Four talented high school students won in the annual Healing Hands essay competition at  Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).  

Students Aisha Hassan Alabdulmalik and Moza Fahad Alkaabi of Al Bayan Independent School for Girls, Aljoud Nasser Al Darwish of Park House English School, and Reema Khater Al Bouainain of Vision International School, each won the WCM-Q Doctors of the Future scholarship for having written the best 800-word essays on the implications of social media to human health and well-being.

Once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, these four students will spend two weeks on an educational trip to the US where they will visit the Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City to observe classes, attend lectures, visit the NewYork – Presbyterian Hospital, and participate in supervised research projects at the university’s world-class laboratories.

They will then travel to Cornell University in Ithaca, upstate New York, to experience life as a student on campus at an Ivy League college. The scholarships also provide for a family member to accompany the students on their trip.

The contest, which is run by the Office of Student Outreach and Educational Development at WCM-Q, is open to Qatari students in grades 10 and 11 and is designed to inspire young nationals to think about careers in medicine and biomedical science, as well as give them an accurate idea of what life as a medical student is like, encouraging them to think critically about healthcare. Many previous winners of the Healing Hands contest have gone on to join WCM-Q as students.

Winning Essays

In her essay, which was praised for being extremely well-researched, balance and confidently argued, student Moza Fahad Alkaabi wrote:

Social media affects people’s well-being and health positively and negatively. The positive effects include offering social support and enabling social disclosure. However, social media can cause negative outcomes such as addiction disorder, which is characterised by escapism, mental preoccupation, and distraction from personal life. It also increases a person’s susceptibility to stress and low self- esteem. 

Noha Saleh, Director of Student Outreach and Educational Development at WCM-Q, offered her warmest congratulations to the winners and sincere plaudits to everyone who took part and wrote such engaging, insightful and well-argued essays.

I am sure that all participants will have great careers in the sciences and in so doing will make important and meaningful contribution to Qatar’s national development.

The following students also received honourable mentions for their essays:

Sara Nasser Alkaabi (Aljazeera Academy), Moza Mohammed Al Tamimi (Al Ebb Secondary School for Girls), Deema Mohammad Assami (Amna Bint Waheb Independent School for Girls), and Layan Abdulla Al Ansari and Mohammad Mansoori (Qatar Academy Doha).

Assistant Dean Dr Rachid Bendriss, said that WCM-Q’s outreach programmes, such as the Healing Hands Future Doctors Scholarship programme, provide an early exposure to medical education as a track, which is critical in fostering an appreciation for medical careers and attracting young students to the study of medicine.

For more information about WCM-Q, visit qatar-weill.cornell.edu