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 programme 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 paediatricians and family physicians from the WCM-Q, the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and Sidra Medicine.

As part of the Cornell Stars course, WCM-Q faculty and staff members 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 the WCM-Q’s 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 paediatric consultants from the HMC included Dr Anas AbdulKayoum, Dr Sohair Elsiddig, Dr Sara Hamad, Dr Suzan Nassar, and Dr Khalid Zahraldin.

WCM-Q faculty and family physician Dr Stella Major, WCM-Q alumni Dr Moza al-Sulaiti, Dr Saleha Abbasi and Dr Mohamed al-Hajjaji, with Sidra Medicine’s paediatric fellow Dr Khadija KhudaBakhsh and paediatric residents Dr Hadeel Ali Alzoubi, Dr Aya Kojan, and Dr Samer Ali, also took part.

Dr Amal Khidir, associate professor of paediatrics at the WCM-Q and organiser of the Cornell Stars programme, said: “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 paediatrics,” she said.

Student Mohamed al-Ansari said: “This was my first time working with paediatrics 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 paediatric patients,” he said. “This platform has given me valuable insight into paediatrics, and I may consider it one of my career options.”

Fellow student Jassim Taimour said: “The experience was enlightening in terms of paediatric care.”

“We learned to conduct general, neurology, pulmonary, and cardiology examinations, he added. “By observing experienced doctors, we gained insight into how to handle paediatric 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,” she said. “I have been participating in this activity for three years now, and each year, I see improvements in how the activity is organised 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,” Laudato added.
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