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High school students glimpse college life at WCM-Q

High school students on the WCM-Q summer enrichment program take an anatomy class.
High school students on the WCM-Q summer enrichment program take an anatomy class.

High school students with a passion for science had the opportunity to explore careers in medicine courtesy of two summer enrichment programs offered by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q). 

A total of 73 students were invited to spend two weeks at WCM-Q participating in the Qatar Medical Explorer Program (QMEP) and the Pre-College Enrichment Program (PCEP). The programs, which are run twice a year, help participants understand what life as a medical student and as a doctor is like through a series of presentations, clinical skills workshops and problem-based learning sessions, as well as giving them the chance to formulate a clear impression of their own interests, strengths and areas for improvement. 

This summer, 34 grade 10 and 11 students took part in the QMEP, while 39 grade 11 and 12 students took part in the PCEP. The programs help students develop useful practical skills for college applications, such as interview techniques and how to write personal statements. Participating students were drawn from schools in Qatar, Lebanon, Kuwait, other parts of the Gulf region, the US and Canada.

During their fortnight on campus, the students completed a busy schedule of lectures, labs, workshops and orientation sessions. Subjects covered included human anatomy, dissection, clinical skills, medical ethics, biomedical research, lab safety and the liberal arts, among others. They also met with current WCM-Q medical students, heard about student clubs and societies, toured the world-class teaching and research facilities at WCM-Q, and worked on group presentations to present to their peers.

More than 70 high school students took part in summer enrichment programs at WCM-Q this year.

Speaking at the closing event, Noha Saleh, director of outreach and educational development, said: “The cohort of students on our summer enrichment programs impressed us greatly with their appetite for learning, their excellent levels of academic achievement and, most of all, their tremendously positive attitudes. We hope that many of them will choose to pursue their careers in medicine and to work hard to achieve their dream.”

Other activities included visits to Sidra Medicine for the PCEP students and to Qatar National Library for the QMEP students. Both sets of students also had the chance to take sessions in WCM-Q’s state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab, where they worked with animatronic medical manikins and other hi-tech learning aids and took part in role plays with standardized patients (actors trained to play patients).

Giving an address at the closing event, QMEP student Rami Amir Kokash of The International School of Choueifat-Doha, said: “I believe that my critical thinking abilities have been dramatically enhanced during my two weeks here and I think that everyone is going to leave this course as a better person, a more knowledgeable, proficient and well-versed human being. I would like to thank everyone at WCM-Q for making this possible for us.”

PCEP student Reem Al Janahi of Qatar Academy Doha said: “This program gave us an insight into the exciting future we have ahead of us and the possibilities and goals we can strive for. We have learnt from each other’s experiences and different backgrounds and gained incredible memories we will never forget.”

The summer enrichment programs at WCM-Q are open to students from all over the world. Attending this year from the US was Emre Milis, aged 17, a grade 12 student from Collegedale Academy in Tennessee. He said: “Medicine has always been something I’ve been passionate about and I have had a great time here these past two weeks. I’m really looking forward to applying to WCM-Q and hope to be back before too long.”

High school students learn about the human heart during the WCM-Q summer enrichment program.