BALSAM is Khalifa University’s signature program at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS). It is a longitudinal experiential learning program that provides a platform for KU CMHS’s community-focused mission. The program integrates social sciences with clinical experience and interprofessional teamwork to prepare socially accountable and culturally sensitive physicians. BALSAM is a three-year longitudinal program where CMHS students embark on visits to homes of UAE senior citizens. This experience does not only promote the professional development of students, enhance their medical knowledge and encourage inter-professional collaborations, but also deepens their understanding of the health systems and the social determinants of health linking those to interventions and policies which may improve the lives of this patient population.


BALSAM improves the health of the community through addressing current social challenges in partnership with communities and government organizations by embracing a social determinants of health approach in its service, education and research missions.


BALSAM supports Khalifa University mission to “graduate highly competent, culturally aware, and socially accountable physicians capable of improving the health of patients and communities” by providing medical students with an experiential learning opportunity to address social challenges affecting the community’s health using a social determinants of health approach.

Our mission is divided into:

  • Service: providing community visits (both medical and social) to older adults in Abu Dhabi
  • Education: Preparing socially accountable physicians capable of improving the health of communities using the social determinants of health approach at the individual, community and policy levels.
  • Research: Establishing the evidence base for social determinants of health in the UAE.

*Available until May 2026, the remaining duration of the MD program


Components of HPE to align with Policy priorities and Community needs