WCM-Q celebrates graduation of 41 new doctors
Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) has awarded MD degrees to 41 new doctors, of whom 12 are Qatari nationals, in the college’s first graduation ceremony to be held in person since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony was attended by Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari, minister of public health, and His Excellency Sheikh Faleh Bin Nasser Al Thani, the minister of environment and climate change.
The 41 new physician-scientists of the Class of 2022 will now begin the next stage of their careers as they take up residency positions at elite-level healthcare institutions in Qatar and the United States, including Hamad Medical Corporation, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Case Western/University Hospital Cleveland, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, among others.
This year’s 41 graduates – comprising 23 men and 18 women - mean that WCM-Q has now produced 504 new doctors since the first graduation ceremony in 2008. A total of 16 nationalities are represented in the Class of 2022, which is the 15th graduating class in the history of WCM-Q.
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, congratulated the new doctors, paying warm tribute to the Class of 2022 for their resilience in completing the final two years of their medical training under lockdown conditions as Qatar battled the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Sheikh said: “Your tenacity in completing and excelling in an extremely rigorous course of study under the most difficult and unusual of circumstances is a truly impressive and remarkable achievement. You have not only shown total dedication to your studies and the patients you have served during your training, but you have also rallied around one another, defying the isolation of lockdown to support each other in the most commendable and inspiring way. I offer you and your families my warmest congratulations on behalf of everyone at WCM-Q, and I wish you the very best for what I am certain will be hugely rewarding and successful careers.”
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 their vision, guidance and ongoing support for WCM-Q.
Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, vice dean for academic and curricular affairs, said: “Class of 2022, today we celebrate your questing spirit, your unity as a group, your incredible resolve and patience, and – above all – the way you have applied your wonderful talents to the science of medicine and the art of healing. In so doing, you have made your families, friends, and the faculty who supported you along the way immensely proud. We all look forward to seeing you go on to excel in your careers as physicians, scientists and leaders working to enhance the health of every member of the community.”
This year, Dr. Sean Holroyd, associate dean for student affairs, was the macebearer, and Dr. James Roach, associate dean for premedical education, was the university marshal. Graduating student Mr. Ahmed Fares gave the Qur’an recitation, while the student Arabic address was given by Mr. Nasser Al-Kuwari, and the student English address was by Ms. Dana Al-Ali.
Mr. Al-Kuwari said: “Since starting my journey at WCM-Q in 2015, I’ve imagined this moment every day. I’ve waited for the moment to assume the responsibility of serving the community as a doctor and as a leader concerned with the health and support of his community members as they go through difficult times in their illness.”
Ms. Al-Ali said: “Today marks the end of a momentous chapter but also the start of the rest of our lives. Today marks the beginning of the responsibility that has been bestowed upon us towards our patients, our families, our communities, our educators and our learners. With that I say: congratulations to the Class of 2022!”
The keynote speech was given by WCM-Q alumnus Dr. Mohammed Al-Nufal of the Class of 2012, who is now an American Board-certified pediatrician who serves as chief of committees for North Florida Pediatrics - USA. Back in 2010, when Dr. Al-Nufal was a third-year medical student at WCM-Q, he spoke in Zurich as part of Qatar’s official delegation as a representative of the younger generation in Qatar’s successful bid to host the World Cup. In his speech at the graduation ceremony, Dr. Al-Nufal told the Class of 2022: “Making it to this point is not the end of a journey, but a door to a path full of excitement, knowledge and serving others. You were put on this earth for a reason, which is to ease the suffering of others, so go fulfill your destiny. Go save some lives.”
The 41 graduates and the audience also heard from Dr. Augustine Choi, dean of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, who was present in person to congratulate the new doctors and give thanks to the leadership of Qatar and Qatar Foundation.
Dr. Choi said: “As graduates of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, you’ve seen firsthand how medicine and research can improve quality of life. I challenge you to be advocates for better healthcare, for health equity worldwide, and for science and the pursuit of knowledge. The impact you have extends far beyond yourselves, and you have the power to improve the communities and organizations around you. Commit to being the best doctor you can be.”
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar is a partnership between Cornell University and Qatar Foundation. It offers a comprehensive six-year medical program leading to the Cornell University M.D. degree with teaching by Cornell and Weill Cornell faculty and by physicians at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, the Primary Health Care Corporation, the Feto Maternal Center, and Sidra Medicine, who hold Weill Cornell appointments. Through its biomedical research program, WCM-Q is building a sustainable research community in Qatar while advancing basic science and clinical research. Through its medical college, WCM-Q seeks to provide the finest education possible for medical students, to improve health care both now and for future generations, and to provide high quality health care to the Qatari population.