The next generation of Qatar doctors joined Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q), as they don the white coat of a physician for the first time at a special event.

WCMQForty-nine students were presented with their first coat and stethoscope in front of an audience of family and friends during the school’s White Coat Ceremony held at Hilton Doha. The ceremony, which has become a traditional highlight of the college’s academic calendar, is a symbolic event that marks the point when students begin the four-year medical curriculum that will lead to their medical degrees.

Sumaya Al Maraghi was one of the students who participated in the event, having spent the last two years on WCM-Q’s pre-medical programme. She said that the White Coat Ceremony has been a great motivator for everyone during the pre-med programme. She admitted that everyone felt nervous about the medical curriculum, but all of them has been aspiring for it for a long time and they intend to make it as enjoyable as possible.

WCMQOf the new medical students, 16 are Qatari; 25 are males and 24 are females. Students come from countries as far as South Korea. There are also foreign students from Kuwait and Pakistan. 22-year-old Bruno Pacheco, originally from Peru, has opted to join the WCM-Q medical curriculum, over universities and colleges closer to home.

I’m very excited to be here and I am really looking forward to learning about the region and its culture. Being able to do so while studying a US curriculum at a very highly regarded institution is something unique. I have a really strong interest in global health issues so I value the opportunity to be here to get an international perspective on healthcare.’

WCM-Q Dean Dr Javaid Sheikh said the White Coat Ceremony was a time of real optimism and pride. He said it gives him great pleasure to welcome all the new students to WCM-Q.

Putting on the white coat for the first time is a memory that doctors carry with them throughout their lives. It is the moment when they truly begin to learn the knowledge that will allow them to heal the sick and make a difference to their community. These trainee doctors are Qatar’s future healers. They are part of the generation that will deliver a world-leading healthcare system for Qatar and the region.’

WCMQ Dr Ibrahim Janahi
Dr Ibrahim Janahi

Dr Ibrahim A Janahi, Chair of Medical Education and Division Chief of Paediatric Pulmonology at Sidra Medicine, gave the keynote speech and shared some stories from his own life as a paediatrician that highlighted the importance of values that he advised the students to acquire in their journey to become a doctor.

Today marks the first step on your life-long medical career. On this journey, you will learn how to be an exemplary leader. For that you must learn the principles of leadership, ethics, knowledge acquisition, human values, communication skills, how to care for sick people and many other critical skills that you will master before you become a wonderful, competent doctor.’

The ceremony also welcomed 60 students joining WCM-Q’s six-year medical programme, which integrates two years of pre-medical training and the four-year medical curriculum. A further 17 students have joined WCM-Q’s foundation class, a one-year programme intended to be a pathway to enter the pre-medical programme.

Turki Almutairi, from Kuwait, one of the students who joined the pre-medical programme said both his mother and aunt are physicians and he was inspired to follow in their footsteps because of their dedication to patients.

The White Coat Ceremony is the finale of WCM-Q’s Orientation Programme, where all of the college’s new students are introduced to the faculty and staff, and learn about the state-of-the-art facilities available to them.

The Class of 2022 will now spend four years training in all aspects of medicine from faculty members based in Qatar and from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. They will gain experience working directly with patients at WCM-Q’s clinical affiliate, Hamad Medical Corporation. They will also have the opportunity to work at the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Centre in New York City, one of the world’s foremost university hospitals.

If successful in their training they will then receive a Cornell University medical degree.

For updates and more information about the medical programme at WCM-Q, visit their website at qatar-weill.cornell.edu.