Posted on March 23, 2019

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) alumni working in Qatar spent a week learning leadership and management skills on a course organized by WCM-Q’s Division of Alumni Affairs.

Ten WCM-Q graduates completed the seven-day Certificate of Leadership and Management program, learning a range of topics including different management styles, performance management and motivation, presentation and communication skills, the role of coaching and mentoring, decision-making tools, emotional intelligence and how to enhance assertiveness, among other skills. 

The program, which was accredited by the UK-based Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) was delivered by Leadership Focus, a specialist training organization from London. The 10 alumni who took part graduated from WCM-Q between 2009 and 2016 and work variously as consultants, assistant professors, fellows and senior residents at WCM-Q, Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medicine. Their specialties comprise pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatric radiology, obstetrics-gynecology, and psychiatry.

Dr. Robert Crone, Vice Dean for Clinical and Faculty Affairs, said: “Our role at WCM-Q is not only to educate our students to highest possible world standards but to create the next generation of leaders in healthcare for the State of Qatar.  This means we must stay in touch with our graduates who are engaged in postgraduate training in Qatar and North America and encourage and facilitate their return to Qatar to take up important roles within the healthcare system.  As leadership and management are learned skills, we at WCM-Q are offering leadership and management training programs for our alumni in order to ensure that they have the tools to succeed not only as excellent clinicians, but as leaders when they return to Qatar.”

The WCM-Q Alumni Affairs Division was created to support the career development of WCM-Q graduates by providing access to training, networking and employment opportunities. The division has been very successful at encouraging graduates to return from completing their residency training overseas (usually in the US) to serve the community in Qatar. The division also seeks to support the advancement of women into senior leadership positions, following the example of inspirational figures like HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, and HE Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health.

Haya Ahmad, WCM-Q Director of Alumni Affairs, said: “Our aim with this very rigorous and demanding course was to leverage the talents of our highly trained alumni by helping them acquire excellent leadership and management skills. This will allow them not only to advance their own careers, but also enhance their capacity to take leadership roles in Qatar’s rapidly growing healthcare sector for the good of the entire community.”

The training, which took place at WCM-Q’s campus in Education City, engaged the alumni in lectures and interactive exercises to teach them a variety of key leadership and management skills. These included making a five-year plan for career progression, how to manage the performance of teams by creating environments that are based on trust and mutual support, using coaching to improve performance, utilizing appropriate visual aids and presentation tools, understanding the impact of body language, and by actively listening to feedback and giving appropriate responses to questions, among many others.

Qatari national Dr. Sara Buhmaid, Attending Physician, OBGYN, Sidra Medicine, graduated from WCM-Q in 2012, before going on to complete a residency program at the University of Vermont Medical Center in the United States. Dr. Buhmaid returned to her native Qatar in 2016 to take up her position at Sidra Medicine. She said: “As graduates of WCM-Q, all of us are very ambitious and keen to take up leadership positions in the healthcare sector, so this training program was extremely welcome. It was very useful to learn about the various different leadership styles and work out which of them was most appropriate to my character and my career goals. It was also great to see my fellow WCM-Q alumni again and to hear all about their experiences serving the community here in Qatar.”

Dr. Grigory Ostrovskiy, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at WCM-Q, graduated from the college in 2011 and then completed residency training in emergency medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He said: “I found the course extremely useful, particularly the sections that explained how to formulate a five-year plan for career progression and the Pugh decision-making matrix. Taking the course with fellow WCM-Q alumni helped a great deal as we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we were able to provide each other with meaningful feedback.”