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Qassim University

Region: Qassim Country: Saudi Arabia

College of Medicine Qassim University

College of Medicine in Qassim University was established in the academic year 2000-2001,and became a regional leader in medical education. It is the first medical college in Saudi Arabia adopts the Problem-Based learning (PBl) curriculum, as well as integration within basic sciences and between basic and clinical sciences.

The curriculum is oriented towards training students to undertake the responsibilities of a physician of first contact who is capable of looking after preventive, promotive,curative and rehabilitative aspects of medicine. Curriculum aims to ensure that our graduates have a good working understanding of biological, psychological and social mechanisms and processes, as well as their impact on health and disease,based on principles of learning drawn from cognitive psychology. At the end of undergraduate program, the student shall endeavor to be able to:

  • Achieve competence in practice of holistic medicine, encompassing promotive preventive, curative and rehabilitative aspects of common diseases
  • Develop scientific temper, acquire educational experience for proficiency in practice and promote health living
  • Become exemplary citizen by observation of medical ethics and fulfilling social and professional obligations, so as to respond to national obligations.

Qassim College of Medicine was conceived as an institution having a new direction and philosophy. After passing of the official resolution for establishment of College of Medicine, Qassim Branch of King Saud University, a committee of five members was formed to design the curriculum for the new College. The committee was headed by Prof. Saleh Damegh, who was also appointed the Dean of the new college. All of the other four members belonged to the Medical Education Center at College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh: Dr. Khalid A. Kalantan; Dr. Abdullah M. Abo Bakr; Dr. Mohi Eldin Magzoub; and Dr. Ibrahim A. Al-Orainy. The committee was assisted by Dr. Bashir Hamad, a well-known medical educationist of the Middle Eastern Region.

The committee deliberated over curriculum design and teaching strategies for an entire academic year, during which it had several meetings. The committee reviewed 25 curricula from different medical colleges from around the world, and many regional and international programs were studied. A number of medical education experts from abroad helped the committee in the review and scrutiny of various teaching strategies. The final approved product was the "Proposed Curriculum for Undergraduate Medical Education at College of Medicine, 1421/1422 (200/2001)". This curriculum was the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia: it proposed a problem-based approach to teach an integrated curriculum that was community-oriented and research-based.

Each part of the prepared document was discussed in a series of meetings of the College Council (Dean Dr S. A. Al Damegh, Dr I. Al Hogail, Dr A. Alghasham and Dr M. Al Orainy) with Prof. Bashir Hamad before finalisation. Several sub-committees were then formed to review and examine the pre-clinical and clinical phases. Since the College did not have its own hospital, the clinical clerkship phase was implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health, using its hospitals and primary healthcare facilities.

During the following years, the curriculum went through several rounds of reviews, modifications and up gradation. The present curriculum document includes the following: a detailed introduction section, including the rationale for adopting the PBL approach; a section on curriculum planning; an expanded mission statement that includes functions of the College in each of the three domains (education, research and service); and teaching modules (blocks) that have a new format - their components were fully rewritten after extensive consultation with experts and detailed meetings with faculty. The institutional goals and objectives were also revised and rearranged and several new objectives were added in accordance with the Global Standards of Medical Education set by the World Federation for Medical Education (2003). The new document included detailed annexes and a full list of references to provide sources of further information to students and faculty. Finally, the problem-sets were also revised and upgraded to match with the requirements of the new curriculum. The final outcome of this extensive work, spread over a period of more than five years, is a comprehensive curriculum document that is used as a guide by students and faculty and is also a valuable source of information for other medical institutions (a copy of the curriculum document is in Annex 1).

The QUCOM curriculum is oriented towards training students to undertake the responsibilities of a physician of first contact who is capable of looking after the preventive, curative and rehabilitative aspects of medicine. Curriculum aims to ensure that our graduates have a good working understanding of biological, psychological and social mechanisms and processes, as well as their impact on health and disease, based on principles of learning drawn from cognitive psychology. Emphasis is given to critical thinking and self-directed learning.

Institutional mission and vision
The Qassim College of Medicine strives to produce doctors who are problem solvers and self-learners, who are able to consider a large spectrum of interventions and who can apply their understanding of the psychosocial and cultural perspective in patient management. It has achieved a sound reputation in the Kingdom by its innovative strategies in medical education and a proactive approach toward promoting interdisciplinary health sciences research. Through the community-oriented medical education approach, students are exposed to community health and primary health care from the very beginning.

The College has developed a clear vision, mission and goals and objectives for its academic activities. These statements reflect the values and the aspirations of the community, students and faculty. They also form the foundation for the College's philosophy and direction. The statements were designed after extensive discussions during the early phases of the development of the medical education and research programs and the final statements were arrived at after consensus. The mission statement is the foundation of all policies and decisions regarding the development and implementation of the medical education programs. However, the process of discussion of the mission, goals and objectives is continuing and further refinements and improvements are both possible and desirable. Consequently, the mission statement is dynamic, which is evolving over time but without sacrificing its underlying principles.

The mission statement provides the context for all academic activities. The institutional goals and objectives are in line with the mission statement. The faculty and students are quite familiar with the mission statement, as well as the program goals and objectives. While the vision is the inspiration and the driving force behind all activities of the College, the mission provides the basis for all policymaking decisions for medical education and research strategies.

The College academic committees use the mission and objectives as guidelines for all major policy decisions. The understanding of the mission and objectives comes as natural and these have become a guiding principle for academic and administrative decision-making in all fields. Any deviation from the mission is noticed and corrected.

The academic and research environments also reflect a good understanding and following of the mission and objectives. Academic policies and rules are governed by the principle of imparting community-oriented, integrated and evidence-based medical education through a problem-oriented approach. The importance of research, particularly research in community health, is well-recognized. Each of the academic committees, (e.g. the Curriculum Development Committee, Block Organizers' Committees, Examination Committee and the Research Committee) have also developed their specific goals and objectives, as well as their own mission statements.

In addition to graduating doctors with the above-mentioned attributes and competences, the college has its role to play in education and training of the various categories of health personnel to develop and update their knowledge and skills through continuing professional development (CPD) programs. The responsibility in education also includes postgraduate education and educating the community in matters related to health.

Contact Details

Address: PO Box 6688, Qassim, 51452 Al-Qaseem


+966 (6) 380 0050

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