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Students explore the role of physics in medicine at joint WCM-Q and Texas A&M at Qatar program

Published Aug 25, 2023

Nineteen high school students from 15 schools successfully completed the Physics for Future Doctors Summer Program—an initiative developed by Texas A&M University at Qatar  in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

The Physics for Future Doctors Summer Program is a one-week on-campus program offered by WCM-Q’s Office of Student Outreach & Educational Development in the Pre-medical Division. The program was co-created by Texas A&M at Qatar professor Dr. Sami El Borgi and WCM-Q professor of physics Dr. Mohammad Yousef, and is designed to provide motivated high school students with an opportunity to hone their physics problem-solving skills, emphasizing medically relevant examples.

To take part in the program, students must possess a good foundation in the physical sciences, demonstrated by a higher-level physics course in their high school as well as adequate English language proficiency. Additionally, students must be interested in pursuing a career in a STEMM-relevant field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine).

Students had the opportunity to explore and use an application recently developed by Texas A&M at Qatar in collaboration with WCM-Q and engage in hands-on sessions offered jointly by highly trained WCM-Q students and Texas A&M at Qatar teaching staff at WCM-Q facilities.

The program was organized and run by WCM-Q students Aisha Kafoud, Harsh Gohil, Anns Mahboob, and Raghad Ibrahim, and, from Texas A&M at Qatar, Muhammad Nafees, a Ph.D. student, and Hamad Al Dafaa, a fourth-year student.

Commenting on the program, Dr. Yousef said: “We were delighted to welcome such a talented group of high school students to our one-week program with Texas A&M at Qatar partners. Under the guidance of passionate graduate and undergraduate students from Texas A&M at Qatar and WCM-Q, the participants engaged in hands-on experiments and thought-provoking discussions. The program aimed to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through medically relevant physics exercises and new technology. We encouraged fearless experimentation, free exploration, and collaboration, making learning the ultimate reward. The program was a great success, and I am deeply grateful for the dedication of Texas A&M at Qatar and WCM-Q to student-enriching multiversity initiatives.”

Texas A&M at Qatar team leader, Nafees, said: “WCM-Q and Texas A&M at Qatar joined hands to deliver an inspiring biomechanics workshop for high school students. Through expert-led sessions on physics and human anatomy, coupled with engaging Texas A&M at Qatar experiments, students gained valuable insights into biomechanical principles. The integration of Texas A&M at Qatar’s innovative StaticStudio software enhanced their understanding of statics and free-body diagrams, enabling visualization of physics in the context of the human body. This collaborative workshop exemplified the institutions’ commitment to nurturing young talent and fostering advancements in the dynamic field of biology, engineering, and science.”

 Ms. Kafoud said: “I would love to thank Dr. Yousef and my fellow colleagues for giving me the great privilege and pleasure of being the team leader for the Physics for Future Doctors (PFD) program. The program further strengthened my belief that physics and medicine are fundamentally intertwined. With the current trajectory of medicine, our hospitals are going to need doctors who are also physicists.”

Participating high schools included Al Arqam Academy for Girls, Al Wakra Independent School for Girls, DeBakey High School for Health Professionals at Qatar, Doha British School, Edison International Academy, Gems Wellington School, Global Academy International - Al Thumama, Lycee Voltaire, Mesaieed International School, Park House English School, Qatar Academy Al Wakra, Qatar International School, Qatar Science & Technology Secondary School for Boys (QSTSS), The International School of Choueifat-Doha, and West Virginia Academy.

The students who completed the program celebrated their achievements during a ceremony at WCM-Q, where they received certificates of completion.