Doha – August 29, 2022: Azwa Dilawar, a first-year medical student at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), has presented her research on child and adolescent psychiatry services in Qatar at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Bangkok.
Ms. Dilawar travelled to Thailand to attend the World Psychiatric Association’s 22nd annual congress and presented a poster of her research project, titled Evolution of child and adolescent psychiatry services in Qatar. The WPA is psychiatry’s global association, representing 140 psychiatric societies in 120 countries and supporting more than 250,000 psychiatrists. The research poster was co-authored by Dr. Ahsan Nazeer of Sidra Medicine and WCM-Q.
Early in the medical curriculum of WCM-Q, medical students start to learn about psychiatric illnesses as part of their brain and behavior unit. In the third year of the program they have a more immersive experience during the psychiatry clerkship. Students also complete a longitudinal research project spanning the four years of the medical curriculum and receive mentorship in research from WCM-Q faculty.
The research poster notes that mental healthcare provision in Qatar has developed rapidly from the 1990s onwards. The Ministry of Public Health established a formal collaboration with the World Health Organization in 2008, and Qatar then established the Qatar National Mental Health Strategy 2013-2018. With the inauguration of Sidra Medicine in mid-2016, the research states, new child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) opened in Qatar, including provision of CAMHS in outpatient clinics, the emergency department, on medical floors, and inpatient settings. The poster also states: “Furthermore, informational seminars hosted by Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medicine Ambassador Programs in Qatar Foundation schools have destigmatized mental health in the country.” Aleeza Azeem, a student at the American School of Doha, also contributed to the research.
Ms. Dilawar said: “Being invited to present at the World Psychiatric Association’s annual congress was an honor and a privilege to represent my institution and the country of Qatar. I was able to interact and exchange valuable knowledge with the world’s leading mental health professionals and learn about the diversity of the mental health services offered across various countries. Attending the conference inspired me to implement my newfound knowledge in my own community in Qatar and throughout my professional life.
“Qatar has done tremendous work towards the development of its child and adolescent mental health services in recent years, ensuring the utmost quality of care for its patients to promote the mental health wellbeing of the nation.”
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, professor of psychiatry, and professor of population health sciences, said: “All of us at WCM-Q are extremely proud of Azwa for presenting her highly accomplished research at such a prestigious event. With this distinguished achievement she has proved to be a wonderful ambassador for WCM-Q and for the State of Qatar.”