Winter Program 2015The trip of a lifetime awaits the winners of an annual essay-writing competition run by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q).

The Healing Hands Essay Competition asks Qatari high school students to write an 800-word essay around a certain medical topic; this year it is ‘Coping With Disability’. Four lucky winners, along with one of their family members, are chosen and sent on a fully funded, two-week educational experience to WCMC-Q in New York where they visit prominent research laboratories and spend time with distinguished faculty.

According to the Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach and Foundation Programmes, Dr.Rachid Bendriss, previous winners had thoroughly benefited from this unique experience with the majority being inspired to take up medicine as a career. He added:

The essay competition really tests the candidates. We want them to think seriously about the subject and impress us with their research. This is a marvelous opportunity to win a prize that money really cannot buy. The faculty members who will give of their time at Weill Cornell in New York are world-class researchers and clinicians. The winners will really learn a lot from them.’

Faten Aqeel, who is due to graduate from WCMC-Q in 2018, is a former winner of the competition. She said:

Winning the Healing Hands essay contest was a great experience for me. It was truly inspirational to visit Weill Cornell’s research laboratories in New York as I was treated as a professional and given genuine work to complete. I learned so much and it really opened my eyes to the work that goes into understanding illnesses and also the development of therapies and cures to treat them. Medicine is a field that has many surprises, such as meeting new patients and being exposed to new medical cases, and this trip changed me as a person as my ability to deal with new situations and circumstances significantly improved. I would urge anyone who is thinking about a career in medicine to enter the competition and challenge themselves to be the best they can be.’

The subject of this year’s essay competition is ‘Coping with Disability’. Around the world, people with chronic disabilities face challenges that may limit their participation in everyday activities. However, society and individuals can do much to benefit those with disabilities. The task for entrants to the contest is to write an 800-word essay that focuses on a particular disability and describes what they would do to improve the lives of those affected.

The competition is only open to Qatari nationals who are in high school, and the essay must be an original work and written in English. This is the last chance to enter the competition as all essays must be submitted by 30 April 2015.

For more information and the address of where to send entries, visit and click on the Healing Hands link. For additional information, contact the Office of Student Recruitment and Outreach at [email protected] or 4492 8521.