(MENAFN - Times of Oman) Oman Medical College (OMC), one of the leading medical institutions in the Sultanate, is all set to expand in the coming years, according to its top officials.
Dr P. Mohammed Ali, director of governing council of OMC, while speaking to the media yesterday noted that the present campus in Baushar will be moved to Sohar Medical College (SMC) while the Baushar campus will be transformed into College of Health Science and Pharmacy.
Currently, the first two years of medical programme are conducted in OMC Baushar while the remaining years are completed in the Sohar campus.
We are indeed happy with our achievement and in the process we are planning for an expansion, Mohammed Ali said.
Recently, Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA), in its report, praised OMC for providing the necessary support and leadership to students which has resulted in the graduation of competent physicians and pharmacists in a short period of time.
The OAAA also commended the college for the qualified, experienced and dedicated leadership of the deans at the two campuses. This is not just a celebration of our achievement but a serious commitment to our future in Oman, Mohammed Ali said, while heaping praise on the OMC staff for their hard work.
OMC, the only private medical college in the country, opened its doors in 2001 with the goal of providing world-class education in healthcare to qualified students in Oman.
Till date, 140 students from three batches have graduated from OMC and are currently practicing as doctors and pharmacists in Oman and other countries, including United States.
We have had many applicants this year but we were selective in recruiting the students, admitted Dr Saleh Mohammed Al Khusaiby, dean of OMC and SMC. OMC has admitted 170 students for the new session which is the highest in the history of the college.
However, Mohammed Ali has ruled out the possibility of increasing the medical seats once the college is moved to Sohar.
We do not want to count on the numbers so we have no plans to increase the seats, Mohammed Ali said.
We want to improve the quality of our teaching process and we are more involved in that rather than having more students in a class, he added.
OMC is affiliated to the West Virginia University School of Medicine in the United States, an internationally acclaimed medical school with over 100 years of academic record.
Students from OMC are currently sent for clinical training in Sohar Regional Hospital and Rustaq Regional Hospital.
External examiners from United Kingdom, United States and India are monitoring the final examinations at OMC. We invite examiners from outside and that is our policy, Dr Saleh noted.
Meanwhile, Salim Said Hamed Al Fannah Al Araimi, chairman of OMC informed that the group has plans to start a university in future.
According to Al Araimi, the government had given the approval after two colleges, which come under the flagship of Galfar (OMC and Caledonian Engineering College) and two other private colleges submitted the application.
But two colleges withdrew the application so we have re-submitted the form and hopefully we should get the approval soon, he said.
We will fulfil the medical education needs of the country and we are committed to this great nation, Mohammed Ali added.
OMC is all set to host an international pharmacy conference on Innovation in Drug Delivery on October 21 and 22 at the Crown Plaza Hotel. The conference will be attended by over 200 delegates from countries such as India, United Kingdom and UAE. Dr Diana Beattie, dean, premedical campus at OMC and Dr Thomas Heming, vice-dean for academic affairs also attended the media briefing.