High school students learn about life at WCM-Q
February 2017

The students, pictured here with WCM-Q faculty and staff, were all nominated by their schools to participate.

The students, pictured here with WCM-Q faculty and staff, were all nominated by their schools to participate.

Choosing a career is not easy, but high school students from across Qatar have a better understanding of what life would be like as a doctor thanks to programs run by WCM-Q.

The Enrichment Programs at WCM-Q have been running since 2008 and offer promising high school students in years 9, 10, 11 and 12 the opportunity to study at WCM-Q for two weeks, attending lectures, speaking to faculty and medical students, experiencing healthcare lessons and finding out whether a career in medicine would be for them.

In all 23 students joined this year’s Qatar Medical Explorer Winter Program (QMEP), one of WCM-Q’s Enrichment Programs, of whom 100 per cent were Qatari. All the participants were nominated by their schools based on their academic performance and career interests.

Noha Saleh, director of student recruitment and outreach at WCM-Q, said QMEP is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what life as a medical student is like, along with learning about the academic requirements.

She said: “It can be intimidating for young people to have to choose a subject to study at university while they are still at a relatively young age. These decisions have a huge impact on their lives so it is vital that they understand the implications of any career choice and ensure that they are going to enjoy their work.

Dr. Rachid  Bendriss , assistant dean for student recruitment, outreach and foundation programs who handed the students their certificates of completion said, “After their full engagement in this program, these students have a greater understanding about the life of a medical student and doctor and I’m sure they all now realise how much work, study and dedication is needed. However, I also hope that they all realise how fulfilling it is to be able to cure people and help them in their hour of need.”

Dr. Bendriss added, “We are also extremely grateful to all the students, faculty, and staff who volunteered their time and effort to make this program a resounding success.”

This year, the high school students have been introduced to the basics of research and gained experience with driving simulators, visited Qatar Science and Technology Park to learn more about robotic surgery, taken hands-on classes in the biology laboratories, learned about surgical techniques, and taken part in student debates, among many other activities.

Dr. Kuei Chiu Chen, senior lecturer in biology, teaches laboratory techniques to the students.

Dr. Kuei Chiu Chen, senior lecturer in biology, teaches laboratory techniques to the students.

Noof Ali Al-Mazrooei said: “The interactive QMEP program held at WCM-Q is very beneficial for students that are trying to figure out whether medicine at WCM-Q is the right path. This two-week program not only gives you great insight into the student life of WCM-Q but also clears any mixed emotions you have towards medicine. Personally, this program strengthened my motivation towards pursuing medicine as a career. "
Sara Abdulla Al-Mulla said: “I enjoyed every moment there, particularly as I got to know new people and become more social. I was a very shy person, but this program helped me become bold and talk to new people. This program also helped me see what university feels like and this will come in useful when I graduate from high school.”

The QMEP also offers two distinguished achievement awards; the first is the Excellence Award that is presented to students who demonstrated excellence, leadership and motivation throughout the program. This year’s Excellence Award went to Noof Ali Al-Mazrooei from the Academic Bridge Program and Nawaf Ahmed Al-Muhannadi from Qatar Academy Doha School.

The second award is the JO Achievement Award, which is named after Dr. Jehan Al Rayahi and Dr. Osama Al Saied, graduates of WCM-Q’s Class of 2008 who initiated the first Summer Explorer Program back in 2008. The award is given to the students who show the most marked improvement during their participation in the program. The JO award went this year to Lolwa Sanim Bahzad from Al Maha Academy for Girls, Ghaya Nasser Al Suwaidi from Michael Debakey High School, and Isa Waleed Al-Mannai and Sultan Abdulla Al-Raban from the Academic Bridge Program.

The other students who participated came from Al-Eman Independent School for Girls, Qatar Independent Secondary School for Girls, Al Bayan Secondary School for Girls, and Mosab Bin Omair Independent School for Boys.

Along with the winter edition of QMEP, WCM-Q also runs a summer program. Any high school student interested in participating should submit an application. Forms will be available on the WCM-Q website early March.