.

Welcoming the gathering, Prof. Hossam Hamdy, the Chancellor of GMU said that “Pharmacy education is an integrated practice, requiring pharmacy students to have a deeper level of interaction with other health sciences”.

Addressing the opening session, Prof. Mohamed Yousif Baniyas -Director, Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA), Ministry of Education, UAE said that the focal areas of the conference included formulating a strategy for higher education for pharmacy programs in the country, as well as encouraging international accreditation among institutions and enhancing applied learning in pharmacy.

Dr. Mariam Galadari – Media and International Relations, Pharmacy Division Chairperson of the Emirates Medical Association, UAE said that the future vision of the country with regard to pharmacy education envisioned a greater role for pharmacists in disease management and total patient care. “Pharmacists will assume a greater role in community settings and in developing systems of care,” she added.

Dr. Ola Ghaleb Al Ahdab – Pharmaceutical Advisor, Drug Department & CPD – Pharma Founder & Program Manager, Ministry of Health and Prevention, UAE stressed that providing world- class healthcare is one of the priority areas of the UAE’s National Agenda 2021.

Dr. Stephen Arkle – Commissioner, Commission of Academic Accreditation (CAA), Ministry of Education, UAE observed that pharmacy programs offered by UAE Universities and colleges can attract serious and able students, as well as good quality faculty from around the world.

The two keynote speeches at the summit were delivered by internationally distinguished experts Prof. Claire Anderson – Professor of Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; and Dr. Lucinda Maine – Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, United States of America.

Participating academic institutions in the summit included Al Ain University of Science Technology, Ajman University, Dubai Pharmacy College, Fatima College of Health Sciences, Higher Colleges of Technology, Ras Al Khaimah Medical & Health Sciences University, University of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi University, and the host Gulf Medical University.

During the Summit, experts from the fields of pharmacy education, academics, pharmacy sciences and accreditation converged at GMU to discuss the action plan and road map for improving the standards of pharmacy education in the country, to equip future pharmacy graduates with the skills, knowledge and perspectives to tackle emerging challenges and to play a greater role in the changing nature of pharmacy practice.

The outcomes of the summit include articulation of a vision statement and a benchmark statement for pharmacy education in UAE, creating a list of achievable priorities that will serve to improve pharmacy education in UAE and the formation of a national steering committee to oversee the implementation of pharmacy education priorities.

Dean Sherief Khalifa Commented: It was a true pleasure to see GMU PharmD students participating in this important education summit. I was proud to see them engaging in discussions with College deans and high-profile practice and government stakeholders to lead the change in pharmacy education in the country. I see in them the future leaders who will change the profession in UAE and the world.