I think there is no place to do your elective course better than Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). I also got to experience electives in Jordan university Hospital and Ruby Memorial Hospital, USA. My educational trip was amazing from its first day to the last; a lot of experiences, new friends, great places and different cultures.
It was a great trip! On Thursday June 21st, I travelled via Erez crossing border after months of waiting as most of Gazan people do every time they want to travel abroad, then I reached the Jordanian capital – Amman and started my first short elective course in General surgery department under supervision of Dr Al-Muhtaseb with a group of lovely Jordanian students at Jordan university hospital. I saw many new operations and the supervisor doctor gave me and my colleagues the chance to be more involved, e.g. taking history, physical examinations for patients and the opportunity to do my first scrub-in and work as an assistant in the operating room.
As I had to wait at least 2 months for the US visa interview if I applied from Gaza because the Israeli restrictions on the Erez crossing border. I applied for it from Amman while doing my elective there. In the middle of July, my trip to US started when the plane landed at JFK airport/New York then to West Virginia, where I did my second 4-weeks elective course.
New system, new people, new culture, everything was amazing with a great supervisor Dr Alkhouli in the cardiology department, seeing the patients in the clinic, Cath lab (catheterization laboratory) and in the floor (in-patient) as well. I saw many new procedures especially in structural interventional cardiology.
The last course at Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the USA, was incredible. It has more than 1300 bed and more than 100 Operating rooms, I did my third course in trauma surgery department with Dr Kaafarani and his hard-working team. It was a busy daily schedule starting with in-patient round then spending long hours in Emergency room, Operating room and in the clinic. With a daily of many educational conferences, and weekly grand rounds where great visiting doctors came from all over USA. It was a great experience.
It was a great experience; I made new friends and many connections there. I was able to socialise and attend social events especially at the weekends. I remember that I went with the lady (who I rented my room from) to her aunt’s 95th birthday party to celebrate with her family there. It was a great day.
I’m really grateful for FQMS for its continued support and its generosity, without that I wouldn’t do my elective course.
In August 2018, I went on my elective to the University of Jordan. It focused on surgery in orthopaedics surgical department.
It is wonderful to leave Gaza to see life in other places. I am 23 years old and I have never travelled. When I had the opportunity to go to this great institution I couldn’t refuse it. I am a student in the fifth year at the Islamic University of Gaza and that the possibilities in this department are limited.
It was a dream to travel to see the development potential in the Arab countries and thank God I lasted nearly a month at the University Hospital of Jordan in the bone section with consultants such as Dr Ajlouni, Dr Khanfar and Dr Hadidi.
It was a great opportunity to see how the health system outside the Gaza Strip, to complete my education with clinical skills in the orthopaedics department and be able meet other student from other countries and exchange knowledge with them. After working in the hospital, me and my colleagues used to visit the tourist attractions in Jordan. It was a lot of fun.
Problems with the crossings meant I was delayed in starting the elective course, but it was worth it as I’ve been interested in specialising in surgery since the first year of medical school.
Thank you to FQMS for their help. I hope they continue their support for students in the future.
“From the beautifully lit city of Bethlehem, the Golden Dome of Jerusalem, the ramparts of the old city and the ancient markets of Nablus I write to you.
Life here is vibrant and colourful. However, as we know, after scratching the surface matters are much more complex and arduous.
Visiting the 2 medical schools in the West Bank, Al Quds and An Najah exposes the shortage of staff and the resource stretch in teaching facilities.
The main Palestinian hospitals in Jerusalem, Hebron and Ramallah are at breaking point. The demand is huge and the financial resources are very limited.
Despite all this there is a strong sense of determination and optimism. Talent is abundant and so are the brains. I met 2 of our ‘alumni’ over the last 2 days. Naji Mousa and Bashar Jaber are 2 recipients of FQMS postgraduate training support, now proudly playing significant roles in treatment of female cancers and colon cancer respectively. FQMS continues to support medical education here.
On a sad note I, and the wider FQMS family, mourn a wonderful man and supporter of Palestinian medical education, John Beavis. John passed away a few days ago. He took me on my first trip to Palestine in 2011 and held my hand as I fretted about going through Israeli immigration in Tel Aviv. John is not a man to be forgotten.
The FQMS annual gala is on the 23rd March 2019. We decided to move it to a Saturday and hope that you will enjoy it more being rested rather than exhausted after a week at work. I hope you’ll join us. We can’t stress enough how even a £10 donation adds up to a significant amount.
Please keep your generosity going and send us any donations, however large or small, even in advance of the dinner.
Thank you so much to everyone who came to our Political Poster event!
We raised just over £1,400 with the help of the University of Essex Palestinian Solidarity Group and Jess Twyman! A big thank you to Diana YuFei for playing the beautiful Chinese Harp and to Jake Deemer-Evans for all the photography taken.
I am Mahmoud, a 6th year medical student from Jenin. This is my 3rd year using the flats. In my personal experience, living away from my family proved to be difficult at first, but being able to stay at the flats with my fellow colleagues and friends really helped me in my studies, I was less homesick when surrounded by students who are also far away from their families. It is always better to wake up at 7:30 to reach the hospital than having to wake up at 5 or even 4 am in order to make it on time! This way I have more energy and I am more focused.
I am Sundus, a 4th year medical student from Tubas. This is my first week at the Hebron flats, I am so excited to be part of this experience as I always heard my older friends talking about how they make study groups, cook and go to hospitals together. I submitted an electronic form to the accommodation committee and they found accommodation for me for the bridging month rotation. Tubas is very far away and I always wanted to experience the teaching methods in Hebron hospitals so I am very glad, but we are increasing in numbers and we need more rooms. This year was really crowded, as more students needed accommodation.
I’m Bahera, a recent medical graduate from Bethlehem. I used the Ramallah flats for 3 consecutive years. I am so grateful to have been able to find a place where I can study and attend the medical rotations of my choice without having to worry about wasting time and money in transportation each day. I made a lot of friends from different year levels. Our requests were always met and whatever problem we faced we always found help.
I am thrilled to tell you about an event which I organized together with two other mentees from Palestine, Asma and Shahed. We decided to host a volunteering activity to bring mentees together around a good cause. In particular, we volunteered to help children who are going through cancer. This is the first of a series of social activities which we will organize in Palestine.
We enjoy playing, dancing and singing with 20 children with cancer. Our goal was to make the children happy and to bring a smile to their faces. In addition to offering moral support to the children, we also provided material support by offering breakfast to the patients. We really enjoyed our time with them and we are proud that we succeeded in lifting their spirits.
Simulation training offers the learner an opportunity to develop and enhance skills that are necessary for use in clinical practice.
In the Faculty of Medicine of the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), students regularly train and learn in the clinical skills laboratory. More than 400 students from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 benefit from this opportunity on several occasions each year.
Students in Year 3 learn and practice basic nursing and medical skills such as intravenous cannulation, blood taking, blood pressure measurements or intramuscular injections. Use of the skills lab in Year 4 focuses on training in medical examination skills, as well as more advanced practices, such as urinary catheterisation, lumbar puncture or placing chest drains. For Year 5 and 6, the skills laboratory is used for training in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, more advanced emergency, surgical and medical skills as well as advanced adult, paediatric and neonatal life support skills.
A further important aspect of the clinical skills laboratory is that it offers the opportunity to practice teamwork skills in order to work together to achieve one common goal. Therefore, regular simulation teaching with clinical scenarios also take place in the skills laboratory.
Finally, the skills laboratory is used for clinical examination purposes from Year 3 through to Year 6, where OSCE style examinations are conducted within the clinical skills laboratory.
Many thanks to FQMS for funding the purchase of the needed equipment in the skill lab on behalf of the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG). These models will be used all year round for training the medical students in most of the courses, and examining the student’s skills during OSCE examination.
Dr Anwar Alshaikhkhalil
Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine,
Islamic University of Gaza
Al Quds Medical School (AQU), established in 1994 as the first Palestinian medical school was deficient in cadavers for Anatomy teaching. This stems from cultural norms which prohibit cadaveric dissection.
Accordingly, AQU resorted to computer-assisted learning (CAL) in this topic and the use of diverse mannequins and models that match human anatomy topography. Procurement was not possible due to the prohibitive cost. Luckily, and with the kind assistance of FQMS we managed to buy the initial batch of Anatomy manikins which served our Anatomy instruction till 2013, when the yearly intake of the medical school was around 60 students.
In 2013, the policy of the university made it imperative to increase the number of new enrollees to 150 and thereafter by yearly increments of 40, until we reached an intake of 300 students in 2017.
This imposed a heavy burden on our Anatomy facility coupled with the fact that many of the original models became useless from wear and tear over the years.
This necessitated the Faculty to establish a new Anatomy lab to accommodate the increased number of students and to replace a lot of the old models acquired since 1994. Again, FQMS has miraculously come to our assistance by approving the purchase of new Anatomy models to equip the new lab.
The list of Anatomy models covered all the body parts and musculoskeletal bone structure. Without this new facility, the medical school would have found it difficult to teach the practical component of Anatomy discipline and this would have jeopardised the delivery quality of our curriculum.
In addition, the medical faculty delivers Anatomy teaching to Dental, Pharmacy and Nursing students thus putting a great burden and intense need for a second Anatomy lab with the installation of new purchased Anatomy items.
I have to register my sincere thanks and great appreciation for the assistance FQMS has provided and is still sustaining this help to AQU. Without this ironclad support Al Quds Medical School mission would have been hampered immensely.
Hani Abdeen BM. FRCP (UK). FCCP
Dean SoM Al-Quds University
Abu Deis – Jerusalem East
My name is Faiza, a 19-year-old Palestinian girl from Gaza, I am about to complete my second year at the General Medicine faculty of Al Azhar University of Gaza. My dream to become a doctor was guided by my full awareness that it is a noble profession for serving humanity and the world we live in. I worked hard throughout my school years and graduated high school with a GPA of 98.8% and started my journey at the Medicine college in 2016, acknowledging that medicine is a field that demands both hard work and good financial status.
Thankfully, my parents have supported my dream regardless the burden of my education costs, as they were both employed, working only to provide my four siblings and me a good life and quality education. It was all good until last year when unfortunately my mum lost her job which timed with the worsening of the situation in Gaza and my dad stopped receiving his full paycheque. My parents started to suffer, no longer able to pay the requested tuition and I became seriously worried of the possibility that I might not be able to enter my final semester exams nor register for the summer courses of 2018.
I started to look for donations and sponsors, until I was referred to FQMS. I wrote them an e-mail asking for support. I cannot describe the feeling of knowing that there is finally someone there to help. I was able to enter my semester final exams and put all my focus into doing well and raising my GPA, and I passed all my courses with great marks and I got the highest GPA since the beginning of my study here in Al Azhar!
I would like to thank FQMS for their support and kind consideration of my status, no words could ever explain the joy and gratefulness my family and I had when I received that email, not everyone can realise what blessing it is to suddenly and out of nowhere have a major crisis worked out. I cannot spoil the moment by thinking of the burden of the coming year’s tuition, as we must always believe that there is always a window of hope.