Attracting Qatari students to medicine
Twenty high school students participated in the Qatar Aspiring Doctors Program (QADP) this year, potentially preparing them for a career in medicine.
The year-long program is run by WCM-Q, and is offered to a select number of high school students who are motivated to become doctors.
This year, 20 students – 17 of whom are Qatari – from a total of 12 schools took part in the QADP and received certificates to mark their participation in, or completion of, the program in a closing event at WCM-Q on April 6. Now in its second year, the program is successful in helping high school students fulfill their ambition of becoming physicians through a specially designed academic curriculum that embraces technology and a program that offers guidance on how to become a high prospect for medical colleges. The course comprises a combination of face-to-face instruction, online modules and hands-on training based on a customized timetable.
This year a total of nine participants, eight of whom are Qatari, applied to the six-year medical program. There were 13 grade-12 QADP participants, nine of whom applied, bringing the application rate from the QADP to 75%. Six students who are currently in grade 11 have partially completed the program and plan to apply next year.
Dr. Rachid Bendriss, assistant dean for student recruitment, outreach and foundation programs at WCM-Q, paid tribute to the efforts of the students.
“The QADP is a self-paced program that requires commitment and self-discipline, but with the help of our premedical faculty as well as the Office of Student Recruitment and Outreach, we provide an excellent support to the students,” he said. “Not only do we help talented students reach the required academic level to be college ready, we also give them the opportunity to experience life at WCM-Q. They meet faculty, students, admissions staff, and gain a real understanding of what pursuing a medical degree at WCM-Q would be like.”
The QADP aims to enhance students’ college-readiness skills and strengthen their college applications. By developing the students’ areas of strength in physical sciences, biology, English and research skills - as well as enhancing their motivation to pursue medicine - the program aims to enrich the overall learning experience of the students. It does this using mastery-based and self-paced learning approaches. The program is structured so that it has inherent flexibility and takes into consideration the students’ schoolwork during this critical phase of their education. The program also offers ACT preparation, an important admissions requirement, as well as year-long access to faculty, teaching assistants and staff in addition to the use of the excellent facilities at WCM-Q.
Haya Rashid Al Kaabi, of Al Bayan Independent School for Girls, was one of those who took part in the QADP. Haya, recipient of the Completion with Honors Award, spoke at the event and said that joining the QADP was one of the “best decisions of my life”. She said:
“It’s given me an insight into life as a college student and I’m not even at college yet. This program gave me a lot of experience and tons of valuable information that will help me not only in college but in life too.”
Hassan Alroobi, from Omar Bin Khattab Secondary School for Boys, added that not only has the QADP improved his academic knowledge, it has also taught him how to think differently, and perhaps most importantly, improved his confidence and strengthened his motivation to become a doctor. He added:
“I learned to work hard to be good, then to work hard to be better, then to work hard to be the best.”
The QADP runs from September to April each academic year. To join the program, interested students must first be nominated by their high schools. Inclusion in the QADP is based purely on merit, and those selected must have excellent academic scores and have demonstrated a strong desire to become a doctor.
The 12 schools from which this year’s students came are Al Arqam Academy, Al Eiman Independent School for Girls, Al Bayan Independent School for Girls, Al Jazeera Academy, Al Wakra Independent School for Boys and Girls, Amna Bint Wahab Independent School for Girls, Doha College, Omar Bin Khattab School for Boys, Qatar Independent School, Rabaa Al Adaweya Independent School for Girls, Qatar International School, and Rowda Bint Jassim Independent School for Girls.
Information about the QADP is available at WCM-Q’s Office of Student Recruitment and Outreach at www.qatar-weill.cornell.edu/future-students