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Alumni of WCM-Q's Foundation Program offer advice to current students

Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, addresses alumni and current Foundation Program students.
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, addresses alumni and current Foundation Program students.

Alumni of Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar’s Foundation Program joined current students to share their experiences and offer advice for succeeding in the six-year medical program.

The Foundation Program was devised by WCM-Q to provide academic support to students who show great potential for success on the pre-medical and medical curricula. A year long, the program develops students’ English language skills, alongside classes in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. The aim is to create a bridge between high school and the rigors of the pre-medical and medical curricula at the college, affording students a greater chance of success.

At the annual Foundation Program Alumni Lunch, former students of the program met current students to talk about their experiences.

Foundation alumna Moza Al-Hail, who is now enrolled in the first year of WCM-Q’s pre-medical curriculum, said the Foundation Program offered great support to students.

She said: “Foundation was a very good and intensive course. It focused on improving our English-language proficiency and challenged us by giving us the opportunity to visit various institutions like Hamad Hospital and Sidra, where we were able to meet people working in the local medical field and discuss topics like professionalism and medical identity.

“Other classes covered fields like animal dissection, which helps to prepare you for medicine.

“The program was difficult and intensive, but it was fun; class sizes are small, so it felt very much like a family and everyone was able to share the same experiences. That has really stayed with me and hopefully myself and my classmates from the Foundation Program will all graduate as doctors together.”

Dr. Rachid Bendriss, assistant dean for student recruitment, outreach and foundation programs, said the event was a great opportunity for current students to learn from their more experienced peers.

Dr. Bendriss added: “Since its inception, the Foundation Program has been a resounding success; there are currently 20, mainly Qatari, students participating on the program and we expect the vast majority will be successful in moving onto the pre-medical curriculum and -ultimately – graduating as doctors.”

This year, 17 former foundation students are expected to graduate as medical doctors and make a positive impact in the community.