Eighteen high school students took a step towards their dreams of pursuing a career in medicine as they completed the Qatar Aspiring Doctors Program at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q).

The Student Recruitment and Outreach Unit of WCMC-Q’s Pre-Medical Education Division designed the programme to help talented students reach the academic level required to successfully apply to study medicine full-time at WCMC-Q after they graduate high school. Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach and Foundation Programs at WCMC-Q, Dr Rachid Bendriss, paid tribute to the efforts of the students by saying:

The students have shown an enormous motivation to learn and have worked extremely hard to master the material that has been presented to them. We have been very impressed by their intelligence, their intellectual curiosity, and their work ethic. This programme is a testament to WCMC-Q’s outreach to the school community in Qatar and our unwavering support for their students to develop their academic skills and expose them to WCMC-Q’s programmes.’

Participation in the Qatar Aspiring Doctors Program is based on merit, and in order to be selected students must have demonstrated academic aptitude, a desire to forge a career in medicine and, most importantly, great dedication to their studies.

The students celebrated completion of the programme at a ceremony held at WCMC-Q, at which they received a certificate to commemorate their achievements before an audience of friends and family. Student Hassan Iyad Elrobi of Omar Bin Khattab School said:

It was a fruitful programme for me – I admire the way they teach students here at Weill Cornell. I love the way professors guide students in the labs and online. My passion is to become a doctor and I would love to spend the next several years of my life here at Weill Cornell and graduate from such a prestigious university.’

Dana Faisal Al-Sayegh of Al Bayan Secondary High School was the student speaker at the closing ceremony. She said:

This long journey was a great chance for us to answer all sorts of questions and concerns that can cross any high school graduate’s mind. The course didn’t only enrich us academically, but it also polished our leadership attributes and self-esteem, and taught us to appreciate teamwork and to respect the cultural diversity among the team. I definitely encourage all high school students that are interested in medicine to be a part of this programme and to embrace this valuable experience and make the best out of it.’

The programme, which runs from September to March each academic year, is individually tailored to suit the academic level and career goals of each student. The course comprises a combination of face-to-face instruction, online modules and hands-on training covering subjects such as math, biology, the physical sciences and research skills, based on a customised timetable designed to fit with each student’s school schedule. These subjects were taught by Dr James Roach, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dr Ghizlane Bendriss, Teaching Assistant of Biology, and Reya Saliba, Information Sciences Specialist.

Students who completed the WCMC-Q Qatar Aspiring Doctors Program were drawn from schools across Qatar, which were Al Bayan Secondary High School, Al Wakra Independent School for Girls, Debakey High School, Omar Bin Khattab School, Al Jazeera Academy and Al Ieman School.