Get set… Go!

Medicine is a profession that once you wear its white coat, you can never take it off. The time schedule of a doctor as well as a medical student is always full, otherwise there’s something wrong! It’s a field that’s expanding dramatically with lots of information and knowledge amassing in relatively short time. Today, it has become essential more than ever for every student and doctor to get involved in the medical research field in order  to choose the best information with the strongest evidence and to roll in this jungle of information, primarily as a consumer,  then as a partner in producing knowledge.

And the question comes intuitively, how to manage to reconcile between studying medicine and doing research with success at both?

As a medical student, I can assert that medical school requires a lot of dedication. Hard work and studying should become a lifestyle in order to both pass the academic process and become a good doctor. On the other hand, medical research needs a lot of training to construct the scientific personality of the researcher so he/she can read, understand, critically appraise, and then start writing his/her own work. Properly comprehending evidence based medicine, statistics, study designs, medical research basics, usage of search engines, and last but not least grasp the principles of academic writing, all of these are essential requirements for a beginner. So, the struggle is real! But here are a few tips!!

As a 24-hour day is enough to achieve a lot of duties and regarding that learning is a process of experience accumulation, if a student allocates one hour to learn and practice research every day, he/she will progress enormously by the end of a single month. Another useful method is forming groups with peers who share out the same interests. Working in groups can make learning and working more entertaining. In addition, it’s recommended to seek feedback from almost anybody. The feedback of those who are not in the domain helps to measure readability and clarity of the research paper, the opinions of experts, on the other hand, help to put the paper “in shape.” One more tip is to re- evaluate the attained knowledge every now and then, pay attention to the gaps in knowledge and try to fill them by means of online courses,  MOOCs, reading books, asking experts or even asking friends. Finally, motivation, sincere desire, and time appreciation construct the original engine to succeed and defeat all the obstacles. In this context, it’s good to remember that it’s never too late to start working, NOW is the only reality that we own and are able to control. It’s our responsibility to make every NOW counts; in order to live a life of value.

Sarah Zaher Addeen

* Photo taken from Google images.


About the Author:
Sarah is a senior year student at the Faculty of Medicine, Damascus University. She was born and lives in Sweida, Syria. Sarah is a first aider and resuscitation provider. She is passionate about medicine, especially neuroscience. She wants to become a clinician as well as a researcher. She believes that education and strengthening youth potentials are the keys to create a better future for Syria. She is also concerned about women education and empowering in third- world countries.


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

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. 

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