Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) welcomed its new cohort of incoming students with a comprehensive three-day orientation programme – delivered fully online for the first time in the institution’s history.

With measures to control the spread of coronavirus still in place, new students logged in remotely to meet one another, interact with faculty and staff, and learn study and ITS skills designed to help them excel academically and thrive in their new environment.

WCM-Q Dean Dr Javaid Sheikh said they are delighted to welcome the new cohort of students to begin learning the art and science of medicine at a time when such skills are needed more than ever. He noted how the students are all excited to learn and to make strong contributions to the health of people in Qatar and beyond.

The incoming cohort is truly global, comprising of citizens from 19 different countries: Qatar, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Taiwan, Tunisia, the UK and the USA.

WCMQ Virtual OrientationWCMQ Virtual Orientation 2

This year’s intake brings 22 new students to the college’s Foundation Program, all are Qatari nationals. There are 51 new pre-medical students, 23 have been promoted from last year’s Foundation Program, while 28 are new arrivals. Of the 48 new medical students, 47 were promoted after completing the two-year pre-medical curriculum at WCM-Q, with one new arrival.

Combined, the two-year pre medical curriculum and four-year medical curriculum form the WCM-Q integrated Six-Year Medical Program. The Foundation Program provides intensive instruction in the basic sciences, English and mathematics to prepare students for the rigors of the Six-Year Medical Program.

The orientation began with welcome addresses, followed by introductions to the curricula.

Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach and Foundation Programs Dr Rachid Bendriss, said that orientation is always a great experience as it marks the beginning of the academic year, with all the energy, hope and excitement of new students.

I thank all of our new students and my colleagues at WCM-Q for working hard to make this year’s orientation not only a great event, but also one that protected the health, safety and wellness of everyone.

To help the new arrivals get to know one another, there were also peer discussion sessions and a chance to interact with existing students to ask about their experiences at the college.

Student Maryam Al-Quradaghi who is beginning the four-year medical curriculum this semester, said that despite viewing the world through a screen, the excitement that they felt about the upcoming year remains. She added that meeting new professors, learning more about the profession and seeing their classmates after so long made the event so enjoyable.

This year’s orientation was definitely something that I will remember as it heavily reflects every aspect of my future career as a doctor.

The orientation programmes, coordinated by the Division of Student Affairs, are carefully designed to familiarise students with the people, curriculum and procedures at the college so they can quickly feel at home and consequently, succeed in their studies.

According to Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development Dr Thurayya Arayssi, helping students orient themselves to their new lives at college has never been so important.

Dr Ravinder Mamtani, Vice Dean for Student Affairs-Admissions, Population Health, and Lifestyle Medicine, said the orientation has been a success, thanks to the excellent can-do spirit of participating students and the professionalism of staff and faculty.

For more information about WCM-Q’s medical curriculum, visit qatar-weill.cornell.edu