Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2013 Summer Enrichment Programs attract aspiring medical doctors

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar opened its doors to welcome nearly 100 aspiring medical doctors when the annual Summer Enrichment Programs got underway at the start of summer break for Qatar’s school students.

The WCMC-Q Summer Enrichment Programs are designed to provide prospective students with an opportunity to further explore their intellectual curiosity in a college setting. The program has been well received by students and schools who regard this as an excellent opportunity for interested and talented students to get the feel of college life and foster long-term career ambitions.

The two programs provide selected students with an excellent opportunity to explore a possible medical career with hands-on experiences that is similar to the programs of study undertaken by current students. Current WCMC-Q graduates and faculty members deliver the programs.  The Qatar Medical Explorer Program (QMEP) aims to give a glimpse of what it is like to be a medical doctor through didactic thinking and problem-based learning.  It is aimed at students entering 10th and 11th grades.

The two-week Pre-college Enrichment Program (PCEP) also aims to introduce prospective college students to experience the rigors of university life. It is aimed at students entering 11th and 12th grades and those who are graduating from high school with a solid foundation in basic and biological science, high proficiency in English and a desire to pursue medical studies.

The students are given a chance to explore past, present and future trends in medicine and they discuss issues in the profession from ethics in research to public health awareness in the Gulf region. It is also an opportunity to experience college life through a variety of presentations, basic science lab sessions and clinical skills workshops. It is hoped that the students will after an intensive two weeks of workshops and presentations be in a position to form a clearer picture about how their interests, strengths and areas of improvement can translate into a career in Medicine.

WCMC-Q Director of Student Recruitment, Noha Saleh said this year there were 33 students in the QMEP and 36 in the PCEP. While most of the students come from Qatar, there were also three students from Kuwait, the United States and Germany. “From previous experience about 95 per cent of the summer enrichment programs students end-up applying to WCMC-Q,” Ms. Saleh said.

“ The Office of Student Recruitment received 360 applications for both programs and competition was really hard to win a seat in the summer programs this year. I am sure that these academically fit students will benefit from these two weeks to further explore the medical studies at WCMC-Q,” Ms. Saleh said.

WCMC-Q Class of 2013 graduates Dr. Moamena El-Matbouly and Dr. Mason Al-Nouri, who presented a session on the growing problems of diabetes both in Qatar and around the world, led the PCEP student session.  

Dr. Al-Nouri said the students were interactive and very bright. “This has been an interesting experience dealing with young people. They are largely enthusiastic and motivated to succeed. I wish them all well as they look to the future,” Dr. Al-Nouri said.

For Dr. El-Matbouly, the Summer Enrichment Program was an excellent and rewarding opportunity to engage with young people who are interested in pursuing a medical career in the future.

For 16-year-old Al Jazeera Academy student Mohammed Al-Horr it was an exciting experience that he shared with his friends John Basar, 17, and Irfan Mian, 17, from Doha College. The three young men are still unsure of career objectives but all felt that the program opened new pathways and was helpful in deciding whether or not to pursue a challenging and difficult course of study.

“I am really happy to have an opportunity like this. It has been exciting and I am enjoying the work that has been prepared for us by our tutors. It has given me a clear idea of my objectives and I am also keen to study medicine and some day to become a medical doctor,” Mohammed said.

Ibrahim Abdullah, 15, from De Bakker High School, and his friends Nasser Al-Kuwari, 16, from Ali bin Jassim Independent School are two enterprising Qatari students with determination to gain entry to WCMC-Q. They were willing to forsake two weeks of summer vacation in the interest of exploring options and pursuing a rigorous medical career. “I am very interested in my future career and will be working hard towards my goal of gaining entry to Weill Cornell after I finish school,” Ibrahim said.

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