GW SMHS Providing Academic Support for the Ibn Sina University for Medical Sciences in Amman, Jordan

October 17, 2023
ISUMS, UTHSCSA and GW leadership with ISUMS faculty
ISUMS, UTHSCSA and GW leadership with ISUMS faculty

The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Office of International Medicine Programs (IMP) recently initiated a six-year contract with the Ibn Sina University for Medical Sciences (ISUMS), the first private medical school in Amman, Jordan. Through this partnership, GW SMHS is providing academic support to ISUMS to include areas such as faculty and student support, curriculum review, faculty education and development, and capacity-building.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for GW SMHS to get involved in this newly established medical education institution – expanding its reach and educating more students to provide high-quality, equitable care across the globe. The partnership also affords opportunities for GW SMHS faculty to participate in this endeavor through teaching and research partnerships,” said Huda Ayas, EdD ’06, MBA ’98, MHSA ’93, associate dean for international medicine and executive director of IMP.

Ayas added that partnering with an established medical school is required by the Jordanian government to ensure a high-quality education, and “GW SMHS is pleased to be part of this historic venture.”

ISUMS also recently established the Faculty of Dentistry in response to a newly issued requirement by the government of Jordan. The new requirements, however, included the caveat that there must also be a corresponding U.S. dental school to provide academic support as needed. Without a dental school at the university, IMP reached out to the School of Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA-Dental), negotiating a collaboration agreement to provide support to the ISUMS Faculty of Dentistry. The agreement enabled ISUMS to achieve Jordanian accreditation this September.

L to R: Dr. D Badran, Dr. S Knoll, Dr. A Bashir, Dr. P Loomer, Dr. E Bsoul, Dr. H Ayas, Dr. M Rawashdeh
L to R: Dr. D Badran, Dr. S Knoll, Dr. A Bashir, Dr. P Loomer, Dr. E Bsoul, Dr. H Ayas, Dr. M Rawashdeh

GW is taking a multidimensional approach to assisting ISUMS with faculty capacity-building. GW SMHS is providing faculty leadership during the nascent years of the partnership — as the regular full-time ISUMS faculty continue to be recruited and trained — and mentoring faculty on how to teach in the most modern, innovative style.

Abdalla Bashir, MD, FRCS, FACS, founder and chair of the board of directors of ISUMS, and adjunct professor of surgery at GW SMHS, said, “this collaboration, including GW’s academic support, will assist ISUMS in achieving its vision of providing medical education consistent with the highest international standards.”

Long-term approaches to faculty development also will include providing PhD education in basic sciences to a cohort of highly qualified Jordanian graduate students to expand and bolster the existing faculty at ISUMS in these areas. Additionally, a select number of GW SMHS faculty will have the opportunity to travel to Jordan to teach courses on the ISUMS campus.

Stanley Knoll, MD, FACS, clinical professor of surgery and medical director of IMP, reflected on how the project “is poetic in its symmetries: as GW celebrates its bicentennial as the 11th oldest medical school in the U.S., a new world country, it shares its experience and expertise gained in those two centuries with a brand-new medical school — in an ancient country!”

IMP leaders Ayas and Knoll recently returned from a trip to Amann with UTHSCSA-Dental leaders Peter Loomer and Enas Bsoul to visit the ISUMS campus and facilities, meet faculty, students, and their families, and celebrate the start of the academic year, which began this month. Classes at ISUMS are underway for both medical and dental students.

For more information about this new partnership, or to inquire about teaching opportunities at ISUMS, contact the SMHS IMP office at impinfo@gwu.edu.