Pre-medical students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) learned about the role of physics in medicine, thanks to a two-day training session held in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Medical physics plays a vital role in hospitals, spanning a wide variety of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Medical physicists work alongside doctors and other healthcare professionals to ensure these tools operate safely and effectively, particularly in radiological procedures. Medical physicists also help to develop new medical technologies, driving innovation in the healthcare sector in pursuit of enhanced patient outcomes.

The first day of the joint training session was held at WCM-Q and featured presentations by medical doctors and research scientists.
The first day of the joint training session was held at WCM-Q and featured presentations by medical doctors and research scientists.

Despite the importance of their role, the work of medical physicists usually goes on behind the scenes and is therefore not well known. To raise awareness of their crucial work, the joint WCM-Q/HMC training session introduced the WCM-Q students to the role of medical physicists, explaining how they work closely with doctors on the diagnosis and treatment of patients, maintain and operate vital medical equipment, help devise treatment plans and take part in research and development of novel therapies and diagnostic techniques.

Lectures and tour

A total of 45 WCM-Q first-year pre-medical students completed the training session, which was organised in cooperation with the HMC Radiation Oncology Department and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Department. The first day was held at WCM-Q and featured lectures by medical doctors and research scientists from HMC to introduce students to the applications of medical physics in modern medicine. The second day was held at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (Al Amal Hospital). Students toured the radiation oncology and nuclear medicine departments and got acquainted with the state-of-the-art radiological technologies used to diagnose and treat patients.

WCM-Q pre-med students learn about the crucial role played by medical physicists in hospitals on a two-day session delivered in collaboration with HMC.
WCM-Q pre-med students learn about the crucial role played by medical physicists in hospitals on a two-day session delivered in collaboration with HMC.

According to WCM-Q Physics Professor Dr Mohammad Yousef, medical physicists play vital roles in the diagnosis and treatment of a vast number of patients, but because their work is in the clinic, it is difficult for students to appreciate just how important they are.

He said that the excellent training session help pre-medical students gain a very good understanding of the work that medical physicists do, both in terms of treatment and in research and development of new ways to deploy technology to provide better healthcare outcomes for patients. In addition, the sessions emphasised the relevance of physics education in medical school curricula, as more and more medical disciplines are now integrated with advanced technology.

As healthcare becomes more sophisticated, integrated and evidence-based, the role of medical physicists grows and becomes more important. Dr Yousef said that it is important for future doctors to understand and speak the language of medical physics in order to team up effectively.

WCM-Q extended their sincere thanks to HMC’s Radiation Oncology Department Chair Dr Noora Al Hammadi and OHS Executive Director Dr Huda Al Naemi, and their teams for their continued support and for making the event possible.


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