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New trainee doctors don white coats for first time

WCM-Q’s Class of 2020 were presented with their white coats in a ceremony held at Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center.
WCM-Q’s Class of 2020 were presented with their white coats in a ceremony held at Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center.

WCM-Q’s new cohort of trainee doctors took a symbolic first step towards their chosen profession as they donned the physician’s traditional garb in a ceremony held at Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center.

The students of the Class of 2020 took to the stage in front of an audience of their friends and family at the WCM-Q Opening Exercises ceremony where they were presented with their new white coats and stethoscopes.

The ceremonial presentation of the white coats has become a tradition at WCM-Q and carries special symbolic significance as it marks the moment students begin the four-year Medical Program, which involves working directly with patients. This year, the Medical Program has admitted 40 students of 14 different nationalities. In total, 35 percent of the students joining the Medical Program are Qatari nationals.

The ceremony also welcomed 50 students joining WCM-Q’s recently launched cohesive six-year Medical Program, which integrates two years of Pre-medical training and the four-year Medical Program. The class comprises students of 12 different nationalities, and 38 percent of the students are Qatari nationals.

The ceremony also marks the culmination of WCM-Q’s Orientation Program, which introduces students joining the college’s Foundation, Pre-medical and Medical Programs to their new classmates, faculty and the facilities at WCM-Q.

During orientation, the new students participated in ‘icebreaker’ sessions, joined Q&A panel discussions on career development with qualified physicians, toured the state-of-the-art facilities at WCM-Q, learned more about the curriculum and gained advice about learning strategies, health and safety in the medical environment and legal issues in medicine, among other subjects.

Addressing the audience at the event, Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, said:

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of our new students to WCM-Q and to present to them their very first white coat and stethoscope, both of which are such powerful symbols of our profession and the practice of medicine.

Pulling on the white coat for the first time is a big moment for all doctors. It is the moment at which they begin to work with patients and to acquire the practical skills and know-how they need to provide real care and to start making a positive difference to the community. In short, it is the point at which they start to feel they are becoming real doctors.

I am sure the Class of 2020 and their families will remember this special moment for many years to come.”

The Class of 2020 will now spend four years training in all aspects of medicine from faculty members based in Qatar and also from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. If successful they will then receive a U.S. medical degree.

They will also gain experience working directly with patients at WCM-Q’s clinical affiliate Hamad Medical Corporation, and they will have the opportunity to work in clinics at NewYork Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, one of the world’s foremost university hospitals.

Nasser Binmarzook, aged 21, is beginning the Medical Program, having just completed the Pre-medical Program at WCM-Q. He said: “Putting on the white coat for the very first time is incredibly exciting and inspiring, and a little intimidating at the same time because it carries a lot of responsibility.

“Knowing we worked so hard for two years to have the privilege of wearing the white coat gives us a real sense of achievement and it gives us inspiration to meet the challenges of the next four years of study. I am looking forward to that challenge.”