High school students from across Qatar will have a better understanding of what life would be like as a doctor with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) Enrichment Programmes.

The Enrichment Programmes at WCM-Q have been running since 2008 and offer promising high school students in years 9, 10, 11 and 12 the opportunity to study at WCM-Q for two weeks, attending lectures, speaking to faculty and medical students, experiencing healthcare lessons and finding out whether a career in medicine would be for them.

23 Qatari students joined this year’s Qatar Medical Explorer Winter Programme (QMEP), one of WCM-Q’s Enrichment Programmes were nominated by their schools based on their academic performance and career interests.

Noha Saleh, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach at WCM-Q, said QMEP is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what life as a medical student is like, along with learning about the academic requirements.

She added:

It can be intimidating for young people to have to choose a subject to study at university while they are still at a relatively young age. These decisions have a huge impact on their lives so it is vital that they understand the implications of any career choice and ensure that they are going to enjoy their work.’

Dr Rachid Bendriss , Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach and Foundation Programmes who handed the students their certificates of completion said:

After their full engagement in this programme, these students have a greater understanding about the life of a medical student and doctor and I’m sure they all now realise how much work, study and dedication is needed. However, I also hope that they all realise how fulfilling it is to be able to cure people and help them in their hour of need.’

Dr Bendriss added:

We are also extremely grateful to all the students, faculty, and staff who volunteered their time and effort to make this programme a resounding success.’

This year, the high school students have been introduced to the basics of research and gained experience with driving simulators, visited Qatar Science and Technology Park to learn more about robotic surgery, taken hands-on classes in the biology laboratories, learned about surgical techniques, and taken part in student debates, among many other activities.

Noof Ali Al Mazrooei said:

The interactive QMEP programme held at WCM-Q is very beneficial for students that are trying to figure out whether medicine at WCM-Q is the right path. This two-week programme not only gives you great insight into the student life of WCM-Q but also clears any mixed emotions you have towards medicine. Personally, this programme strengthened my motivation towards pursuing medicine as a career.’

Sara Abdulla Al Mulla said:

I enjoyed every moment there, particularly as I got to know new people and become more social. I was a very shy person, but this programme helped me become bold and talk to new people. This programme also helped me see what university feels like and this will come in useful when I graduate from high school.’

The QMEP also offers two distinguished achievement awards; the first is the Excellence Award that is presented to students who demonstrated excellence, leadership and motivation throughout the programme. This year’s Excellence Award went to Noof Ali Al Mazrooei from the Academic Bridge Programme and Nawaf Ahmed Al Muhannadi from Qatar Academy Doha School.

The second award is the JO Achievement Award, which is named after Dr Jehan Al Rayahi and Dr Osama Al Saied, graduates of WCM-Q’s Class of 2008 who initiated the first Summer Explorer Programme back in 2008. The award is given to the students who show the most marked improvement during their participation in the programme. The JO award went this year to Lolwa Sanim Bahzad from Al Maha Academy for Girls, Ghaya Nasser Al Suwaidi from Michael Debakey High School, and Isa Waleed Al Mannai and Sultan Abdulla Al Raban from the Academic Bridge Programme.

The other students who participated came from Al Eman Independent School for Girls, Qatar Independent Secondary School for Girls, Al Bayan Secondary School for Girls, and Mosab bin Omair Independent School for Boys.

Along with the winter edition of QMEP, WCM-Q also runs a summer programme. Any high school student interested in participating should submit an application. Forms will be available on the WCM-Q website early March.