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WCM-Q graduates 42 new doctors

The student Arabic address was given by newly qualified physician Dr. Najla Ali Al-Eshaq.
The student Arabic address was given by newly qualified physician Dr. Najla Ali Al-Eshaq.

The mission of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) to pursue excellence in clinical care, education and research continued apace as the elite medical college graduated 42 new doctors. Twelve of the 42 new physicians are Qatari nationals.

In attendance to witness the Class of 2023 taking the Hippocratic Oath were Her Excellency Buthaina bint Ali Al Nuaimi, minister of education and higher education, His Excellency Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, chairman of Al Faisal Holding, and other dignitaries.

The graduating class comprises 23 women and 19 men, aged between 23 and 28, hailing from 13 different countries: Qatar, Canada, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Korea, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, the UK and the USA. Including this year’s graduates, WCM-Q has now produced a total of 546 medical doctors serving patients and pursuing research in leading healthcare institutions in Qatar, the US and all over the world since the college’s inaugural graduation ceremony in 2008. WCM-Q celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. 

The new doctors will shortly begin the next stage of their careers as they take up residency positions at elite-level healthcare institutions in Qatar and the US, including Hamad Medical Corporation, Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Case Western/University Hospital Cleveland, University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Massachusetts General Hospital, and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center & Columbia University, among many others.

The new doctors of the Class of 2023 take the Hippocratic Oath.

Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, used his speech to warmly congratulate the graduating students and to acknowledge the difficulties they faced during the pandemic. He said: “Despite the stern challenges posed by the pandemic, you demonstrated determination and steely resolve to continue with your studies – you discovered the spirit of friendship, the power of teamwork, and the ingenuity of new strategies to overcome incredible hurdles. Your burning desire to become truly world-class doctors, to show that medicine is more than just a profession to you – that it is a calling, a dedication to the service of humanity - has been evident to all of us at WCM-Q.”

Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q.

Dr. Sheikh also gave thanks to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation, and Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, along with the leadership of Qatar, for providing the essential support and guidance over many years that enables WCM-Q to produce world-class physicians.

Officials, dignitaries and honored guests during the ceremony.

Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, vice dean for academic and curricular affairs at WCM-Q, said: “We are extraordinarily proud of the achievements of the Class of 2023, especially as they had to complete a large portion of their studies during a period of unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty. Throughout that challenging period they stayed calm and composed and showed total dedication to their studies, demonstrating many of the most essential qualities demanded of truly excellent physicians.”

Visiting from the US to confer the medical degrees upon the WCM-Q graduates was Dr. Martha E. Pollack, president of Cornell University. She said: “The Hippocratic Oath demands that doctors commit to science, recognizing and always expanding the boundaries of their knowledge; and that they commit equally to the service of humanity and the joy in healing. For 125 years, Weill Cornell Medicine has fully honored that tradition: combining world-class academics with a deep dedication to humanity. I am delighted to congratulate our 2023 Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar graduates, and to wish them long and productive careers.”

Dr. Martha E. Pollack, president of Cornell University.

Dr. Francis Lee, interim dean for Weill Cornell Medicine and interim provost for medical affairs at Cornell University was also in attendance from the US to congratulate the students in person and deliver the customary farewell speech. Dr. Lee said: “The skills you have learned here at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar will serve you everywhere. Our global society needs you in ways you have not yet imagined, and you will certainly face challenges. If you lead with service, if you consistently put those who can benefit from your knowledge, education and experience at the forefront of your decision-making, you will inevitably make this world a better place.”

Dr. Francis Lee, interim dean for Weill Cornell Medicine and interim provost for medical affairs at Cornell University.

This year, Dr. Sean Holroyd, associate dean for student affairs, was macebearer, and Dr. James Roach, associate dean for pre-medical education, was university marshal. The guests’ platform included many faculty and affiliated faculty from Qatar and the US, including Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health and associate professor of clinical population health sciences at WCM-Q. Graduating student and valedictorian Mr. Khalifa Bshesh gave the Qur’an recitation, while the alumnus keynote speech was given by Dr. Nigel Pereira of the WCM-Q Class of 2010. 

Dr. Pereira urged the new doctors to make use of the support available to them to help them meet the challenges of their future careers. He said: “Remember that you have three sets of families: your family of colleagues that surround you today, your WCM-Q family of mentors, and - most importantly - your own family, who will always support you unconditionally. With these words, I would not only like to congratulate all the students in the graduating Class of 2023, but would also like to welcome them as my future colleagues who will carry on the legacy of WCM-Q globally. Alf Mabrouk and all the very best!”

Dr. Nigel Pereira of the WCM-Q Class of 2010 giving the alumnus address.

The student Arabic address was given by Ms. Najla Ali Al-Eshaq, and the student English address was by Mr. Jungyoon Jung.

Mr. Jung said: “Above all else, we must remember that our work is not just a job, but a calling. As doctors, we have been given a unique opportunity to impact the lives of our patients in ways that few other professions can match. We will be there for patients in their times of greatest need, offering comfort, guidance, and healing.”

Newly qualified physician Dr. Jungyoon Joon gave the student English address.

Ms. Al-Eshaq said: “I stand here to witness the reaping of the harvest of long years of perseverance and diligence, during which we made tremendous strides. Those were years of great sacrifices, assiduousness, sleepless nights, and working hard to achieve our dream. Now we have become like a family, supporting each other to overcome the many challenges along the path, for we are all united by one heart and one goal.”

Dr. Moayad Homssi receiving his MD degree from Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, vice dean for academic and curricular affairs.

Dr. Zainab Al-Ansari receiving her MD degree.

Dr. Khalifa Bshesh receives his MD degree.

Dr. Malek Mushannen receiving his MD degree.