Re-envisioning Outreach Strategies:A Mixed Methods Case Study of Pursuing Medicine as a Career Choice in Qatar

Bendriss, Rachid (2023) Re-envisioning Outreach Strategies:A Mixed Methods Case Study of Pursuing Medicine as a Career Choice in Qatar. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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The State of Qatar has witnessed an exponential growth on many levels due to the current socio-economic development and its growing role in the region. Moving from a rentier economy to a knowledge-based society necessitated a re-envisioning of the higher education sector. Before the establishment of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar in 2002, medical education was unavailable to local citizens and long-term residents, obliging them to travel to neighbouring Arab countries, the UK, or the U.S. to pursue a medical degree. Now, with two medical schools, Qatari citizens and residents finally have the opportunity to enrol in a medical degree without the need to leave Qatar. However, in the absence of a governmental framework to motivate prospective students, medical schools needed to establish recruitment strategies to attract and retain potential medical students and prepare them for the rigour of a foreign medical curriculum. This study investigates how potential medical students in Qatar perceive the influence of long-term curricular outreach initiatives on their decision to study medicine, what factors are significant in influencing their choice, and how their participation in one or more outreach pipeline programmes influences their choice of pursuing medical education in Qatar. Using a mixed-methods case study design, data were collected through a medical student survey, faculty interviews, and student interviews to identify personal and contextual factors that impact potential students’ decision to pursue medical education. This study demonstrates the efficacy of an integrated outreach strategy that combines longitudinal curricular programming with short-term programmes in medical student recruitment in Qatar. This research finds that intrinsic motivators, especially interest in medicine, desire to help others, and intellectual challenge stimulate a desire for medical career choice. Findings also show that participation in outreach programmes is perceived to be effective in stimulating interest by increasing self-efficacy expectations and outcome expectations as well as creating learning experiences, thereby strengthening interest in pursuing medical education and eventually leading to the pursuit of a chosen career path. Therefore, this study informs strategies aimed at attracting local citizens and residents to study medicine in Qatar. Additionally, this study proposes a conceptual framework that emphasises the importance of collaboration among the governmental sector, the public school system, and higher education institutions in Qatar. Although this framework is particularly relevant to the Qatari context, it has the potential to benefit regional institutions thanks to the sociocultural commonalities and the shared history of higher education in the Arab Gulf region.

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Thesis (PhD)
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25 Jan 2023 09:25
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:55