In 2016, we partnered with Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) again, to support students going on their electives from the four Palestinian Medical schools seeking to go abroad. In all 135 students were successful in obtaining placements. Unfortunately, not all the students were able to go, as it has become increasingly common for the necessary permissions or exit visas to be denied. In total, only 77 students got away, around 57%. The students from Gaza were hit the hardest, with only three from IUG and two from Al Azhar able to go. The students from the West Bank were a little more fortunate, although about 15% had to change their destination to somewhere closer to home. To read the students’ story, please go to the MAP website (Trapped in Gaza).
Nonetheless, out of the students who went, the majority had very successful electives and were eager to share their photos and stories. FQMS strongly believes that these electives widen the horizons of our future doctors at so many levels.
Here are a few snippets from the reports we received from student who travelled for their electives in 2016:
Majdoleen went to King’s College Hospital and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital, UK.
“It was one of the richest experience I have ever had. I learned new things in medicine, culture and life. I was able to see what good communication is between patient and physician. There were different types of patients mentality and I learnt how to deal with it. Also I could assist in theatre and learn new surgical skills. This allowed me to trust myself more. I know now that my medical knowledge is good and that I can depend on myself and go outside my comfort zone. I met many new people and saw the city and went to nearby towns. When you break the fear of talking to new people you can find many wonderful people.“
Rana went to World Health Organisation (WHO) Headquarters, Switzerland.
“It was an outstanding opportunity for me to intern at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. I was the first intern to come from Palestine. The WHO was the perfect place to meet decision makers and global leaders and learn from them. I had the chance to do my own project on electricity in health facilities and surgical care in low and middle income countries. I met people from all over the world, from Ghana to Australia and South Asia. Geneva and the organisation were the perfect place for socialising and networking. Now I know that my future plans for a surgical speciality shouldn’t be limited to the walls of the operating room!“
Mohammed went to Akademiska Sjukhuset, Sweden.
“I decided to go to Sweden, as they have the best healthcare system in the world. I assisted in more than 10 operations, performed an arthrocentesis and a shoulder reduction, took patient histories and did physical exams. Also I had new social experiences with people from all over the world.“
Esraa from Gaza – Originally planned to go to the University of Jordan Hospital, but went to An Najah University Hospital
“We started the day with morning meetings discussing new admissions, and then took medical histories and examined patients on our rounds. In the ophthalmology department, we attended many microsurgeries. The hospital was full of rare cases, which you would hardly ever find in Gaza. Staff in the hospital were very informative and I made many friendships with medical students and doctors.“
Malak went to Nazareth EMMS Hospital
“I experienced very interesting things in the Pediatrics and Neonate Intensive Care and Emergency Departments. This included: performing procedures, like inserting a cannula on a baby born at 30 weeks, and examining a full-term newborn. I participated in the neonatal resuscitation programme. Where I learnt to use a laryngoscope, put an endotracheal tube and when to give specific medications and the dose using a specific diagnostic criteria at the Neonate Intensive Care Unit.“