Doha – August 22, 2022: Students from 42 high schools learned about careers in medicine and life as a medical student through two Summer Programs offered by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).
The two Summer Programs – the Pre-College Enrichment Program (PCEP) and the Qatar Medical Explorer Program (QMEP) – are two-week intensive classes offered by WCM-Q’s Office of Student Outreach & Educational Development.
The students, who have all demonstrated an aptitude for the sciences and mathematics, spent two weeks engaging with WCM-Q’s highly qualified faculty and staff through a series of learning sessions that accurately reproduce the experiences of current WCM-Q students. After several cycles of the program were held exclusively online due to COVID-19, this year’s Summer Programs were held in person once again.
The programs feature classes in biology, chemistry, pharmacology, anatomy, disease investigation, medical research, neurology, nephrology, pediatrics, patient-physician dynamics, and medical ethics. There are also sessions on study skills, time management, writing personal statements, applying to medical school, personal wellness at college, and careers in medicine, as well as an introduction to WCM-Q’s state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab and a reading workshop. Other sessions included basic life support and first aid workshops, a case study of a stroke patient, and a cardiology workshop with Harvey, a mechanized cardiopulmonary manikin capable of simulating scores of heart and respiratory conditions that students can learn to recognize and diagnose.
Both PCEP and QMEP also included a presentation exercise, in which the students formed groups and researched a medical topic throughout the two weeks before presenting their findings on the final day of the program. This year, 34 students completed the QMEP, while 44 completed the PCEP. Both programs are carefully designed to provide students who have a keen interest in medicine and the sciences a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by a career as a physician-scientist.
The programs were first offered in 2008 and have been extremely successful over the years at attracting high-caliber candidates to WCM-Q. Many students who participate in the summer programs go on to apply to WCM-Q and several gain acceptance in each cycle of the program.
Ms. Noha Saleh, director of premedical administration, student outreach, and educational development said: “Choosing to study medicine at WCM-Q presents students with a vast range of possible career paths, encompassing many different medical specialties as well as opportunities in research, education and beyond. We are very pleased that so many talented high school students joined us this year to explore these possibilities through our Summer Programs. While we were very happy with the experience our Online Summer Programs delivered, it was of course wonderful to be able to hold our programs in person once again.”
The majority of students who took part in the program attend high schools in Qatar, but some participants are drawn from overseas schools. Student participant Waafi Awal attends Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas, and traveled to Qatar to take part.
Waafi said: “Coming all the way from Texas, my expectations were already high as I had made a long journey, but it is safe to say that the PCEP program has far surpassed them. Not only was I able to visit a country as innovative as Qatar, but I also gained valuable knowledge regarding the admissions process, got a taste of the college life experience, and of course, met the wonderful staff and program volunteers, who made sure everything throughout the program ran very smoothly. I didn't know what to expect going into the program, but now Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar is at the top of my list of universities to apply to.”
Dr. Rachid Bendriss, associate dean, foundation, student outreach, and educational development, said: “It has been gratifying to see such a talented and motivated group of high school students exploring the many rewarding and inspiring career paths that can be pursued by studying medicine at WCM-Q.”