Four Qatari high school students who won summer scholarships to the US have returned to the country eager to pursue careers in medicine.

The four students all won the prize in the annual Healing Hands Essay Competition at Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar (WCM-Q). The four students each received a fully-funded, one-week Doctors of the Future Scholarship to study in the world-class biomedical research laboratories at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

They attended lectures and learned what life is like for a medical student in one of the world’s top medical colleges. The four students also spent a week at Cornell University in Ithaca in upstate New York. This part of the trip was designed by Dr Krystyna Golkowska, WCM-Q’s associate professor of English, and designed to give the students an idea of what it’s like to study for an undergraduate degree, and to get them acquainted with Cornell as an institution. Each winner was accompanied by a family member.

Dr Rachid Bendriss, Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach and Foundation Programmes at WCM-Q, explained the importance of the initiative. He said that the programme, which is now in its 10th year, continues to inspire the future generation of Qatari physicians. More than 90% of participants end up as doctors-in-training at WCM-Q.

This year’s scholarship winners – twins Alia Salman Ashkanani and Ghalya Salman Ashkanani (Michael E Debakey High School); Khalifa Ahmed Elmagarmid (Qatar Academy); and Mashael Salem Al-Naemi (American School of Doha) – have now returned from the US. They spoke of their experiences during a ceremony at WCM-Q where they received a certificate to mark their achievements.

For more information about the WCM-Q Doctors of the Future Scholarship programme, visit their website at