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High school students learn about life as a medical student

The students came from 16 high schools in Qatar and were all keen to learn more about life at WCM-Q and a career in science and medicine.
The students came from 16 high schools in Qatar and were all keen to learn more about life at WCM-Q and a career in science and medicine.

Normal life may be curtailed at the moment, but that didn’t stop 40 high school students from preparing for their futures as they took part in Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar’s (WCM-Q) online Qatar Medical Explorer Program.

Usually held in the medical school, but taken online because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the program offers talented high school students the chance to spend a week at WCM-Q, meeting students and faculty, taking online lectures and learning more about what is required if they want to pursue a career in medicine. The college’s doctors and professors hold classes in physics, chemistry, biology and anatomy, the participating students learn about life as a practicing physician and get to quiz current students about life as a medical student – the social aspects of WCM-Q along with the demanding curriculum. Practical lessons like writing personal statements are also taught, providing students with an insight into what college selection boards are seeking.

For Lolwa Alansari, from DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, it was her second time on the program, having previously participated in February of last year.

Lolwa said: “This program made me even more sure that I want to become a doctor in the future. I have always believed that I’m going to be a doctor and now I’m positive.

“I loved all the sessions and what they offered. My favorite was Dr. Mohamud Verjee’s who spoke about his passion for medicine; after the session it felt like I had known him for years. Dr. James Roach’s class was the coolest! I loved his session so much and he made my love for chemistry grow bigger!

“I enjoyed the program a lot and I will not stop recommending it to my friends and the people I know.”

The students comprised 28 girls and 12 boys and came from 16 local schools: Qatar Academy for Science and Technology, Hayat Universal Bilingual School, Qatar Academy Doha and Al Khor, DeBakey High School for Health Professionals at Qatar, Amna bint Wahab Independent School for Girls, Noor Al Khaleej International School, Sherborne Qatar, Al Bayan Independent School for Girls, Tariq bin Ziyad Independent School for Boys, Hassaan bin Thabit Independent Secondary School for Boys, Qatar International School, Academic Bridge Program, Al Arqam Academy, Doha College, and Ahmed bin Hanbal Independent School for Boys.

Noha Saleh, director of premedical administration, student outreach, and educational development, said that despite the limitations inherent in an online program, the students had been inquisitive, hard-working and intelligent and the week had been very productive.

Ms. Saleh said: “WCM-Q’s Qatar Medical Explorer Program is a highly useful tool for students exploring their post-high school options.

“Obviously, we want to encourage students to seriously consider careers in medicine or the sciences, but what is most important is that they choose a career path with which they are happy and in which they can be successful. The Medical Explorer Program allows them to assess their own skills and interests and place them within the context of the WCM-Q curriculum. This ensures that they are aware of the dedication that a medical career entails, alongside the huge personal satisfaction of healing your fellow man.”

For more information about studying at WCM-Q, or to arrange a virtual tour of the college, visit the WCM-Q website at