Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar

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Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar
Established 2001
Academic staff
344 (2012)[1]
Students 273 (2012)[1]
Location Education City, Al Rayyan, Qatar
Website Official website

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) was established on April 9, 2001, when Cornell University signed an agreement with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development to bring a branch of its medical school to Education City, Qatar, near the capital of Doha.

The medical college maintains the same standards for admission and education as Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, but offers both undergraduate and graduate courses of study, each with separate admission: a two-year non-degree pre-medical program followed by a four-year M.D. program. The pre-medical program opened in the fall of 2002, and was reportedly the first coeducational institute of higher education in Qatar.[2] Its clinical affiliates are the Hamad Medical Corporation's General Hospital and Women's Hospital.[3]


According to The Washington Post, WCM-Q receives $121.7 million just to cover the operating expenses for the university, making it the most expensive U.S. university in Education City. It is likely that Cornell receives more than this from the Qatar Foundation to operate the campus.[4]

Typically, contracts between Education City and the U.S. universities with branches there stipulate that some majority percentage of the students should be Qatari, the Qatar Foundation has approval authority over budgets and business plans, and that universities are eligible for a management fee which allows the university to profit from the campus in Doha.[4]

Students attending the pre-med program pay $48,880 in tuition, while medical students pay $50,950.[4]

Students and student life[edit]

WCM-Q has 291 students, 18 preliminary students, 93 pre-medical students, and 180 in its MD program.[4]

WCM-Q has a variety of clubs and sports teams that compete in the Education City league against other universities in Education City.[5] Students actively participate in a variety of outreach activities locally and abroad, and have participated in service trips to Costa Rica, Indonesia, Nepal, Oman among others. Students also actively participate each year in research activities mostly in the campus in NYC and Ithaca before premed and between year 1 and year 2 of medical school. Campus life revolves around various Cornell-Qatar events and inter-campus events. The student body is multi-cultural and comes from diverse countries in the region and elsewhere yet respect local traditions.


  • Hunter R. Rawlings III – President of Cornell (interim) [6]
  • Javaid I. Shiekh, M.D.: Dean, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar[6]

Joint Advisory Board:[7]

Name Representing Position Since
H.E. Ghalia Bint Mohammed Al-Thani, MD Qatar Foundation Co-Chair 2004
Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., MD, DPhil Cornell University Co-Chair 2001
Tarek Abdel-Meguid Cornell University Member 2010
Jassim Al Suwaidi, MBChB, BAO,

LRCP & SI (Honors)

Qatar Foundation Member 2006
Jordan J. Cohen, MD Independent Member 2002
Laurie H. Glimcher, MD Cornell University Member 2014
Ziyad Mousa Hijazi, MD, MPH Member 2010
James J. Mingle Cornell University Member 2001
Robin Charles Noel Williamson, MD, FRCS Independent Member 2014
Hanan Al-Kuwari, PhD Qatar Foundation Ex-Officio


Jessica Bibliowicz Cornell University Ex-Officio


Ahmad M. Hasnah, Ph.D. Qatar Foundation Ex-Officio


Javaid I. Sheikh, MD Cornell University Ex-Officio




Along with other U.S. universities in Doha, WCM-Q runs the risk that their reputation could be weakened by having a campus in Education City. U.S. educational institutions value free speech and the freedom of independent thought, while Qatar’s monarchy has absolute power and the country has no real outlets for political dissent.[8] Many have criticized that universities such as Cornell cannot possibly expect to have academic freedom in an environment such as Qatar.[9]

In response to criticisms, Cornell has said that its presence in Qatar “is the best way to promote understanding” and that their “collaborations across the globe” fulfill its mission of “teaching, discovery and engagement”.[10]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fact Sheet 2012–2013". WCMC-Q. October 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  2. ^ "CORNELL UNIVERSITY TO ESTABLISH MEDICAL SCHOOL IN QATAR". Cornell News. 9 April 2001. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Clinical Affairs — Hamad Medical Corporation
  4. ^ a b c d "Texas university gets $76 million each year to operate in Qatar, contract says". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  5. ^ http://qatar-weill.cornell.edu/current-students/download/clubs-organizations-2016.pdf
  6. ^ a b "About Us: Governance and Administration - Administration". qatar-weill.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  7. ^ "About Us: Governance and Administration - Governance". qatar-weill.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  8. ^ "In Qatar's Education City, U.S. colleges are building an academic oasis". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  9. ^ "Roots of American universities grow deeper in Qatar, drawing criticism". Gulf News Journal. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  10. ^ "The Jewish Week | Connecting the World to Jewish News, Culture, and Opinion". The Jewish Week | Connecting The World To Jewish News, Culture & Opinion. 2015-04-29. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°19′05″N 51°26′20″E / 25.3180°N 51.4389°E / 25.3180; 51.4389