First MD-Ph.D. program in Saudi Arabia

23 November, 2021

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and AlFaisal University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to establish a M.D. (Medical Doctor)-Ph.D. program between the two universities.

The M.D.-Ph.D is a selective program where top students are chosen by a committee from both universities. At KAUST, these highly selected Al Faisal medical students will be enrolled in a Ph.D. program focusing on the necessary training in basic research and smart-health tools and methods, and their application in personalized and precision medicine. The program graduates will become clinician-scientists and leaders in implementing smart-health methods in the Saudi healthcare delivery system.

“Truly, we are honored to formalize this partnership between KAUST and Alfaisal University,” said H.E. Professor Mohammed Alhayaza, President of Alfaisal University. “It will enhance the learning experiences of students and researchers at both institutions by offering access to each other’s expertise and facilities.”

Clinicians with a KAUST/AlFaisal University M.D.-Ph.D. degree will lead the way in implementing smart-health technologies in healthcare. Ultimately, they will pioneer the paradigm shift to precision medicine.

“The partnership with one of the top medical education institutions, AlFaisal University, will produce the next generation of leaders who will drive the implementation of Smart-Health and Precision medicine in the Kingdom healthcare delivery system,” said Tony Chan, President of KAUST. 

Moreover, these students will generate a growing interest in evidence-based and research-based approaches for patient care through educational activities, regular seminars and, above all, a demonstration of the benefits of their own research-based clinical practices.

 “This type of program which has been in place in the best universities worldwide, will be the first of its kind in the Kingdom. It will cater to highly motivated and performing medical students who want to build a solid background and training in biomedically relevant basic research and translate the advances in the understanding of the basic mechanisms of disease into clinical practice for the benefit of patients,” said Pierre Magistretti, Distinguished Professor and director of KAUST Smart Health Initiative.

Collaboration with other in-Kingdom universities is also planned for the future.