Medical students of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) bravely joined the volunteer programme of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Eighteen WCM-Q students and one recent graduate signed up to help the MoPH in their work to contain the effects of the coronavirus in four key areas: Risk Communication, Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Investigation, and Contact Tracing.

WCM-Q volunteers 2

The students, who were rallied to the cause by Qatar Medical Students’ Association (QMSA), are working as volunteers two to four days per week, depending on MoPH needs and their own personal and study commitments. The volunteering programme was established in collaboration with the MoPH, which is providing specialist training to all volunteers to allow them to assist in the important work in tackling the virus.

The students who signed up to assist the MoPH are:

  • Abdallah Tom
  • Dana Al Ali
  • Hissa AlHail
  • Shahryar Tariq Rana
  • Krishnadev Pillai
  • Noora Alhail
  • Nada Mobayed
  • Aldana Shahbik
  • Gabriala Andrews
  • Jassim Taimour
  • Nasser Al Khawaga
  • Aya Youssef
  • Mahmood Al Orphaly
  • Fatma Al Binali
  • Toqa Afifi
  • Dhabia Al Merekhi
  • Salma Al Mohannadi
  • Kholoud Abu Holayqah

Dr Grigory Ostrovskiy, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine in Medicine at WCM-Q, coordinated the collaboration with the MoPH. Recent WCM-Q graduate Dr Hamad Almuhannadi also volunteered.

Work as Volunteers 

Volunteers in the Risk Communication section are working on the national 16000 coronavirus hotline service, answering questions from callers, taking note of their histories and referring them to testing facilities when needed. In the Guidelines and SOP section, volunteers help develop national guidelines and healthcare policy documents, while those in the Investigation section use the MoPH database of COVID-19 patients to take histories and check who these patients had been in contact with. They then pass the information to volunteers in the Contact Tracing team, who reach out to individuals and help them access a testing facility.

WCM-Q student volunteers are also working with qualified doctors and members of Qatar Medical Association (QMA) to provide psychosocial support via phone to patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The student volunteers are trained by QMA doctors, who also monitor the calls for quality control.

WCM-Q fourth-year medical student and QMSA President Abdallah Tom said that as medical students, they felt they have an obligation to help Qatar fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were very keen and grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with the MoPH. We are all extremely committed to using the skills and knowledge we have learned in our studies to help (in the effort) protect the health of everyone in Qatar.

Dr Thurayya Arayssi, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development at WCM-Q, said they are very proud of their student volunteers, for showing great enthusiasm for helping the MoPH in this vital work. He said that as doctors in training, they already have a strong instinct to help safeguard the health of anyone in need and they are very thankful to the MoPH for giving them this chance to help.

For more information about the MoPH volunteer programme, visit