As medical students of today and future physicians, we will be dealing with the human body. This idea itself forms a serious challenge and keeps us alert of the importance of building a robust basis of knowledge through which we can catch up with the rapid advances in the different fields of medicine.
Knowing that every day there are hundreds of new studies published, novel theories discussed and effective treatments approved emphatically revolutionized our minds and [the] desire to seek and gain knowledge whenever we can. Consequently, we started looking for ways to expand our perspectives and widen our spectrum of knowledge. We deeply believe that reading is one of the keys to broad horizons. We believe that reading within, across and beyond our faculty curricula is the best way to build a strong medical personality, and a wide base to build on in the future.
For this sake, we’ve been thinking of different resources to read and learn more. We started with online databases of published studies and researches such as the Cochrane Library for systematic reviews, Pubmed and Google Scholar. In these search engines one can find the published articles in various aspects of medicine, even the latest published studies. In addition to these sites, reading the recent editions of medical references, whether basic or clinical, will always be a powerful method to enrich our information. We asked many colleagues about their opinions regarding reading references and the majority has un-surprisingly agreed on the significance of this mean especially when they look for a reliable source to clarify vague ideas and to overcome the difficulties that they face during their study.
In the following, Ahmad is talking about his personal experience,
“I tried reading references while studying pharmacology and physiology, as well as discussing clinical cases from the internet with my friends to reinforce my way of thinking. It felt fantastic. I learnt more, besides, my English got way better than before”
Since the Curriculum at Damascus University is in Arabic, all the previously mentioned tips are essential for students to hone their English language skills. We believe that learning good English is a necessity, not a luxury, for medical students in Syria especially that most high-yield references, scientific papers and textbooks are in English. Besides, reading in foreign languages and learning from other communities will only boost your abilities to participate efficiently in building your society.
Lastly, we would like to finalize our article with a quote from Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management who said “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes”. So, keep doing your best to enhance your knowledge, hone your abilities and float in the space of science.
About the author:
Ahmad Alkhaledi, 21 years old, 4th year medical student at the faculty of medicine, Damascus University. I love technology, design, and volunteering. CEO and Founder of In1Minute, which is an educational project that aims to share knowledge and information among students. I have big interest in research, besides the passion in making learning medical stuff in the Arab World easier through technology by providing visual videos. Ahmad may be reached at Ahmadalkhaledi@outlook.com. And you can learn more about his project “In1Minute” via this site: www.in1minute.net
Mahmoud Alkhatib, 5th year medical student in a 6-year program at Damascus University. I have been graded in the top ten students in the last four years, and have been awarded from the faculty. My interest in research has emerged in the third year, and since then I have started working with my colleagues on some projects to help make the future of our faculty. I will continue on this road since my goal is to be a good researcher who will make a change and leave his imprint. Mahmoud may be reached at email@example.com
Tarek Turk, fifth-year medical student in a six-year program at Damascus University, Syria. I have always seen myself as a clinician and a researcher, and have worked hard my entire life to achieve this goal. I believe that we were not meant to pass from this life without leaving a trace, and I decided to leave a trace in science. I have major interests in knowledge synthesis, Evidence-based healthcare, and linking medicine to artificial intelligence. Tarek may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Authors Initiative:
The IIT Syrian student blog welcomes guest contributions from university students from Syria and around the globe. To learn more about the Guest Authors Initiative, please contact Suhaib at email@example.com.
Suhaib was born in Kamishli, Syria, and earned his bachelor’s degree in December 2014 from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Armour College of Engineering, with earlier studies at Aleppo University and Damascus University. Suhaib majored in Civil Engineering with a concentration in structural engineering. Upon graduation, he accepted a position as a project engineer working on projects throughout the state of Illinois; he lives in Springfield, Illinois. Suhaib previously worked with Jasmine Baladi Studio, an NGO that works to support Syrian children in refugee camps in Turkey. Suhaib regularly writes for the Syrian Students for a Better Future Blog.