in My Medical Student Life
By Nabeel Ibrahim Published on 12/12/2019

I'm AAMAAL NAJEEB and this is My Medical Student Life

Aamaal Najeeb (Aal), 23, is currently residing in Manila, Philippines. She won 3rd place in the O'Level National Top 10, and participated in competitions such as Inter-School Volleyball tournament, Inter-house Futsal Tournament, and National Oratory competition. After going to college, she has participated in Inter-College Women's Football and won in Med week activities. It was a pleasure for me to interview Aamaal for My Medical Student Life
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Nabeel Ibrahim

Published on: 12/12/2019

Second Year Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo College Aamaal Najeeb
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Emilio Aguinaldo College

Current Year 

Medical Specialty Interested in 
Pediatrics and Obstetrics

One Word that Describes You 

Most Intriguing subject in Medical School 

What was your path to Medical School like?

I completed my Secondary Education in Aminiya School. After O’ Levels I stayed back in my island and tutored few kids until I joined CHSE for Higher Secondary Education. During my A’Levels I continued tutoring students, because I loved being self-dependent. I also worked in a tuition center as a Biology teacher for few months.

After A’Levels, I worked in a shop as a cashier for 8 months and continued as a tutor after work. At first I wanted to get a job related to medical field, but then I also wanted a job where I can work in small shifts so that I could keep doing volunteer works as well. I loved doing volunteer works and participating in small workshop programs during my free time. I was also a board member of Anti-Bullying Society of Maldives in 2016, until I came to Philippines.

I found out about EAC through Blek foundation’s Facebook page right after A’Level, but I waited for few months before applying. I applied and got the placement for June 2016 intake, and set off to Philippines in May with the help of Blek Foundation.

What was the biggest difference between your expectations of entering Med School when you were doing A'level, and the actual experience of being there?

Even when I came here, I knew Medical school wasn’t going to be easy. But, I wasn’t expecting it to be this hard. There is always so much to do and to learn everyday, and no matter how much you study it is never enough. It is exciting but also very exhausting.

How is your daily routine like?

Classes starts at 8 am in the morning and continues till 12 pm. We will have lectures, Lab, or Small Group Discussions. We get our lunch break from 12-1 pm and after lunch break classes continues till 5 pm.

I don’t really have a regular routine after classes. It depends on my mood and how tired I am, unless I have an exam. After coming home I watch something on Netflix for a while and then start with the assignments. If I don’t have any assignments to do, I try to go through my notes for a while. If I am too tired after classes, first I take a nap and then continue with assignments and studying after.

Sometimes I sleep early and wake-up for fajr, and sometimes I stay awake until fajr, if I had taken a nap before, and sleep for about 2 hours again before heading off to college. I usually call my husband before sleeping, and I am forever grateful for his endless support. If it is the exam week, I have a different routine. After exams I usually sleep for about 2-3 hours and then start studying. I take few breaks when I can’t keep my focus and then continue again after a while. I usually sleep after fajr for about 2 hours before the exam.

What would you have done if you did not get into Medical School due to a circumstance?

If I didn’t get into Med school, I think I would have gone with marketing. I had a phase where I kind of wanted to study marketing. I even applied and got placement in two colleges. But then I started to re-think about it and realized it is not what I see myself doing in the future. And I have always wanted to become a doctor since a kid so, I changed my mind again and here I am.

If you could be granted 3 wishes to make the world or society a better place, what would they be and why?

I think first I will go with reducing poverty. I see so many people living on the road, without a home, without food and clean clothes. It is so heart breaking to see so many little kids living like that.

Second, I want get a huge fund for those in need of financial assistance for medical purposes. Every single day I come across so many posts and messages, asking for help, because they are unable to afford the treatment.

Third, I think I will  use this wish to do something for our environment. Currently there are so many environmental problems that is destroying our habitats and I think we really need to take it seriously and start working on it.

Name your favorite medical text book.  

Robbins and Cotran – Pathologic Basis of Disease

What has been the best part about studying in your university?

The best part about studying medicine is that you learn so much about your body. You learn about your normal body functions and how a disease is affecting them.

I learn a lot from our Small Group Discussions, where we are given a case related to the days topic, and we have to find the diagnosis, pathogenesis and etc. We learn about how a person get the disease and what changes brought up the symptoms shown. It is really fascinating.

Also, studying in a college with international students opens you to different cultures and different types of people. It helps you to develop your skills and broaden your mind. You learn how to deal with people with different personalities.

What is the most effective way to study in Medical School?

I think it will differ for different students. For some students its more effective when they listen to the lecturers, while some find self-learning to be more effective. Some can keep reading for hours and hours and some students will need a break in between. I think you just need to find what is the best and most effective way for you to learn.

For me, I find it easier to learn and remember when I make my own notes while studying. Later, I can use these notes to review for finals as well. And sometimes if a topic is too hard to understand, watching few videos about the topic helps.

Do you need High grades to become a decent doctor?

I don't believe you need to get high grades to become a decent doctor. Of course you need to get enough marks to pass and complete your degree, but that doesn’t make you a decent doctor. And sometimes, even someone who is really good at studying might get a low grade due to a reason. That doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be a good doctor.

To be a decent doctor, there are many other qualities that you need to have other than your marks. You need to be disciplined, show empathy and be a good communicator. Patients aren’t going to talk about your grades when you get that degree, instead they will come to you for how you treat them.

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

Medical school is hard. Really, really hard. You have to read a lot. You have to give your best. Don’t keep everything for last minute. Learn to manage your time. Also know that you might fail, even more than once, but don’t let failure define who you are. Don’t let it stop you from reaching your goal. Believe in yourself. You have to sacrifice a lot of things to keep going, but always remember to take care of your health first.

Keep trying and Keep working hard. In Sha Allah, one day you will get that title you have been dreaming and working for.

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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