The team from Qatar International School received a fully-funded, one-week trip to the parent campus of Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) in the United States when they won the top prize at a research competition in the recently held High School Medical Conference (HSMC) organised by WCM-Q at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). The flights were provided for by Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First, WCM-Q’s health campaign.

The teams from Bright Future International School and Musab Bin Omair Secondary School won second and third place, respectively. Students from these teams also received prizes and an invitation to attend a research symposium at Sidra Medicine. 

The HSMC was organised to inspire students to pursue careers in medicine and the sciences. Participants joined lectures and talks, and teachers participated in workshops. There was also an exhibition and student research presentations.

Noha Saleh, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach at WCM-Q, said they want to offer students an experience they normally won’t get a chance to experience, and to show them what a career in medicine has to offer, providing them with a platform to showcase their skills and knowledge.

The research presentations were the highlight of the conference. Schools across Qatar were given the chance to participate in a student research contest based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Twenty-five teams from both independent and private schools entered and chose a topic under the following themes:

  • Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages
  • Ensuring access to water and sanitation for all
  • Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns 

The students took part in a poster presentation competition last March and fourteen teams made it to the finals. The top three teams were selected by a panel of WCM-Q research experts during the HSMC, with the grand prize winners flying to the US to visit the WCM campus in Ithaca.

Dr Rachid Bendriss, WCM-Q’s Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, outreach and foundation programmes, said the level of professionalism achieved by the student researchers had been amazing.

The conference aims to help foster a love of science in high school students and provide them with the opportunity to participate in new experiences and engage in critical thinking with not only their peers, but professional academics, researchers and doctors. The conference has been a great success in this respect and I am sure will become a significant highlight in the academic calendar of Qatar schools.

Through events like this, we can instill a passion for research and medicine in our young people which will eventually lead to greater national capacity in scientific fields, contributing to the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.’

The conference hopefully will become an annual event which will bring together highly motivated students aspiring to become the country’s next generation of medical leaders.

For more information about HSMC, visit the WCM-Q website at