Doha: Medical students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) had the opportunity to develop their core physicianship skills of communication, interaction, and performing basic clinical examinations for children during the annual Cornell Stars event.

A highlight of the WCM-Q calendar, the event is part of the Introductory Clerkship Course, during which third-year students in the WCM-Q medical program attend a clinical orientation week to prepare them for their full-time clinical courses. 

The Cornell Stars event allows trainee doctors to examine babies, toddlers, and children up to six years old under the supervision of qualified and experienced pediatricians and family physicians from WCM-Q, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and Sidra Medicine.

As part of the Cornell Stars course, faculty and staff members at WCM-Q invite their own children so that the students can learn the best techniques for interacting with and examining youngsters in a simulated clinical setting.

The medical students performed basic clinical skills, including physical examinations of the youngsters at WCM-Q’s state-of-the-art Clinical Skills & Simulation Lab (CSSL), which features several practical examination rooms that mimic a clinic.

This year, 24 children participated in the event, along with 48 WCM-Q medical students and 13 physicians. Attending pediatric consultants from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) included Dr. Anas AbdulKayoum, Dr. Sohair Elsiddig, Dr. Sara Hamad, Dr. Suzan Nassar, and Dr. Khalid Zahraldin; WCM-Q alumni Dr. Moza Al Sulaiti, Dr. Saleha Abbasi, and Dr. Mohamed Al-Hajjaji; pediatric fellow Dr. Khadija KhudaBakhsh and pediatric residents Dr. Hadeel Ali Alzoubi, Dr. Aya Kojan, and Dr. Samer Ali from Sidra Medicine; and WCM-Q faculty and family physician Dr. Stella Major.

Dr. Amal Khidir, associate professor of pediatrics at WCM-Q and organizer of the Cornell Stars program, said: “The Cornell Stars program is an important milestone in the clinical training of our medical students as they experience for the first time the joy and challenge of engaging with young children. We are very grateful to all the physicians who shared their expertise with our students and the families and children who volunteered their valuable time. We sincerely appreciate the overwhelming support we continue to receive in ensuring the success of the Cornell Stars event and in teaching our students the art of pediatrics.”

Student Mohammed Al-Ansari said: “This was my first time working with pediatrics in a medical setting, and the experience was both enjoyable and fruitful. The session provided us with the opportunity to understand the differences in conducting physical examinations between adult and pediatric patients. This platform has given me valuable insight into pediatrics, and I may consider it one of my career options.”

Another student, Jassim Taimour, said: “The experience was enlightening in terms of pediatric care. We learned to conduct general, neurology, pulmonary, and cardiology examinations. By observing experienced doctors, we gained insight into how to handle pediatric patients effectively.”

Misty Laudato, a WCM-Q employee who brought her two-year-old daughter to the event, said: “The experience was really good and very interactive. I know it’s not just the students who learn but also us as parents because we can ask questions and contribute to our students’ knowledge. I have been participating in this activity for three years now, and each year, I see improvements in how the activity is organized and see students ask more and deeper questions. The activity offers a really good opportunity for our students to learn more from the experts in the field.”

About Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar 

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar is a partnership between Cornell University and Qatar Foundation. It offers a comprehensive six-year medical program leading to the Cornell University M.D. degree with teaching by Cornell and Weill Cornell faculty and by physicians at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, the Primary Health Care Corporation, the Feto Maternal Center, and Sidra Medicine, who hold Weill Cornell appointments. Through its biomedical research program, WCM-Q is building a sustainable research community in Qatar while advancing basic science and clinical research. Through its medical college, WCM-Q seeks to provide the finest education possible for medical students, to improve health care both now and for future generations, and to provide high quality health care to the Qatari population.

For more info, please contact:
Hanan Lakkis
Associate Director, Media and Publications
Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar