Demand for online population health courses offered by the Institute for Population Health (IPH) at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) soared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The courses, previously offered in-person at the WCM-Q campus in Education City, were transitioned to online platforms when physical distancing measures were introduced to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The shift to online courses led to a surge in demand from healthcare professionals across Qatar and the wider region seeking to learn more about population health during the pandemic.

The past five online courses offered by IPH covered a diverse range of subjects and competencies, encompassing a two-day introductory workshop on systematic reviews, two workshops on mastering emotional intelligence, a Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine course, and a workshop on cultural competence in healthcare. All five activities were fully subscribed shortly after the dates were announced.

According to IPH Assistant Dean Dr Sohaila Cheema, they have invested much time and effort in transitioning to online education with the purpose of sustaining optimum learning and learner engagement, while maintaining the high quality of the courses.

She said that the interest from local and regional healthcare professionals for their online activities has been phenomenal, with over 110 people participating in the last five events.

We are happy that our online education initiatives will help health professionals use the lockdown period to gain new skills and knowledge.

IPH is staffed by a team of population health experts, physicians, lifestyle medicine practitioners, researchers, and administrators who collaborate with local and global partners to develop and implement evidence-based  programmes and activities with a view to promote the overall health of the people in Qatar, the Middle East and beyond.

In addition to providing learning opportunities, IPH publishes research on population health topics in peer-reviewed journals, runs health information sessions at community events, local schools and corporate offices, and offers global health learning opportunities to both WCM-Q and international medical students.

Dr Ravinder Mamtani, Vice Dean for Student Affairs-Admissions, Population Health, and Lifestyle Medicine, said that their activities are designed to give healthcare professionals and educators opportunities to develop competencies in a wide range of fields related to population health, as well as provide a forum for exchange of ideas and new collaborations.

Population health has never been so important, and we are therefore extremely gratified that our activities are thriving in the online space during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the programmes and activities of the Institute for Population Health at WCM-Q,  visit their page at