Qatari students inspired to follow career in medicine
09 Nov 2017 - 0:27
Four Qatari high school students who won summer scholarships to the US have returned to the country eager to pursue careers in medicine.
The four students all won the prize in Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar’s (WCM-Q) annual Healing Hands essay competition. The four each received a fully-funded, one-week Doctors of the Future Scholarship to study in the world-class biomedical research laboratories at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. They also attended lectures and learned what life is like for a medical student at one of the world’s top medical colleges. In addition, the four spent a week at Cornell University in Ithaca in upstate New York which gave them a more varied view of student life.
This year’s scholarship winners – twins Alia Salman Ashkanani and Ghalya Salman Ashkanani, both of Michael E. Debakey High School, Khalifa Ahmed Elmagarmid from Qatar Academy and Mashael Salem Al-Naemi of American School of Doha – have now returned from the US and spoken of their experiences at a ceremony at WCM-Q attended by staff, faculty and Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of the college. They also received a certificate from Dr. Sheikh to mark their achievements.
Ghalya Ashkanani said she and her sister had been placed in the laboratory of Dr. Randi Silver, associate dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and professor of physiology and biophysics.
Ghalya said: “In New York the experience was laboratory-oriented. We were divided into two pairs and our lab was concerned with asthma in premature children and the development of their lungs.
“I loved it as it was about pediatrics, a subject I’m really interested in and I loved that I was able to share the experience with my sister. I’m applying to WCM-Q and the experience made my resolve stronger and showed me what I could do as a doctor.” Mashael Salem Al-Naemi was involved with the culture of cells during her time at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, and the ways that cells can be grown outside of the human body. She was placed in the laboratory of Dr. Stefan Worgall, distinguished professor of pediatric pulmonology and chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Immunology, and said the scholarship had been an amazing experience.
Dr Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, said the standard of entries to the Healing Hands competition had been extremely high this year, and that the four winners had truly excelled themselves and had been excellent ambassadors for Qatar.