Qatar University (QU) has graduated its first cohort of medical students in May 2021 after completing the six-year undergraduate medical programme under its College of Medicine. This is a significant milestone for Qatar and a big achievement for the medical faculty and students who worked hard throughout the six years.

Dr Egon Toft, Dean of the College of Medicine at Qatar University, explained that the first group of graduate doctors is a significant achievement for the country and for everyone involved in the development of one of the region’s foremost medical education providers.

We are committed to building within Qatar University an outstanding medical college, to equip our students with the right competencies, to graduate qualified physicians empowered with the knowledge, skills and personalities that will enable them to transform the future of healthcare in Qatar.

Dr Toft said that their programme is rooted in the specific needs of the Qatari society and well-aligned with national strategies and priorities in healthcare education.

Our college is driven by a passionate and dedicated faculty, including many expert clinical faculty from HMC, which helps attract promising and highly competitive students.

Forty-two of the best graduate doctors have been selected to join Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in July 2021 to complete their post-graduate medical residency training, which is part of the educational journey of graduating doctors, to become highly specialised and independent medical practitioners.

Medical Residency at HMC

Medical school teaches physicians a broad range of medical knowledge, basic clinical skills and supervised experience practising medicine in a variety of fields. However, the medical residency programme provides in-depth training within a specific branch of medicine. It is therefore essential to have a highly established clinical facility to provide accredited clinical teaching opportunities for the training period between four and six years where residents can specialise in a medical or surgical speciality.

Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Director of Medical Education at HMC explained that as an accredited teaching institution, HMC is well-established in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and is highly suited for medical graduates from QU and Cornell to complete their residency and fellowship training.

Dr Al Khal said they are proud to welcome the inaugural graduating class to HMC. He said that the selected students are already very familiar with the clinical sites as they have been undertaking clinical clerkship rotations in various facilities from the fourth year of medical school and will therefore help contribute to patient care early on.

The graduates and future cohorts will become the backbone of Qatar’s healthcare delivery system, as part of a locally-developed and trained clinical workforce, equipped to deal with Qatar’s future healthcare needs.

The process for admission to the HMC residency programmes is highly competitive, with nearly 1,300 applications being received annually for approximately 170 available seats. The QU graduates met the same rigorous enrollment criteria similar to top international applicants, which includes exceptional performance on the internationally standardised clinical knowledge exam.

We are also delighted to have collaborated with the College of Medicine to help encourage more home-grown talents to take up medicine, says Dr Al Khal.

While the medical graduates represent 10 different nationalities, one third are Qatari Nationals, and female students made up nearly 67% of all graduates, indicating a strong interest in medicine among female students.

HMC is the first healthcare system in the region to achieve prestigious institutional accreditation by ACGME International LLC ( To date, 14 of HMC’s residency training programmes and nine subspecialty fellowship programmes have successfully achieved ACGME International LLC programme accreditation.

QU Medical College graduates were assigned to residency programmes in 13 different specialities, including Anesthesiology, Community Medicine, Dermatology, Diagnostic Radiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Plastic Surgery and Psychiatry.

HMC sponsors over 20 residency programmes and more than 60 fellowship programmes in different subspecialties. In addition, HMC is accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) as an Academic Medical Center. HMC is also a member of Qatar’s Academic Health System, with a tripartite mission to advance clinical care through teaching, education and research, and is a primary affiliate of two medical schools in Qatar, including the College of Medicine at Qatar University.

Visit to learn more about the medical programmes under HMC. 

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