Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar Celebrates Commencement

Published May 6th, 2010 - 01:30 GMT

 As the national anthems for Qatar and the United States played, 17 graduates of the Class of 2010 of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) assembled Wednesday to receive the medical degree from Cornell University, the culmination of six years of study and training with Qatar’s first and only medical college.

The new physicians assembled before more than 100 members of the Cornell and Weill Cornell Medical College faculty who guided them on their journey into medicine, along with parents, families and friends who supported them along the way.

“Congratulations to the class 2010 of WCMC-Q,” said Dr. Mohammad Fathy Saoud, President of Qatar Foundation. “We applaud their determination and hard work. Their accomplishment is evidence that we are making real progress towards our goal of building a knowledge-based society in Qatar. As they move ahead in the medical profession, they take our commitment to excellence in education and research with them beyond our borders to the world,” said Dr. Saoud.

“We join with faculty, family and friends in congratulating the graduates of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.  All of us associated with Qatar Foundation are very proud of them for this academic milestone in their lives,” said Abdullah bin Ali-Al-thani, PhD, vice president of education for Qatar Foundation. “As they move into their medical careers, the superb education they acquired here in Qatar will help them make important contributions to the health and well-being of society in the Gulf region and elsewhere around the world.  We wish them great success and happiness,” he said. 

“The graduation of our third class is a welcome opportunity to reflect on this unique and flourishing international partnership,” said Javaid Sheikh, MD, dean of WCMC-Q. “The progress of these young men and women and the growth of our medical college are testimony to the strong commitment of our mother campus and Cornell University and the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff, the Qatar Foundation and all our partners. Together, we are helping to reignite the flame of scholarship that made the Middle East a beacon of learning in the Middle Ages,” he said.
Cornell University President David Skorton, MD, addressed the students directly: “Members of the Class of 2010, you represent a new generation of physicians for a region and a world in urgent need of your skills. You are destined to have a bright future in a world that desperately needs your talents, skills, and intercultural understanding. But I hope you will do more than excel in your chosen professions; I hope you will also build upon the commitment to service that you have demonstrated so well during your years at the medical college to assist those who have been less fortunate.  Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned and Qatar Foundation provide a wonderful example to remember as you continue your life’s journey.”

Class speaker Anas Abou-Ismail, MD, reflected on the spirit of the class and its hope for the future.  “As graduating physicians, we hope to help answer the questions of the 21st century and rekindle the flame of scientific innovation, medical discovery, and social justice in this part of the world,” he said.

The graduates then stood and repeated after Dr. Sheikh the Hippocratic Oath, embracing the sacred promise of physicians to treat the ill to the best of their ability and uphold the ethics of their profession.

As commencement drew to a close, Dr. Antonio Gotto, dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, wished the students well in their new professions. “You play an important role in expanding Weill Cornell’s role as a leader in furthering the delivery of quality health care worldwide.”    

The new physicians, six women and 11 men, represent nine different nationalities: Qatar, Bosnia, Canada, Egypt, India, Jordan, Syria, Pakistan and the United States. They move onto the next stage of their medical and scientific careers, going to residency training or research programs in the United States and Qatar.

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