WCM-Q welcomes exchange student as part of GEMx program
January 2017

From left to right: Raji Anand, Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, Faghira Afrina binti Mat Tarmizi, Dr. Sohaila Cheema

From left to right: Raji Anand, Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, Faghira Afrina binti Mat Tarmizi, Dr. Sohaila Cheema

WCM-Q welcomed a Malaysian student as part of its membership of the global educational exchange in medicine and the health professions (GEMx) program.

Faghira Afrina binti Mat Tarmizi is in the final year of the medical education program at Penang Medical College, and is the third student to have visited WCM-Q as part of the GEMx initiative. The 22-year-old spent four weeks at WCM-Q, working at the primary health care centers, and at Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in which she has a special interest.

Afrina said: "I lived in Doha previously and I have attended a summer enrichment program at WCM-Q. I was interested in taking sports medicine or orthopedic electives or something that combined the two, and I saw that WCM-Q offered sports medicine. I contacted my college who told me to contact GEMx and everything went from there.

"At the primary health care center, the routine was pretty much the same as Malaysia, however, the majority of the system is computerized and because of that you have more time with the patients. Aspetar has been the highlight of the visit, though. In fact, it was one of the most wonderful experiences. Because it’s specialized, the doctors have more time with patients and perhaps because of this they also had more time for me so I found the teaching was very personal and that’s something I don’t get in Malaysia as there are so many other students."

GEMx is a program of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), which allows partner universities to publish details of the electives that they offer. Students from across the world can then apply for the electives knowing that the quality of teaching and student support are of acceptable standards. There are currently 42 institutions that are members of the program, in 27 countries across the globe. The aim is to allow medical students to experience different healthcare models of their choice and gain new perspectives on medicine, medical care and its delivery. Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, WCM-Q’s senior associate dean for population health and capacity building, is chair of the GEMx Advisory Committee.

He said: "Afrina has been an enthusiastic and highly motivated student and I am delighted that she has had such a positive experience at our partner institutions. This really is what GEMx strives for – offering students across the globe opportunities that they may otherwise have difficulty accessing at their home campuses."

Dr. Sohaila Cheema, director of WCM-Q’s Institute for Population Health, said: “GEMx is a wonderful way for medical students to broaden their horizons, providing them not only with a new perspective on healthcare delivery, but also on social and cultural issues.

"Having spent part of her formative years in Doha, Afrina has spoken of the possibility that she may return as a doctor to practice sports medicine here and I hope that the GEMx program has contributed to making that a reality."

For more information about the GEMx program visit http://www.gemxelectives.org