Three UAE nationals will be among the first in the country to graduate from a rigorous pharmacy residency programme that is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy Residency Programme (PGY1) was recently accredited for a full eight-year cycle by ASHP, one of America’s largest accredited providers of continuing education for pharmacists. The hospital, an integral part of Mubadala Health, is among only a handful of academic medical centers in the region to offer this accredited pharmacy residency.
The two-year programme has residents perform as licensed healthcare providers under the supervision of preceptors who are residency trained in the US and includes direct patient care and practice management. Residents who successfully complete the programme can take on pharmacy generalist positions, specialised residencies and fellowships within the field.
“We launched the residency programme in 2018 and it underwent a very thorough assessment by ASHP last year of our progressive instruction model and mentorship in patient-centered care and pharmacy services. Our programme for pharmacists empowers residents to be part of some of the most crucial decision-making at the hospital, and they network with peers from all over the world to broaden their knowledge and apply the best care solutions for patients,” says Rania El-Lababidi, the Director of the Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy Residency Programme.
“This eight-year prestigious accreditation, which is the highest number of years awarded for a PGY1 residency programme, is a testament to the quality of education that we provide at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Our residents are being prepared to advance their careers and shape the profession of pharmacy while raising its profile in the UAE,” she adds.
Zohour Anouassi, the first pharmacy resident at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi who graduates in August this year, is proud to be a role model to many future pharmacists and Emiratis, having always been passionate about the medical field. “Many of us Emiratis choose medicine but very few select pharmacy as their profession. Therefore, I decided to become a pharmacist to contribute to the UAE’s vision of building a world-class healthcare system.”
“The last two years have been a fruitful journey full of exposure to various specialties and world-class services. Every day has been like a new adventure for me. I attend daily rounds with the hospital’s multidisciplinary teams, attend clinic visits, perform therapeutic drug monitoring consults, and deliver medication-related patient care and counseling. This residency has opened many doors for me and my fellow residents, giving us the opportunity to enhance our decision-making skills, mentor other pharmacists, pursue further specialisation or even become a researcher,” she says.
Zohour’s ultimate goal is to become an oncology pharmacotherapy specialist and to further advance pharmacy practice in the UAE. As a result, she plans to further specialise with a PGY2 oncology pharmacy residency programme.
Salma Al Shaqfa, who will be graduating from the hospital’s residency programme at the end of this year, says the role of a pharmacist is more than just dispensing medications, and actually serves as an integral part of the healthcare system.
“My experience so far has been exceptional. Being exposed to various operational, ambulatory care, research and drug information and pharmacotherapy rotations has allowed me to hone my clinical and social skills. It has enabled me to become an active member of the international pharmacy community, participate in conferences and explore my areas of interest,” she says.
Salma adds that there need to be more role models in the profession to encourage UAE nationals to consider careers in pharmacy.
“To anyone who is hesitant, I would tell them that if they are passionate about helping others, directly interacting with patients, and want a wide variety of career opportunities, while getting involved in medical therapy innovations and working with state-of-the-art technology, then pharmacy is definitely the way to go.” -- TradeArabia News Service