Monday, July 8, 2013

HMC emergency medicine chief outlines career options

Emergency medicine is the ultimate team sport where specialists, physicians and paramedics work together under extreme pressures in any number of life threatening events, Professor Peter Cameron said at a forum of the Emergency Medicine Interest Group at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar last night [Feb 24, 2013].

Dr. Cameron is the incoming chairman and head of the Emergency Department at Hamad Medical Corporation and president of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine. He leads a new multi-disciplinary team that is tasked with transforming emergency services across all of HMC’s hospitals.  It was his first visit to WCMC-Q where he addressed medical students and staff and encouraged current students to consider a career in emergency medicine at HMC after graduation.

Dr. Hina Ghory introduced and welcomed Professor Cameron to the Education City campus. Dr. Ghory is an Assistant Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital and holds two separate academic appointments as clinical instructor in medicine; one at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York in the division of emergency medicine and the other at WCMC-Q in the medical education department.

“Hamad is currently undergoing an extensive program of redevelopment and construction that will place it at the forefront of emergency medical services on a similar standard to the best hospitals in the world,” Dr. Cameron said.

A comprehensive review of Hamad’s Emergency Department practices has led to improvement recommendations based on international best practices that have been implemented rapidly by a globally recognized multi-professional team.

“We now have an exceptionally strong team of local and international experts to lead the continuing transformation of our emergency medical services. Our recruitment strategy is designed to attract even more new emergency specialists and retain the best of our trainee emergency doctors. Our objective is to transform our ED into a world leading emergency center, ensuring improved patient care and satisfaction,” Professor Cameron said.

Hamad General Hospital (HGH) has one of the busiest emergency departments in the world, treating between 1200 and 1500 patients on an average day. The emergency department is supplemented by services provided at Al Khor and Wakra with the most serious cases handled at HMC.

Qatar was in a unique position, and with a thriving economic base, among very few countries capable of large scale implementation of quality health care facilities, Dr. Cameron said, “And under the visionary leadership of the Emir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser there is a desire and willingness to transform the health system in Qatar.”

Professor Cameron said the Emergency Department at HMC provided both a stimulating and challenging environment where young physicians can develop and be exposed to a wide range of useful and often rare medical experiences. This was largely because of the diverse population and the influx of temporary migrant laborers from mainly underdeveloped countries who present with a range of uncommon diseases.

In a country where nearly half the population is obese and half of the population aged over 40 suffers from diabetes that will invariably lead to further serious health problems including heart disease and renal failure, there will be an increasing need for young physicians to consider a career in emergency medicine in Qatar, Professor Cameron said. “It is not a career suited to everyone,” he warned but he encouraged students with an interest in ED to seriously consider the opportunities available at HMC.

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