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,


• 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 ***

Dear foreign doctor, are you dreaming of a medical specialty in Germany? Are you learning or planning to begin learning the German language? Some good news and bad news… But is the final balance more good or bad?

During the previous weeks, I and many of my doctor friends, were very frightened by the rumors that spread like fire in the German medical specialty-related facebook groups. These rumors, to the best of the understanding of me and some of my friends, talked about language and medicine exams for ALL foreign doctors coming to German. These rumors also profoundly shacked the German Residency dreams of us because they also talked how there will be no more thing as “Temporary Working Permit”. In other words, your parents should be affording the price of your stay in German (For weeks? Months? Years?) until you can pass these tests and be eligible for a working permit. Hence, starting to receive a salary. Is this true? This is very frightening! I tried to relieve my fears by not searching about the topic. Beside, rumors are still rumors. Nothing is 100% certain. When the next year comes, things would become more and more clear. Today, I found the following great German article which talks how one German state is doing to change how it deals with foreign doctors coming to work in it. This great article was posted at the Language Geneartion Center (LGC) facebook group by Frau Dr. Renat Asali. Dr. Asali is the head of the LGC center and a professor at the German department at the University of Jordan. Dr. Asali knows a lot about medical specialty in Germany. Moreover, I think that she has been so far teaching German in Jordan for +20 years. I am mentioning Dr. Asali’s qualifications mainly because I do not know how good the website that published the article (although it has a very excellent design like those of famous American newspapers). I cannot trust that website. However, I think that I can trust Dr. Asali! In addition to the above qualifications, I know Dr. Asali personally. Dr. Asali is now my German language teacher at LGC! With the help of Google Translate, I think that I understood most of the very informative article chosen by my teacher (Here is a link to the article translated by Google Translate). I will try to summarize what I understood. Hopefully, you can correct any mistakes I will make. Together, we can arrive at a better understanding. Let me start with some good news. The article confirms the shortage of physicians in Germany. The shortage of physicians is still in thousands. Certainly, this would not change in months or even years:


Here comes the bad news. The article talks how “in the past”, foreign physicians were allowed to work in Germany without having their “Language skills” examined:

So, having passed the B2 level is no longer thought of to be a good “surrogate” marker for the ability of the foreign doctors to deal with German patients. The article mentions example about how (1) foreign physicians are not communicating well with patients, that (2) they are not as good as their German counterparts, and unfortunately enough, and (3) that German patients are now forced to be treated by doctors from countries in which they would voluntarily not be treated by whom. "If I had the chance, I would not allow such a doctor to treat me!" An angry German patient not comfortable with his foreign physician Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-PalatinateTherefore, “One” German state, wants to allow this situation no more. This German state is Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate.




Update 25/07/2014: Dear colleagues, I have published 381 posts in this blog since 2007. My blog post’s views show that this post is now the fifth most famous post in my blog… I was therefore encouraged to publish more about medical specialty in Germany. There is now a separate section in my blog titled “Doctors Going to Germany“. Moreover, I now have a Facebook group with the same name (Doctors Going to Germany)… Find the full details about how to explore my Blog’s posts and about hte Facebook group in this post:

Our Facebook Group for Sharing Information for and by “Doctors Going to Germany”

For Medical Students: Normal values for laboratory investigations, BP, and BMI (USMLE-friendly)

We teach our students that they should not believe us. Do not believe your professors! - Dr. Kevin Hantrey

How can you trust the summarized information in the below documents? If some professors, somewhere, are teaching their students not to trust them, how come that you trust a colleague of yours? I head the above statement personally from Dr. Hanretty at a conference here in Jordan. “I should not believe what you have been telling me so far?” I exlamied perplexed after I heard that weird statement. Dr. Hanretty then explained to me that what he means is that students should always look into the correctness of the information given to them by their professors and not take things for granted. Respect!

Therefore, the  source of the normal lab values below are:

Unless specified, most of the values are from “Step 1: Content Description & General Information 2012”, p. 22, www.usmle.org/pdfs/step-1/2012content_step1.pdf. The remaining few are from “Reference Intervals for Laboratory Tests & Procedures”, ch.708, Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 19th ed, 2011.

The following a printer-friendly PDF version. I designed it so that the most possible information will fit in one page. The page has zero borders.

Download (PDF, 462KB)

In case you wanted to make any changes to my file, then this is word version:

Download (DOC, 244KB)

Filetype: How to use google to search for PowerPoint presentations?

If you were asked to prepare a PowerPoint presentation then you can use google to search for already prepared ones.

I am a Medical students. Through the following method, I can easily locate tens of presentations related to common topics in Medicine.

So, how to ask google to show results that are PowerPoint presentations?

In the main page of google, type the topic you want to search for. For example, “Pneumonia”. However, to only get results that are PowerPoint presentations, you need to add the following: “Filetype:ppt” or “Filetype:pptx“. PPT and PPTX are the extensions of PowerPoint files. See the images below:

Similarly, you can use this method to search for other file types. For example, if you want to search for word documents, type: “Pneumonia filetype:doc” or “Pneumonia filetype:docx“. Or if you want to search for PDF files, type: “Pneumonia filetype:pdf“.

How do you qualify to be an author in a Medical Research? ما هي المعايير التي تؤهلك لكل تصبح مؤلف في بحث علمي

In Mu’tah faculty of Medicine, and Jordan University faculty of Medicine, there is no formal teaching or training to allow Medical students to conduct research by themselves. Almost certainly, this runs also on the remaining two faculties of Medicine in Jordan (At Jordan University of Science and Technology, and Hashemite University). I haven’t read or heard about the situation there so I can’t confirm this conclusion.

Back to Mu’tah and Jordan Universities, preparing a research, not to mention publishing one, is not part of the degree requirements to become a medical doctor. Therefore, students do research as an extracurricular activity.

During the past two years, I had the luck of dealing with many students doing research. One important thing that struck me is that many students have a misconception of how much contribution is enough to make someone eligible to be a co-author. During a study that I took part in, I asked some friends of mine to help me with distributing questionnaires and collecting them from university students. A comment that I always seemed to hear, “Well, I have collected 100+ questionnaires for you so far, why do not you make me a co-author with you in this study?”. Many think that if they simply help in data gathering, doing a literature review, data entry, data analysis, etc., then they can be eligible for authorship. But what could I have told them? From now on, I will be citing the following which happened with a colleague of mine.

My colleague submitted a paper to the Saudi Medical Journal (SMJ). As part of the reviewing process, SMJ sent him the following regarding who should qualify to be an author. The following would be a very good explanation to anyone who is new to the world of research:

“Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Acquisition of funding, collection of data or general supervision of the research group, alone does not justify authorship.”

To sum it up, to be eligible for authorship doesn’t only require you to finish one task; be it a literature review, study design, data collection, data entry, data analysis, or manuscript writing. On the contrary, becoming a co-author means a combination of all of the above. Or at least, most of which.

Finally, as I sometimes say when I finish my talk about research: Happy researching!

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