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WCM-Q High School Medical Conference attracts talented aspiring doctors

Students of the winning team in the research poster contest with WCM-Q faculty and staff, with Mrs. Noha Saleh at right.
Students of the winning team in the research poster contest with WCM-Q faculty and staff, with Mrs. Noha Saleh at right.

More than 800 participants, including teachers, school counselors, and students with aspirations to become the next generation of medical leaders, flocked to Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) High School Medical Conference.

A total of 848 participants, mostly high-achieving students from high schools across Qatar and around the world took part in the online event, which featured a research competition, professional development workshops and a wide range of virtual activities giving insight into the study and practice of medicine. In addition to Qatar, the participating students were based in 15 other countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The one-day event is designed to give students a chance to explore the prospect of a career in medicine, a glimpse of life as a medical student at WCM-Q, and an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to understand and communicate complex information through a poster presentation on a research topic of their choice. The activities also included an interactive quiz session and the ‘Medicine Unlimited Virtual Fair’ which showcased anatomy lab activities, facilities at the Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab, work by the office of Institute for Population Health, and a session on admissions’ requirements at WCM-Q.

Noha Saleh, Director of Premedical Administration, Student Outreach and Educational Development, said: “We are extremely gratified that so many talented high school students from all over the globe participated in the conference and very impressed by the maturity, intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm they demonstrated. Studying at WCM-Q opens a vast array of opportunities in medicine, research, and community development, offering the chance to not only develop extremely successful and rewarding careers, but also to make meaningful contributions to society. We hope we will see many of the participants in the conference go on to join us at WCM-Q as students in the very near future.”

Seventeen teams from 13 schools from across Qatar participated in the research competition that took place in the morning of the conference. The final round of the poster presentations was judged by Dr. Mohammad Yousef, Professor of Physics, Dr. Kuei- Chiu Chen Associate Professor of Biology and Dr. Majda Sebah, Lecturer in Chemistry in the Premedical Division. The winners of the research competition were announced in the concluding session of the event, with Team 31 from the American School of Doha clinching first place with their topic ‘Effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of adolescents’, led by Ms. Maria Manacheril. The winning team comprised five students: Omar Abdallah, Ibrahim Al-Hassani, Bassam Almoli, Mohamed Rami Ayeche, and Mohamed Al-Thani.