Qatari high school students return to WCM-Q to recount US research experience
Three Qatari students who traveled to the US for a two-week research experience after winning Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Healing Hands essay competition returned to the college to speak about their trip.
Dalal Khalid Al-Fadli, from the Academic Bridge Program, Dyana Hamad Al Blooshi, of Qatar Academy, Doha, and Haya Khalid Rahimi, who attends Newton International Academy, Barwa City, each won ‘Doctors of the Future’ scholarships when their essays on the topic ‘Lifestyle Medicine in Qatar’ were judged the best from a field of 37 submissions back in May.
During the summer, the students spent two weeks gaining experience in Weill Cornell Medicine’s world-class biomedical research laboratories in New York, as well as attending lectures with faculty and meeting students. They then moved upstate to Cornell University in Ithaca where they stayed at the campus, toured the wide range of facilities that the Ivy League university offers, and marveled at the natural beauty of the area. The scholarship also provided for the students to be accompanied by family members as chaperones.
Following the experience, Dalal, Dyana and Haya returned to WCM-Q to attend a completion ceremony and discuss the trip with Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, and other senior faculty members.
Dalal, who joined the WCM-Q Foundation Program soon after the US visit, said: “The trip was one of the best experiences of my entire life. Visiting the campus at Ithaca was amazing; I am a books person, so I absolutely loved visiting the beautiful old library there. We went all over the campus together and heard about lots of different subjects, which helped me decide that I wanted to study medicine and join WCM-Q.”
Haya also found the trip inspiring. She said: “We got a great introduction to medicine and met so many interesting people. I loved being at the medical college in New York because the students and the doctors there were so focused and dedicated to their work, which really energized and inspired me.”
The Healing Hands essay contest is held annually and is designed to encourage high school students to think critically about relevant healthcare and scientific topics and to consider a career in medicine. Since its launch in 2008, the Qatar Future Doctors scholarship program has proven to be extremely successful at inspiring and encouraging Qatari students to study medicine and help fulfill the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. The program is implemented by the Office of Student Outreach and Educational Development to help promote medical careers to Qatari students. The contribution and support provided in recent years by Dr. Randi Silver, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Associate Dean at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City, who has hosted and mentored many Qatari high school students, is evidence of the strong ties between WMC-Q and the Weill Cornell Medicine campus in New York City.
Dean Sheikh said: “It was been wonderful to hear about the experiences of these three very intelligent, very impressive young students. We are so fortunate to have such high-caliber students here in Qatar who want to come to WCM-Q.”