DAAD’s 2015/2016 English Master Programs Scholarships for Jordanians (Two are Medicine-Related out of a Toal of 36 Programs)

DAAD Amman Jordanien
This is a copy-paste from a post published today by DAAD Jordan’s facebook page:

DAAD proudly presents its brand new brochure of its next intake for its Master portfolio “Developing-Related Postgraduate Courses”!!!

The funding line comprises 36 English Master programmes at different German universities in the fields Economic Sciences, Development Cooperation, Engineering,Mathematics, Regional Planning, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Public Health, Social Sciences and Media Studies.
All programmes are open for Jordanian applicants and there is full scholarships available.
Note: Applications have to be directed to the respective university and NOT to the DAAD. All information on the programmes can be found here : http://www.scribd.com/doc/135838156/Postgraduate-Courses-2015-16
Application deadlines differ from programme to programme but most deadlines are between September and October. Good luck with your application!

Source: DAAD’s Jordan Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/daad.jordan/posts/640757386006774

Notes from me:

# Prerequisites and Requirements for DAAD scholarhships: Are you eligible for a DAAD scholarship? https://www.daad.de/entwicklung/studierende_und_alumni/bildung_postgradual/ast/08164.en.html

# There are only two Medicine-related master programs and they are in Public Health. Their full details are on pages 101-108 of the DAAD’s brochure on Scribd.com. You can see the embeded Brochure below starting at page 101 (Master of Science in International Health (Berlin)). Alternatively, you can click here to go directly to page 101 on the Scribd website.

 

Postgraduate Courses 2015-16 by Daad Amman

Review: Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers

Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers by Robert B. Taylor My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

What I most like:
• I did not know that medical writing is also a problem for native speakers. This book quickly gave me this conclusion. In addition, I now know that medical writing is a long process and one need a lot of time and effort to master it. Therefore, it is no wonder, as a non-native English speaker, that I am having problems in writing my first papers. Finally, I also concluded that writing a manuscript could not be finished in few days and by one person (I am not to be blamed then!).
• The book mentions real life examples from published papers. I wished they were more.
• The book have tables that summarize information regarding certain topics. For examples, “The origins of selected medical words,” p. 54. In addition, some common mistakes and corrections. 
• I like the author’s enthusiasm about the Etymology of words. I am a big enthusiast too. I think this is reflected in how detailed the author supports his points of view.


What I most dislike:
• I found many words and expressions in this book very hard to understand. I had to use the dictionary a lot. I would not say that I read a lot in English since years and think my English is good. This is very subjective. In comparison with “English for Writing Research Papers,” by Adrian Wallwork (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9…), I used the dictionary to look up new words at least 10 times more. I think this is ironic as the author warns against using hard words and expression. Moreover, I think that the greatest majority of those interested to read a book on medical writing would be people with English as their second language. Would it not be a good idea to use simple and commoner words? Examples of hard words include:

– “… Take ear infection, example, which most would describe as a mundane topic…”, p. 13.==> What does mundane means? One of the nice methods advocated by the author is to use the Microsoft Word Thesaurus. I have Microsoft 2010 and it gave me the following suggestions: “Ordinary, dull, routine, every day, commonplace,… among others.” Is not one or two of these words beautiful substitutes?
– “The review article is the Rodney Dangerfield of medical writing. Review articles get no respect, even though, as discussed in Chap. 5, they are often indexed and counted in calculating a journal’s Impact Factor…” To be like Rodney Dongerfiled? I do not have time to look who this person is and what it is supposed to mean if something is like him. This kind of expressions and hard words delayed my reading speed.
– “I think that highest accolades go to those case reports that change what we do in practice. p. 162” Accolades? 

• The title of the book is a little bit different than the content. Although the title contains “medical writing”, the concentration on writing in the book is little. I think that chapter two mostly address tips on writing. I wish that it was longer and it was more detailed. For example, the tables in it that mention wrong and correct pairs are amazing but unfortunately short. Nonetheless, this is somewhat understood as the book provides an overall view of the whole process of what to from what to do in case you had the idea of a research to getting your writing published. Adrian Wallwork’s English for Writing research papers is deficient in this late point, but without argument, much stronger in teaching writing skills. For this purpose, I highly recommend “English for Writing Research Papers”.

• I think that some technical recommendations needs to be updated. For example, the author dangerously says, ” The disadvantages [of EndNote Program] are cost (currently $299 for the full product) and the steep learning curve facing the new user. The program is not “intuitive” and the online instructions are challenging… EndNote software is great for experienced and prolific medical authors, especially if compiling long lists of citations.” However, in my opinion, beginning medical authors should use my more primitive “cut and paste” method, and spend their energy learning how to be better writers.” I think that the time wasted using the traditional “cut and paste” method in a writer’s first research is enough for him to learn using EndNote. However, I understand that the book was written in 2011 and referencing program might not have been famous back then. Moreover, the author wrote in page 7: “Not too many years ago, I was highly dependent on secretarial support; I dictated my articles and made corrections by hand to be changed on computer by my typist.” Therefore, Dr. Taylor reminds me of some old professors of me at medical school who found some “mundane” tasks in computer to be very hard simply because they started using computers at an old age. Finally, there are now many free professional alternatives to EndNote. The most famous one of them in my opinion is Mendely (http://www.mendeley.com/)

=============
To sum up, the book is amazing because it gives a whole overview of the writing and publication process. However, I find some words and expressions in it very hard to quickly understand. I hope that it would be taken into consideration that many non-Native speakers will read such a book. The strongest advantage of this book is that it gives real-life examples from published papers. I hope that more will be given in future editions. Finally, I hope that more concentration will be given to writing skills. View all my reviews

Doctors of Medicine (MDs) can get directly into a PhD program in Germany “in general”

Three years after graduating from medical school, can a medical doctor have a PhD? In Germany, the answer is “in general” yes. In case a medical doctor is interested in doing a PhD, mainly in basic sciences, then he can directly enter into a PhD program in Germany. I was told that this is the “general rule.” Our certificates, MBBS (Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Surgery), are considered equal to master in Germany. In other words, you do not need to have done a master in order to enter into a PhD program. A German friend of mine told me this information, and I confirmed it in a famous Facebook page about higher studies in Germany (recommended by DAAD officials in Jordan). I asked my question in “German” here. To be 100% sure, they told me to check with individual universities to find if my MD degree from outside Germany is equivalent to master. However, they confirmed that the general rule is that it is equal. I was interested in a program in a University in Berlin called “Humboldt University of Berlin (wikipedia page).” Therefore, I mailed a department in it. For the year 2013/2014, according  to the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (Powered by Thompson Reuter), this university is number 94 in the world:

Source: A page for the Humboldt University at the Times World Ranking Website.

For comparison, no Arab university is in the same year among the top 350 Universities in the World http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2013-14/world-ranking/region/asia, http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2013-14/world-ranking/region/africa ). The highest being King Abdulazziz university in Saudi Arabia ranking “351-400”.

I sent the following email to a department in this university asking if I can enter directly into a PhD program. They replied that my academic background (which is equal to that of all graduates of Mutah Medical School, and that of all graduates of medical schools in Jordan) makes me qualified to “apply for [their] PhD program.”

 ==================

Dear Sir or Madam,

I hope that my email will find you doing well. I graduated last June from medical school here in Jordan, Middle East. I have a MBBS (Bacehelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) [Mutah University Graduates has MBBS. Source: The faculty’s page at Mutah Unviersity Website]. A German friend of me told me that in Germany, those with MBBS could directly do PhD. I asked this question in the Facebook group Research in Germany. They answered with yes… I am interested in a program of yours. May I ask if I may apply for it now that I do not have a master degree and only have an MBBS?

Best regards.

 ==================

Dear Jameel K. Hijazeen,

Thank you for your e-mail and your interest in our program. It is correct that a MBBS is equal to a German Master’s degree. With your academic background you are qualified to apply for our PhD program.

If you have any further questions, you are welcome to send me another e-mail or give me a call.

Best regards,
J.

=====================

• As I easily noticed, the language of teaching in most programs is in English (Amazing, huh?). As a proof of your English knowledge, universities require certain TOEFL or IELTS scores.  In one university, they wrote that it is enough if you can provide them with a certificate from a professor who says that you know a good level of English (I cannot remember the precise characteristics of such a professor).

• The requirements for each program are different. The competition is very high in some programs. In particular, one program asked that you pass an exam on Biology and Chemistry. Many details are present in the websites of each program. You can mail them, and from my experience, they reply quickly.

• The tuition fees are very little as universities are supported by the German goverment. In one PhD program, which consists of six semesters, the tuition fees of each semester are 280 euro, which covers free transportation ticket for the entire semester. Concerning living costs, in Berlin, for example, they estimate living costs to be around 1,000 Euro per month. I read and heard about estimated living costs ranging from 700-1200 euro per month. In one study conducted by HSBC bank, it was concluded that among 13 of the world top countries, it is chepeast for overseas students to study in Germany!!! The list of countries is shown in the figure below:

Living costs in 13 of the top world countries: Australia is the most expensive and Germany is the cheapest!

Living costs in 13 of the top world countries: Australia is the most expensive and Germany is the cheapest! Source: Website of HSBC bank.

• You can get sponsorship from different organizations. I know of two. One is called the KAAD. However, the most famous is called the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service). They offer thousands of scholarships every year. They have a central branch of them in Jordan: http://www.daad-jordan.org/en , https://www.facebook.com/daad.jordan ). They hold a free information lecture إستشارة طلابية each month. The lecture is very informative and the explanation is great. It is present by a Dr. Abdelnasser Hindawi. He is very nice, cooperative, and welcomes any questions on the email of DAAD Amman info@daad-jordan.org. He replies quickly and with full details. The nearest lecture is today, Tuesday, 22.04.2014, at 05:00 PM in Goethe Institute, Amman, https://www.facebook.com/daad.jordan/posts/10153964741815068?stream_ref=10 You can follow the DAAD Jordan’s facebook page for future lectures. The last 6-8 lectures Ads that I saw stated that the lecture would take place on a Tuesday). The last time I checked, the health-related scholarships they have were two master programs in Public Health. The master programs can be finished in one year. They require however a practical experience of at least two years, among other things. The tuition fees of one program, as I remember, are about 14,000 Euro. They are all covered by the DAAD. For full details of these two programs, and all other scholarships to Jordanians, see this PDF by the DAAD Jordan: http://www.scribd.com/doc/147312520/Overview-DAAD-Funding-Jordan

Doing a PhD does not mean that you will continue your life in teaching. This will be very important in your CVs. I know some people who took masters in order to increase their chances of being accepted for residency in the USA. However, some scholarship program will tie candidates with researching about a topic that will help his/her country and with showing “genuine” interest of returning back to his/her country. For example, Yousef Jameel Scholarships:

Humboldt-University is offering five doctoral scholarships with support of the Yousef Jameel Scholarship Fund. Students of Arabic countries, Malaysia and Indonesia are eligible for the scholarships. The scholarships are awarded for a period of three years and commence on October 1. The stipend awarded is in the amount of 1350 Euros per month, plus materials expenses. To be eligible for this scholarship, English and German skills are required. Women and disabled students are encouraged to apply. Applications should be submitted till 15th July 2014.

Source: http://scholarship-positions.com/yousef-jameel-doctoral-scholarship-natural-scientists-developing-nations-germany-2013/2013/05/29/

Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Source: Link.

 

Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University: Application requirement. Source: PDF file from the university's website. Click here to download it.

Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University: Application requirement. Source: PDF file from the university’s website. Click here to download it.

• More scholarships and funding opportunities other than the DAAD and KAAD: Link.

• The DAAD website shows 61 medicine-related PhD programs. I think that this is a large number to choose programs to choose from.

 • How to search the DAAD’s website for a PhD Program (among other study options) and avaialbe funding options for studying in Germany.

 

• The below PhD positions were posted yesterday by the facebook page “Research in Germany“. They are all in Humboldt-University in Germany:

Source: A post in the website of the facebook page, Research in Germany.

Deutschland: Land der Ideen - Germany: The Land of Ideas

Deutschland: Land der Ideen – Germany: The Land of Ideas. Source: Webseite der Technische Universität München.

*** Note: I based little information above on my own short experience. I tried my best to put references where possible. Please feel free to make any corrections for the benefit of me and future visitors to this page ***

When published papers become like YouTube videos: How comments can revolutionize research – PubMed Commons.

Have you ever used PubMed to search for a paper? Do you know how to tell a bad paper from a good one (i.e. critically appraise a paper)? Are not you sometimes afraid that certain papers contain mistakes? Did medical school equip you with enough skills to critically appraise the literature? Is there anyone to help you? Yes, there is help is since October 2013!

I believe that for most medical graduates in third world countries, where medical research is something rare, the answers to all the above questions is no. Understanding published papers, with their complex statistics and ideas was, and still, hard for me. This is not to mention critically appraising these papers and telling a good paper from a bad one. Did you experience this? Are you still experiencing this?

How can an inexperienced person tell a bad paper from a good one? Be this person a medical student, an inexperienced graduate, or even an experienced doctor who rarely does research. How can a person know the mistakes, which a paper contains? I believe that a good percentage of papers contain mistakes, whether scientific or linguistic, whether by mistake or with aim of fraud. The Abstract of the paper is only there on PubMed or in the Journal website. What is more important, the current system of “letters to the editor” does not seem to be effective. How often did you see such important feedback published? More importantly, do you think that many experienced people will take time to go through this lengthy and boring process of sending a letter to the editor?

When someone suggests a book to you, how do you make sure that it is a good book before going ahead and buying it? I believe that the easiest way is to read reviews or simply comments of people who read it. Very beautiful examples are Amazon, Bookreads, or whatever other website that allows users to publish comments and reviews in the books’ pages. Do not you benefit from reading these comments? Is not this a quick, relatively trustworthy, and incredible method that allows you to know how good a book is?

Comments allow users to decide wether a book is good or not

Source of the screenshot: http://www.amazon.com/Master-Boards-USMLE-Step-CK/dp/1609787609

3,522 reviews for this famous book

3,522 reviews for this famous book at gooodreads.com (link to this page)

 

In addition, we can consider the case YouTube videos. Do not you enjoy reading some of the comments that are posted under YouTube videos? Have you ever been curious to know how a magic trick was performed, and then you quickly knew what was going on through a comment that explained exactly what was going on? Have you ever not been impressed by a video explaining how to prepare something, and then was persuaded that the video is a piece of trash after reading some of the posted comments? Do not you like the discussions that break out below political or religious videos? Are not they sometimes more informative than the videos themselves?

Comments under a YouTube video featuring democratic candidates debating about the US Health Care System

Source of the screenshot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjA6eJ3R-UQ

Why do not they allow comments, reviews, and subsequent discussions under abstracts of published papers? Is not this a great way to allow inexperienced individuals to assess the quality of published papers? Why not to allow experienced users to expose the defects in published papers? The solution is simple then: Allow comments under published papers Just like Amazon and Goodreads allow comments in each book’s page or like YouTube allows comments under each video. Is not this a small change with great consequences? Did not anyone think of that?

Less than an hour ago, I was searching PubMed when an Ad talked about something called “PubMed Commons.” This was interesting and I immediately googled it. I found a great paper in the website of Stanford University (The world’s third best university according to the World University Rankings). A Professor called Tob Tibshirani wrote it. He is, according to his article below, one of the minds behind what I think would revolutionize research (all respect). I highlighted in red the important aspects of the article.

“PubMed Commons:  A system for commenting on articles in PubMed”

PubMed Commons:  A system for commenting on  articles in PubMed


The Need for a Comments System

Professor Tob Tibshirani, Stanford UniversityWe all read a lot of papers and often have useful things to say about them, but there is no systematic way to do this – lots of journals have commenting systems, but they’re clunky, and, most importantly, they’re scattered across thousands of sites. Journals don’t encourage critical comments from readers, and letters to the editor are difficult to publish and given too little space. If we’re ever going to develop a culture of commenting on the literature, we need to have a simple and centralized way of doing it.

Pat Brown, Mike Eisen and David Lipman

Last year, I approached my Stanford colleague Pat Brown, a founder of PLOS, with the idea of creating a site where scientists could comment on ANY published research article – something like comments on movies at Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) or comments on books and other products at Amazon. Pat said that he been discussing similar ideas with his PLOS co-founder Michael Eisen, and that they felt strongly that a standalone site would be unlikely to work because it would not get enough traffic. They felt that the best way to develop a successful culture of commenting on science papers would be to make this an option at PubMed.  Pat introduced me to David Lipman, the Director of the NCBI (the home of PubMed), who said that the idea has been raised many times in the past, and that he was open to implementing such a system if I could demonstrate broad support in the community.

So I organized a group of 34 team leaders, representing diverse scientific fields. They recruited teams of prominent researchers in their fields – 250 in all, who were committed to the idea. David took the idea to the NIH leadership,  who approved the development of a pilot commenting system called PubMed Commons. The team of scientists I assembled agreed to beta test the system during development and to provide feedback on its design and operation. 

Who should be able to post comments?

A central issue for PubMed Commons was  the question of who should be able to post comments.  One would like the system to be inclusive as possible but many scientists would not be interested in posting comments in a system with a high proportion of irrelevant or uninformed comments.  NIH also needed a rule for who could post that would be pretty clear cut and not based on e.g. some judgment of the experience or knowledge of the participants. The decision was made that comments could only be posted by authors of papers in PubMed. This would make the situation symmetric in that all people who comment can have their own work commented on.  It would also include a large number of potential participants and would meet NIH’s need for something unambiguous.  Unfortunately it would leave out many people who could add valuable input, including many graduate students, patient advocates, and science journalists.  I’m a little worried about this restriction, as I want to make the system open to as many users as possible. But hopefully that is a pretty wide net, and it may be widened further in the future.  And a group commenting feature to be described below could help improve inclusiveness.

Anonymous comments allowed?

One big issue that we have faced was the question of whether anonymous comments should be allowed. After much discussion, the group remained deeply split on this issue.  Those wanting anonymous posts were concerned that many scientists, especially junior researchers, would be reluctant to make critical comments.  But those opposed to anonymous comments believed that the quality of interchange would be higher if commenters were required to identify themselves.  In the end, these differences weren’t really resolved and the decision was to start without anonymous comments and re-evaluate after the system had been fully public for a while.  While debating this issue various proposals were put on the table for ways to allow participants to review and essentially sponsor the anonymous post of another participant. 

Group comments

Gary Ward, an active member of the lead user group, was very keen on using PubMed Commons to post comments from a journal club for a class he participates in  at  the University of Vermont. He proposed that there should be some way for PubMed Commons to accommodate comments posted by a group.  David Lipman noted that group comments would also be a way to allow participation by a wider range of commenters:  A group could be initiated by a regular PubMed Commons participant (i.e. was an author of a paper indexed in PubMed), giving it a title, short description, and list of participants and then posting comments on their behalf.  While a group comment could be submitted by a particular group member, in many cases, they would reflect the consensus of the group and such collective comments  could  be quite valuable.

PubMed Commons is here!

The NCBI team developed a working version of PubMed Commons earlier this summer and I posted the first comment in the closed pilot on June 17.  Since then the user group has noted bugs and made a number of requests for modifications.  Jonathan Dugan of PLOS labs pulled together members of the publishing world for strategic advice, and has provided many valuable suggestions about the design of the system.  Hilda Bastian,  the editor of PubMed Health and a blogger at Scientific American rallied the community’s science bloggers to help get the word out.The current system is pretty simple – after registering you’ll see the PubMed Commons landing page which has all the most recent comments and links for information on how to use the system.  When you’re signed in you’ll see below each PubMed record  a box for posting comments or replies to existing comments as well as a place to indicate that an existing comment or reply was useful.  There are instructions for how to specify simply formatting of a comment and if you cite another PubMed record in your comment, there are links back from that cited paper to your comment.

We believe the system is now ready for a wider range of participants.  If you’ve been funded by an NIH Extramural grant (or in the NIH Intramural program), NIH has the information it needs to get you into PubMed Commons automatically.  Once you’re a registered participant, you can invite other published scientists to join.  NCBI is investigating ways to open Commons up directly and automatically to more groups of published scientists but if new participants invite their colleagues, the network effect could broaden membership and expand participation dramatically.

The system will still be in a closed pilot mode where only registered participants can see the posted comments but NIH leadership will be evaluating the closed pilot with the hope of making all comments visible to all users of PubMed. All comments are covered by Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ ) and if the decision is to make the system fully public, NCBI will provide an API so that other groups (e.g. publishers or other information resources) can make these comments useful to the community.

PubMed Commons was released for broad use on October 22, 2013

See the PubMed Commons Landing page

I am very excited by this initiative, and hope it can improve the quality of scientific interchange the community.

Rob Tibshirani, Stanford University

tibs@stanford.edu

http://www-stat.stanford.edu/~tibs/

N.B. I found this article through this nice blog.

Source of Prof. Tob Tibshirani’s photo: Professor’s page in Stanford University.


Some important links:

The official page of PubMed Commons in the PubMed Website:

Find all PubMed Citations with comments: This search results page contains all PubMed papers that has comments. Today, 8/3/2014, the number of PubMed Papers with citations is 876. This does not reflect the total number of comments as some papers has more than one comment.

How to join PubMed Commons? Can you?

“Joining PubMed Commons: A Step-by-step Guide”

Figure 2 – PubMed Commons home page that will appear for someone who is logged in to My NCBI but who is not a PubMed Commons participant. Click the indicated link to learn how to join PubMed Commons.

Source of the photo: http://ncbiinsights.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2013/10/23/joining-pubmed-commons-a-step-by-step-guide/

PubMed Commons on Twitter: The description of this account reads, “PubMed is piloting a beta commenting system. Get involved! Follow us and we’ll keep you posted.”

The description of this account reads, “PubMed is piloting a beta commenting system. Get involved! Follow us and we'll keep you posted.”

Examples of comments:


Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23146315/#comments


Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24429058/#comments

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22147807/#comments

Finally, why am I excited?

1) In the past, I depended on the number of citations that a paper has, in order to judge how good it is. But now, I can also more reliably depend on the comments posted under the paper in PubMed.  This is important especially for newly published papers that do not yet have many citations. Moreover, this is important for papers about topics that do not bring many citations.

2) In YouTube videos, when a person reads the different comments under a video, and sees, for example, how some users are proving or disproving an argument. Consequently, the person would learn to think in a new way. By seeing how others analyze a point of view, and then how they prove or disprove it, then a person will certainly learn this skill by time. Similarly, I believe that when inexperienced individuals see how experienced researchers criticize the information mentioned in a paper, then they will start learning how to do that. They will know, for example, what to look at when reading a similar paper. Imagine this situation: You read a paper and decide to cite it in your paper. You then remember PubMed Commons and go and read the comments posted under that paper. After reading a few comments, you will get that point of:

“How did I did not notice that when I read the paper? Yes, what the comments say is logical! There are huge mistakes in the study methodology and the results are therefore unreliable. I should not cite it although it has a good number of citations. Probably, the people who cited this paper did not read these comments in the PubMed page of the paper. I wonder if they know about PubMed commons!”

Woman thinking

Source of photo: http://pixabay.com/en/woman-sad-crying-thinking-old-71735/

3) Authors will benefit too, not only be embarrassed :). Firstly, this will provide them with a feedback regarding their work so that they can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future. In addition, I believe that authors will start paying more attention to what they publish. The situation is now not like in the past and many people can in minutes expose to the whole world the mistakes in their lousy work.

4) I expect that experienced people do not have time to go through the lengthy process of sending a “letter to the editor.” I believe that the lag of time between sending the letter and the time for a reply will decrease enthusiasm. In addition, I believe that there is a limit to the number of “letters to the editor” that a journal will publish. Online comments can solve all of this.

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

Source: http://quotes-lover.com/wp-content/uploads/Thats-one-small-step-for-man-one-giant-leap-for-mankind.jpg

To sum up, I am really very excited about the implications of this “small step” on research and researchers worldwide. The scientific community should have thought of allowing comments on papers  since a long time ago. Nevertheless, as the maxim says, “Better late than never!”

Volunteering with Operation Smile Mission in Jordan – January 17th, 2014

Logo of Operation Smile

Logo of Operation Smile

Last Friday, 17/1/2014, I had the honor of volunteering in the screening day of an Operation Smile Mission in Al Hussein Hospital, Ein El Basha, Amman. Among students in my batch, only my friend Yazeed Azzam and I went to this event. It was the first time for both of us to participate in a mission by Operation Smile Jordan.

Originally, I came to know about Operation Smile Jordan through their facebook group. If you like to volunteer in Operation Smile Jordan then visit this group. My experience upon entering this group was the “most” beautiful one that I have ever had in my life. To spread the news about Opeartion Smile – Jordan, I wrote the following back in 03/06/2014 in my group “USMLE Takers – Jordan“:

Operation smile Jordan: Who hasn’t heard about operation smile? If you asked me about a voluntary medical organization, then this is the second that would cross my mind after “Doctors without borders”.

Operation Smile Jordanian website: http://jordan.operationsmile.org/

Their facebook group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/operationsmilejordan/

This is what is interesting: The admin welcomed me upon being accepted into the group with a comment (!!!). This was very nice because no one has ever welcomed me into a group before. Have you?

Next, she directed me to send them an email at ” info@operationsmile.jo” containing my contact details and what I do in life. She said that they will send me later on a special application form based on my profession.

Later on, I was told that, at any time, if I wanted to know further information: 

“I do recommend that you either call us at [0777327510] or visit us to know about us and ways in which you can help”

Summary of my experience: I am now more encouraged to go not only because of how famous this organization is, but also, because of how enthusiastic the welcoming was!

Anybody going with me?

Back to last Friday, I had to arrive at the hospital at 8 AM and when I did, was surprised by the number of people who were crowding inside and outside a tent that was erected in front of the hospital’s main entrance for registration purpose (I think). I easily and quickly noticed the very beautiful yellow-colored shirts worn by volunteers of Operation smile. A friend of mine was outside there coordinating things (Dr. Rami Abu-Alhuda). Dr. Rami has a huge voluntary experience with Operation Smile. Hearing his description of his experience  with operation smile was one of the main reason why I decided to go that day. I greeted him and he then told me to go inside,wear the Operation Smile shirt, and then find the job required from me.

Before I enter to wear my shirt and start working, a view of the dawn at 7:53 AM, above a mosque in Al-Baqa Refugee Camp, Amman, Jordan.

Before I enter to wear my shirt and start working, a view of the dawn at 7:53 AM, above a mosque in Al-Baqa Refugee Camp, Amman, Jordan.

Upon entering inside, I was happy with the huge number of volunteers. There were certainly many western volunteers. In addition, there were many Jordanian volunteers. Every one seemed to now what he was doing. I went and got my very comfortable and beautiful Operation Smile shirt.

Dr. Yazeed Ali Al-Azam and I with our very beautiful and comfortable operation smile shirts.

Dr. Yazeed Ali Al-Azam and I with our very beautiful and comfortable operation smile shirts.

Next, I was sent to an official Jordanian volunteer woman who checked a printed list to see where I am to work. I respect the organization of operation smile Jordan because they asked us to confirm our coming to the event 8 days before the mission. More impressing, they had sent us an email notifying us about this mission on 8/12/2013. This was the email:

Dear  Volunteers,

We are glad to inform you of Operation Smile Jordan’s upcoming mission which is scheduled from January 17th to January 23rd, 2014 at Al Hussein Hospital , Ein el Basha.

Screening days:

Friday, January 17th, 2014 (6:30 am – 6:00 pm) 

Note: On screening days, you are expected to work the WHOLE day from 6:30 am until 6:00 pm.

Surgery days:

Sunday, January 18th, 2014  – Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Note: On Surgery days, there will be two shifts (A and B).

 Shift A: 6:00 am – 2:00 pm
 Shift B: 12:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 (6:00 am – 3:00 pm)

Note: Meeting point for buses is at Regency hotel,Al Dakhleyyeh Circle.

Please note that buses will leave at their exact times so do not be late. IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO SHOW UP WITHOUT PREVIOUS COORDINATION WITH THE HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE.  If you are willing to participate with us in this mission you HAVE to reply to this email with the days and the shifts that are suitable for you As Soon As Possible! 

Note: Deadline for reply, the end of Thursday January 9th,2014. 

Attached to this email is a document containing things you might need to bring or do when attending the mission, therefore, you are kindly requested to read it.

Kindly be informed that if you are attending the mission and need a request for a leave of absence letter ( School, University, Work) please send an email to info@operationsmile.jo

Ghalia Bassam 

A famous Jordanian plastic surgeon, Dr. Mahmood Bataineh, examined the hundreds of patients whom thought that Operation Smile could help them. Dr. Bataineh then filtered the patients whom operation smile could help. Those patients then passed through many examination rooms; vital signs, burns, anesthesia, dental, speech, among few others. I was assigned to one of the different examination rooms of the patients. I had the honor of getting to know many  nice and special doctors: Prof. Mostafa El-Sonbaty from Egypt, Dr. Bivik Shah from the USA, and Dr. Osama Qaffaf from Jordan,  among many others.

All of the doctors who worked in our clinic, plus some other volunteers.

All of the doctors who worked in our clinic, plus some other volunteers.

My friend Dr. Yazeed Ali Al-Azam and the volunteers in his clinic

My friend Dr. Yazeed Ali Al-Azam and the volunteers in his clinic

Name Tag of Dr. Bivik Shah. I place this Tag because an interesting info. According to Dr. Shah, name "Bivik" is very unique all over the world. I think that he told me that only he got that name. Isn't this interesting? To have a name that only few people in the whole world have?

Name Tag of Dr. Bivik Shah. I place this Tag because an interesting info. According to Dr. Shah, name “Bivik” is very unique all over the world. I think that he told me that only he got that name. Isn’t this interesting? To have a name that only few people in the whole world have?

We started working at about 9 o’clock. The clinics continued working, non-stop until after 5 PM. Even a lunch break or a prayer break was not made. Always, someone stayed in the clinics in order that that the flow of patients will not be interrupted. During working, the minister of health, Dr. Ali Hiasat, visited our clinic. In total 113 patients were examined. A Swedish-American Anesthesiologist  told me later that day that they would probably operate at least 90 of these patients.

A sixth-year student from the University of Jordan and I were required to keep record of all the patients who were examined in our clinic. This was the last paper we filled. The number of the last patient was 113.

A sixth-year student from the University of Jordan and I were required to keep record of all the patients who were examined in our clinic. This was the last paper we filled. The number of the last patient was 113. And yes, thanks Dr. Yazeed for allowing me to take the photo using the back of your Operation Smile shirt as a background 🙂

I tried to participate in other days. I sent an email last Saturday stating which days I could come. However, I did not get a reply. I should have done that long time ago. Because their email stated that a person cannot simply “show up without previous coordination” and that the deadline of reply was “the end of Thursday January 9th,2014”. So, why I had not sent this email earlier? I actually did not expect that I want to come more than one day to this mission. This is what I wrote in the email on Saturday:

This is Jameel Hijazeen. Yesterday, I had the very nice experience of volunteering with operation smile for the first time in my life.

I did not know my schedule this week, and yes, I thought that I would be bored, and therefore I did not intend to come for more than the screening day.

I entirely changed my mind. If there were a place, I would certainly love to participate. I can come in up to three of these five shifts.

I hope that I will have time to participate in their future mission. The experience was great. You will get to know people from different countries, see multiple medical conditions, experience unforgettable moments children who have really bad problems but still had great spirits, get a free shirt, lunch, and a lot of Falafel Sandwiches 🙂 . And yes, if you volunteer long enough, they will give you a certificate with that. Unfortunately, I could not get a certificate :(.

I highly suggest that you go and try volunteering with Operation Smile!

The First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital, Karak, Jordan, 09/11/2014 اليوم العلمي الأول لمستشفى الكرك الحكومي

Abstract books of the First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital 2014

Abstract books of the First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital 2014

Scientific Day's Committees and Topics Yesterday, I had the honor of being a participant in the first scientific day of the Karak Governmental hospital. I was not only a member of the organizing committee, but also, a speaker in one paper, and co-author in two others. The event was under the patronage of the minister of Health, Dr. Ali Hiasat. However, he could not come and sent the Head of the Directorate of Health of Karak Governorate, Dr. Haitham Al-Mohesen. The event was organized with the help of the Jordanian Hematology Society headed by Prof. Abdullah Abbadi. The president of Mutah University, Prof. Rida Khawaldeh, and Prof. Zouhair Ammarin, the dean of the faculty of Medicine at Mutah University attended the inauguration ceremony.

From the second person in the right side of the photo: Prof. Abdullah Abbadi, President of the Jordanian Society of Hematology, Prof. Rida Khawaldeh, President of Mutah University, and Dr. Zouhair Ammarin, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Mutah University.

From the second person in the right side of the photo: Prof. Abdullah Abbadi, President of the Jordanian Society of Hematology, Prof. Rida Khawaldeh, President of Mutah University, and Dr. Zouhair Ammarin, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Mutah University.

This was the first time ever for the Karak Governmental hospital to organize a scientific day. I was lucky enough that this coincided with my being an intern in this hospital. Five of my fellow interns and I were given the chance to present three researches of ours. I certainly thank Dr. Zakaria Al-Nawaiseh, the Manger of the Karak Governmental and the President of the scientific day. I also thank Dr. Hani Al-Hamaidah, the head of the scientific committee and the dean of the faculty of Pharmacy at Mutah University.

Schedule of the First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital 2014

The schedule

Dr. Zakaria Al-Nawiseh, the Manger of the Karak Governmental and the President of the scientific day.

Dr. Zakaria Al-Nawiseh, the Manger of the Karak Governmental and the President of the scientific day: Certainly, he will be remembered for having organized the first scientific day in the history of Karak Governmental hospital!

 Dr. Hani Al-Hamaidah, the head of the scientific committee and the dean of the faculty of Pharmacy at Mutah University.

Dr. Hani Al-Hamaidah, the head of the scientific committee and the dean of the faculty of Pharmacy at Mutah University.

Prof. Abdullah Abaddi while giving his lecture about Stems Cells in Jordan الأستاذ الدكتور عبدالله العبادي ومحاضرة رائعة عن واقع الخلايا الجذعية في الأردن

Prof. Abdullah Abaddi while giving his lecture about Stems Cells in Jordan

 

My role in the organizing committee was to design and prepare the abstract book of the scientific day. Yes, it took me a lot of time. However, I learnt many new techniques in Microsoft Word, and gained a considerable experience on how to organize a schedule and deal with a lot of abstracts. The organizing company of the event, “Around the World Company for Conferences”, actually added the very beautiful upper and lower margins for each page. Also, they designed a cover pages of the abstract book. I was really impressed by this company, not only because of the previous, but also by the overall professional organization of the scientific day. Thank you! I wrote my name at the end page of the book and I put an ad to my facebook page Medical Conferences in Jordan(to keep updated with medical conferences in Jordan). The company did not remove it. However, they used a new design for the cover page.

Abstract book designed and prepared by Dr. Jameel Hijazeen.  Medical Conferences in Jordan(to keep updated with medical conferences in Jordan). My design for the Cover Page of the Abstract Book of The First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital:

The First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital

This is the abstract of the paper that I presented:

Did finishing the psychiatry clerkship improve the attitudes of medical students at Mutah University toward Psychiatry?

Jameel Hijazeen, MD1; Fadi Farah, MD1; Hossam Abed, MD*1; Noor Samarrai2; Radwan Bani Mustafa, MD3.

1 Interns, Ministry of Health, Jordan.
2Fifth-year medical student, Mutah University, Karak, Jordan.
3 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
*Sixth-year medical students at Mutah University at the time this study was conducted

Background: Countries around the world, especially low- to middle-income ones, face a shortage of psychiatrists. Psychiatry has always been an unfavorable specialty for many medical students. Several studies have confirmed that psychiatry training and exposure is associated with the development or increase of positive attitudes toward psychiatry Objective: To investigate if the fifth-year psychiatry clerkship is associated with an improvement of the attitudes of medical students toward psychiatry. Methods: A total of 200 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-year medical students participated in our study. Of the sample, 102 (51.0%) were females, and 98 (49.0%) were males. Our study questionnaire included the Attitudes toward Psychiatry-30 items (ATP-30) scale. This is a commonly used and validated scale for assessing the attitudes of medical students toward psychiatry. Results: Analysis showed that there is a positive and statistically significant increase in the ATP-30 mean score of students after finishing the psychiatry clerkship (t= -2.277, p=0.024). This statistical significance in the increase of positive attitudes was found among male students (t=-3.070, 0.003) but not among female students (t=-0.121, p=0.904). Conclusions: Like many researches from countries around the world, our results showed that having finished the psychiatry rotation was associated with the development of positive attitudes toward psychiatry. Our research identified some of the negative attitudes and misconceptions that students have about psychiatry. By identifying and addressing them in the future, we hope that this will translate into more positive attitudes of our students toward psychiatry. Indirectly, we hope that this will translate to more students choosing psychiatry as a specialty. Keywords: psychiatry, attitudes, medical students.

The first slide in my presentation: Did finishing the psychiatry clerkship improve the attitudes of medical students at Mutah University toward Psychiatry?

The first slide in my presentation: Did finishing the psychiatry clerkship improve the attitudes of medical students at Mutah University toward Psychiatry?

Certificate of a Lecturer - Dr. Jameel Khaleel Hijazeen - Lecturer د. جميل خليل حجازين - محاضر

Certificate of a Lecturer – Dr. Jameel Khaleel Hijazeen – Lecturer د. جميل خليل حجازين – محاضر

What each lecturer in the scientific day got

What each lecturer in the scientific day got

Dr. Fadi Farah and I, with our great supervisor Dr. Radwan Bani Mustafa.

Dr. Fadi Farah and I, with our great supervisor Dr. Radwan Bani Mustafa.

The other two papers that my friends presented, and in which I am a co-author:

Social Phobia among Students at two Jordanian Universities

Radwan Bani Mustafa, MD1; Jameel Hijazeen, MD2; HossamAbed, MD2; Fadi Farah, MD2; Hibatullah Abu El Haija3; Hanan Omari, Ph.D.4; Ayman Mansour, Ph.D.5.
1 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
2 Interns, Ministry of Health, Jordan.
3 Sixth-year medical student, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
4 Educational Consultant, German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Amman, Jordan.
5
Professor of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Department of Community Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
Sixth-year medical students at Mutah University at the time this study was conducted.Speaker

Dr. Hossam Abed presenting the results our study about social phobia under the supervison of Dr. Radwan Bani Mustafa د. حسام عابد

Dr. Hossam Abed presenting the results our study about social phobia under the supervison of Dr. Radwan Bani Mustafa د. حسام عابد

 

Drug Treatment of Hypertension with Complications in Patients admitted into Jordanian Governmental Hospitals

Oday Al-Ma’aitah, MD1; Imad Farjou, MD, Ph.D.2; Jameel Hijazeen, MD1; Mahmoud Abuznaid, MD†3; Ahmed Abo.sharak, MD1; Khaled AlShar’ ,MD4.
1 Interns, Ministry of Health, Jordan.
2 The study supervisor, Prof. of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Mutah University, Karak, Jordan.
GP, Al-Hannan Private Hospital, Amman, Jordan.
4 Intern, Prince Rashed Bin Al-Hasan Military Hospital, the Jordanian Royal Medical Services, Irbid, Jordan.
*** Medical students at Mutah University at the time this study was conducted. Intern at Al-Bashir Governmental Hospital at the time this study was conducted.

Systemic hypertension is a major public health problem worldwide. It is a leading factor for coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, renal disease, and retinopathy. This study aimed to explore hypertension complications among hospitalized hypertensive patients. Also, it aimed to identify the treatment of hypertension employed by these patients and compare the incidence of complications among different treatment groups. Our study was a cross-sectional study that we conducted at Al-Karak and Al-Bashir Governmental Teaching Hospitals in the period from October 2011 till March 2013. Our sample consisted of 162 patients; 96 males (59%) and 66 females (40.7%). Age of patients ranged from 40-100 years (mean of 65± 12.0 years). The percentages of patients on mono-, double-, triple-, and quadruple-therapy were 44.4%, 34.6%, 17.3%, and 3.7% respectively. Diuretics were the most commonly used drugs in 107 patients (35%), followed by ACEI/ARBS (86 patients, 28.2%), BBs (80 patients, 26.2%), and CCBs (32, 10.5%). More males than females were on mono- and double-therapy (84.4% v.s.71.2%). Of the patients on monotherapy (72 patients, 44.4%), the most common drug used is a loop diuretic (27 patients, 37.5%) followed by ACEIs/ARBs (22 patients, 30.6%). The prevalence of complications in patients on monotherapy was higher in patients with loop diuretics )26 patients, 38.2%) than patients on ACEIs/ARBs (19 patients, 27.0%) or BB (19 patients, 27.0%). The most common double therapy combination was a ACEI/ARB and BB (28.6%), followed by Loop & BB (26.8%). The most common triple therapy combination was a loop diuretic, ACE, and BB (28.6%). The most common complication in patients on monotherapy was Angina/ACS (29 patients, 42.6%), followed by CV/TIA (20 patients, 29.4%). The most common complications in patients on double therapy was Angina/ACS (20 patients, 36.4%), followed by decompensated HF (18 patients, 32.7%). The most common complication in patients on triple therapy was decompensated HF (10 patients, 37.0%) followed by CVATIA (8 patients, 29.5%). It is concluded that the prevalence of hypertensive complications decreases as the number of antihypertensive drugs taken increases although the type of complication is not significantly changed.

Keywords: Hypertension complications, uncontrolled blood pressure, treatment

This is a YouTube video of my friend Dr. Oday Ma’aitah while presenting the results:

 

 

Speakers at the First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital:

Speakers at the First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital - Drs. Oday Maaitah, Hossam Abed, and Jameel Hijazeen

Speakers at the First Scientific Day of the Karak Governmental Hospital – Drs. Oday Maaitah, Hossam Abed, and Jameel Hijazeen

Abstract - Drug Treatment of Hypertension with Complications among Patients admitted into Jordanian Governmental HospitalsAbstract - Social Phobia among Students at Two Jordanian UniversitiesAbstract - Did finishing the pyschiatry clerkship increase the attitudes of medical students at Mutah University toward Pscyhiatry

With this participation, this would be my fourth experience as a speaker in a conference/scientific day: 1) one time at The Ninth Scientific Conference of the Faculty of Medicine at Mu’tah University, Karak, Jordan, April 10-11, 2013. 2) Two times at Sixth Scientific Day of the Faculty of Medicine in Mu’tah University (09.04.2012). How long will it before I achieve my 1,000 expereince? Possible? Who knows!

Finally, these are some great photo from the scientific day, taken elegantly by Dr. Talal Alqaisi:

 

The DAAD Jordan has nothing to offer for medical doctors specializing in Germany!

I have always wondered if the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – The German Academic Exchange Service) gave any kind of scholarships to doctors specializing in German. Each year, this Nobel German organization gives tens of free Master and PhD scholarships for Jordanians . I read many announcement for scholarships in their website and in their facebook page (DAAD Information Center Amman | Facebook).

What about medical doctors? Does the DAAD offer Jordanian medical doctors any scholarships to complete their specialty in Germany? Or at least, any language courses? About two weeks ago, on November 6th 2013, the DAAD information Center Amman announced about language scholarships for Jordanian students in Germany.

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Source: A post in the facebook page of DAAD information center Amman.

Although they specified that the scholarships are only for students, I wrote the following comment in the above post:

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Firstly, I hoped that they might consider medical doctors aiming at a medical specialty in Germany to be students of some kind (For example, to be equivalent to master students). Secondly, if these announced language courses were not for medical doctors, I hoped that they would tell me what services they provide for medical doctors. Concerning this point, I should have contacted the DAAD that since at least 4 months ago when I first knew about it. But did I miss something by my carelessness? To the above comment, I got the following reply:

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Without any delay, I sent an email to the above address. I got very nice emails from a Dr. Abdelnasser Hindawi.

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So, as a medical doctor, I cannot apply for the above language courses scholarships. Nonetheless, I had some hope left; maybe more important than just a language course. Therefore, I asked about any other possible scholarships or courses for Jordanian medical doctors:

image

Almost one hour ago, I got the following reply from Dr. Hindawi. It turned out that I did not miss anything! Nonetheless, Dr. Hindawi sent me very useful links for medical doctors about specialty in Germany. I like them and hence, I was encouraged to write this post:

Dear Dr. Hijazeen,

On the website of the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer) http://www.bundesaerztekammer.de/page.asp?his=4.3569 you will find all necessary information about specialty training in Germany.

You should also take a look at the Charité International Academy (ChIA) http://chia.charite.de/en/ – it offers a continuing education program for healthcare professionals with an international focus.

You will find German language courses in any major city in Germany, start with: http://www.daad.de/deutschland/deutsch-lernen/warum-deutsch-lernen/13870.en.html . It is recommended that you learn as much German as you can locally, while you are preparing your stay in Germany.

However, unfortunately the DAAD does not offer financial support for medical specialist training, only for PhD work, please look under  http://www.daad.de/deutschland/foerderung/stipendiendatenbank/00579.en.html for further information.

Best regards

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