Doha – July 24, 2022: Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) has inducted its new class of trainee physician-scientists to the college with a three-day orientation program which concluded with an opening exercises ceremony.
This year’s intake brings 49 new medical students to WCM-Q, 47 of whom were promoted after completing the college’s two-year pre-medical curriculum, while two were admitted from other universities. The students spent the three days of orientation learning about WCM-Q’s four-year medical curriculum, getting fitted for their scrubs, getting to know the faculty and their peers, and undertaking sessions on study skills, student support, cultural competence in healthcare, and college policies.
The college also welcomed 51 new pre-medical students. There are also 24 high school graduates joining the Foundation Program, the majority of whom are Qatari nationals.
The pre-medical and foundation students had a separate orientation program, which included a tour of WCM-Q’s state-of-the-art campus followed by sessions on time management, academic expectations and integrity, student health and wellness, plus a reading project and opportunities to get to know the faculty and fellow students. There was also a completion ceremony for returning Foundation Program students now entering the pre-medical curriculum.
Combined, the two-year pre-medical curriculum and four-year medical curriculum form the WCM-Q integrated Six-Year Medical Program. The Foundation Program provides intensive instruction in the basic sciences, English and mathematics to prepare students for the rigors of the Six-Year Medical Program. The orientation programs, coordinated by WCM-Q’s Division of Student Affairs, are designed to help students become familiar with the curriculum, facilities, people and processes of the college so that they can quickly begin learning the material they need to understand to thrive at the college.
For the students beginning the two-year pre-medical curriculum, the orientation program concluded with the Ibn Sina pinning ceremony, named after one of the most important scholars of the Islamic Golden Age. Meanwhile, orientation for the students entering the four-year medical curriculum culminated with the White Coat Ceremony, at which they donned the white coats and stethoscopes of their chosen profession for the first time in a symbolic rite of passage. The keynote address at the ceremony was given by WCM-Q Class of 2011 alumnus Dr. Mahrukh Rizvi, now assistant professor at WCM-Q and a critical and intensive care consultant and Hamad Medical Corporation.
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q said: “It is wonderful to see our new cohort of future doctors as they prepare to embark on such exciting and challenging journeys. At WCM-Q, they will not only learn the skills and knowledge needed to provide truly excellent care to patients, but will also develop as researchers, innovators and problem-solvers, helping to harness emergent technologies to drive improvements in human health as the next generation of physician-scientists. We wish them all the greatest success in their studies and extend our warmest welcome to each and every new member of the WCM-Q community.”
Mohammed Al-Ansari is starting the first year of the medical curriculum, having been promoted after completing the two-year pre-medical curriculum at WCM-Q. He said: “Both my parents are medical doctors and they inspired and encouraged my interest in medicine from a young age, answering all of my many questions and helping me to develop a love for the profession. What really drew my attention to WCM-Q when I first joined was that the pre-medical program is two years here, instead of four years in the United States. So, I thought of it as a great opportunity to complete my studies as early as possible so that in the upcoming years I will have more time for research. And of course, it is an Ivy League university, which definitely drew my attention.”
First-year pre-medical student Amna Al-Naimi said: “It is a huge honor for me to receive the Ibn Sina pin because he is so revered as a Muslim scholar and the father of medicine. I am very excited to be at WCM-Q now and eager to further my knowledge and start to get to know people. I heard a lot of feedback from previous students that the community is very welcoming at WCM-Q and even after just a few days I already feel part of the community here.”
First-year pre-medical student Huda Salameh is following in the footsteps of her brother, Dr. Mohammad Salameh, who graduated from WCM-Q this year. Huda said: “I have always felt very privileged to have grown up in a prosperous part of Jordan where I had many opportunities that people in other parts of our region do not have. With privilege comes a duty to serve the community, so I feel that studying medicine is a great way to unite my love of biology and human physiology with my passion for helping others. Additionally, as somebody who wants to do residency in the US and then come back to the region, I feel that WCM-Q can give me the best of both worlds.”