Eighty-four ambitious high school students with a passion for science had the chance to sample life as medical students when they joined the Online Summer Programs at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

The two Online Summer Programs – the Pre-College Enrichment Program (PCEP) and the Qatar Medical Explorer Program (QMEP) – are week-long intensive courses offered by the WCM-Q Office of Student Outreach and Educational Development designed to give students with an interest in medicine a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by a career as a physician-scientist.


Both programmes provide participants with online learning sessions that accurately reproduce the experiences of current WCM-Q students, with classes in biology, chemistry, pharmacology, anatomy, disease investigation, medical research, patient-physician dynamics, and medical ethics. There are also sessions on study skills, time management, writing personal statements, applying to medical school, and careers in medicine, as well as an introduction to the state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab at WCM-Q and a reading workshop.

The PCEP also included a presentation exercise, in which the students formed groups and researched a medical topic throughout the week before presenting their findings on the final day of the programme. A total of 56 students completed the PCEP, while 28 completed the QMEP. The students hail from a total of 34 schools.

According to Noha Saleh, Director of Pre-Medical Administration, Student Outreach and Educational Development, they are very pleased for the huge success of the programmes, with all participating students, faculty and staff bringing great spirit and enthusiasm to the online sessions, and which helped to create a truly vibrant and exciting atmosphere.

The students demonstrated exceptional talent and motivation for learning about medicine and becoming physicians, and we are certain that many will apply to join WCM-Q as students and go on to have extremely successful and rewarding careers in medicine.

Minatullah Alani of Qatar International School was the student speaker for QMEP during the closing ceremony. She said that if she were to describe the programme in three words, she would say it is insightful, engaging and exciting. She said that studying the anatomy of the heart in exceptional detail really helped consolidate her decision to go into medicine, and the careers and admissions sessions gave her the final push to start her application process.

I think I speak on behalf of all the other students when I say that I have learnt some very valuable lessons which I will use not only in my application, but throughout my journey into medicine.

Associate Dean Dr Rachid Bendriss said they are happy that so many enthusiastic, intelligent and energetic high school students took part in the enrichment programmes this year.  He said that the standard was very high but the online format once again proved extremely effective at providing students with rich learning experiences and an accurate impression of what life as a medical student is really like.

For more information about the programmes offered at WCM-Q, visit qatar-weill.cornell.edu.

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