Posted on October 08, 2013

Residency program directors from elite U.S medical schools met with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) students and faculty at the college’s annual medical education symposium.

The symposium, which this year had the theme “Current Landscape In Graduate Medical Education”, brought 20 program directors to WCMC-Q from a host of renowned medical schools and teaching hospitals, including the Johns Hopkins University, Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, George Washington University and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The event gave the program directors the opportunity to engage with WCMC-Q students, faculty and alumni, learn about the college’s curriculum and facilities, and tour Hamad Medical Corporation, WCMC-Q’s primary clinical training partner.

Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCMC-Q, opened the symposium with a speech about the mission of the college, before keynote addresses were given by program directors Dr. Keith Armitage of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Dr. Shannon Scott-Vernaglia of Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston and WCMC-Q graduate Dr. Mohammed Al Hijji, now of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Dr. Sheikh said: “It is a great privilege for WCMC-Q to be able to welcome program directors from such esteemed institutions to our university. Their presence here gives us great encouragement that our ongoing mission to provide excellence in medical education and produce world-class physicians is meeting with success.”

Subsequent days of the symposium featured further keynote addresses by program directors, student presentations of clinical cases, roundtable discussions between students, WCMC-Q faculty and program directors, and a presentation of academic posters by students.

Dr. Marcellina Mian, associate dean for medical education, explained the benefit of the symposium. “It’s an opportunity for the program directors to learn about our school and its qualities so that when our students apply for a residency position they will have a better chance of being chosen,” she said. “The symposium also gives our students a better idea of what program directors are looking for when they choose residents, and what will be required of them when they become residents.”

Dr. Felicia Smith, director of the psychiatry residency program at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital McLean, Boston, was visiting WCMC-Q for the first time. She said: “It is great to see such dedication to delivering a high-caliber medical education here at WCMC-Q. I am impressed by the students’ confidence and their knowledge - with these qualities they will be able to perform well during interviews for residency placements and there’s every indication they will make great residents.”

WCMC-Q’s Class of 2013 achieved a 91% match rate with residency programs in the U.S. - the best match rate in the history of the college. Class of 2013 students matched at institutions such as NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

Fourth year medical student Mariam Gabrial has not yet chosen a program to apply to but has decided she will specialize in pediatric medicine.

She said: “For me the symposium has been a great opportunity to learn about some of the specific programs on offer and also to find out what the program directors are looking for when they select residents. It was also very useful to find out what to expect from the application process and how to present ourselves as strong candidates for the best programs.”