41 C
Doha
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Qatar University accepts 80 students to new College of Medicine

-

Qatar University campus
Qatar University campus

 

Updated on August 25 with 2015/16 intake figures from WCMC-Q

In a step toward addressing the nation’s shortage of trained healthcare professionals, Qatar University has confirmed that a total of 80 students, nearly two-thirds of whom are nationals, have been accepted as the first class of its new College of Medicine.

The university announced the launch of the country’s first public medical school in November last year, amid calls to produce more Qatari doctors and other healthcare workers.

Last month, a senior Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) official warned that the state faced a “serious shortage” of locally-trained medical staff, with only five nationals graduating as doctors each year.

Dr. Abdullatheef Al Khal, HMC’s Director of Medical Education, said at the time the country needs 150 to graduate each year to meet increasing demand.

Class of 2021

In a statement this week, QU said its first class of medical students, chosen from more than 700 applicants, includes 51 Qatari nationals.

Of the 80 men and women accepted, 50 students met the minimum college entry requirements of a High School Grade Point Average (GPA) of 85 percent and will automatically qualify to start the six-year, MD degree program this fall to become the “Class of 2021”.

New medical student Mohammad Al Jaber
New medical student Mohammad Al Jaber

Of those 50, six had a GPA of 100 percent while several more were admitted with GPAs of more than 99 percent.

All the Qatari applicants who achieved the GPA requirement were granted admission to the MD program – around half of the national students accepted this year.

The remaining 25 Qataris and five non-Qatari students who did not meet the English and Maths requirements will join the university’s one-year Foundation Program and must pass with at a score of at least 70 percent before beginning the MD course.

Speaking about the first class, the Dean of the College of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Education Dr. Egon Toft said:

“We are very pleased with the number of Qatari nationals admitted and pledge our full commitment to supporting them in their studentship to meet the college’s highly demanding requirements.”

More doctors

The College of Medicine will be located in the north of the QU campus, close to the new College of Pharmacy building. Together, the university said, the colleges will constitute the core of a new medical and health sciences campus.

Qatar University
Qatar University

Male and female students in the MD program will take classes together, but student lounges, cafeterias, building entrances and library facilities at the university are gender-segregated out of respect for Qatari traditions and student privacy and preference, a QU spokesperson said.

The decision to open Qatar’s first public medical school was made under a directive from the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Qatar University’s (QU) Board of Regents approved the plan during its first meeting of the 2014-15 academic year.

For the last several years, Qatar’s health system has been under strain due to the country’s rapidly increasing population. Many experts have called for more locally-trained professionals, to help curb high turnover rates and standardize the level of care in the country.

Cornell
Cornell

In addition to QU’s medical program, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar offers a six-year MD curriculum.

A total of 54 students enrolled to start their studies this September, 30 percent of whom (around 16 students) are Qatari, the university said in a statement.

Last academic year, 48 students were enrolled in WCMCQ’s program, while 42 graduated in the spring. The school did not specify how many were Qatari.

A report published last year by international management consultants McKinsey & Co. said that a shortage of healthcare professionals, particularly those from the Gulf, is one of the key challenges facing Qatar.

Currently, more than two-thirds of doctors working in Qatar are recruited from overseas, and with a 240 percent increase in demand for services predicted by 2025, the report called for new strategies to attract more Qatari and Gulf nationals to study medicine.

As an incentive to nationals to undertake medical training, this summer the government launched a generous scholarship fund for Qatari students.

The grant offers QR10,000 a month stipend for students in their first year of study, rising to QR26,000 monthly from their fourth and subsequent years.

Thoughts?

33 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
33 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
hawkeye31
hawkeye31
5 years ago

I believe the numbers for WCMC-Q this September are 73 students, around 35 of whom are Qatari

Doush Baggins
Doush Baggins
5 years ago
Reply to  hawkeye31

What a reliable source you have there.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of two medical schools for a population the size of Qatar’s. The global average is about 1 medical school for every 3 million in population (http://www.som.uq.edu.au/media/340609/overview_of_the_world_s_med_schools.pdf), why the need for the two schools? Do they have different aims or student bodies? This confuses me, it seems to be a great duplication of resources. Reasonably, Qatar should only need 1 such school.

Don't Be Jelly
Don't Be Jelly
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

It’s called infrastructure. The sooner you have it, the better..

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Don't Be Jelly

The infrastructure currently exists and could more easily be built upon and expanded rather being created anew.

Me Again
Me Again
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Good point. Unless the population increases three-folds like in like 2005-2015.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Me Again

Mmmm, interesting point. Still, WCMC is very small compared to what it could (should?) be. Expansion still seems to make more sense than duplication.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

WC probably has a minimum entry level that they refuse to lower. Thus the need to open an inhouse program where admission standards can be adjusted. I am a little surprised that students with grades of 100% and 99% would make the edication choice of joining the untested program at QU when a WC already offers a degree with a solid record in medical education. I was also surprised at the monthly allowances. By fourth year they will be making close to what their profs are earning without any time in the field.

Koko71
Koko71
5 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

They are going to QU because it is free. Also, the percentage of 100% and 99% is from local schools and believe me when on their transcripts it says 100% English I can personally say it is NOT 100% English it should actually be 25%. But according to the level of English taught at Independent Government schools, they can score high. Going to WC would prove too difficult with that level of English.
Also, what bothers me is these students being paid more money than most of the workers here in Qatar, just to go to University. It’s an absolute disgrace.

Dan
Dan
5 years ago
Reply to  Koko71

Would it make you happier if students were paid less than “most of the workers here in Qatar”?
Are you a commie?

Koko71
Koko71
5 years ago
Reply to  Dan

How much did you get paid to go to university…???

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Koko71

Paid to go to university? sounds like something those socialist Europeans do to me. 😉

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
5 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Actually Dan, it is rather socialistic!

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Well, the idea of paying students who are merely in their 4th year is kind of bizarre. Interns or productive members I can see, but what do students contribute?

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed
Reply to  Anonmauser

LOL.

Yes, Qatar is a different country.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago

Will people be willing to go to doctors who graduate from QU if it is seen as the school for the “B” grade students? If engineers who graduate from their have that stigma attached to them, won’t it be the same for physicians?

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed
Reply to  Anonmauser

“There”, not “their” … 🙂

No stigma for engineers graduated from there, it’s in the head of people who graduated from elsewhere.

I graduated from QU in 1997 and NEVER had any issues for that.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago

You are correct on my synonym misuse good sir. 😉 You are Qatari, people like you are so far outside of normal employment considerations and so privileged in recruiting and hiring matters that I don’t think that we can use your personal case, or that of any Qatari, as an sort of a representative sample. Frankly, you are in a different world that has little meaning to the experience of most. In my sphere there is often a very clear bias ( in my experience, sometimes with good reason, sometimes not, depends on the programme, when they graduated, etc) against QU graduates.

So, will we have a gentleman’s agreement that QU produced physicians will not seek work west of particular longitude lines like we see with some of the other regional schools? I can see a situation developing that is similar to that for graduates of some of the less reputable Indian or Caribbean medical schools.

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Koko71

Given that English is the lingua franca here the standard of it in most of the schools is appalling.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

Ah, never thought of it that way. So the QU programme will be the second tier one for the grade B students? Okay, I can see the logic in that, pumping out more physicians and giving opportunities for those who are able but not elite school calibre. Makes sense.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Yes, to be blunt, QU will be the ‘B’ school of medicine in the country.

Katie Harrington
Katie Harrington
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

As laid out in the article, there is a high turnover in expat doctors. The aim is to create more homegrown doctors to solve this problem.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

ArabianOne
ArabianOne
5 years ago

Local doctors would probably understand the needs of the population more and contribute to the growth of the country and its culture.

This has been an issue for the last decade where some locals (Dr. Misfir being the most vocal) lamented that some doctors working in Qatar do not speak either Arabic or proper English making it difficult to communicate.

Besides, it is healthier when people from a country actually do the work needed to sustain the place instead of relying entirely on a workforce from abroad. It would not hurt folks in the Gulf to take care of their own for a change.

Good luck to the men and women attending both colleges and as we say in Arabic “may your work bless your home”

Rose Thorne
Rose Thorne
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Which one?

It’s very hard to get into WCMC. Having a QU med school widens access to studying medicine in this country, making it possible for many Qatari students to qualify.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

Who cares if the infrastructure is OTT when the country can afford it? The fact is that in the number of potential doctors Qatar is now reaping the rewards of it’s investment. Credit where credit is due.

O
O
5 years ago

Hope that these future doctors won’t prescribe antibiotics without proper physical examination and diagnosis. *wink*

Peaches
Peaches
5 years ago

It’s great that Qatar University will have this program and hopefully the course/degree certificate will be a recognized qualification around the world. Not that a Qatari national would want to, for example, go work in London for the NHS for less money and more hours, but there should at least be that flexibility.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Peaches

I doubt that it will be an accredited or recognized programme for at least 5 years, but there is always hoping.

Want to be a student again
Want to be a student again
5 years ago

First year of study and 2.700.- USD per month!
Wow!

4th year at university 7.000.- USD per month!
Double Wow!

How much will the hospitals have to pay when they eventually employ these doctors (who have yet zero experience)?

And more importantly who will pay the hospitals when a local graduate from Qatar does a procedure on you?
I guess expat doctors will have to take a salary cut to make up for it?

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

I am sure in their first year of work they will get a starting salary of 40k+. I know it does not make sense but everything is inflated here and I think part of the inflation are the crazy and illogical salaries locals get.

Ya Ahbal
Ya Ahbal
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Hater.

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed

No, expat doctors will not have to take a salary cut. Things don’t work that way here…

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
5 years ago

I thought people usually paid to go to university, not be paid a salary greater than many professionals receive here, just to study. If they expect that sort of money how will they feel about actually having to work the usual hours of a medical professional to be paid? Certainly none will ever go to practice elsewhere. I applaud Qatar for opening up the medical field to homegrown students, but find the financial incentive inappropriate and counter productive

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Qatar’s amir raises retirement pension to QR 15,000

0
Sheikh Tamim issues a new retirement law to ensure that retired citizens live a decent life after years of serving the country.  Qatar’s Amir Sheikh...

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.