Posted on May 04, 2017

The country’s newest doctors have received their MD degrees from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) and will now go on to take up residencies at Hamad Medical Corporation and hospitals in the US.

The 45 graduates received their US-accredited MD degrees at a ceremony at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Student Center on May 3 in front of family and friends and WCM-Q faculty and staff. The 45 new doctors join the ranks of 256 other alumni of WCM-Q who are now treating patients and helping to cure disease and heal injuries at Hamad Medical Corporation and hospitals around the world. Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCM-Q, congratulated the new physicians on their achievement and commitment to their academic studies. He told them that the vision of Qatar Foundation of creating a virtuous circle, in which students are trained in Qatar and then return to practice medicine once their US residency training is complete, has now come to fruition.

Dr. Sheikh said: “A career in medicine is one of the most rewarding jobs that anyone can undertake. You now have the knowledge to heal people, to offer succor in their darkest hours and to relieve suffering. During your residencies your knowledge will grow and you will begin to specialize, becoming experts in your respective fields. At the same time, I hope your compassion and empathy grows with it. Never forget that your patient should be at the center of everything that you do and that the knowledge you now have is there for the benefit of your fellow Man.

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“Together with your fellow alumni of WCM-Q, you are in a wonderful position; you are able to help Qatar achieve the aims of QNV 2030. Graduates of Weill Cornell Medicine are now working in the country’s hospitals, enriching the healthcare system and becoming thought leaders within the profession. Some have also joined WCM-Q as faculty members, having truly come ‘full circle’. “In time, I am sure I will see you all return to practice in Qatar and maybe you too will join the college’s faculty, passing on your experience to the doctors of the future.”

Class valedictorian Dr. Ali Khairat told the Class of 2017 that they are capable of doing anything. He said: “If these six years at Cornell have taught me anything, it is that succeeding here takes true passion. How else can we justify subjecting ourselves to hours and hours of mental torture, anxiety, and apprehension? It is passion. “So go forth, tighten your boot straps, do what you love and don’t take no for an answer. If life slams a door in your face: remember it’s a door, you can just open it again. And if it’s locked, rooms have windows, find one. And if you can’t find a window, break down a wall. Remember you’re carrying a toolbox. With this mentality, glory will find you, your task is not to seek it. It will merely come as an added benefit of doing what you love.” The guest speaker at the graduation event was Dr. Amal Al-Malki, founding dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Dr. Al-Malki said the new doctors would prove to be excellent ambassadors for WCM-Q, Qatar Foundation and the whole nation.

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She said: “It is wonderful to be here to see the members of WCM-Q's Class of 2017 realize their dreams of becoming doctors, which I know they have worked so hard to achieve. At HBKU, as a partner university of WCM-Q and a fellow member of Qatar Foundation, we share the same passion for educational excellence, innovation and service to our communities as the young men and women who are graduating today. We will remain united by these values and, therefore, I have no doubt that the Class of 2017 will serve as wonderful ambassadors for Qatar Foundation and Qatar itself, wherever their careers may take them.” Also watching the Class of 2017 receive their MD degrees and take the Hippocratic Oath was Dr. Augustine Choi, Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

Dr. Choi told the graduates: “This medical school has achieved so much in the sixteen years since it was established.  You are truly making a difference not just in the MENA region, but around the globe. You are bringing better healthcare to Qatar and neighboring countries. You are building a culture of biomedical research where one hadn’t existed before. The fruits of that program are just beginning to be felt - I think we’ll be astounded when we look back ten years from now. And most importantly, Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar is training the next generation of healthcare leaders - the people who will carry us through to the future and truly make a difference.”