To provide high quality medical training, research, clinical and community services in the fields of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, pertinent to the needs of the United Arab Emirates community and in keeping with high standards, which are internationally recognized. The Department is committed to educating medical students, interns, residents, other graduate candidates and practicing physicians in various settings. This is accomplished by combining established modern educational models, advances in clinical medicine, relevant research findings and uncompromising adherence to ethical behavior and respect of patients. The department is working hard to establish a formal specialty training program. This is being planned in collaboration with North American centers of excellence. The departmental staff and students are encouraged to make maximum use of recent advances in information technology in all areas of work.
The Department contributes to all stages of the curriculum. It attempts to match its input to the clinical training of students, and to play roles in shaping appropriate skills and attitudes. The department contributes to the following courses:
Medical Sciences Course
Biological Sciences Module
Principles of Medical Practice Module
Psychiatry Clerkship rotation
The psychiatry clerkship takes place for 8 weeks during the Junior Clinical Science Course. The overall goal is to allow students to become familiar with common mental health problems and acquire basic necessary knowledge and skills in psychiatric patient care. The clerkship includes exposure to in-patient and out-patient psychiatry services as well as primary care psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. The methods of learning include tutorials, student led seminars, clinical clerkship sessions, communication skills practicum, small group discussions and self-directed learning. The psychiatry clerkship examination is based on both local and international standards. The U.S. National Board Medical Examination (NBME) is used as a yardstick for comparing the performance of our students to international standards. It is assumed that this exercise will facilitate the smooth progress of our students to graduate medical studies, particularly residency training programs in international centers
Junior & Senior Paediatric rotation
The departmentís input in the pediatric rotation involves teaching developmental psychiatry as well as psycho-social aspects of physical illness in children
Graduate & CME Programs
At present graduate training occurs within the frame-work of the training scheme for the Arab Board in Psychiatry. The Psychiatry units of Al-Ain and Tawam Hospitals in Al-Ain; the Psychiatric Hospital in Abu Dhabi and Rashid Hospital in Dubai have been accredited as training centres by the Arab Board for Psychiatry. This is a 4 years program with training in general adult psychiatry and its subspecialties. Several trainees have started their training for the Arab Board from the aforementioned hospitals. The training program which is coordinated by the Department of Psychiatry with the first 2 years of training in Al-Ain, taking advantage of the facilities for the training in general adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry before trainees rotate elsewhere and take advantage of the training opportunities in the Psychiatric Hospital in Abu-Dhabi which offers training experiences in drug misuse, forensic psychiatry, psychiatric rehabilitation and mental handicap. The training program is supplemented with an academic schedule of tutorials and seminars which runs for the 4 years duration of training. This is organized by the University Department and takes place in Al-Ain Hospital Psychiatry Unit, with trainees from Abu Dhabi and Dubai attending a one day -release once a week. Our future plans include embarking on a residency training program, making use of the expertise and experience of the University and Ministry of Health staff, and available resources within the UAE.
Since its inception in late 1990, the University Department of Psychiatry has been fully involved, integrated and committed to psychiatric services in Al Ain Medical District. The department was instrumental in establishing the Al Ain Psychiatric Division and the CME programss. Faculty members provide services on an outpatient, inpatient and consultation liaison basis. The Department runs four outpatient clinics in both Al Ain and Tawam Hospitals on a weekly basis, takes part in the regular ward rounds in the inpatient unit at Al Ain Hospital and covers approximately 40% of the night call rota. The department played an active role in introducing the official nomenclature of the contemporary classification and the diagnostic systems in psychiatry to be used in recording diagnoses as well as in communicating with other professionals. One of the hallmarks of the departmental activities in this regard is the organisation and supervision of the weekly grand round that takes place on Tuesdays of each week. During this activity, students, interns and residents present a patient either with diagnostic problems, management problems or with unusual clinical presentations to a large audience consisting of psychiatric nurses, medical students, residents, specialists, consultants, social workers and psychologists. This type of activity has proved to be one of the most useful tools for applying evidence-based medicine to clinical psychiatry.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
The department was instrumental in establishing child psychiatry services in Al Ain Medical District. The department is solely responsible for providing these services which include outpatient clinics, inpatients services and consultation services at Al Ain and Tawam hospital. In addition to providing child mental health services this includes provision of services in the area of developmental psychiatry. Liaison services are provided to other departments in both these hospitals including input to the pediatric oncology unit at Tawam hospital.
A child psychiatry clinic has been established at the School Health Center utilizing the structure and resources of School Health Services. Children are referred to the clinic by school personnel or school health physicians who carry out a routine screening program for all school children. The department has pioneered the introduction of a comprehensive school mental health screening program which has been hailed as a model for other developing countries. In this regard, training programs are offered to school health physicians in the detection and management of common child psychiatry problems.
Primary Care Psychiatry
The Department has operated a weekly primary care psychiatric clinic since March 1991. A crucial aim of our presence in the PHC setting is to offer educational programs to PHC general practitioners, in addition to of patient care services. The education programs to PHC doctors are tailored in a realistic fashion to address the weaknesses of the practicing doctors. Our target is to minimize missed psychiatric morbidity in PHC attendance. The psychiatric services are offered in a cost-effective fashion by making maximum use of available resources e.g. space, paramedical staff, patients records etc. In addition, the psychiatric services are offered in a relaxing, non-stigmatizing atmosphere.
(last updated: 17-July-2002)
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