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WCM-Q Doctors of the Future Conference: Inspiring the Future Generation of Healthcare Leaders

WCM-Q Doctors of the Future Conference: Inspiring the Future Generation of Healthcare Leaders

Tuesday, March 19, 2024/ Editor -  

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Doha – March 19, 2024: More than 300 pre-university students with ambitions to pursue careers in medicine attended the two-day Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) Doctors of the Future Conference.

The annual conference gives pre-university students the opportunity to visit the WCM-Q campus to explore careers in medicine through a wide range of activities. These include a research competition as well as panel discussions on topics related to applying to medical schools, careers in medicine, meetings with current students, alumni and faculty, and discussions about life as a medical student, among many others.

The event, previously known as the High School Medical Conference, is open to students, teachers and school counselors from all over Qatar and across the wider region and beyond. This year's edition featured presentations of research posters by current WCM-Q pre-medical and medical students, which gave the participating high school students, their parents, school teachers and administrators excellent opportunities to ask questions about the college, the curriculum and the career paths opened by studying at WCM-Q. There was also a dedicated panel discussion which explained a sample of the wide range of different medical specialties that can be pursued after graduation, as well as the opportunities to work in the spheres of research, education, healthcare management and public health offered by a career in medicine.

The headline attraction of the second day of the conference was the Medicine Unlimited Community Fair, during which stalls were set up throughout the campus to showcase WCM-Q's many different educational facilities, student clubs, interest groups, hands-on lab activities and more. Attendees had the chance to try performing cardiac compressions on medical manikins provided by the WCM-Q Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab, watch practical demonstrations of key principles in physics, see a 3-D printer at work, try DNA fingerprinting in the biology lab, and don VR goggles to try out the latest human anatomy teaching software, among scores of other engaging activities.

The morning of the second day also featured the qualifying round of the High School Research Competition, in which eighteen teams gave presentations before a judging panel comprised of WCM-Q faculty, researchers and medical students. The top teams were selected to compete in the final round in the closing session of the conference, which was one of the highlights of the conference. The research competition began with a preliminary round in December 2023 with an initial field of 54 teams.

Ultimately, first prize went to the team from ACS International School Doha for their poster, titled Optimizing water consumption with the usage of an automated planting system. Second place went to the team from Omar Bin Al-Khattab Independent School for Boys for their poster, titled The RoboWorm: A game changer, while third place went to the team from Doha College for their poster, titled Reduce, Reuse, Qcycle.

The members of the team in first place each received the Doctors of the Future Scholarship, which is a one-week fully funded research and academic trip hosted at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York and Cornell University in Ithaca, upstate New York.

Grade 12 student Maryam Al-Thani attends Vision International School Qatar. She said: 'The conference has been a very interactive experience and I've gained a lot of insight into the curriculum at WCM-Q. Overall it has been great to see what life as a medical student is like and to feel how welcoming the community is here.'

Her cousin, also named Maryam Al-Thani, is in grade 11 at American School Doha. She said: 'I'm interested in medicine because I'm curious about physiology, psychology and the different biological processes that make life possible—I also like the fact that it is a career which allows for a lot of interaction with people. The conference has been really enjoyable and useful.'

Noha Saleh, Director of Premedical Administration, Student Outreach and Educational Development, said: 'We are very pleased to be able to say that the newly expanded Doctors of the Future Conference truly built upon the success of our previous events, once again giving students from all over the world with an interest in medicine a wonderful opportunity to engage with WCM-Q.'

Dr. Rachid Bendriss, Associate Dean for Foundation, Student Outreach and Educational Development Programs, said:  'We were extremely gratified to see so many enthusiastic, talented young people at the Doctors of the Future Conference clearly enjoying learning how they can realize their dreams of building careers in medicine with WCM-Q.'


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