Students from Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Foundation Programme presented research posters of their experiences observing doctors and other healthcare professionals at work.
As part of the English course curriculum taught by Dr Rachid Bendriss, assistant dean for student recruitment, outreach and foundation programmes, WCM-Q, this experiential learning initiative involved students from the Foundation Programme shadowing doctors at Sidra Medicine and watching how they interact with patients, each other and colleagues from other medical disciplines.
The aim was to give students a greater understanding of what it means to be a doctor and the attributes that are required, aside from an academic understanding of diagnosis, disease, drugs and therapies. Each student, majority of them Qataris, chose one of five themes to concentrate on: teamwork, leadership, empathy, emotional intelligence and professionalism.
Throughout the semester, students explored and reflected on these themes in research literature, engaged in face-to-face and online discussions, and visited Sidra Medicine to observe physicians at work. They then produced a research poster using a multimodal approach based on a literature review, their observations, an inquiry graphics analysis, and their inferences.
Khalid Alsabbagh opted to focus on teamwork and leadership and was assigned to shadow doctors and other medical professionals in the Department of General Surgery at Sidra Medicine. The title of his study was ‘Interdisciplinary Teamwork in the Medical Field’.
Alsabbagh said, “I worked on the idea of observing teamwork in the medical sector and examining how it benefits patients’ health, outcomes and satisfaction. My conclusion was that teamwork, and most importantly multidisciplinary teamwork, in the medical field is crucial in improving patient health outcomes and satisfaction. I also observed that a medical team has no hierarchy; everyone works as one team, there is no leader, everyone takes responsibility both for themselves and others.”
Latifa Mahmoud was assigned to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to examine professionalism in the medical profession.
She said that through her observership, she had seen and come to understand that there is no exclusive characterisation of professionalism. Rather, the trait manifests itself in various ways depending on the doctor and the circumstances of the patient.
Dr Bendriss said it had been a valuable learning experience and that the five themes chosen were central to excellence in healthcare.
“Foundation students already have the opportunity to participate in the Clinical Observership Programme where they can experience what being a doctor involves, but this experiential learning initiative encourages them to take a critical and specific approach, allowing them to focus on attributes of healthcare professionals that are outside of the traditional medical curriculum,” Dr Bendriss added.
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