A voice from Syria: the positive prospect of clinical research despite the excruciating circumstances

IFMSA GLobe 2017_

(IFMSA, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Alexey Youssef, a 6th year M.D student in Tishreen University, Lattakia, Syria. He is also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

It is fairly logical to consider six years of civil war as the demise of any academic development. However, Syrian medical students and doctors have proved that wrong. With the help of many local and international factors they were able to overcome the tremendous limitations imposed by the unfortunate situation.

In this article I will mention some of the most evident limitations, discuss the afore-mentioned factors, and highlight some of what have been locally done.

Limitations have been numerous during this period. During the past years, there has been numerous travel and VISA bans for Syrian student. This, in addition to the financial difficulties created by war, made the dream of continuing study abroad impossible for the vast majority of student. In turn, this strenuous reality and uncertain future created a noticeable mental burden on many students. Clinical depression levels boomed among medical student, and this in turn countered any possible academic development.

Publishing wise, the poor financial situation and sanctions imposed evident hardship. Journal processing or international conferences registration fee became unpayable. Mainly, because the amount was no longer affordable for students, and because of the inability to make money transactions from Syria. Finally, many academics have left the country which actually deprived many students of essential mentors. Evidently, this is a strenuous reality. Who can think of research in these circumstances. However, nothing is absolute.

Many factors have helped Syrian students overcome these limitations. These can be classified to international and local ones. The international factors have played a major role by partially replacing the lost qualified mentors. The online research courses had a great impact because they provided much-needed quality education.

Two Courses should be mentioned in this regards. The Syrian American Medical Association research courses and the NIH-IPPCR course. This year the IPPCR course was hosted by SMSA all around Syria in Tishreen, Damascus, and Aleppo Universities. In addition, other factors like the free open access provided by some of the journals, motivated medical students to publish.

Local factors have also played a major role. Medical students have shown a great team work spirit and cooperation to overcome the difficulties. Working in Volunteer teams, they have relied on motivation and peer-education to empower their fellow medical students through research groups, conferences, and workshops.

With each new publication students became more and more motivated. They started forgetting about the difficulties and focusing on being proactive and productive.

Interestingly, everything has changed in the recent year. We have witnessed a boom in the number of medical students’ publications. In the current moment, I can confidently say that research has moved from a small-sized idea to a faculty-wide, ever-increasing trend.

The upcoming years will unveil the talents and will power of Syrian medical students.

About the author

Alexey is a 6th year M.D student in Tishreen University, Lattakia, Syria. IFMSA wise, he is the president and founder of the Syrian Medical Students Association SMSA-Tishreen local committee that officially represents his university in the IFMSA. He is deeply interested in research. He has 1 peer-reviewed publication and 4 ongoing research projects. To locally empower research, he has hosted the IPPCR course in his university and has created a cooperative research team. One of the prominent projects he is working on, is a quality improvement project that aims to locally empower hand hygiene practices at his university’s hospital.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

EU Parliament: It takes real banks to fight unemployment and recession

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

Is the EU competent enough to fight human smuggling in 2015?

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

Terrorism and migrants: the two awful nightmares for Europe and Germany in 2016

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

The EU bows to Turkey in view of the talks for a political settlement in Syria

Parliament sets conditions on EU-China investment deal

An EU Summit without purpose

US prosecutors now target Volkswagen’s top management, upsetting Germany

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

MEPs and European Youth Forum call on EU to Invest in Youth

The Commission sees ‘moderate recovery’ but prospects deteriorate

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

Intel @ MWC14: Our Love Story with Mobile – Transforming Wireless Networks

UK’s Cameron takes the field to speed up TTIP talks. Will “rocket boosters” work?

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

How much more social deterioration can the EU people endure?

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Trump questions US – Europe kinship, approaches Russia

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

Galileo funding: A ‘small’ difference of €700 million

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

China invites the EU to a joint endeavor for free trade and order in the world

Spirit unlimited

Deutsche Bank again in the middle of the US-EU economic skirmishes

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

Davos: Why the global elites couldn’t find answers this year?

Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

My unlimited China

Forget about growth without a level playing field for all SMEs

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

ITU Telecom World 2017 on 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea

EU-Turkey deal on migrants kicked off but to who’s interest?

The South China Sea Arbitration: Illegal, Illegitimate and Invalid

EU to lead one more fight against climate change at G7 summit

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

In China things are moving in the right direction

Has Germany rebuffed ECB on the banking union?

“Airbnb and YouTube are two great examples of a crowd based capitalism”, key stakeholders outline the boundaries of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Davos

Why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s