Pre-medical and foundation students at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar learned about the realities of a career in medicine after shadowing doctors at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
The annual HMC Observership programme allows students of Weil Cornell Medicine – Qatar’s (WMC-Q) foundation programme and pre-medical curriculum the opportunity to spend a week in one of the nine departments at HMC, including emergency medicine, paediatrics, general surgery, internal medicine and psychiatry. The students accompanied doctors on their patient rounds, participated in morning conferences, and watch surgeons in the operating theatre.
Dr Rachid Bendriss, assistant dean for student recruitment, outreach and foundation programmes, said the goal was to expose students ‘not yet learning’ the medical curriculum to the healthcare system. Dr Bendriss said the programme allows them to learn about the daily routine of physicians, become familiar with the various medical specialties open to them, and reflect on their experiences at HMC.
The HMC Observership programme, according to Dr Bendriss, is a very valuable learning experience for pre-medical and foundation students, as it allows them greater insight into the day-to-day life of a physician and what their working life will be like when they graduate. It also allows the students to begin forming ideas about the direction they would like their career to take, and challenges preconceptions they may have about certain specialties.
This year, 56 WCM-Q students participated in the scheme during the college’s winter break. Pre-medical 1 student Sumaya Maraghi, one of the students who joined the programme, chose to spend time in HMC’s Department of Paediatrics. She said her exposure changed her perception of paediatrics, which she initially thought was just dealing with children and fairly simple diseases.
Another student, Noor Al Nassr, who is under WCM-Q’s foundation programme and participating for the second time, chose to shadow physicians in the Surgical Department. Her exposure this time, according to her, made her focus more on the patient-doctor relationship and interaction.