Dubai: Dr Joseph Muscat-Baron, a physician, who touched many lives

Sheikh Mohammed pays rich tribute to one of the pioneers of the emirate's healthcare sector


Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Fri 25 Nov 2022, 9:36 PM

Last updated: Sat 26 Nov 2022, 5:18 PM

Dr Joseph Muscat-Baron was a pioneering physician and a gem among the caring hearts of Dubai. The British national was instrumental in developing and promoting medical education in the emirate.

He served the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) as a consultant physician and cardiologist for the last 37 years. Dr. Muscat-Baron was responsible for the development of medical specialties during his long tenure as the head of the general medicine department at Rashid Hospital and Dubai Hospital. The department now includes cardiology, pulmonology, and gastroenterology among other specialities.

Sheikh Mohammed pays tribute to Dr. Baron

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter to mourn the loss of one of the pioneers of Dubai's medical sector, Dr. Joseph Muscat Baron.

The UAE Vice-President paid rich tributes to the late physician and hailed him for his services that touched the lives of several people in the emirate.

“Today Dubai mourns Dr. Joseph Baron, an inspiring physician. He would always be remembered for his knowledge, compassion and dedication. He was indeed one of the many caring hearts in Dubai,” the Dubai Ruler wrote in his post.

Born in 1934, Dr. Muscat-Baron studied at Saint Luke University in Malta. In 1960 he migrated to the UK where he studied and worked in the health services for 17 years, before coming to the UAE in 1977.

Keen to impart his knowledge, Dr. Muscat-Baron was involved in medical education for more than 45 years, having held a number of teaching appointments in the United Kingdom before coming to the United Arab Emirates.

In Dubai, he developed the internship programme, and later a residency programme during his tenure as Head of the Higher Education Committee of the Department of Health & Medical Services (DOHMS), enabling thousands of medical students in the UAE to complete their education without having to leave the country.

One of his crowning achievement was the establishment of the MRCP (UK) Examination of the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom and set up a regional office for this examination in Dubai, the only such office outside the United Kingdom. The office organizes 9 written examinations and 3 clinical (PACES) examinations a year.

“A lot of Emirati families were reluctant to let their daughters travel abroad,” said Dr. Maryam Matar, founder and chairperson, UAE Genetic Diseases Association and a former student of his.

“Having the MRCP examination here was a blessing for those who wanted to complete their further education.”

He was also the Chairman of the Board of Examiners for the MRCGP (Int) which organizes 2 examinations for primary health care physicians per year.

Dubai Medical College

Professor Muscat-Baron was the founding professor of medicine in Dubai Medical College (DMC) for girls. He was committed to consistently providing cutting edge training to every batch of DMC. Teaching was his passion and he made sure that every student was competent in their profession by knowing them personally. He has served on the clinical faculty board since its inception and took over as clinical dean in the early 2000.

As clinical dean, Professor Muscat-Baron introduced primary healthcare-based education system at DMC and regularly updated a dynamic curriculum, benchmarked with international standards. He has been instrumental in modernizing the medical curriculum and particularly the mode of delivery. He has been an advocate for integrating the basic sciences and the clinical aspects of the curriculum, and in modernizing the assessment process and preparing students for higher examinations.

He had an extensive experience in training postgraduate students for MRCP examinations achieving a very high success rate. Being a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops, his contribution to the health sciences sector in the UAE and around the world was invaluable.

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