Posted on May 04, 2018

There are 34 new doctors in the world, 13 of whom are Qatari nationals, following the graduation of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Class of 2018.     

The 34 graduates received their Cornell University MD degrees at a ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha on May 2 watched by family, friends and WCM-Q faculty and staff. The new physicians mean that WCM-Q, under the patronage of Qatar Foundation, has now graduated a total of 335 doctors since the Class of 2008 received their Cornell MD degrees. With 13 Qatari citizens, the Class of 2018 contains the greatest number of nationals to graduate in one year.

Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCM-Q, paid tribute to the hard work, dedication and compassion of the new doctors. He said: “Graduation is the highlight of the academic year; it is the culmination of everything that we strive for. The Class of 2018 have demonstrated great commitment to their studies, intellectual curiosity and compassion for their patients. These qualities will continue to grow and develop as they progress through their careers and care for their patients in Qatar’s hospitals and the wider world.

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“This year is also particularly significant because of the number of Qatari nationals who are graduating today. More than a third of the Class of 2018 are national citizens and this is testament to the vision of Qatar’s leadership of creating a knowledge economy and a hub of biomedical excellence within the region. Qatar Foundation, under the eminent guidance of HH the Emir, HH the Father Emir, HH Sheikha Moza, and HE Sheikha Hind, is developing national human capacity and creating a sustainable society for generations to come.”

The 34 new doctors will now join the ranks of their fellow alumni, who are working at Hamad Medical Corporation and other leading hospitals throughout the world. In her speech to the audience, class speaker Fatima Al-Maadid told her classmates: “This privilege that we have of education, trust and insight into people and their stories makes us the voice of the vulnerable, whatever voice that may be. In a world that oppresses this truth and tries to forget humanity, in a world where cynicism eclipses idealism, your voice is to personify people and the word of possibilities. Do not take the responsibility lightly.

“These voices also make our journeys in the realm of medicine so varied. We will go into different specialties, the class being made up of internists, pediatricians, neurologist, obstetricians, surgeons, family physicians, anesthesiologists, ophthalmologists and child neurologists. This is the reality of modern medicine and we will be separated in our realities but what will unite us is the principle to care, to discover and teach, all in the pursuit of wellness of people. “Whatever you do, I am confident that I am in the presence of leaders of change and growth.”

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The keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony was Dr. Mashael Al-Khelaifi, Pediatric Anesthesiologist at Hamad Medical Corporation. Also in attendance were Dr. Martha Pollack, President of Cornell University, who conferred the MD degrees upon the Class of 2018, and Dr. Augustine Choi, Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, and Provost for Medical Affairs at Cornell University.

Dr. Choi reminded the graduates of the importance of life-long learning. He said: “Medicine is a lifetime commitment. As you go through your residency programs, you’ll discover that finding compassion and ways to truly care for your patients are not things you can learn overnight. It is a lifelong process that takes discipline and perseverance. Continue to work at it every single day. The goal is to have the greatest, most positive impact on the health and wellbeing of others. “Medicine is also a process of lifelong learning. We didn’t have epigenetics or precision medicine, or 3D printing or nanotechnology when I was in medical school. PCR, GWAS, RNA sequencing, omics – all these technologies and fields of study have emerged just in recent decades.

“Medicine and healthcare will continue to change, probably very rapidly, in the years to come. It’s your responsibility to keep up with the latest advances, so that you can offer your patients the very highest quality of care possible. Keep learning and developing new skills. Being the best doctor you can be is about growing, learning, and continually moving forward.”