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WCM-Q launches webinar series to support global healthcare education during COVID-19

The webinars are set to continue bi-weekly until December 14.
The webinars are set to continue bi-weekly until December 14.

The Division of Continuing Professional Development at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) has launched a new webinar series to support global healthcare education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new series features presentations by leading academics engaged in healthcare education from Qatar, Europe, Asia the US and beyond sharing information designed to help fellow educators maximize learning outcomes for students during the pandemic. Students also take part in presentations to give feedback on their learning experiences during the pandemic.

The groundbreaking new program, called the ‘COVID-19 Healthcare Education Series’, is co-directed by Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, professor of clinical medicine and senior associate dean for medical education and continuing professional development, and Dr. Janette Samaan, senior international educator and former senior director of Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The program is the result of a collaboration between the Division of Continuing Professional Development at WCM-Q, and the AAMC’s VLSO program. The purpose of the series is to discuss the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare education, to evaluate new educational strategies for delivery of medical education during a crisis and to outline challenges and strategies to transform healthcare education during a crisis. The series is a prelude to a conference scheduled for December, titled ‘A Catalyst for Change: Promoting Health Equity in Global Medical Education in the Post COVID-19 Era’, which will feature world-renowned experts in healthcare education. The webinars are accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

The first webinar in the series was given by senior leadership from three medical schools, Dr.Thurayya Arayssi of WCM-Q, Dr. Abebe Bekele, dean of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, and Dr. Lorenzo Dagna, professor of medicine at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Italy. They discussed strategies for successfully transforming healthcare education during a crisis and the challenges faced by the global healthcare education community. Moreover, Amina Kunnumal, a WCM-Q medical student, reflected on her experience of managing her studies during these unprecedented times.

The second in the webinar series took place recently and was given by Dr. Gerardo Guiter, WCM-Q’s assistant professor of pathology & laboratory medicine, Dr. Jessica Evert, executive director of Child Family Health International, and Bruno Mourao, a third-year medical student at WCM-Q. The webinar, titled ‘Virtual Electives for Student Exchange Programs’, discussed the impact of the pandemic and lockdown measures on electives, which are short-term training placements in hospitals and other healthcare environments that typically form an important part of the advanced stages of a medical student’s degree. The webinar described how technological innovations can be deployed to minimize the disruption to medical education caused by the pandemic, discussed strategies for designing and implementing virtual electives, and outlined the global challenges presented by the need to provide elective-based learning experiences to medical students.

The webinar series was developed with the support of a global and diverse scientific planning committee constituted of physicians and other healthcare practitioners from Qatar, the US, Europe, Asia and South America and was attended by hundreds of global participants. The webinars will continue bi-weekly until December 14, 2020.

Ms. Deema Al-Sheikhly, director of medical education and continuing professional development, said: “We are very pleased to offer this new webinar series to share the latest information about the best ways to minimize disruption to the education of student healthcare professionals. This is crucial to ensure students have the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge required to provide the very highest standards of healthcare to their future patients.”

For more information about the COVID-19 Healthcare Education Series, visit