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First Newsletter 2022 Final Updated
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Roy al Colleg e o f S u rg e on s i n I re l a n d M ed ic al Un ive rs i ty of B a h r a i n
Newsletter Winter 2021
The Prince Salman bin Hamad Medal for Medical Merit Awarded to RCSI Bahrain In December, RCSI Bahrain received the ‘Prince Salman bin Hamad Medal for Medical Merit’. This is a Royal recognition by His Majesty the King of all the efforts made by RCSI Bahrain staff and students, to support the health sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a meeting chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the cabinet reiterated the pivotal role played by recipients in protecting
public health, adding that their efforts are appreciated by all, and are a source of pride for the Kingdom. This award is a true testament to our staff and student group who went above and beyond to support Bahrain’s efforts in fighting COVID-19. We would like to take this opportunity to extend once again our thanks to all of those who volunteered their time to this cause.
HEC Secretary General visits RCSI Bahrain
Minister of Health Receives RCSI Bahrain Delegation Bahrain’s Minister of Health, Her Excellency Faeqa bint Saeed Al-Saleh received RCSI Bahrain President - Professor Sameer Otoom; Head of School of Postgraduate Studies and Research - Professor Stephen Atkin and Community Engagement Manager - Ms Victoria Ham, to her office to discuss initiatives undertaken by the University in support of the Ministry’s efforts. The meeting paid particular attention to the contributions of RCSI Bahrain in supporting the national clinical trials and the University’s research focus on the healthcare needs of the Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition, the meeting highlighted the support provided by students to the National Taskforce, as part of their clinical placements, by aiding in screening COVID-19 patients and administering vaccinations.
Professor Otoom thanked Her Excellency for the Ministry’s continuous support of RCSI Bahrain’s initiatives and efforts to aid in the advancement of healthcare in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
RCSI Bahrain delegation with Her Excellency Minister of Health
WHO Representative, Dr Tasnim Atatrah visits campus RCSI Bahrain was delighted to welcome World Health Organization (WHO) Representative and Head of Office for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Dr Tasnim Atatrah, to its campus in October. At the start of the meeting, Professor Sameer Otoom presented Dr Atatrah with an RCSI Bahrain shield, followed by an introduction to all attendees and a short presentation on RCSI Bahrain presented by RCSI Bahrain’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Stephen Harrison-Mirfield.
RCSI Bahrain was honoured to welcome Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Rana Bint Isa Bin Duaij Al Khalifa, Secretary General of the Higher Education Council and Deputy Chair of the Higher Education Council Board of Trustees, to the University last month. During the visit, Her Excellency met with RCSI Bahrain President, Professor Sameer Otoom; Chief Operating Officer, Mr Stephen Harrison-Mirfield and Professor Alfred Nicholson, Vice President for Academic Affairs, as well as several senior faculty members and students, and was provided a tour of the University’s campus and facilities. Her Excellency praised the important role of RCSI Bahrain in the make-up of the Kingdom’s higher education system, and in its provision of recognised programmes for their students.
The President then updated Dr Atatrah on a meeting previously held in 2019 with WHO Regional Director - Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari; WHO Director of Program Management - Dr Rana Hajjeh and WHO Director of Universal Health Coverage/Health Systems - Dr Awad Mataria. Dr Atatrah presented the WHO Bahrain Office vision, highlighting her role as Representative in engaging with stakeholders and supporting capacity building for healthcare initiatives across the
Kingdom. Since the establishment of the WHO Bahrain office on 26th July 2021, Dr Atatrah has taken active steps to seek opportunities with leading healthcare professionals such as RCSI Bahrain, with a mission to collaborate on multi-faceted levels. Professor Sameer Otoom reiterated that RCSI Bahrain is keen on collaborating with the WHO on future healthcare projects in the effort to enhance health outcomes for the people of Bahrain. Dr Atatrah with Professor Otoom
Irish Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visits RCSI Bahrain
German Ambassador visits campus
In December, RCSI Bahrain was honoured to welcome to the university the Ambassador of Ireland to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ambassador on a non-resident basis to the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency Gerard McCoy, and also Second Secretary, Alan Ralph.
His Excellency met with RCSI Bahrain President - Professor Sameer Otoom; Director of Education and Proficiency Centre at the King Hamad University Hospital - Dr Dalal Alhasan and other RCSI Bahrain senior officials, including Chief Operating Officer - Mr Stephen
Following a meeting with RCSI Bahrain President, Professor Sameer Otoom and a number of senior officials, the Embassy delegates were provided with a tour of the campus and facilities. RCSI Bahrain looks forward to the continued growth of its relationship with the Embassy in future.
In November, RCSI Bahrain welcomed His Excellency Kai Boeckmann, the German Ambassador to Bahrain, to its campus.
RCSI Bahrain delegation with His Excellency German Ambassador RCSI Bahrain Officials with His Excellency Ambassador of Ireland to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
RCSI Bahrain staff and students attend event hosted by Brazilian President In November, a delegation of RCSI Bahrain staff and students, along with circa 500 students from different universities, attended an event hosted by His Excellency President Jair Bolsonaro of the Federative Republic of Brazil, following the official opening of Brazil’s Embassy in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which marks significant progress in relations between the two countries. In his speech, His Excellency President Bolsonaro highlighted the importance of peaceful existence as cherished by the tenets of the Kingdom’s declaration and welcomed the continuing strengthening of relations between Brazil and Bahrain.
The Ambassador’s visit featured a presentation on RCSI Bahrain’s operations and core pillars, a campus tour and a discussion on opportunities for collaboration.
From left Professor Otoom, HE Boeckmann and Professor Torsten
Alumni working at SMC awarded scholarships Government Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ahmed Al Ansari, met with twelve doctors who work at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), of which three are RCSI Bahrain alumni, who have received scholarships to travel abroad and obtain further qualifications in their specialties.
RCSI Bahrain graduate Dr Husain Derazi (Class of 2011) will begin his Oculoplastic fellowship at Bristol Eye Hospital in Bristol, Dr Fatema Bushager (Class of 2011) will start her Oculoplastic fellowship in Sheffield and Dr Safa Altaitoon (Class of 2010) has started her ICU fellowship in London. RCSI Bahrain is committed to nurturing outstanding healthcare professionals who will differentiate themselves as future healthcare leaders. Professor Ghufran Jassim
Harrison-Mirfield; Vice President for Academic Affairs - Professor Alfred Nicholson and Head of School of Postgraduate Studies Professor Stephen Atkin.
Dr Ahmed Al Ansari
Bahrain Obesity Academy RCSI President, Professor Sameer Otoom met with Dr Dalal AlRomaihi - Consultant Endocrinologist at King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH) and Head of the Scientific Committee of the Bahrain Diabetes Society, to discuss the latest information on the epidemiology of obesity in Bahrain.
Also in attendance at the meeting was Head of School of Postgraduate Studies and Research - Professor Stephen Atkin; Chair and Professor of the Department of Medicine - Professor John Flood and Clinical Associate Professor in Medicine - Professor Naji Alamuddin.
The first Bahrain Obesity Academy was held under the patronage of His Excellency Lieutenant General Dr Shaikh Mohamed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Chairman of Supreme Council of Health and President of Bahrain Diabetes Society. The Bahrain Obesity Academy was initiated by a collaboration between Bahrain Diabetes Society, RCSI Bahrain and KHUH and consists of a comprehensive programme composed of four stages of learning to enhance physicians’ knowledge of the latest updates in obesity prevention, diagnosis and management. Participants who successfully complete the training, will be awarded with a Certificate of Completion issued from RCSI Bahrain and the Bahrain Diabetes Society and is accredited by the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) for Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours.
From left Professor Alamuddin, Dr AlRomaihi, Professor Otoom and Professor Atkin
Staff participate in HEC events During semester one, RCSI Bahrain staff were invited to attend several conferences and workshops hosted by the Higher Education Council (HEC). In November, Ms Fatema Shaji, Academic Systems Coordinator, attended a workshop organised by the National Authority for Space Affairs with an international expert on STK Application Training Workshop on Introducing Space Systems Tools. Another event was held in November, being the Sustainable Leadership and Academic Excellence International Conference, hosted by the University of Bahrain and was attended by Professional Development Unit Specialist, Ms Fatema Frutan; Communications Manager, Ms Celine Durand; Academic Operations Manager, Ms Amyna Alwani and Senior English &
Learning Support Tutor, Mr Patrick Behan. In October, Associate Professor & Head of Department of Family Medicine, Professor Ghufran Jassim, represented RCSI Bahrain in the Climate Connection Champions Programme organised by the British Council in partnership with the Higher Education Council. The programme supports young activists in the country to implement projects that can create a greener, more sustainable world. In December, Head of Student Development & Wellbeing, Dr Wendy Maddison, represented RCSI Bahrain in the opening ceremony of the Sports Cardiology Congress ‘Athletes’ Heart’, hosted under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
New Staff Appointments Ms Aziza Matooq 01-Sep-2021 Clinical Simulation Laboratory Technician
Dr Aayat Faraj 01-Oct-2021 Clinical Educator in Medicine
Ms Sowsan Hasan 01-Sep-2021 Student Recruitment Specialist
Dr Ahmed Shakib 01-Oct-2021 Clinical Educator in Surgery
Mrs Mai Al Aali 01-Sep-2021 Quality Enhancement Office Coordinator
Mr Husain Nama 10-Oct-2021 ICT Support Technician
Ms Christina Gallagher 01-Sep-2021 Senior Communications Specialist
Ms Alya Ali 13-Oct-2021 SARA Front Desk Coordinator
Mrs Meera Lakhani 05-Sep-2021 HR Partner
Mr Mohammed Alkhuzaei 01-Nov-2021 Learning Technology Support Administrator
Professor Uwe Torsten 01-Oct-2021 Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Ms Walaa Alekri 01-Nov-2021 ICT Support Technician
Dr Sara Mohamed 01-Oct-2021 Clinical Educator in Medicine
Professor Rebecca Jester joins as New Head of School of Nursing & Midwifery
Professor Uwe Torsten appointed New Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
RCSI Bahrain welcomed Professor Rebecca Jester in her role as the new Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery. Professor Jester qualified as a registered nurse with a specialist qualification in orthopaedic nursing in the UK and was awarded a PhD in Health Sciences from the University of Birmingham, supported by a National Smith and Nephew Fellowship. Professor Jester has authored several leading textbooks in orthopaedic and rehabilitation nursing and has over 40 publications in academic and professional journals.
This academic year, RCSI Bahrain welcomed Professor Uwe Torsten, joining from Berlin, for his new role as Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the School of Medicine.
Professor Jester will be responsible for overseeing the undergraduate nursing academic and clinical programmes and supporting the development plan of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. As a new member of the Executive Committee of the university, Professor Jester will also be supporting the strategic plan of RCSI Bahrain.
Professor Torsten obtained his Master’s in Business Administration General Management – Dual Award from Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom. Prior to joining RCSI Bahrain, Professor Torsten held numerous senior positions in hospitals, universities and quality assurance committees.
Professor Torsten was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD) from the University of Berlin. This was followed by a postdoctoral grant from the German Research Foundation, and he was also a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Health in Berlin in Molecular Biology.
Professor Rebecca Jester
In addition to ensuring that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology, Professor Torsten
Scholarship Winners of 2021-22 In recognition of their outstanding academic achievements and passion for healthcare, Ms Fida Mukthar and Ms Insiya Sajjad Hussain, both first year medicine students, were awarded the RCSI Bahrain Medicine Scholarship. The RCSI Bahrain Nursing Scholarship was awarded to Mr Ali Abdulrasool Saeed, a first year nursing student. In addition, Ms Bushra Fattah Hasan, Foundation Year medicine student, was awarded the Dr Shaikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa Medicine Scholarship. The scholarship signing was attended by RCSI Bahrain’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Stephen Harrison-Mirfield; Vice President for Academic Affairs and Head of School of Medicine, Professor Alfred Nicholson; Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Professor Rebecca Jester and Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Academic Director of Admissions, Dr Declan Gaynor.
aims through his new role, to increase student involvement in scientific work and multi-disciplinary approaches, by offering enrolment and supervision over a variety of projects.
Professor Uwe Torsten
Clinical Lecturer and Nursing Clinical Tutor Awards
In December, RCSI Bahrain congratulated the winners of the sixth edition of the Clinical Lecturer and Nursing Clinical Tutor Awards.
The winner of the Clinical Lecturer Award was Dr Ayman Raees, who currently works in Bahrain Defence Force Hospital (BDF) and the winner of the Nursing Clinical Tutor Award was Ms Litha Mariam Varghese, who works in the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC). The awards play a key role in the University’s aim to continuously develop the learning experience provided to our students. Upon completion of their clinical rotation, medicine and nursing students are surveyed to evaluate their clinical lecturers over different areas including clinical competencies, moral integrity and teaching skills.
Dr Ayman Raees
Ms Litha Mariam Varghese
Nursing Faculty Members Awarded Fellowships
Interprofessional Learning Committee activities
In acknowledgement of their significant contributions to the field of Nursing and Midwifery, Director of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing, Dr Eman Al Tawash and Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Dr Maryam Alaradi were awarded the Fellowship of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery (FFNMRCSI).
To increase collaboration between the schools, a three-hour Critical Appraisal workshop was led by Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Senior Cycle 1, Professor Wayne Cunningham, and Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Dr Maryam Alaradi and was organised by the support of the medical and nursing student Interprofessional Learning Committee representatives.
The Fellowship by Examination is a distinguished award that is granted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) to expert registered nurses and midwives who have demonstrated their professional commitment to excellence, compassion, and teamwork in their nursing and midwifery practice.
Dr Al Tawash
Interprofessional Healthcare Simulation Session During the second half of the semester, a group of nursing and medicine students participated in an interprofessional healthcare simulation session. The session, administered by faculty from both the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and Midwifery, aimed to expose students to a wide variety of patient well-being issues, improve their clinical skills and promote working as a team with other healthcare professionals to ensure optimal outcomes for patients.
The workshop was attended by 14 medicine students from Year 2 and Year 3 and 11 fourth year nursing students (N4) and was designed to evaluate nursing and medical students’ attitudes toward interprofessional learning using a common curriculum based on critical appraisal.
Faculty attend Medical Education Workshop The Professional Development Unit (PDU) arranged an internal workshop on Medical Education, accredited by the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) and Continuing Medical Education (CME). The three-day course attended by a group of faculty members from the School of Medicine, covered an introduction to medical education, planning “Teaching and Learning” by linking objectives to the curriculum as well as methods of providing feedback.
Dr Khawla Ali participates in the Sports Cardiology Congress Hosted under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Clinical Senior Lecturer, Dr Khawla Ali, was invited to give a talk on the topic of ‘Managing Athletes with Diabetes’, at the Sports Cardiology Congress, held in December 2021. The first of its kind in the Gulf region, the Sports Cardiology Congress aimed to shed light on cardiovascular health issues affecting athletes to improve the health care and safety measures for athletes.
RSS and Publication Award Winners In November, RCSI Bahrain announced the top three winners of its Research Summer School – Research Review Competition 2021 and Undergraduate Student Publication Award, held under the guidance of the School of Postgraduate Studies and Research.
third place were Ms Prianna Menezes, Ms Jayaditya Patil and Ms Alekya Anala for their research review titled ‘The challenges of diagnosing Placenta Accreta. Can MRI help in management: A case series review’.
Students from the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Midwifery were invited individually or in groups to submit a research review on a topic of their choice. RCSI Bahrain academics, alumni and external academics provided mentorship to support the students.
This year the University launched the RCSI Bahrain Student Publication Database and Undergraduate Student Publication Award to recognise undergraduate students’ achievements in peer reviewed research journal publications. Three publications were selected for this year’s award and were published during 2020-21.
The first place prize winners for the Research Review 2021 Competition were Mr Mina Iskandar, Mr Faris Solomon AlMadi, Mr Saad Mallah, Mr Andrew Hanna, Mr Mohamed Diab and Mr Tharmegan Tharmaratnam for their review titled ‘Children Are Not Little Adults: A Review of SARS-CoV-2 in the Paediatric Population’.
The winners were Mr Jay Chieh Liu Jr and Ms Ayesha Zaidi for their publication entitled ‘Epidemiology of Paediatric Trauma in the Kingdom of Bahrain: A national paediatric trauma registry pilot study’; Mr Saad Mallah, Mr Fathi Moustafa and Mr Michael Naguib for their publication entitled ‘Evidence-based pharmacotherapy for prevention and management of cardiac allograft vasculopathy’ and Mr Taimur Habib for his publication entitled ‘Nano-clays as Potential Pseudo-antibodies for COVID-19’.
Winners of the second place prize were Mr Ali Mardini and Ms Seemal Qadir for their review titled ‘Eyeing out the pandemic: A review of the ocular manifestations of COVID-19’ and winners of the
Dilmun Scholar pursues Post-Doctoral Research at RCSI Bahrain Dilmun Scholarship recipient, Dr Preeti Borde, is currently pursuing post-doctoral research at RCSI Bahrain with Associate Professor in Pharmacology, Professor Steve Safrany, under the School of Postgraduate Studies and Research.
Professor Steve Atkin and Dr Preeti Borde
The research is being conducted in collaboration with King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH), where Dr Borde will be studying sigma receptors in the specific context of triple-negative breast cancer (an aggressive form of the disease).
Dr Khattak Publishes Research in Nature Journal In November, Senior Research Scientist, Dr Shahryar Khattak and a group of researchers in Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland, published a paper in the Nature Communications journal titled ‘Extracellular LGALS3BP regulates neural progenitor position and relates to human cortical complexity’. The aim of the research was to study the function of gene galectin-3 binding protein (LGALS3BP) during brain development. The gene LGALS3BP was usually associated with cancer but the present study confirms its role in brain development and in the positioning of neural progenitor cells during brain development. By using human pluripotent stem cell derived brain organoids, neural progenitor cells and neurons, the current studies show that LGAL3SBP is indeed involved in the prenatal onset of microcephaly (a condition where a baby has a head size much smaller compared with other babies of the same age and sex), and other neurodevelopmental characteristics that have been observed in various clinical studies. The paper modelled in the lab what actually happens during brain development in humans with a mutation in LGALS3BP gene.
Professor Steve Atkin and Dr Edwina Brennan with the Award Winners
This research can potentially lead in the future to organ development in a dish and fixing disease mutations that effect brain development.
Professor Keogh attends TERMIS 2021 Associate Professor in Human Biology and Director of Research Laboratories, Professor Michael Keogh attended the 6th World Congress of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS 2021) held from 15 -19 November 2021. The general theme of the congress was ‘Biologically inspired technology driven regenerative medicine’. The congress programme consisted of several special sessions, including national societies sessions, industrial sessions, clinical sessions, European Project sessions, workshops and a business plan competition. Professor Keogh’s presentation in the conference focused on his paper titled “An SDF-1 Gene-Activated Collagen Scaffold Restores Pro-Angiogenic Wound Healing Features in Human Diabetic Adipose-Derived Stem Cells”. Professor Keogh
This paper was published in Biomedicines, an international, scientific, peer-reviewed, journal (2021) Q1, with an impact factor of 5.612.
Staff Publications October to December 2021 • Abdalla, M. A., N. Shah, H. Deshmukh, A. Sahebkar, L. Östlundh, R. H. Al-Rifai, S. L. Atkin and T. Sathyapalan (2021). “Effect of pharmacological interventions on lipid profiles and C-reactive protein in polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) [Online], Vol. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/cen.14636 • Abdalla, M. A., N. Shah, H. Deshmukh, A. Sahebkar, L. Östlundh, R. H. Al-Rifai, S. L. Atkin and T. Sathyapalan (2021). “Impact of pharmacological interventions on insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”. Clin En¬docrinol (Oxf) [Online], Vol. Available from: https://doi. org/10.1111/cen.14623 • Axfors, C., AlQahtani, M., Janiaud, P., Schmitt, A.M., van’t Hooft, J., Smith, E.R. et al. (2021). “Association between convalescent plasma treatment and mortality in COVID-19: a collaborative systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials”. BMC Infectious Diseases [Online], Vol. 21, no. 1, p. 1170. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879021-06829-7 • Butler, A.E., Al-Qaissi, A., Sathyapalan, T. and Atkin, S.L. (2021). “Angiopoietin-1: an early biomarker of diabetic nephropathy?”. Journal of Translational Medicine [Online], Vol. 19, no. 1, p. 427. Available from: https:// doi.org/10.1186/s12967-021-03105-9 • Butler, A.E., Moin, A.S.M., Sathyapalan, T. and Atkin, S.L. (2021). “Vitamin D association with the renin angiotensin system in polycystic ovary syndrome”. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology [Online], Vol. 214, p. 105965. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j. jsbmb.2021.105965
• Donohoe, A., Maddison, W., Hughes, J., Alaa Basha, L.D. and Kayal, A. (2021). “Language Interpreting in Undergraduate Medical Education: Developing a Framework for Educational Practice”. International Journal of Learning and Development [Online], Vol. 11, no. 1. Available from: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v11i3.19076 • Kyrousi, C., A. C. O’Neill, S. Khattak, A. Brazovskaja, Z. He, P. Kielkowski, L. Coquand, R. et al. (2021). “Extracellular LGALS3BP regulates neural progenitor position and relates to human cortical complexity”. Nature Communications [Online], Vol. 12, no. 1, p. 6298. Available from: https:// doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26447-w • Moin, A.S.M., Nandakumar, M., Al-Qaissi, A., Sathyapalan, T., Atkin, S. L., and Butler, A.E. (2021). “Potential Biomarkers to Predict Acute Ischemic Stroke in Type 2 Diabetes”. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences [Online], Vol. 8, no. 1196. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmolb.2021.744459 • Moin, A.S.M., Nandakumar, M., Kahal, H., Sathyapalan, T., Atkin, S.L., and Butler, A.E. (2021). “Heat Shock-Related Protein Responses and Inflammatory Protein Changes Are Associated with Mild Prolonged Hypoglycemia”. Cells [Online], Vol. 10, no. 11, p. 3109. Available from: https://www.mdpi. com/2073-4409/10/11/3109 • Wubben, R., Efstathiou, C. and Stevenson, N.J. (2021). Chapter One - The interplay between the immune system and viruses. In: Litwack, G. (ed.) Vitamins and Hormones. Academic Press.
RCSI Bahrain Biomolecular and Clinical Trial Research Centre Soft Opening
Orientation Week RCSI Bahrain welcomed new students joining the University for the Academic Year 2021-22 on its campus for their Orientation week. During the first week of September 2021, students visited campus to
Library Updates collect their welcome packs, participate in ice breakers and various activities with other colleagues and meet staff members.
The Library & Learning Resource Centre continued to actively support students by revising and updating its policies. Students no longer needed to book a seat prior to arriving at the library. Library seats were distributed as per availability, on a first come first served basis, as the University operates under limited capacity. Time restrictions for junior years and senior students were also lifted. All students are expected to follow health and safety regulations implemented by the University at all times. For a short trial period, the library introduced changes to the food and drinks policy, allowing students to bring beverages in tightly sealed disposal cups, however food was still not permitted in the library. The library is monitoring for spillage and other hygiene related issues for a short time period, before formalising the policy.
RCSI Bahrain participates in ‘Digitisation and Higher Education Quality Assurance’ Conference The Quality Enhancement Manager, Ms Heba Abdulhalim, attended the virtual conference on “Digitisation and Higher Education Quality Assurance” hosted virtually by University of Sadat, Egypt.
The RCSI Bahrain Quality Enhancement Office (QEO) became a member of the Association of Quality Assurance Administrations (AQAA) in early 2021, extending the University’s membership of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU). The QEO’s presence in such conferences is pivotal for expanding the University’s external collaboration and increasing our active contribution to the quality enhancement culture, with exposure to different good practices, specifically across the Arab world and MENA region.
AdvanceHE - RCSI Bahrain Second Cohort and Fellowships Webinar
RCSI Bahrain completes Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Training
In support of the professional development and career aspirations of faculty and contributing to the Teaching and Learning Strategic Pillar, the Professional Development Unit (PDU) is leading the second cohort of AdvanceHE Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CLTHE). This year RCSI Bahrain is co-delivering the course with eight staff members who have volunteered for the Train the Trainers (TTT) course.
The Professional Development Unit (PDU), in collaboration with the Human Resources Department and in partnership with Masar Centre for Training and Development, has successfully completed the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People course by Franklin Covey.
TThe PDU is focusing this year on increasing the number of faculty receiving AdvanceHE Fellowships. In association with AdvanceHE, a webinar was arranged for the second cohort of the CLTHE to outline the process of application for the Fellowship of AdvanceHE. In addition, the PDU worked with the first cohort that completed the CLTHE to support their Fellowship applications. The current recipients of Fellowship status are Associate Professor in Family Medicine, Professor Ghufran Jassim; Clinical Educator in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ms Sharon Nicklin; Lecturer in English Language, Ms Mariam AlDoseri, and Student Engagement & Learning Support Specialist, Ms Asal Kazerooni. The fellowship status is a recognition of attainment against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education.
Traffic Light System implemented As we welcomed all our students and staff on campus for the new semester, the University adapted its operational plan for the academic year according to the Traffic Light COVID-19 alert level implemented by the Ministry of Health. Each colour in the traffic light system has its own regulations and restrictions and moving from one colour to the other will rely on the Government’s announcements. The health and safety of staff and students remains the University’s priority and everyone on campus is expected to be vigilant in following the rules.
As part of RCSI Bahrain’s focus on continuing professional development for all staff, the training was completed in the span of 12 months and witnessed the participation of 119 academic and administrative staff. The ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Signature Edition 4.0’ has been developed with an intense focus on helping participants internalise and sustain twenty behaviours that will change the way teams work together. The programme combines timeless principles of effectiveness with modern technology and practices which are at the heart of personal, team and organisational success.
Ms Fatema Frutan participates in Lame’a After four rounds of selection processes and the participation of 131 candidates from 75 public and private institutions, Professional Development Unit Specialist, Ms Fatema Frutan, qualified and was elected to join the National Leadership Project (Lame’a).
The project is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Representative of His Majesty the King, for Humanitarian Works and Youth Affairs and Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs, in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration (BIPA) and National Bank of Bahrain (NBB). The programme’s aim is to create promising young leaders, with a strong base of national competencies, who are qualified to occupy leadership positions in different fields. In December, Ms Frutan had the honour of meeting His Royal Highness, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa as part of an official
delegation with a selected group of “Lame’a” delegates. The group represented the Kingdom of Bahrain in Expo 2020 Dubai, with a special escort with Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs, His Excellency Aymen Tawfeeq Abdulrahman Almoayed.
Student Life Update
Student Services and Events Freshers Week
To welcome our new incoming students and ease their transitioning to RCSI Bahrain and university life, the Student Services, Events, and Sports & Recreation team held a series of engaging online and campus activities. Students had the opportunity to virtually ‘Meet & Greet’ the Student Council, explore their interests during the Clubs and Societies Fair and meet their colleagues during the outdoor movie night, games night and a trip to Bahrain City Centre. Students also engaged in multiple icebreaker sessions organised by Student Council.
International Night 2021 celebrations on campus On 18 November, the Student Services, Events, and Sports & Recreation team, in collaboration with Student Council, hosted the annual International Night on campus for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event is always a highlight of the University’s social calendar and is an opportunity for students to showcase their national foods, traditions and dress. This year the event took place next to the HUB, with 14 different stalls representing each of the participating countries. To maintain social distancing measures and safety guidelines, students had the opportunity to book their one-hour slot to enter the event and enjoy all the stalls. The event was a success thanks to the huge effort by students and staff, who take pride in presenting their own heritage, and also take a genuine interest in the diverse cultural community at RCSI Bahrain
Student Life Update
RCSI Bahrain celebrates 50th National Day In December, RCSI Bahrain marked the Kingdom of Bahrain’s 50th National Day and the twenty-second anniversary of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s ascension to the throne, with an on campus celebration with students and staff.
Tree Lighting Event In celebration of the festive season, the Student Services, Events, and Sports & Recreation team held the annual tree lighting ceremony. Students and staff gathered to watch the countdown, enjoy the live performance, visit the hot chocolate and snacks stands and make their own decorations at the arts and crafts table.
Students and staff wore traditional outfits and the campus was decorated with the Kingdom’s flags. The celebrations attended by President Professor Sameer Otoom commenced with a traditional breakfast, featuring a variety of Bahraini delicacies. Guests were also treated to live cooking stations of traditional food and drinks, a Bahraini themed seating area to play traditional games, a photo booth and a traditional cartoon-sketching station.
The HUB and LCU 12-Day Fitness Challenge As the Kingdom moved to the Green Level at the start of the academic year, the HUB updated its regulations to allow for the use of its facilities while adhering to the health and safety guidelines and social distancing rules. The mixed gym, classes and any indoor facilities were made accessible to all students and staff and any bookings were made through the HUB App. In December, the HUB partnered with the Learning and Culture Unit (LCU) and launched the ‘12 Days of Fitness’ challenge. The challenge, targeting both staff and students, aimed to encourage everyone to stay active during exams and the holidays. Over the span of 12 days, 12 workouts and healthy recipes were posted for students and staff to follow and they were encouraged to post their workout and cooking attempts.
Student Life Update
Student Development and Wellbeing Department Launch of the StEP programme In the continuous effort to drive positive change across the RCSI community, RCSI Bahrain held an event at the campus Atrium to celebrate the launch of its RCSI Bahrain Student Engagement and Partnership (StEP) programme.
Co-developed by RCSI Bahrain students and staff and led by RCSI Bahrain’s Head of Student Development and Wellbeing, Dr Wendy Maddison, the programme aims to promote and implement a culture of partnership and inclusivity, where the expertise and perspectives of both staff and students are equally valued. The StEP programme is scaffolded around a framework of four domains: StEP in Institutional Management; StEP in the Academic Research Community; StEP in the Local Community and the Social Environment and StEP in Teaching and Assessment. Under each domain, key partnership projects are identified by students and staff who will work together through shared goals to
enhance student participation and enrich the student journey at RCSI Bahrain. The StEP programme currently has more than 30 staff and students working on 17 different projects across the four domains. Participation in the StEP programme will be a rewarding and empowering experience for both students and staff, based on a model of universal partnership.
Student Health and Wellbeing ﺣﺎﺻﻞ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺘﻄﻌﻴﻢ
ﺣﺎﺻﻞ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺘﻄﻌﻴﻢ
COVID-19 COVID-19 Vaccinated Vaccinated
The vaccination status will change on the “BeAware” application from the Green Shield to the Yellow Shield
for those who are eligible for a booster shot ﺣﺎﺻﻞ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺘﻄﻌﻴﻢ COVID-19 Vaccinated
The green vaccination shield will return after receiving the booster shot
Stay Protected – Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign During semester one, a number of campaigns and competitions were held to promote vaccination. All students are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Register for the Booster Shot via: The BeAware Application
Mental Health Awareness 2021 On 10 October, RCSI Bahrain celebrated World Mental Health Day 2021, during which students were encouraged to take some time to reflect on their personal wellbeing and to join on-campus events like the ‘Group Selfie Scavenger Hunt’. Winners of the Group Selfie Scavenger Hunt were Med1 students Mr Taim Akha, Ms Hana Ashraf, Ms Tala Alul, and Ms Ayah Eltabbakh, who all received a well-being hamper.
The launch event featured joint speeches by staff and students from across the University, highlighting the benefits of the programme. The opening speech was presented by RCSI Bahrain Chief Operating Officer, Mr Stephen Harrison-Mirfield, with an overview of the programme provided by Student Council President 2021/22, Mr Usama AlDallal. Launched with the hashtag ‘#StrongerTogether’, the StEP programme reflects the RCSI core values of Respect, Collaboration, Scholarship and Innovation.
Headspace As part of a StEP initiative to embed mindfulness within organisational culture and enhance students’ wellbeing and success, RCSI Bahrain offered a free subscription to Headspace, the leading meditation and mindfulness App, to all students. Headspace is a simple personal guide to mindfulness and meditation. Students are involved in the administration of the App.
Centre for Student Success
GPAL Mock Long Case Session As part of the Graduate Peer Assisted Learning programme(G-PAL) for final year medical students, the G-PAL tutors organised a Mock Long Case Exam on 4 December, to help the final year medical students enhance their skills in history taking, presenting differential diagnosis, physical examination and clinical knowledge prior to their first Senior Cycle Two (SC2) Long Case examination.
The session was attended by 68 SC2 students. This academic year, there are 31 G-PAL tutors who are currently interning in local hospitals. We wish our final year medical students the best of luck!
On 24 November, the Community Outreach Office held a Staff vs Students football match at the HUB pitch, to help raise awareness of men’s health and funds for the Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS). Players were required to donate BD2 to charity, while spectators were asked to kindly contribute BD1 each, with all proceeds going towards MWPS.
The Movember initiative aims to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and depression. RCSI Bahrain hopes that through increased awareness, we can promote better health outcomes for men in Bahrain.
Students participate in Second Emergency Medicine Conference
In November, a group of students headed by Senior Cycle One (SC1) students and Emergency Medicine Society President, Mr Faris S. Almadi, participated in the second edition of the Bahrain Emergency Medicine Conference 2021 (BEMC21), held under the patronage of His Royal Highness, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minster of the Kingdom of Bahrain. This was organised by the Bahrain Medical Society (BMS) and Bahrain Association of Emergency Medicine (BAEM).
Upon arrival, students were welcomed by the Bahrain Medical Society President and RCSI Bahrain Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics-Emergency Medicine, Dr Ghada Al-Qassim and were given tasks to facilitate the registration process for the conference. Students were also instructed to record attendance, organise folders/ envelopes specific to each workshop, welcome attendees and guide attendees to the appropriate areas. The conference aims to develop and sustain high standards of emergency medicine practice in the Kingdom of Bahrain and function as a networking body, connecting all emergency medicine providers across the Kingdom.
History of Nursing and Medicine Webinar returns In November, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Midwifery hosted the first webinar of the ‘History of Medicine and Nursing Webinar Series 2021-22’, created to survey the development of the medical and nursing fields across the ages and its influence on present-day practice.
The webinar featured two presenters with each exploring a topic in nursing and medicine. The first presentation was given by Nurse Consultant, Dr Fariba Al-Durazi, on the topic of ‘Shaping Nursing in the Eastern Mediterranean Region through Bahrain’s Nursing Leaderships’. Afterwards, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at RCSI Bahrain, Professor John Flood gave a presentation on the topic of Egyptian Medicine.
‘Party in Pink’ Zumba Class To help raise awareness of breast cancer, the Community Outreach Office organised a ‘Party in Pink’ Zumba class, with Zumba instructor, Ms Buth Salem. A group of students participated in the event and all proceeds from the class were donated to Think Pink: Bahrain Breast Cancer Society to support their efforts.
In the spirit of the festive season, the Community Outreach Office organised a charity appeal for staff and students to donate to orphaned children from the Tree of Life Society. Donations comprised of toys, clothes, school stationery, school shoes and bags. Donations comprised of toys, clothes, school stationery and school shoes and bags. A table was placed outside the Careers, Alumni & Community Outreach Office for donation collection.
RCSI Bahrain awarded by Bahrain Women’s Association In acknowledgement of its ongoing partnership for the past decade, RCSI Bahrain received a recognition award at the Bahrain Women’s Association - for Human Development’s 20th Anniversary ceremony. Community Outreach has partnered with BWA on a number of initiatives and they have welcomed our students each year, as part of the Foundation Year - Community Engagement Placement Elective, as well as providing volunteering opportunities and experiences related to the environment and also supporting children in Bahrain. Professional Development Unit Specialist, Ms Fatema Frutan, who also works with the Association, collected the award on behalf of RCSI Bahrain.
Diabetes Mobile Unit - Train the Trainer Session More than 30 Nursing Year Four (N4) students participated in a training session for the Diabetes Mobile Unit, where they were trained by School of Nursing and Midwifery faculty and alumni on the various educational activities used to help educate school children on the risk, symptoms and preventative measures of Type 2 diabetes. We look forward to recommencing school visits when possible, to continue our mission to empower school children to lead healthy and active lifestyles.
Careers and Alumni Update
Alumni and Faculty participate in ICN 2021
Alumni Update Three Alumni honoured by the French Ambassador to Bahrain Under the ‘Franco-Bahraini Medical Specialisation Program’, Dr Rashed Noaman Al Hasan (Class of 2014), Dr Alanood Al Meraisel (Class of 2015) and Dr Shaikha Alasam (Class of 2016), were awarded French language diplomas by the French Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency Jerome Cauchard. The programme involves the participants taking up specialist training posts in France for the coming years. The inter-governmental initiative was launched following a visit by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to France in 2019.
The scholarship recipients are currently holding positions in different hospitals in Bahrain; Ms Abdulrasool works at the Ministry of Health, Ms Alsarh currently works at the Salmaniya Medical Complex
Held over the span of three days, the ICN Congress was a fully-virtual event featuring a host of pre-recorded and interactive sessions, e-poster displays, symposia and policy cafés on topics such as the latest research areas, and nursing in a post COVID-19 world. Among the headline speakers for the event were Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al-Hussain of Jordan, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and Bahraini former WHO Advisor, Dr Fariba Al-Derazi.
Medical specialization program graduates
MSc in Nursing Alumni Scholarship Recipients This year the University welcomed 16 nursing students, of which nine are RCSI Bahrain alumni, to its MSc in Nursing programme. To support its alumni in pursuing higher education to advance their careers, RCSI Bahrain launched the new scholarship opportunity exclusively to alumni from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, with full tuition fees covered for this academic year. Out of 37 applicants, the four awardees of the scholarship, Ms Fatema Abdulrasool (Class of 2011), Ms Hanan Alsarh (Class of 2013), Mr Aiman Alsaho (Class of 2017) and Ms Malak Danar (Class of 2019), were selected based on essential criteria for admission, in addition to a personal statement on how the programme will support their development in clinical leadership.
In November, RCSI Bahrain students and faculty participated in the biennial International Council of Nurses (ICN) virtual Congress which was held under the theme of ‘Nursing Around the World’.
(SMC), Mr Alsaho holds a position at King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH) and Ms Danar works at the Mohammed Bin Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Specialist Cardiac Centre. To ensure that students are able to implement the knowledge they have gained from their modules, the programme’ s curriculum was structured to allow nurses to pursue their studies, whilst continuing to work full-time in clinical practice.
Group picture of the MSc In Nursing students
Mr Marwan Altheeb and Mr Ismaeel Alqadhi, (both BSc Nursing Class of 2015) currently enrolled in the MSc in Nursing programme, participated in the International Council of Nursing (ICN) Congress 2021. For their respective presentations, Mr Altheeb focused on evidence-based practice competence among nursing students, while Mr Alqadhi presented on factors affecting nursing documentation in an Emergency Care department. The PDU also supported the participation of the Director of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing, Dr Eman Al Tawash, and Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Dr Husain Nasaif, who both presented their papers, and Lecturer in Nursing, Ms Danah Smith, who joined as an attendee. Dr Tawash’s paper “Nursing Education in the Time of COVID-19: The Experience of RCSI Bahrain” aimed at highlighting the methodology adopted by the University to ensure the smooth delivery of the nursing curriculum for nursing students in different years and focusing on safe clinical placements for students and patients. Dr Tawash also reflected on the scheduling scheme, small group tutorials, monitoring and assessment and challenges faced during the process of adopting virtual and distance learning. Dr Nasaif presented the findings from a collaborative research study with colleagues from three hospitals in Bahrain titled “Prevalence of Self-reported Musculoskeletal Joint Symptoms among Nurses: A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study in Bahrain”. The study examined the prevalence of self-reported musculoskeletal joint symptoms among nurses working in Bahrain, which revealed a high prevalence of
symptoms among nurses and the need to implement strategies in healthcare facilities to improve working environment conditions. The Congress provides a regular opportunity for nurses around the world to disseminate nursing and health-related knowledge, build relationships and explore ways in which nurses can collaborate to achieve universal access to health.
Careers and Alumni Update
Alumna awarded NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes In December, Dr Hajar Abdulla, (Class of 2021), was awarded the third prize in the 2021 National University of Ireland (NUI) Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarship in Anaesthesia. The NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes are offered in a range of subject areas and disciplines across Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, and Health Sciences, and nominees are considered from five celebrated Irish institutions; as well as overseas campuses linked to NUI institutions, including RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus, RCSI Bahrain and Perdana University (RCSI). In September, Dr Abdulla, currently an intern at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), was nominated for the award and a few weeks later she took on the challenge of completing the exam question sent to her, within the 48-hour deadline.
Dr Abdulla commented on the news of winning the award, “I extend my gratitude to the outstanding academic and administrative faculty at RCSI Bahrain. My award came out of years of mentorship, teaching and commitment that the wonderful faculty have provided.”
As members of the RSM, eligible graduates will be able to avail of a host of benefits, including access to the RSM’s medical library, discounts for RSM events, use of RSM’s exclusive members’ club and hotel facilities in London, access to 50+ reciprocal clubs around the world and discounts from selected RSM corporate partners. In addition to these benefits, as part of the agreement with RCSI Bahrain, the RSM will run an exclusive new member welcome reception, deliver online library e-resource training sessions and launch an online networking platform to allow students and graduates to connect with other RSM members worldwide.
UKFP Foundation Year 1 Information Session In September, the Careers and Alumni Office hosted an information session led by alumni Dr Khaled Tabari and Dr Karine Fadhel (both of Class 2021), and joined by School of Medicine Clinical Educator, Dr Helen Cooper. The session was geared to those students who had applied for Foundation Year 1 of the UK Foundation Programme over the summer in order to support their application and answer any questions. The UK Foundation Programme is a two-year work-based training programme which bridges the gap between medical school and specialty/ general practice training.
Dr Hajar Abdulla
RSM Membership for First Year Medical Graduates As part of RCSI Bahrain’s ongoing commitment to supporting graduates in their career development, the University will provide free-of-charge membership to the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) to all first year medical graduates for a period of twelve months.
ERAS Preparation Sessions During the semester, the Careers & Alumni Office hosted sessions to provide guidance and support to students and alumni with their Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). In October, Dr Moeen Aboabdo (Class of 2019) ran a Q&A Session to help students and alumni navigate their ERAS application and interview process. In November, the office hosted another session with Junior Cycle Clinical Competencies Coordinator at RCSI Bahrain, Dr Dalal AlRomaihi, which covered general interview techniques and tips, roleplay, feedback and reflection for Senior Cycle One (SC1) and Senior Cycle Two (SC2) students applying for the US 2022 Match.
Dr Moeen Aboabdo
Study Space in Careers & Alumni Office To support our alumni’s needs while adhering to the University health and safety guidelines, the Careers and Alumni Office has offered its office space, (Room 103) for the utilisation of our graduates. Alumni are requested to make bookings through [email protected] before 4pm on weekdays and before 4pm on Thursday for weekend bookings. Alumni must present their alumni card to gain access to the space and a maximum number of four graduates are allowed at a time, in order to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Careers and Alumni Update
Pathway to North America In November, presentations were provided by Senior Cycle Two (SC2) medicine student, Mr Abdulla Jabr and Careers Specialist, Ms Anusha Sundaram for students who are in the pre-clinical years and interested in travelling to the US and Canada. The presentations covered the basics of applying to the US and Canada including the benefits of research, clinical electives, extra-curriculars and how to prepare for board exams.
SJT Preparation Course Over two sessions in November, School of Medicine Clinical Educator, Dr Helen Cooper, helped students who were applying to the UK Foundation Programme, to prepare for their Situational Judgement Test (SJT). The SJT is a test for employment and is part of the selection process for entry to the Foundation and Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP).
US Electives Night
On 24 November, Senior Cycle Two (SC2) students who have completed clinical electives in the US, hosted a session for their Senior Cycle One (SC1) colleagues to share their advice and experiences. The session covered the application process, virtual -vs- in person electives and how to request letters of recommendation.
UKFP Application Session In December, Dr Nebras Hasan (Class of 2019) hosted a session for Senior Cycle Two (SC2) students and alumni, to support them with their UK Foundation Programme - Foundation Year 2 (F2) applications. Dr Hasan’s presentation covered details about F2, an overview of the application process and what happens after F2.
RCSI Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical University of Bahrain P.O. Box 15503, Adliya Kingdom of Bahrain
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