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WCM-Q welcomes international medical student to Qatar

WCM-Q’s Dr. Sohaila Cheema, left, visiting student Mohamed Wafa Khoudeir, and WCM-Q’s Dr. Ravinder Mamtani.
WCM-Q’s Dr. Sohaila Cheema, left, visiting student Mohamed Wafa Khoudeir, and WCM-Q’s Dr. Ravinder Mamtani.

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) welcomed a medical student from Ain Shams University in Cairo to the college through the Global Educational Exchange in Medicine and the Health Professions (GEMx) program.

Mohamed Wafa Khoudeir, who is originally from Syria, is in the sixth and final year of the medical program at Ain Shams University Faculty of Medicine. Through GEMx he spent four weeks at WCM-Q taking an elective course in population health and primary care perspectives.

GEMx, a program of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), based in Philadelphia, USA provides a platform to help match students seeking an international experience with host universities all over the world. Students can use the system to apply for the electives, safe in the knowledge that the host school has signed up to the ECFMG charter, which guarantees established standards of student support and pre-agreed learning outcomes. Since 2014, WCM-Q has hosted students from Nepal, Mexico and Malaysia.

Wafa, aged 24, said: “To come here to WCM-Q is amazing for any medical student because the facilities and teaching are among the best in the world and the US medical system is very advanced in terms of evidence-based care. Doha is very diverse, so I have been able to develop my ability to work and communicate with colleagues and patients from many different cultures.”

During his time at the college, Wafa had the opportunity to work through patient case studies with assistant professor of medicine Dr. Sumeja Zahirovic, who specializes in internal medicine and rheumatology. He also observed an objective structured clinical examination – known as an OSCE – conducted by assistant dean for medical student affairs Dr. Mohamad Verjee in WCM-Q’s state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab. Additionally, Wafa worked in three different clinics at Hamad Medical Corporation and the Primary Health Care Corporation (WCM-Q’s clinical affiliates), engaged with the WCM-Q Center for Cultural Competence in Healthcare team and worked on a research paper regarding the effect of war on the mental health of Syrian child refugees.

Dr. Sohaila Cheema, director of the Institute for Population Health, said: “It has been wonderful having Wafa here with us. He has brought huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm to every aspect of the experience and he has helped both students and faculty at WCM-Q broaden their understanding of global healthcare.”

Wafa added: “I have spent four weeks in Qatar working with absolutely amazing doctors and being made very welcome by my fellow students. It is an experience I will never forget.”

Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, vice dean for student affairs-admission, population health, and lifestyle medicine said: “We believe that all medical students should be able to benefit from a global health experience such as the one Wafa has had here with us through the GEMx program. Such experiences enhance our understanding of healthcare in a global context, helping us to transcend cultural barriers to care and ultimately improving healthcare outcomes for patients.”