Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s Commencement was as much a milestone for the 45 new physicians as it was for the institution, which celebrated graduating its 10th class.
Graduates in the Class of 2017 received their Cornell University medical degrees during a ceremony on May 3 at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Student Center in Doha. The new doctors join the ranks of 256 other alumni of WCM-Q, and will soon embark on the next stage of their medical educations: residences at Hamad Medical Corporation and at hospitals in the United States.
“A career in medicine is one of the most rewarding jobs that anyone can undertake,” said Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q. “You now have the knowledge to heal people, to offer succor in their darkest hours and to relieve suffering. During your residencies, your knowledge will grow and you will begin to specialize, becoming experts in your respective fields. At the same time, I hope your compassion and empathy grows with [your expertise]. Never forget that your patient should be at the center of everything that you do and that the knowledge you now have is there for the benefit of your fellow man.”
“So go forth, tighten your bootstraps, do what you love and don’t take no for an answer. If life slams a door in your face: remember it’s a door, you can just open it again. And if it’s locked, rooms have windows, find one. And if you can’t find a window, break down a wall. Remember you’re carrying a toolbox. With this mentality, glory will find you; your task is not to seek it. It will merely come as an added benefit of doing what you love.” Class valedictorian Dr. Ali Khairat told the Class of 2017 that it is capable of doing anything. “If these six years at Cornell have taught me anything, it is that succeeding here takes true passion,” he said. “How else can we justify subjecting ourselves to hours and hours of mental torture, anxiety, and apprehension? It is passion."
Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, shared in the celebration. “This medical school has achieved so much in the 16 years since it was established. You are truly making a difference not just in the Middle East and North African region, but around the globe. You are bringing better healthcare to Qatar and neighboring countries. You are building a culture of biomedical research where one hadn’t existed before. The fruits of that program are just beginning to be felt; I think we’ll be astounded when we look back 10 years from now. And most importantly, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar is training the next generation of healthcare leaders – the people who will carry us through to the future and truly make a difference.”
This is particularly true in Qatar, where many of WCM-Q’s recent graduate have returned to deliver patient care, conduct biomedical research and teach following their residencies.
“Graduates of Weill Cornell Medicine are now working in the country’s hospitals, enriching the healthcare system and becoming thought leaders within the profession,” Dr. Sheikh said. “Some have also joined WCM-Q as faculty members, having truly come full circle. In time, I am sure I will see you all return to practice in Qatar and maybe you too will join the college’s faculty, passing on your experience to the doctors of the future.”