As many as 34 new doctors graduated from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), including the highest number of Qataris - 13 in all - in the history of the university on Wednesday at the Convocation of Class of 2018.
“Live for a cause larger than yourself,” WCM-Q dean Dr Javaid Sheikh exhorted the new graduates. “Be bold in your ambitions, imaginative in your actions and unfold your own narrative as you become part of the history of the university as well as the Education City. I am sure many of you will return to Qatar after your higher studies to become part of the exciting journey here in Qatar,” he said.
The 34 graduates received their Cornell University MD degrees at a ceremony at Sheraton Doha in the presence of their family, friends and WCM-Q faculty and staff.
Graduates taking the Hippocratic Oath. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil.
Dr Javaid Sheikh speaking at the event.
The event was attended by Dr Martha Pollack, president of Cornell University, Dr Augustine Choi, dean of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, and provost for Medical Affairs at Cornell University as well as a number of distinguished guests.
The graduates were conferred the degrees by Dr Pollack and dean Dr Sheikh administered the Hippocratic Oath as the new graduates formally entered into the profession. WCM-Q has now graduated a total of 335 doctors since the Class of 2008 received their Cornell MD degrees.
Dr Sheikh explained: “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.
“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. Under the eminent guidance of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar Foundation chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, and vice-chairperson and CEO HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Qatar is developing national human capacity and creating a sustainable society for generations to come," he added.
Class speaker Fatima al-Maadid said, “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, paediatricians, neurologists, 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.”
The keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony was Dr Mashael al-Khelaifi, paediatric anaesthesiologist at Hamad Medical Corporation.
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 programmes, 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 well being 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,” he added.