Doha – May 31, 2023: Four Qatari high school students have won two-week scholarship experiences in the annual Healing Hands essay competition of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).
Students Fatma Mohammed Al-Abdulla (Qatar Academy Al Wakra); Khalid Abdulrahman Al-Nabti (Qatar Academy Doha); Noora Abdulrahman Al Thani (Qatar Academy Doha); and Sultan Al-Malki (Qatar Science and Technology Secondary School for Boys) were judged to have written the best 800-word essays on the topic of regenerative medicine.
Each of the four winners will receive the WCM-Q Doctors of the Future Summer Scholarship award, which allows them to travel on an educational trip to the US to spend one week at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and one week at Cornell University in Ithaca, upstate New York. A further 14 students were awarded Honorable Mention certificates in recognition of the high quality of their essays. The essays of the four winners and those who received honorable mentions were noted for the originality of their ideas and the soundness of their supporting arguments.
The contest, which is run by the Office of Student Outreach and Educational Development at WCM-Q, is open to Qatari students in grades 10 and 11. The program is designed to inspire young Qatari nationals to think about careers in medicine and biomedical science. In total, 53 essays were submitted, making it the highest number of qualifying essays since the inception of the Healing Hands competition in 2008.
Winning student Sultan Al-Malki said: “I’m happy to win. Medicine is my passion and I aspire to be a medical doctor in future. I decided to participate in this competition so that I can get the opportunity to learn about research. Regenerative medicine is of interest to me because it is an important topic currently.”
Another winning student, Fatma Mohammed Al-Abdulla said: “The competition gave me an opportunity to start forming my career path early. This competition provided me with an insight into the medical field, which I intend to pursue in the future.”
One of the highlights of the event was playing a video recorded during this year’s graduation celebrations of Dr. Salah Mahmoud, WCM-Q graduate of the Class of 2023, who won the competition in 2013 and later became a student at WCM-Q.
The certificates were presented by Dr. Rachid Bendriss, associate dean for foundation, student outreach and educational development programs; Noha Saleh, director of pre-medical administration, student outreach and educational development; Dr. Mohamud Verjee, associate professor of family medicine in clinical medicine; and Dr. Adam Larson, assistant professor of English as a second language. The four were members of the contest committee.
Ms. Saleh said: “We were very impressed by the extremely high standards of the essay we received and the hard work that clearly went into them. I offer my warmest congratulations to the winners and I hope that their experiences in the US on the Doctors of the Future Scholarship will inspire them to apply to WCM-Q to study medicine with us.”
Dr. Bendriss said: “We are grateful to everyone who took part in the Healing Hands essay contest for presenting some very well thought-out concepts and ideas in their submissions. We hope you will all choose to employ your keen understanding of the world of medicine by applying to join WCM-Q once you graduate from high school.”