QMEP WCM-QA group of talented high school students had the chance to discover whether a career in medicine would suit them, thanks to the two-week Qatar Medical Explorer Program (QMEP) at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

Thirty-four students from schools across Qatar spent two weeks studying at WCM-Q on the programme, designed to provide a comprehensive and accurate understanding of what life is like at the college and what it takes to become a doctor.

QMEP, which runs both a winter and a summer session, is among the WCM-Q Enrichment Programmes, a series of initiatives that engage with the local community, demystify the life of a medical student and inspire talented students with an interest in the sciences to fulfill their potential by applying to the college.

Noha Saleh, director of student recruitment and outreach at WCM-Q, said that choosing a career path is a very important step in life and it can be challenging for young people.

That’s why we created QMEP – it gives students the opportunity to see the reality of studying medicine, to take the same sort of classes WCM-Q students take, to inhabit the same environment, and to interact with senior faculty members and current students. That way, students can make an informed choice about whether WCM-Q and a career in medicine is right for them.’

QMEP features a full schedule of lectures on subjects such as biology, human anatomy, chemistry, pharmacology, physiology and adolescent health, among others. The high school students also visited WCM-Q’s state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab, the Distributed eLibrary, and the vivarium. They also toured the facilities of Hamad Medical Corporation, WCM-Q’s affiliate institution where medical students undertake much of their clinical training.

In addition, students took liberal arts classes on understanding poetry and drama techniques, and received coaching to help them with their college applications, with classes on writing personal statements and interview techniques. Throughout the week, the students worked in groups to prepare research presentations for a competition, which they delivered on the penultimate day. The programme culminated with the announcement of the winners in the final session of the final day.

Grade 12 student Ahmed Hany Amarah of Musab Bin Omair Secondary School was one of nine students in the team that won the Best Presentation Award. Their group did a presentation on autism and depression.

I am very happy our team won and that I had two great weeks here on QMEP. Getting to go into the chemistry lab, taking an anatomy class and meeting the faculty members has been amazing. It has completely confirmed in my mind that studying medicine is the right choice for me.’

Grade 12 student Shahd Jaouni of DeBakey High School for Health Professions, said she first became interested in medicine when she visited a centre for children with special needs.

I felt a strong desire to work with them and help make their lives better. Coming to WCM-Q for QMEP has been really inspiring and it has made me even more passionate about studying medicine than before.’

Dr Rachid Bendriss, assistant dean of student recruitment, outreach and foundation programmes, said that this latest group of students impressed them a great deal with their enthusiasm, intelligence and passion for learning.

We are very pleased that for many participants QMEP not only confirmed their interest in medicine but has actually served as a terrific source of inspiration that will help them achieve their goal of becoming doctors.’

For more information about QMEP, visit the WCM-Q website at qatar-weill.cornell.edu.