WCMC-Q offers three summer programmes targeting different age groups in the hope it may encourage students to consider medicine and science as a career
Among the most exciting and innovative summer programmes available to youngsters this year, those who enrolled on Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s Summer Enrichment courses took part in diagnostic sessions, practised medicine on standardised patients and visited the state-of-art Da Vinci Surgical System at Qatar Science & Technology Park.
These are just some examples of the fun packed and inspiring programme students across the region experienced at the world-class university for free. WCMC-Q offers three summer programmes targeting different age groups in the hope it may encourage students to consider medicine and science as a career.
“These programmes have become more and more popular every year,” said Noha Saleh, director of student recruitment, “we have had around 350 applications this summer and in keeping with our high standards, we are only able to take students on merit. Therefore those students who have an interest in the sciences and an adequate grasp of English are accepted on to the programmes. This best prepares them for college life and professional careers later on as a high level of English will then be needed.”
The Q-SMARTS programme, which is an acronym of Qatar Summer Math & Reading Talent Scholars, is aimed at students in grades 7-9 who threw themselves into debating sessions where they learnt important skills in communication, analyzing information and mutual respect. They also took part in quizzes and watched a film about the inspirational story of Helen Kellegher, a deaf mute who conquered her disabilities.
“I thought this would be all learning and hard work but actually it was great fun and I made some new friends too,” said Fadma.
“I really enjoyed the debates,” Anvita, a 9th Grade student said, ‘I had a really great time. I hope to become an English language writer so I particularly enjoyed the English modules.”
Other students on the Q-smart programme enthused about Harvey, the medical dummy used in training doctors. “It was amazing, it had real skin and you could see its lungs and it had a pulse,” commented Thomas.
Qatar Future Doctors is another programme aimed at students in grades 10-12 who got an opportunity to experience what it’s like to practise medicine. “We used standardised patients for the first time on this programme,” explains Abdulhadi Al-Saei, a second year medical student who is helping to co-ordinate the programmes. “These are basically everyday people who pretend to have a set of symptoms to present to trainee doctors. Students on the QFD are trained how to take vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate as well as test automatic responses like reflexes.”
Rana Abu Al Saud, who hopes to become a doctor some day, said she found listening to a human heart amazing, especially on the training dummy which has different heart beats for different conditions. “I also thought working with standardise patients and taking blood pressure and pulse readings were great fun and gave a real sense of what it’s like to become a doctor,” she said.
One of the highlights of the course for these students was a trip to QSTP where they were given access to the Da Vinci Surgical System, the cutting edge robotic surgeon which is at the frontier of medical science.
Those who aspire to a future in medicine get a head start with our Pre-College Enrichment programme which teaches prospective college students in grades 11 and 12 how to prepare for the SAT exam and admissions interviews, which are important aspects of getting through the college admittance process.
Dr Hekmat Alrouh, a graduate of WCMC-Q, who is assisting on the programme, said he has greatly enjoyed the experience. “We basically looked at some of the most fun, exciting and rewarding elements of each class we took here and then built a summer programme around that. It believe it is fun as well as educational for all three groups.”