Posted on November 19, 2014

Doctors from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s (WCMC-Q) affiliated institutions have been welcomed as new faculty at an orientation event held at the college. A total of 77 new faculty from Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Sidra Medical and Research Center were in attendance to learn about their new roles as clinical tutors and mentors for WCMC-Q students.

The new faculty, who remain employed by their own institutions, will provide hands-on clinical training to WCMC-Q students within the affiliated institutions, as well as offering advice and encouragement to guide the young trainee doctors as they take their first steps in the world of medicine.

Giving the welcome address at the New Faculty Orientation Seminar event, Dr. Robert Crone, Senior Advisor to the Dean on Academic Affairs at WCMC-Q, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome so many highly qualified, dedicated physicians as new members of our faculty. You have so much to offer our students in terms of expertise, experience and mentorship, and I know that they greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with you. Strengthening the bonds of collaboration that exist between our organizations is helping to create an integrated, cohesive health system in Qatar that unites medical education, research and clinical practice, for the benefit of everyone in the community.”

WCMC-Q welcomes new [].jpgIn the third and fourth years of their medical degrees, WCMC-Q students spend a total of 55 weeks on clinical clerkships in affiliate institutions where they learn the hands-on clinical skills required to become fully qualified physicians. The recruitment of new medical faculty who are based at affiliate institutions broadens the range of opportunities for students to learn from qualified physicians, as well as helping to equip Qatar with a new generation of doctors in line with the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Health Strategy.

Dr. Ismail Helmi, Deputy Director of the Department of Medical Education at HMC, said: “I have been involved with WCMC-Q since 2004 and it is incredible to see how the relationship has developed between the college, HMC, Sidra, Aspetar and the PHCC. In a spirit of great friendship, all of these organizations are involved in moving us towards the goal of establishing an academic health system in the country, which promises to deliver a very bright future for healthcare in Qatar.”

Dr. Basma Harara, Head of Administration at Aspetar, and Professor Ziyad M. Hijazi, Acting Chief Medical Officer and Clinical Service Chief of Pediatrics at Sidra Medical and Research Center, were also in attendance to welcome their colleagues from their home institutions and participate in the lively discussions. There were also presentations by WCMC-Q staff members Sunanda Holmes, Director of Business Planning and Contracts, and Dr. Alicia Tártalo, Faculty Affairs Manager, explaining WCMC-Q policies and appointments and promotions processes, while Information Services Librarian Paul Mussleman instructed the new faculty members how to access the college’s comprehensive electronic library. 

The welcome addresses were followed by two panel discussions that explored the role of affiliated faculty in contributing to the medical students’ education and to the achievement of the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. The event, which was coordinated by WCMC-Q’s Office of Faculty Affairs, concluded with a tour of the college facilities for the new faculty members and a networking lunch session.

Dr. Tártalo said: “We are so pleased to see so many of our new faculty appointees attend this first faculty orientation for our affiliated institutions. Their enthusiasm for our students and the mentorship they can provide are an inspiration to all of us. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to many other WCMC-Q events in the future.”

New faculty member Dr. Yahia Imam, Specialist in Neurology and Internal Medicine at HMC, said: “I recall from my own training just how beneficial it was to work alongside qualified physicians. You can read every book in the library but there really is no substitute for hands-on experience in the clinic. It is a privilege to be involved in the education of trainee doctors at such a crucial and valuable stage in their training and I hope to be able to provide the same sort of mentorship that helped me so much when I was a student.”