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NOSM welcomes the School’s first internationally sponsored clinical fellow

Posted on September 29, 2020

Dr. Abdulrahman Ahmad of Kuwait recently started a year-long fellowship hosted by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). The fellowship marks a historic first for NOSM. Clinical fellowships offer advanced post-residency training for individuals who already hold specialty certification and are eligible for licensure.

Dr. Ahmad is learning under the guidance of Dr. Hazem Elmansy, NOSM Assistant Professor and Faculty Lead of Urology and a Urologist at TBRHSC. Dr. Elmansy is one of few doctors in the world who performs holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP), a unique prostate laser surgery method that significantly improves care and recovery time for patients.

Under the sponsorship of the State of Kuwait, Dr. Ahmad came to Thunder Bay to attend this international fellowship focused on minimally invasive urologic surgery. He is the first of a list of 40 potential candidate urologists who hope to come and learn this surgical technique from Dr. Elmansy. When Dr. Ahmad returns to Kuwait next year, he will be the only urologist in the country able to perform the HoLEP method, offering better access to care to patients in his country.

“Dr. Elmansy is known world-wide as one of the few experts in the HoLEP method, and I had read his international publications. It was very exciting to meet him in person and to work in a supportive and friendly environment. I think it’s the best decision I’ve made,” says Dr. Ahmad.

“It took three years to make this fellowship happen,” says Dr. Elmansy. “We are one of very few international sites performing this method and I have a three-year waiting list of patients who want to travel to Thunder Bay from other provinces to have this procedure,” says Dr. Elmansy, who has been performing the HoLEP method for over six years.

Compared to the traditional method of surgery, this procedure is less invasive, more precise, and allows patients to recover within a day or two with less chance of requiring further surgery. “It benefits patients of Northern Ontario and we’re looking at expanding our care to patients in Dryden, Kenora and Fort Frances,” says Dr. Elmansy.

Leadership from both NOSM and TBRHSC were instrumental in helping establish this international fellowship. “NOSM helps to develop clinical expertise in other countries as part of our global social accountability,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, Dean, President and CEO of NOSM.

Dr. Elmansy says his goal is to offer this fellowship annually, and in future he hopes to accept a new fellow every six months to expand access to minimally invasive urology across Canada and around the world. Funding received for the program is invested into supporting ongoing urology research.

“This is an exciting first for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and we aim to develop more clinical fellowships for both international and Canadian fellows,” says Dr. Robert Anderson, NOSM Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education and Health Sciences. “Creating more fellowships that are led by dynamic faculty leaders like Dr. Elmansy is a next step in NOSM’s growth as a medical school integrated with academic health science centres. Advancing patient care, research, and faculty engagement through clinical fellowships is part of our strategic plan for NOSM’s residency programs moving forward.”