Posted on February 29, 2020

Students at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) learned what life is really like for a doctor as they shadowed physicians during their busy working days at Sidra Medicine and Hamad Medical Corporation.          

The 29 students, who are all on the foundation program or the first or second year of the pre-medical program at the college, all volunteered to participate in WCM-Q’s Clinical Observership Program, which is organized by the Division of Pre-medical Education. They were able to then shadow a physician specializing in an area they are interested in, learning exactly what a career in medicine entails. Specialties chosen by the students included pediatrics, general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology. Dalal Al Fadli, a Foundation Program student, carried out her observership at Hamad Medical Corporation.

Dalal said: “It helps prepare you for the working world, because if you don’t know something, you have to ask. “Before going into the general surgery department it wasn’t really a specialty I considered; I always wanted to be a cardiac surgeon and I didn’t think anyone would change my mind. But there were so many interesting operations – I never thought I would enjoy general surgery and being in an operating theatre so much.” For pre-medical 2 student Vinutha Ramadorai, it was her second year participating in the scheme. She said: “This time I chose to go to pediatric ER at Sidra, and I was really impressed with the way everything is organized. The doctors were so friendly, and they made sure we were included and gave us explanations about the cases. We also met a lot of nurse practitioners and other staff and saw that everyone is treated as equals which helps to provide good output and positive outcomes.”

The Clinical Observership Program was established to provide students who have yet to begin the medical curriculum with first-hand experience of healthcare in a professional environment. Crucially, it helps put their studies into context and allows them to see and learn other skills like communication, empathy and teamwork – all attributes that are required in a successful physician. Senior attending physician Dr. Moune Jabre is the director of undergraduate medical education at Sidra. “The feedback from the physicians was how enthusiastic and interested the students were,” she said, “and they were particularly impressed as none of the students have formal medical experience, they are still on pre-medical programs.”             

Dr. Rachid Bendriss, assistant dean for student recruitment, outreach and foundation programs presented the students who completed the program with a certificate and said they had had a valuable learning experience. He said: “There is only so much that one can learn from books and to get a real insight into medicine and healthcare, one has to actively participate. I am sure that the time the students spent at Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medicine will stand them in good stead during their future studies, and I would like to thank all the doctors who so generously gave of their time and knowledge and allowed our students to observe their daily work.