Students at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) learned what life is really like for doctors as they shadowed physicians during their busy working days at Sidra Medicine and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).        

The 29 students, who are all on the Foundation Program and/or first or second year of the pre-medical programme at the college, all volunteered to participate in the WCM-Q Clinical Observership Program, which is organised by the Division of Pre-medical Education. They shadowed physicians specialising in an area they are interested in, learning exactly what a career in medicine entails.

Specialties chosen by the students included paediatrics, general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology.

Foundation Program student Dalal Al Fadli carried out her ‘observership’ at HMC. She said that the programme helps prepare students for the working world. She said that before going into the general surgery department, she never really the speciality as she wanted to be a cardiac surgeon.

But there were so many interesting operations – I never thought I would enjoy general surgery and being in an operating theatre so much.

Pre-medical 2 student Vinutha Ramadorai is joining the programme for the second time. She said the this time, she chose to go to paediatric ER at Sidra and she was really impressed with the way everything is organised. She said the doctors were so friendly and made sure they were included – giving them explanations about the cases.

We also met a lot of nurse practitioners and other staff and saw that everyone is treated as equals, which helps to provide good output and positive outcomes.

The Clinical Observership Program was established to provide students who are yet to begin the medical curriculum with first-hand experience of healthcare in a professional environment. It helps put their studies into context and allows them to see and learn other skills like communication, empathy and teamwork – all attributes that are required in a successful physician.

Senior attending physician Dr Moune Jabreis the director of undergraduate medical education at Sidra, said the physicians were impressed with the enthusiasm of the students.

The students were presented with a certificate after completion of the programme.