in My Medical Student Life
By Nabeel Ibrahim Published on 20/06/2019

I'm AMINATH SHIFRA and this is My Medical Student Life

Aminath Shifra shares her inspirational journey to Medical school. She is currently an editor for the student magazine at Kursk State Medical University. She has also participated in several scientific conferences during her time in Medical school. Furthermore, during her time in Maldives, Shifra participated in a lot of extracurricular activities in school, including debate competitions and oratory competitions. She mentions the opportunity to host the 28th National oratory competition as a great highlight. It was a pleasure for me to interview Shifra for My Medical Student Life.
Nabeel Ibrahim Avatar
Nabeel Ibrahim

Published on: 20/06/2019

Kursk State Medical University Russia Second Year Aminath Shifra
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Kursk State Medical University

Current Year

Medical Specialty Interested in

Most Inspiring Person
Prophet Muhammad

Single Quality that defines a great Doctor
Compassion and Professionalism

First of all, walk us through the step-by-step processes that you went through to get to where you are today?

I went to Sunway College, Malaysia in 2016 to do my pre-university program (AUSMAT). However, I didn't want to join a Medical program in Malaysia since it was out of my price range. 

In January of 2017, I applied to Rajshahi Medical College in Bangladesh. Yet again, I didn't go due to personal reasons.

Then in March of 2017, I had the opportunity to study Medicine in Russia. At the same time a scholarship was open to study Medicine in Al-Azhar University, Egypt by the Department of Higher Education (DHE). I won the scholarship, so I left all my other options and focused on leaving to Cairo, Egypt in the following months. 

As luck would turn out I couldn't go to Cairo either. I was living in my island during that year, and I would call DHE everyday twice. I would also go to Male' after booking a flight ticket anytime they would ask me to come. My passport was also given to them for the VISA process. 

In November of 2017, when I called DHE one day, they told me that the option to study in Cairo was no longer available. It was only open for students that graduated from Al Madhrasathul Arabiyyathul Islamiyya. You can imagine my disappointment. At the time I had already planned my life ahead, and as a girl losing one whole year was frustrating. 

I began my research to leave to start my Medicine program somewhere as soon as possible. I got a placement in Chittagong Medical College in Bangladesh. However, since it was a public college, I had to pay the course fees for the 5 years upfront to be enrolled. Even though it was a lot cheaper compared to many other Medical colleges, I only had a week to pay the amount. It was nearly impossible and I didn't want to rush it, hence, I let it go as well. 

Finally, I applied to Kursk State Medical University in January of 2018 through Eduink. It was a good choice, and I'm happy with my decision. The agency was incredibly helpful in the process.

When did you first realize you wanted to study medicine?

As a child, my family would encourage me to be a doctor. Even when I went to the hospital to consult a doctor, they would tell me that this career would suit me. So, growing up my parents were hoping I would choose to become a doctor. 

In secondary school, I had a completely different profession in mind. I wanted to be a politician. However, since I was the only one in my extended family to study science, at that time it was a belief that the best career choice is to be a doctor. My dad then suggested I become a doctor first and then choose to become a politician later in life. 

After a certain point in my life, I knew I wanted to become a doctor. I loved watching the movies and series related to the medical field. It was all really interesting to me.

Take us through a typical study day.

This semester (third semester) is rather easy. We are only studying 9 subjects compared to 18 subjects last year. 

We have 2-3 classes per day, but they are important, tough subjects. So we have to prepare for the subject in advance. In my university the teachers don't teach you at first. The student is required to study from the notes and textbooks provided and take part in a graded test in the first class of each topic. 

The class timings vary from day to day. On some of the days I may classes from 9 am to 2 pm, and on other days from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. For the important subjects the class duration is longer. 

After I come back home I pray and have lunch. If I am not tired I would start preparing for the next days topic so that I can sleep early. However, if I have a test coming up, I would gather all the materials and find a comfortable space to go through them.

What is your favorite subject in medical school? Why?

I really like Anatomy, since at this time in Medical school, you get the most amount of information you would need as a doctor from Anatomy. I also find Physiology interesting and find it easy to understand.

How do you manage a study schedule during the holidays?

I went back to Maldives during both the holidays I got so far. At the end of each semester, some of the exams will be taken. So, I try my best to make sure I complete all of them and I do not have any rework to do. 

I don't do much studying after I go back to Maldives. But I come back to Kursk at least a week early before the start of the next semester, so that I can prepare for my classes.

Name your favorite medical text book.

Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter.

Why do you think more and more students keep dropping out of medical school nowadays?

It is easy to enroll in some of the Medical schools around the world, hence, the student is not aware of what he/she is getting into. 

All of us have heard how tough Medical school is, but in reality it is much harder than we could imagine. I've gone through hectic weeks without proper sleep and it is all very stressful. 

I also believe it is vital to have support from friends and family when you are studying abroad alone.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started medical school?

Like I mentioned before, I knew Medical school was going to be hard, but I didn't know the full reality. So far, I've had to sacrifice a lot of sleep and fun.

What do you think needs to change in the health industry of the Maldives today?

The Maldives is a country made up of tiny islands. I believe it is important to have an excellent health facility in each of the atolls, just like we have in Male'. Recently, we've heard a baby dying in one of the islands due to the health center not having an incubator. 

I understand that it may not be economical to build a large health facility in the least populated atolls. However, to counter this, we can provide cheap transportation facilities from these atolls to the nearest atoll that has a health facility. 

Finally, what is the one tip/advice you want to give to our readers?

Consistency is essential to success. 

In Medical school it will be difficult to succeed by spending time to study only during the weekends or only on one of the weekdays. You need to spend time studying everyday.

The My Medical Student Life series was created for the sole purpose of helping medical students and aspiring doctors on their journey to become a successful Maldivian Healthcare Professional. Have a suggestion, idea or question? Email us.

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