Doha – August 21, 2023: The new class of trainee physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) donned the white coats of their future profession for the first time in a symbolic ceremony marking the start of the college’s medical curriculum.
There are 44 medical students in this year’s intake, of whom 22 are Qatari nationals. In total, 41 members of the class were promoted after completing the two-year WCM-Q pre-medical curriculum, while three have joined from other universities. The White Coat Ceremony marked the culmination of a three-day orientation program, during which the students were fitted for their scrubs, met with faculty and peers, and learned about the four-year medical curriculum. The event featured a keynote speech by WCM-Q Class of 2011 alumnus Dr. Essa Abuhelaiqa, now a nephrology consultant at Hamad Medical Corporation.
WCM-Q also inducted 55 new students to its pre-medical curriculum, of whom 18 are Qatari nationals, while a further 15 are long-term residents of Qatar. WCM-Q also welcomes 21 high school graduates to its one-year Foundation Program, of whom 19 are Qatari nationals.
The pre-medical and foundation students had a separate orientation program, which included a tour of WCM-Q’s state-of-the-art campus followed by sessions on time management, academic expectations and integrity, student health and wellness, plus a reading project and opportunities to get to know the faculty and fellow students. There was also a completion ceremony for returning Foundation Program students entering the pre-medical curriculum.
Combined, the two-year pre-medical curriculum and four-year medical curriculum form the WCM-Q integrated Six-Year Medical Program, successful completion of which leads to the Cornell University MD degree.
The Foundation Program provides intensive instruction in the basic sciences, English and mathematics to prepare students for the rigors of the Six-Year Medical Program. The orientation programs, coordinated by the Division of Student Affairs, are designed to help students become familiar with the curriculum, facilities, people and processes of WCM-Q so they can quickly begin learning the material they need to master to thrive at the college.
For the students beginning the two-year pre-medical curriculum, the orientation program concluded with the Ibn Sina pinning ceremony, named after one of the most influential scholars of the Islamic Golden Age.
Qatari first-year medical student Fatima Al-Mohammed said: “Receiving my white coat is an incredibly meaningful moment in my journey as a medical student. This remarkable milestone marks the beginning of my journey into the medical field, filled with dedication and hard work to give back to my country, Qatar. As I go up the stage, I shall embrace the excitement and sense of accomplishment that comes with this important step forward.”
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q said: “We extend our warmest welcome to our new students as they begin learning the skills to provide world-class patient care, make new discoveries in biomedical research, and become the next generation of leaders striving to enhance healthcare for all.”
New first-year medical student Raghad Ibrahim said: “Today marks a significant milestone as we embark on this journey and become medical students who strive to make a lasting impact by embodying the values of excellence, compassion, and innovation that WCM-Q stands for. I would like to thank my family, WCM-Q, and most importantly Qatar for its support throughout many years. This day brings me closer to my wish to serve this community in the future.”