A journey always starts with a path, and the success of this path comes with a dream. I started my journey in SDU on 12th of February 2006 almost 10 years ago. Back then, China was a mysterious land to most of the people in the world including me. If one was asked to give a definition of China, he would most of the time mention Bicycle and Kong Fu (Bruce Lee).Even I had the same prejudices while watching some TV programs portraying Kong Fu and the Chinese traditional culture. However, on the 12th February, when I arrived in China, the new year Bonanza nights were taking place, filling the street with the mumble of celebration and of fireworks. I had never seen such a celebration before. After reaching Shandong University I was as excited as my other class fellows to begin the life of a medical student, leading to the noble profession of a medical doctor. The life of a medical student is filled with exams from the beginning to theend. In college, we would think that life, after the challenging examinations, would be easy, but the real challenge for a doctor is his patient. We doctors have to deal with human lives. In this article, I will share some important events across the 10 years I have spent in China that impacted me greatly.
1. In 2006, during my first year of Bachelor of medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), in Anatomical Dissection: It was 7:58 AM in May, in Building #1 in the west side anatomy classroom. The room was full of graduated student, mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh. Three students were from South Africa and two from USA. Professor Sun Jinhao had not arrived yet. There were 4 deep freezers around which students were sitting. Suddenly one of the freezer’s upper lid opened, and the cadaver inside it go up, like the climax scene in a horror movie. Most of the women run out of class, some were shouting for help, some men, including the class representative, Imran khan and I, were trying to figure out what was happening. One of our classmates from USA, named Maceo, suddenly stood, took the freezer’s lid and started to push the cadaver down. Ali Arslan, Zeeshan Madni and Rizwan khan tried to help him but in vain. This was a shocking scene from my first dissection class I will never forget. Suddenly Professor Sun Jinhao entered in the class and pressed a button. The cadaver went inside the freezer in no time. Since that day no one’s tried to sit near the freezer.
Later I attended the Asia Health Expo in Karachi, Pakistan, representing Shandong University. I am always proud to represent SDU on international forums, whether it is in Shanghai, Sydney, Beijing or Strasbourg. I always feel excited when Shandong University is written next to my name. Conferences and seminars always bring a wave of inspiration to our brains. Visiting different medical schools and universities also lets you compare differences in teaching methodology in different countries. I visited Adelaide University School of medicine, University of Sydney and Strasbourg University, these seminars and conferences also give you a chance to meet new people in the scientific field.
2. Medical Campus Rush Hour. Students in China are very hardworking, especially medical students. I used to see a phenomenon every day in the morning at 7:50 and at 1:20 pm called “Medical Campus Rush Hour”. Hundreds of Chinese students rush to classes just 5 to 10 min before they start and the crowd diminishes in no time. For a medical student, the most important part is consistency and punctuality. Self-study also plays a pivotal role in the field. Most students don’t study for half the semester and when they start they try to devour the books, which is wrong. “Just try to finish one book, one at a time and keep the big books for reference”, is what our professors used to tell us. Since 2012 I have been trying to help the junior students learn and guide them to be the best doctors in the future, as youth are our future.
3. The year of Beijing Olympics. 08-08-2008 at 08:08 Long-awaited, the day arrived finally. Then the world witnessed the showpiece of miraculous performance and the opening ceremony was simply amazing. The tickets sold like hot cakes. I and most of my friends managed to see the opening ceremony at home. My favorite moment was when Professor Niu Jun, my mentor, was honored to carry the Olympic torch. Professor Niu Jun is a very famous surgeon; he performed the first scarless surgery (NOTES) in China, in 2009.His research publications are immense. He is a worldwide, renowned, hybrid surgeon. “Hybrid” is a new term used for the surgeons who perform conventional open surgeries associated with advanced image-guided minimally invasive surgery. I feel very lucky to be Professor Niu Jun’s student. When the Olympics torch came to Qufu, Confucius’s birthplace, a cultural competition was organized. I was selected among the foreign students of SDU to hold the Olympics’ torch replica, it was an unforgettable experience.
In May 2008, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 hit the Sichuan province in China. With my friends, we decided to organize fund raising in Pakistan and China in order to help them.
5.2010, Internship year. I was in Pakistan in my hometown for an internship in the fifth year of my MBBS degree. It was a long day in June. I came back home at 2 pm after 36 hours of emergency night medical training at the district headquarters hospital. I was in front of my house when a motorcyclist had an accident with the truck and was severely injured. I rushed to the site with my first aid kit and gave first aid to the patient, who had a severe fracture of his right leg. Soon the ambulance arrived at the scene and I accompanied the patient to the hospital and assisted in a successful operation. The patient was back on his feet after rehabilitation.
Sometimes the doctors have to sacrifice their own time to comfort others. The importance of doctors is seen in the situation of floods, earthquakes and natural disasters. We should act spontaneously to help those in need and serve humanity.
6. ICHS. I met a history Professor from France, quite lost after his bank card was stuck in an ATM machine. With no cash and unable to speak English or Chinese, he was very anxious. I understood the situation and called the emergency helpline of the bank. The service worker arrived and took the card out. The professor had a sigh of relief and thanked me. Helping him made me feel happy. This happened on the ICHS, International Congress of Historical sciences registration day. I was one of the few foreigners who volunteered to help. This was the first time ICHS congress was held in Asia and China hosted it. I am glad it was held in my university, Shandong University.
7. IRCAD& EITS. In 2014, I visited IRCAD, the worldwide famous institute of minimally invasive surgery in Europe. Professor Jacques Marescaux is the Famous surgeon who performed the first telesurgery operation. I am lucky to be in IRCAD, France, for a fellowship of minimally invasive Robotic surgery program representing Qilu Hospital affiliated to Shandong University. Professor Niu Jun and Professor Jacques Marescaux are my mentors. Precision surgery, hybrid image-guided surgery, and robotic assisted surgeries, are the future of the surgery. I hope I will be able to learn even more techniques in Surgery and represent Shandong University at different forums in the world.
8. Top is always empty. Since my childhood, I am doing the best I can to achieve my goals. Intelligence is only reached when one is aware of the events around him. In order to be aware of those around you, you have to be on top. Being on top does not only reflect the height, it also means having a higher capacity and level of thinking. Listening to other people’s idea and readjusting your own ideas in making a decision, that’s what intelligence is. There is no shortcut to success, but there is one way to be on top: hard work and persistency.
9. Study&Travel. The life of a medical student is very busy. The medical student’s best dream is to sleep for an extra minute or two. Taking out time of busy schedule is like to refresh your brain’s hard disk. A famous Chinese saying is “Traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books”. Travelling is very important part of life, is as important as to live. Knowledge can be gained via travelling by experiencing new things. I experienced climbing the famous “Yellow Mountain” with Dr.Misbahul Ferdous. It has been an unforgettable experience. Skiing with my brother Muhammad Ali, JD and Ijaz and with my friends Zeeshan bhai and Ali Faheem was also amazing. Taking OK airlines’ Jet for an amazing journey going to the top of mountain, 4120 meters high, touching the clouds in Qinghai, going to Xiaolin Si with Professor Niu Jun and feeling the fresh air, reaching the top point of the Great Wall, etc. All these experiences sharpen your sixth sense. I took part in Cultural festivals, organized by SDU. It gave me the opportunity to understand other cultures and to embrace the ideology of other people.
10. Paris WHO Simulation. Paris WHO world health organization simulation is a Student led simulation forum for the International medical, economic, pharmaceutical students and experts to coordinate and work together in the format of WHO assembly .A student body is made at the format of the actual WHO and a particular agenda or topic is discussed . École des hautesétudesen santé publique, (known in English as "EHESP French School of Public Health") top school in public health in France hosted the simulation. This year the Simulation was held in Paris with the theme health and migration highlighting the main agendas Health Care Worker Migration, Patient Mobility and Medical Tourism & Refugee Health and Healthcare in Conflict Situations. In the simulation the participants represented different regions including Asia pacific, African, American, Europe and Middle East region. The experts from different countries represented the health situation, problems of the refuges and migrants in their countries and presented their country stance on the issues. The delegates also represented their suggestions in the simulation .In 2nd Paris WHO simulation ,11 resolutions concerning the health of the migrants and refuges ,Climate change refuges, issues of the migrants ,were presented in the plenary session, and 10 resolutions were passed with majority .The passed resolutions will be presented in the upcoming WHO meetings and it will be useful for the problem solution of the refuges, migrants and immigrants .I feel immense pleasure to have represented the China & Shandong University at the 2nd Paris WHO health simulation and presented a resolution with Delegate of Mexico and DPRK and Laos as sponsors of this resolution ,which was passed with majority.
It is my privilege to represent China as a delegate at Paris WHO 2016 health simulation. In my capacity as the delegate for P.R.China I tried my best to act and give China s stance on different international issues and the P.R.China participation in the peaceful resolution of the different conflicts and the sustainable peace development in different parts of the world. This simulation will not only strengthen the global youth network, awareness about WHO working but also allow more countries to benefit from experience of each other.
11. The success starts here. I was awarded CSC Scholarship in my Master degree and PhD, and I feel tremendous pleasure to be the excellent graduate two times, Excellent CSC student last year, awarded volunteer award by Shandong Education bureau, Young Scientist, photo contest winner and champion of cricket and most important of all I am graduate of Shandong University.SDU has given me the opportunity and the pathway to success. The journey I started on 12th February 2006 is propelling me to success. I know I still have to learn a lot in order to find my way. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the professors, especially Professor Niu Jun,Professor Liu Zhiyu,Ma Laoshi,Sun Laoshi,Prof.Jia Jihui,Prof.Sunjin Hao,Miss Ma, my friends and prayers of my parents and family for all the encouragement they gave me throughout these years. SDU is the platform which guides you to success, and the success starts there.
Written by Dr.Muhammad Shahbaz (Ali) PhD Student in Shandong University School of medicine on CSC (China Scholarship Council) Scholarship.