By OLIVIA LUTWAK
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar announced Monday that it will merge its two-year pre-medical program and its four-year medical program into one cohesive six-year medical program.
Previously, students looking to transition from the two-year to the four-year program would go through a separate admissions process, according to the college. With the new restructuring, however, students will only have to apply once to be admitted to the six-year medical education program.
“This important innovation preserves the content, academic rigor and quality of our highly regarded premedical and medical programs while providing additional flexibility to our students and at the same time advancing their preparedness for the medical profession,” said Javaid Sheikh, dean of the medical college in Qatar, in a press release.
Students currently applying to the premedical program at WCMC in Qatar will undergo the admissions process for the new six-year program by default, according to the college.
Initial discussions of the integration began a few years ago as a result of recommendations from the Joint Advisory Board — which provides advice and assistance to the dean of WCMC in Qatar — with the idea arising “quite naturally in the mind of all stakeholders,” according to Marco Ameduri M.S. ’96 Ph.D. ’00, associate dean for pre-medical education at WCMC in Qatar.
“Integration will allow for a closer curricular focus in the first two years — when the students take undergraduate courses — and it will bring in additional flexibility in the timing of key steps, such as the Medical College Admission Test,” Ameduri said. “The tighter curricular alignment over the six years will give the student more time to absorb the complex scientific concepts that are at the basis of medicine.”
The new integrated program aims to build upon this already-established reputation by continuing to place postgraduates in residency programs at elite hospitals across the world, according to the release.
“At [WCMC in Qatar], there is a very supportive learning atmosphere, and students have the opportunity to do research and … engage in local and international service experiences,” he said. “So far, our graduates have been very successful as they continued their journey into their residency programs. We certainly expect this to continue.”
Ameduri added that early feedback for the new program “shows excitement and curiosity.”
“There is broad enthusiasm among the faculty and the current students, as we all prepare to welcome the entering students in the fall semester of 2015,” he said.