HH Sheikh Hamed Attends Khalifa University’s ‘White Coat Ceremony’ for Medical Students and Inaugurates Region’s First-Ever ‘Body Museum’ Exhibition

  • HH Sheikh Hamed Chairs Khalifa University Board of Trustees Meeting

His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, today chaired a meeting of the Khalifa University Board of Trustees on the Main Campus. Later, HH Sheikh Hamed witnessed the White Coat Ceremony that marks the start of Fall 2019 classes for newly enrolled first cohort of students for the College of Medicine and Health Sciences and inaugurated ‘The Body Museum’ – the region’s first-ever Body Worlds Exhibition, a traveling exposition of dissected and ‘plastinated’ human bodies, at the Main Campus.

The White Coat Ceremony symbolizes welcoming of students, families and their mentors to the practice of medicine, and elevates the value of humanism as the core of health care. It also symbolizes a student’s transition to a scientific approach to medicine, while signifying the commitment to the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship. Traditionally, the first-year students receive their first short white coat of their medical school career that stands as a symbol of the medical profession.

Khalifa University has signed a six-month agreement with Body Worlds to host the exhibition at the campus in Abu Dhabi. The region’s first-of-its-kind exhibition aims to inform visitors about anatomy, physiology, and health by viewing real human bodies that are preserved through plastination. The exposition of dissected human bodies, animals, and other anatomical structures focuses on the human life-cycle, capturing the body at every stage – at its most healthy, as it changes, grows, matures, and finally wanes. The Body Worlds Exhibition being hosted at Khalifa University is open to students from across schools and universities in the UAE as well as general public.

His Highness Sheikh Hamed then toured the College of Medicine and Health Sciences’ medical laboratories and class room facilities. He was accompanied by Khalifa University’s Board of Trustees (BoT) members HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and Chairman, Masdar, HE Prof. Maha Barakat, Senior Advisor, Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Senior Advisor, Mubadala; HE Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Group, HE Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy, Director, Exploration, Development and Production Directorate, ADNOC, HE Abdulaziz Abdulla Alhajri, Director, Refining and Petrochemicals Directorate, ADNOC, and HE Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Others included Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Dr. Ahmed Al Shoaibi, Senior Vice President, Academic and Student Services, Dr. John Derek Woollins, Provost, and Dr John Rock, Founding Dean, College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dr John Rock, Founding Dean, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khalifa University, said: “We extend a warm welcome to the newly-enrolled students through this White Coat ceremony as they begin their learning process, on campus and at external medical facilities. We firmly believe the first batch of students beginning their classes today will excel in their academic and practical performance, setting an excellent standard for the upcoming students to follow in the future. We look forward to celebrating your successful journey to become a physician over the next four years.”

Khalifa University’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences is the first 4X4 allopathic (LCME-comparable (Liaison Committee on Medical Education), post-baccalaureate medical college, which prepares its medical students for residency programs in the US and Canada.

Khalifa University has established a “Balsam” community outreach program endorsed by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and the Authority for Social Contribution (Maan) to place inter-professional teams in household-centered care.

Khalifa University College of Medicine and Health Sciences has also developed one of the largest comprehensive 24-station OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) and Simulation Center, which is designed to test clinical skill performance. The program provides a hands-on real-world approach to learning and assessment. This program will serve hospital residency programs, military training units, and other medical schools in the UAE.

Additionally, the College of Medicine and Health Sciences has developed a ”state-of-the-art testing center, which is created with Prometric  and Pearson VUE standards which will allow Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) testing on site.

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “By bringing the Body Worlds Exhibition to Abu Dhabi, we have demonstrated to the community the extent of learning the students will undergo at Khalifa University’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences. The exhibits demonstrate the complexity, resilience, and vulnerability of the human body in distress, stricken by disease or in optimal health. We believe the exhibition will help students in the UAE learn about the marvels of human body and gain insights into human anatomy, its various stages and how adopting a healthier lifestyle positively impacts the body.”

The intent of the exhibition is to introduce the visitor to the functions of each human muscle and nerve, while moving or concentrating as is the case with the chess player, as well as the contraction of each muscle and nerve in the back and its extension, with each movement of his hand while moving a heavy stone. The plastinated body also demonstrates the coordination of a swimmer’s feet, leg muscles and arms with every movement in water, as well as spectacular muscle growth in athletes. The display of dark gray smokers’ lungs damaged by smoking, demonstrates how bad habits damage the body.

The most visited traveling exhibition in the world, ‘Body Worlds: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies’, was invented in 1977 by the German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. The plastination process, which can take up to a year for each body, is a technique or process used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts. The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample.

With plastination, it is possible to permanently display the inside of a body in a more fascinating and aesthetic way. These plastinated specimens are practically imperishable, allowing them to be handled and understood but can be used for the training of future doctors, as well as for educating medically interested laymen.

The Body Worlds exhibition aims to urge human beings to realize the importance of the human body and keep away from diseases caused by harmful habits and behavior. The exhibition can also be described as a simplified anatomy lesson that combines visitor education and satisfies curiosity.

Preparing a whole body and complete the process of plastination can take anything up to 800 hours of work, and it requires good anatomical knowledge, manual skill, and abundant patience. However, once completed, this plastinated body highlights only the scientific aspect of anatomy and does not in any way harness the human spirit for commercial display. Thus a student or a visitor can understand, from inside, the human body, which is otherwise only explained by a physician or can be read from a book with theoretical information, but without sufficient life-like visual details.

Located at the New Extension of the Main Campus of Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, the College of Medicine and Health Sciences is offering the post-graduate MD program in five strands – Biomedical Science, Clinical Medicine, Medicine and Society, Physicianship, as well as Research, Technology and Innovation.

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