Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) welcomed its new intake of students to the college with a three-day orientation programme as they begin training to become the next generation of physician-scientists.

While last year’s orientation programme was held entirely online due to lockdown measures, this year, students were permitted to attend in person, though with careful protective protocols in place to mitigate any risk of transmission. The students, all of whom are fully vaccinated, were split into small groups, observed strict physical distancing measures, wore masks and were required to show their green Ehteraz status whenever they entered the WCM-Q building.

Integrated medical programme, international cohort

This year’s intake brings 21 new students to the college’s Foundation Program, 18 of whom are Qatari nationals. There are 43 new pre-medical students, 21 of whom have been promoted from last year’s Foundation Program, while 22 are new arrivals. There are also 45 new medical students, 43 of whom were promoted after completing the two-year pre-medical curriculum at WCM-Q, with two new arrivals.

Combined, the two-year pre-medical curriculum and four-year medical curriculum form the WCM-Q integrated Six-Year Medical Program. The Foundation Program provides intensive instruction in the basic sciences, English and mathematics to prepare students for the rigours of the Six-Year Medical Program.

The incoming cohort is truly global, comprising citizens from 19 different countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, India, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Turkey, and the United States Of America.

The orientation programme began with welcome addresses, followed by overviews of the curricula. There were also sessions on student support, navigating the learning environment, cultural competence in healthcare, and WCM-Q policies. The Foundation and pre-medical students had sessions on academic integrity and student wellness, undertook a reading project, and participated in ice-breaker activities to get to know one another. Other sessions included information about academic integrity, student health and wellness services, legal issues in the practice of medicine, study skills and technology tools.

Ibn Sina pins and white coats

For the students beginning the two-year pre-medical curriculum, the orientation programme concluded with the Ibn Sina pinning ceremony, named after the great Persian polymath of the Islamic Golden Age and regarded by many as the father of modern medicine.

Meanwhile, orientation for students entering the four-year medical curriculum concluded with the White Coat Ceremony, where they received the white coats and stethoscopes that are the hallmarks of their chosen profession.

Reem Al-Janahi receives the Ibn Sina pin from Dr James Roach
Reem Al-Janahi receives the Ibn Sina pin from Dr James Roach
Deema Al-Abdullah received her white coat and stethoscope from Dr Javaid Sheikh and Dr  Thurayya Arayssi
Deema Al-Abdullah received her white coat and stethoscope from Dr Javaid Sheikh and Dr Thurayya Arayssi


The orientation programmes, coordinated by the WCM-Q Division of Student Affairs, are crafted to help students become familiar with the curriculum, facilities, people, and processes of the college so that they can hit the ground running and immediately begin learning the material they need to understand and enjoy good progress with their studies.

One of the students, Reem Al-Janahi, is beginning the Six-Year Medical Program this semester, having completed the Foundation Program in the last academic year. She said she is very excited about starting the first year of the pre-medical curriculum, confident that she will be able to manage her studies because the Foundation Program prepared them so well.

Visit qatar-weill.cornell.edu for more information about WCM-Q.  

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