Doha – May 9, 2022: The next generation of doctors currently learning their craft at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) had the chance to develop core physicianship skills when they took online consultations with some of the youngest members of the community.
Medical students at WCM-Q logged in to the event to take part in a series of consultations with children aged two months to six years, under the supervision of qualified pediatricians. The event, which has been held virtually since 2020 owing to physical distancing guidelines, is an important step in the clinical training of the students as they experience for the first time the joy and challenge of engaging with a young patient, putting them at ease, and then conducting a medical examination.
Prior to lockdown, the annual Cornell Stars event was a highlight of the WCM-Q calendar, as employees brought their young children to the campus for the trainee doctors to conduct in-person examinations. As lockdown measures were brought in the event transitioned to the virtual space, which allowed Cornell Stars to continue while also providing the students with a realistic simulation of conducting a virtual encounter and interaction, which has emerged as a key competency for physicians during the era of COVID-19.
Dr. Amal Khidir, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at WCM-Q and the lead coordinator of the Cornell Stars event, said: “Cornell Stars has evolved and adapted to the current healthcare landscape, allowing us to continue the important work of giving our trainee doctors access to patients while also embracing the drive towards telemedicine prompted by the need to maintain physical distancing protocols. I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to all of our young stars who took part for being so wonderfully patient and helpful. They helped our students boost their skills enormously and were an absolute pleasure to work with. I also would like to thank my doctor colleagues who taught and supervised the students in spite of the event falling on the weekend during Ramadan.”
In total, 21 children took part in the event, along with 47 WCM-Q students and 11 faculty. Dr. Khidir said that the event was made possible by support from WCM-Q’s ITS department and Office of Curriculum Support, as well as the pediatricians who gave their time and experience to the students. These included Drs. Manasik Hassan, Sohair Elsiddig, and Mohammed Qusad of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC); Drs. Madeeha Kamal and Magda Yousef of Sidra Medicine; Dr. Nasreen Irfan, a chief resident at HMC; and Dr. Marcellina Mian, Professor Emerita of Pediatrics at WCM-Q. Dr. Khidir was also pleased to welcome back and give thanks for their assistance at the event to three WCM-Q alumni: Dr. Shereen Darwish, now a general academic pediatric fellow, Dr. Aya El-Jerbi, a cardiology fellow, and Dr. Saleha Abbasi, Senior Pediatric Resident at HMC.
Student Aliyaa Haji said: “Being part of this year’s Cornell Stars was a valuable and rewarding learning experience. The event allowed me to understand the importance of physician-patient interaction in a setting that involves children and their parents. I learned that the way in which we engage with a child determines how comprehensive our consultation and examination can be. The children, alongside their parents, did a great job as teachers!”