An alumnus of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) has been appointed chief resident of his residency training programme, and winning at the same time the programme’s Student Teacher Award.

Dr Awab Ali Ibrahim
Dr Awab Ali Ibrahim

Dr Awab Ali Ibrahim, who graduated from WCM-Q in 2012, was made chief resident following his successful completion of the three-year Paediatric Residency Training Programme at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, Alabama.

The position of chief resident carries great responsibility and demands not only exceptional clinical skills but also superior leadership and organisational ability. In this new position, Dr Ibrahim will remain at the University of South Alabama for a year and will be leading a group of doctors on the paediatric residency programme, overseeing their progress, serving as their mentor and advocate, and ensuring that the programme’s high standards are met.

Dr Ibrahim said he was extremely proud and happy to be chief resident.

It’s really an exciting start to the next phase of my career. I love my residency programme, the community here in Alabama and the children we work with, so I am absolutely delighted to be staying for another year. We serve a lot of children who come from less privileged backgrounds and I am very pleased that I will be staying so that I can continue to try to give something back to Alabama, which has given me so much.’

Of the Student Teaching Award, Dr Ibrahim said he was very fortunate to be honoured for doing something that brings him so much pleasure.

I aim to go into academic medicine so I can continue to develop as an educator.’

Originally from Sudan, Dr Ibrahim arrived in Qatar in 1996. He hails from a medical family. He said he saw the dedication of his parents to patients and how rewarding they found their work.

That is what attracted me initially. But after that, it was just curiosity and a need to understand things. I’m a simple person and I wanted to take all this complex information and understand it in simple terms. To me, that’s what medicine is about. Making complex things simple so that we can understand them and take action. I think that’s an important process for patients, too.’

Following his graduation, Dr Ibrahim joined the lab of WCM-Q’s associate director of research, Dr Khaled Machaca, where he worked on a project investigating microvilli and published a paper with Dr Raphael Courjaret, WCM-Q’s assistant professor of research in physiology and biophysics. Dr Ibrahim then moved to the Harvard laboratory of Dr Alessio Fasano, one of the world’s leading experts on celiac disease research, developing an abiding interest in gastroenterology, the microbiome and the impact of diet on health.

Looking to the future, Dr Ibrahim, hopes to take a fellowship in paediatric gastroenterology and pursue research in this field.

Obesity and diabetes are emerging as two of the biggest healthcare challenges facing children today. As such, I would like to spend a big part of the rest of my career conducting research and making innovations to improve children’s health and healthcare, with particular focus on gastroenterology, the microbiome and the role of diet.’

Dr Thurayya Arayssi, senior associate dean for medical education at WCM-Q, said they are very proud of Dr Ibrahim.

It is extremely gratifying to see him make such a positive difference to the lives of his patients and to the young doctors he is now guiding.’

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