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Education

Doha College Wins Top Prize at Prestigious Medical School Conference 

Three students from Doha College impressed a team of independent medical experts with their detailed research and presentation on the treatment of Alzheimer’s to win the fourth annual Medical Review School Conference.

Nine schools from across Qatar entered the conference, and after a morning of judging, four top teams from Doha College, Doha British School and Al Khor International School competed in the final presentation to medical specialists from partners Hamad Medical Corporation and Elite Medical Research Centre, who judged and decided on the winning team.

The judges awarded the top prize to Hyqa Islam, Saarah Rashid and Shahd Fares of Doha College for their presentation on the pharmacology treatments for Alzheimer’s – a disease currently classified as incurable.  The students, all in Year 12, introduced Don Hayen, a dad and grandfather who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and undergoing various treatments to slow the progression of the disease.

The three Year 12 students explained why they chose the topic:

We know so little about our brains, and this fascinated us, for our brains are so powerful and yet we only use a small percentage of its potential function. Alzheimer’s disease cruelly destroys the brain cells, which is devastating not just for the patient but for people around them who watch as the person slowly loses all memories.  We chose Don as our patient because his smile stole our hearts; he has so much to lose being a dad and grandfather as he fights this incurable disease.’

Second place was awarded to Tharienne Pillai, a Year 12 student from Doha British School for her research and presentation on the treatment of Psoriasis.  Tharienne explained why she had chosen this topic:

I have seen how painful this skin disease can be. I am keen to pursue a career in medicine and I entered the competition to challenge myself. I am delighted to get the second place.’

Al Khor International School’s team of Huda Ahmed, Aisha Asad and Khirza Saeed placed third for their presentation entitled ‘An Apple for you Ailment.’  Their presentation followed patient Aamirah who, thanks to revolutionary tests, was diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer and was able to undergo treatment at the Hamad Hospital using gene therapy and nanotechnology to deliver precision cancer therapy.

Doha College Principal Dr Steffen Sommer congratulated all of the teams who participated. Dr Sommer said:

Our annual Medical Review School Conference is an opportunity for students interested in medicine and biology to explore some of the most medically significant issues of our time. I was extremely impressed with the level of commitment shown by all the teams, and so were the judges. This year I was delighted that the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) supported the conference and their Chairman, Mr Trevor Rowell was able to join us.’

Mr Trevor Rowell welcomed delegates to the conference and emphasised that the Hippocratic Oath was as relevant today as it has always been. Mr Rowell explained:

Medicine is first and foremost a caring profession, its underlying deep-rooted mission must never be underestimated at a time when the achievements of modern research techniques have been moved into the foreground. At COBIS, we aim to support International schools across the world, and this Medical Review Conference is an excellent example of this support.’

Doha College Head of Biology and event organiser Ms Rachel Hart said more than 65 students aged 15-18 from nine schools across Qatar had competed throughout the day. Twenty-seven teams gave presentations on cancer, infectious diseases, feto-maternal diagnostics, pharmacology, and hereditary diseases during the morning session, with four teams selected to progress to the finals in the afternoon.

She said:

I would like to thank our partners and judges, Dr Ramzi Mohammad from Hamad Medical Corporation, Dr Nesrin Elkhtaib and Dr Osama Salaha from Elite Medical Research Centre for their support and for judging the top four teams in the afternoon session. Our goal is to inspire students to follow a career in medicine. Our students were privileged to have heard about the industry from such accomplished medical professionals.’

Summing up from the judges perspective, Dr Nesrin Elkhtaib of Elite Medical Centre acknowledged the performance of the final four teams, who, she said, performed extremely well. She added:

This was the first time we have partnered with Doha College on this conference; it was wonderful to see schools from across Qatar taking part and studying medicine.  The standard of presentations we listened to would be equal to those given by junior doctors.  I was hugely impressed with the level of research, the confident delivery and the students’ knowledge on their topics. I was delighted to be a part of this event and to motivate these students to choose medicine as a career.’

Visit cobis.org.uk for more information on the annual Medical Review School Conference. 

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