News and Media

WCM-Q alumni return to offer career advice to medical students

Dr. Mai Mahmoud
Dr. Mai Mahmoud

Three graduates of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) now working as physicians in Qatar and the US returned to the college to offer advice to help medical students plan their career paths.

Radiologist Dr. Jehan Al Rayahi of Sidra Medicine joined dermatologist Dr. Sara Alkhawaga of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and Dr. Mustafa Alkawaaz, a pathologist at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, for the latest instalment of the biannual WCM-Q Career Advising Seminar.

Speaking to medical students, the doctors described their own career paths, explaining the influences of their own experiences at college and in clinic, as well as the guidance they received from mentors, that led them to choose their own particular medical specialties. Internal medicine physician Dr. Anand Kartha, head of hospital medicine and a senior consultant in medicine at Hamad General Hospital, also appeared at the seminar session to offer advice to the students. In total, 50 students participated in the career seminar.

The seminar was coordinated by Dr. Mai Mahmoud, assistant dean for faculty affairs, associate professor of teaching in medicine and director for student academic advising at WCM-Q. Dr. Mahmoud warmly thanked the physicians who participated and said: “Studying medicine opens a vast array of career pathways in many different fields of clinical practice, but also in research, education, management and other areas. This means that students are advised to begin thinking about their career goals at an early stage so that they can orient their studies and extracurricular activities toward those ambitions. Hearing the stories of successful physicians in our Career Advising Seminar gives them both inspiration and guidance as they begin to form ideas about their own paths.”

Dr. Sara Alkhawaga talking to medical students during the career advising seminarThe broad objectives of the academic advising program at WCM-Q are to assist students in reaching the highest level of competence, provide the support to overcome academic challenges, and help students make informed career decisions. The program has two components: longitudinal advising and career advising, which both extend across the four year of instruction of the WCM-Q Medical Curriculum. The longitudinal advising service assigns every student at WCM-Q to a faculty member who monitors their progress and provides support when needed. Medical students also receive special support and career advice in their final year when they choose their medical specialty and apply for post-graduate residency positions.

Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, vice dean for academic and curricular affairs said: “The Career Advising Seminar is a great way for our current medical students to benefit from the advice of some of our graduates who have built successful, rewarding and fulfilling careers in Qatar, the United States and elsewhere. These examples show our students the wealth of opportunities that will become accessible to them when they complete the WCM-Q MD degree.”