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Career seminar series helps students look to the future

Third-year medical students talk to the Foundation class about how experiences during the Medical Program have shaped their career aspirations.
Third-year medical students talk to the Foundation class about how experiences during the Medical Program have shaped their career aspirations.

Physicians and research professors have been providing students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) with an insight into their professional lives as part of the Medical Career Seminar Series.

The spring lecture series is an annual event held for students who are taking WCM-Q’s foundation program. Speakers included Dr. Wafa Al Yazeedi, assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine and chairperson of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC); Dr. Khaled Machaca, associate dean for research at WCM-Q; and Dr. Samar Al Emadi, senior rheumatology consultant and head of the rheumatology section at HMC.

The aim is both to inspire students but also educate them so they know what to expect and can begin to consider the various medical career paths that are open to them.

Dr. Rachid Bendriss, assistant dean for student recruitment, outreach and foundation programs at WCM-Q, said it was important to inform students of the options open to them.

Dr. Noora Al-Shahwani, Surgical Resident at HMC and WCM-Q alumna, inspired students with the story of her journey in medicine.

Dr. Bendriss said: “Medicine is a very varied field and although the initial MD degree requires students to have the same knowledge, specialist fields like surgery, pediatrics, radiology or emergency medicine all require different skills and offer very different career experiences. It is important that students begin to think about the options open to them at a very early stage as it allows them to make more informed decisions and so makes it much more likely that they will choose the career path that best suits them.

“These lectures also show that there is more to a medical degree than just healthcare. Biomedical research is vital if new drugs and therapies are to be developed and for some students, a career in research is the perfect avenue for their talents.”

Student Noor Al-Nassr said it had been a worthwhile series that had opened their eyes to the opportunities available. She said: “The medical career seminar gave us the opportunity to learn more about particular sub-specialties and enabled us to understand the complexities of each as well as allowing us to explore alternative careers in medicine. I personally loved the seminar series as it made me realize that even the most intelligent and successful physicians have had to overcome tough obstacles in the past, and that has motivated me to keep working hard. In the end, medical students study to save their patients; it is quite self-centered of us if we only think that we are studying for ourselves and these guest lecturers made us understand that.”