Three Qatari students who travelled to the US for a two-week research experience after winning the Healing Hands essay competition at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) returned to the college to speak about their trip. 

Dalal Khalid Al Fadli from the Academic Bridge Program, Dyana Hamad Al Blooshi of Qatar Academy Doha and Haya Khalid Rahimi from Newton International Academy – Barwa City, each won the ‘Doctors of the Future’ scholarship when their essays on the topic ‘Lifestyle Medicine in Qatar’ were judged the best from a field of 37 submissions in May.

During summer, the students spent two weeks gaining experience at the world-class biomedical research laboratories in Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, attended lectures with faculty and meet with students. They then moved upstate to Cornell University in Ithaca where they stayed toured the wide range of facilities that the Ivy League university offers, and marvelled at the natural beauty of the area. The scholarship also provided for the students to be accompanied by family members as chaperones.

Following the experience, Dalal, Dyana and Haya returned to WCM-Q to attend a completion ceremony and discuss the trip with WCM-Q Dean Dr Javaid Sheikh and other senior faculty members.

Dalal, who joined the WCM-Q Foundation Program soon after the US visit, said the trip was one of the best experiences of her entire life.

Visiting the campus at Ithaca was amazing; I am a books person, so I absolutely loved visiting the beautiful old library there. We went all over the campus together and heard about lots of different subjects, which helped me decide that I wanted to study medicine and join WCM-Q.’

Haya also found the trip inspiring. She said that they got a great introduction to medicine and met so many interesting people. According to her, the students and the doctors in New York were so focused and dedicated to their work.

The Healing Hands essay contest is held annually, designed to encourage high school students to think critically about relevant healthcare and scientific topics, and to consider a career in medicine. Since its launch in 2008, the Qatar Future Doctors scholarship programme has proven to be extremely successful at inspiring and encouraging Qatari students to study medicine and help fulfil the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.

The programme is implemented by the Office of Student Outreach and Educational Development to help promote medical careers to Qatari students. The contribution and support provided in recent years by Dr Randi Silver, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Associate Dean at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City, who hosted and mentored many Qatari highschool students, is evidence of the strong ties between WMC-Q and the Weill Cornell Medicine campus in New York City.

For updates and more information about WCM-Q, visit their website at