The hard work and ambition of dozens of high school students interested in pursuing a career in medicine have been honoured recently at a ceremony hosted by Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q), for participants of their Qatar Aspiring Doctors Program (QADP), a year-long student recruitment and outreach initiative designed to academically support high school students who are interested in medicine and science-based careers. 

The programme, which is now in its fifth year, helps students improve their knowledge of the physical sciences, biology, English language and research skills.

In front of  students, families and WCM-Q faculty, Dr Rachid Bendriss, Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach and Foundation programmes, presented the QADP students with certificates and praised their hard work and dedication. He also gave them tips for success at university – setting smart goals; developing good study skills; time management; stress management; engaging with others; seeking help and guidance; and determination.

The QADP is a rigorous programme, especially as it is in addition to the work expected of you by your current schools. All of you here have had to make sacrifices in order to complete the modules, but I hope the rewards outweigh those sacrifices. The WCM-Q faculty members who have worked with you and acted as your mentors have provided you with a strong foundation in the sciences, research and English skills, and whatever career you embark on in the future, this knowledge will stay with you.

However, I know many of you wish to become doctors and some have already successfully applied to WCM-Q. In that case, the QADP will prove invaluable in helping prepare you for the academic challenges that await, and I look forward to welcoming you back to the college as full-time students.’

In total, 39 students from a record 19 schools received certificates of completion and participation for passing the QADP modules. Two students – Amal Alnaemi and Maryam Al Muhannadi – received certificates of completion with honours for completing all modules of the programme.

Maryam, who attends Al Arqam Academy for Girls, in her speech before the other students said that as doctors and leaders of tomorrow, and they should take the extra steps needed to help shape the world and the future. Amal, who attends Al Bayan Secondary Independent School for Girls, said she enrolled in QADP to get an insight into the life of a university student and that, she has achieved.

Without the efforts of the programme organisers, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to interact with the expert faculty and I extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone involved.’

The QADP course comprises a combination of face-to-face lessons, online modules and practical lab exposure based on a personalised timetable that takes account of students’ high school studies. The QADP allows students to learn at their own pace, is flexible and involves a full academic year of contact from September to April. Students also have the opportunity to engage directly with WCM-Q faculty, staff and students, and to use WCM-Q facilities, giving them access to a multitude of resources.

Dr James Roach, Professor of Chemistry and Assistant Dean for Pre-Medical Education at WCM-Q, is one of the faculty members who teaches the physical sciences module under QADP. He said he was anticipating to see many of the QADP students begin the six-year medical programme at the start of the fall semester.

You all chose to enrich your understanding of the physical sciences, and I’m really looking forward to welcoming many of you back as Cornell students to Lecture Hall 4 at 8 am on Sunday, August 25, for the first general chemistry class of the pre-medical curriculum.’

Information about QADP is available at the WCM-Q Office of Student Recruitment and Outreach. Check this link for more details.