Walking vs Chasing


Find beauty in everything you do. I’m going to tell you about a regular day I had.

I came to the US 3 weeks ago for an elective course (kind of like an internship before graduation). The experience has been beyond amazing, and I still have a few more weeks here.

It was a Friday afternoon and I got off work early. I needed some groceries so I decided to walk to a nearby store. Ever since I came here, I shopped at farer places and usually drove there. But this particular afternoon I really felt like walking in the fresh air. It was -1 degrees Celsius, but I was still going to walk.

And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Having to work, study, or do whatever we have to do always seems to make us nervous, anxious and in anticipation for it to finish. We really forget to take a walk and not be in a hurry… and just enjoy it.

I was really really really cold, I wished my coat could cover my face and my eyes and my hands and my toes and my hair! Then, I stopped at a traffic light and decided to look up at the sky. And it was blue and beautiful. I took a good look around and realized that I’m in the middle of a very unique city. And I’m only here for one more week, so I should enjoy every minute of it.

So much time passes while we’re too busy worrying, anticipating, and chasing after something that we sometimes forget to just take a walk.

It’s very important to chase your dreams, but don’t forget to live while you do.

Daydreaming


I often find myself lost in thought about the future. I used to think this was a new habit but I came to realize it’s something I’ve done my whole life. I remember daydreaming about being in med school. It seemed so farfetched back as a teenager.

These days, I daydream during a slow round or on my daily commute to Irbid. It really is overwhelming that in just a few months I will be held responsible for every word I say, every drug I prescribe and every action the people around me may perceive as “healthy” just because of a piece of paper I will hold. This piece of paper that can either be license to kill or a license to help.

I can’t believe that after all this hard work, the dream is only a few months away.

I just read a tweet by someone I really respect stating that after 19 years of doing what he’s been doing, he still doesn’t know if it was the right choice. And this got me daydreaming about something that I wanted to share: what really is the right choice? How do I know that this is the kind of responsibility I want to carry?

For me, it is the choice that doesn’t make you wonder ‘what if?’ every second of every day. It’s the choice that has you waking up with a smile on your face every single morning. In life, there are good days and there are bad. I think this is a sentence that I repeat in every single one of my blog posts. It is insane how much social media has influenced our perception of other people’s lives; we only see the “good”. We see the parties, the happy days at university, and the fun meals. We don’t see the sick days, we don’t see the cranky moods, and we most definitely do not see the countless hours spent working for accomplishing a dream.

My point is, look at the bigger picture. Stop thinking ‘what if?’. And get lost living your dreams. However, if you find yourself unable to remove this urge of ‘what if?’ – maybe it’s time to get lost doing something else.

Outnumbered


Wherever you go, there always seems to be at least one conversation about reforming the education system in Jordan. Students are suffering, parents are complaining, and even the teachers and professors are unhappy about it. One complicated equation that seems to have endless contributing factors.

Our education system is far from perfect. I know because I’m currently doing my  5th year of medical school, which is a 6-year program here in Jordan. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think the root of the problem comes down to one thing: the number of students, which I recently discussed alongside my seniors in an interview for The Jordan Times.

Lectures

While many schools have abandoned this ancient method of teaching, it seems to become our only resort in Jordanian universities. The large number of students is making it harder each year to conduct small discussion groups, forcing us into lecture halls with 500 other students!!!!

Professor-Student Relationships

Have actually become almost nonexistent. With 500+ students being admitted into medical school every year (and only a fraction of that number of professors) has diminished the possibility of creating any sort of mentor-student relationship.

The Latest Trade

Although our facilities cannot accommodate the huge number of students being admitted every year, the amount of money in fees poses a significant income for universities. Of around 700 students getting accepted annually, only the first 200 or so pay the regular fee, which adds up to around 1800 Jordanian dinars per year, but the remaining students pay an additional fee which can reach around 7000 JDs!

Where is the money going?

And here lies the important question. Our facilities aren’t being developed, we lack so many tools and space for labs and practical work, and the list of problems continues! There are a lot of students, they require more labs, more lecture rooms, more lockers even, but there doesn’t seem to be a growing process in terms of equipment that’s consistent with that of the number of students.

How many hospitals are there in Jordan?

There are a handful, but definitely not enough to create jobs for everyone graduating the field. There are 4 universities who give MDs to at least 400 students per university, and of those only a tiny fraction are offered residency opportunities in the country. We currently have 2 or 3 universities (I lost count to be honest!) that recently opened up medical schools, which is only increasing the number of doctors in Jordan without creating jobs for them in the first place. We have come to a time where doctors are unemployed!!

And it’s not only about jobs, even during your clinical training at university, the number of students has become so large that we go see patients in groups of 20 students! This not only disrupts the learning process for us students, it really demeans the patient’s right to a respectful stay at the hospital.

Who can fix it?

The million dollar question! Every time this issue is brought up, the finger is pointed to someone else. The faculty doesn’t take blame, the university blames God knows who and the cycle is ongoing. There doesn’t seem to be a plan to either reduce the inflow of students, to create a suitable learning environment that keeps up with international standards, or even to create jobs for the graduating MDs.

Bottom Line

We’re circling the drain. Jordan’s medical schools are known worldwide for their excellent teaching and Jordan remains one of the top (if not the top) destinations for medical help. It is unquestionable that we have excellent doctors, and wonderful teachers, but everyone has a limit, and every system has a capacity. We should expand ours to maintain the reputation we have, and to live up to the modern advancements in medicine.

What are your thoughts? Please let me know!