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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

A new European banking space is born this year

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: Another sleepless night for the negotiators before Indaba meeting

Refugee crisis update: Commission still in panic while Turkey is to be added in the equation

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

Will ECB win against low inflation by not following Quantitave Easing?

Does the EU want GMOs and meat with hormones from the US?

European Union: More taxes out of less income

Is there a chance for the West to win the war on terror?

European Youth Forum welcomes establishment of new Youth Intergroup in the European Parliament

Press coverage of migration crisis in Europe: a call for collaborative action

Convincing the Germans to pay also for the unification of Eurozone

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

JADE May Meeting last call for participants – join us in Zagreb

Who really cares for the environment?

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

“The winner is who can accelerate the transition to a new digital era”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015: a Digital Europe 4.0

Eurozone: Retail sales betray economic frailty

Britain in and out of the EU

Does the Greek deal strengthen the Eurozone? Markets react cautiously

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

European Sting Cookie Policy

JADE Spring Meeting 2015: a step forward for Youth Entrepreneurship

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

The EU slowly exits from “Excessive Deficit Procedure” and hopefully from ‘Excessive Austerity Procedure’ too

Access to ‘affordable’ medicines in India: challenges & solutions

Arlington, USA: kick-off of the fifth round of the EU-US boxing match

We are close yet so far…

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

Neelie Kroes at the European Young Innovators Forum: Unconvention 2014

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

Will Europe be a different place this Monday?

EU is now giving Google new monopolies to the detriment of European citizens and Internet companies

We’ll succeed together

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

MWC 2016 LIVE: Telenor CEO calls on operators to embrace Mobile Connect initiative

China’s stock markets show recovery signs while EU is closely watching in anticipation of the €10bn investment

IMF’s Lagarde indirectly cautioned Eurozone on deflation

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

G20 LIVE: G20 leaders reaffirm OECD’s role in ensuring strong, sustainable and inclusive growth

Maros Sefcovic Canete European Commission Energy

Better late than never? Commission runs now to fight energy dependency on Russia with the sustainable energy security package

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

The historic accomplishment of a seamless EU patent and intellectual property space

Greece did it again

The European Parliament wants to stay in one place

How to test if Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ was an authentic revolt or a well-planned operation

A Sting Exclusive: why the environment is important to your health, by UNEP’s Head for Europe

Tsipras imposes more austerity on insolvent Greece; plans to win new early election soon

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

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