Just south of Egypt’s pyramids, yet north of it’s newly independent twin state, Sudan, an Arabic speaking country, is the third largest African country, and has a history spanning centuries, all the way back to the days of the Egyptian Pharoahs. It even has more pyramids than Egypt itself! But what is it like to be a student there? You know we got you! This week we talk to Omar about why he chose to study in the “land of the black pharoahs.” 👑👑
- Introduce yourself! My name is Omar Abdaluaziz @0marys0, I am a 25 year old Yemeni medical student studying at the National University – Sudan in Sudan. Life in Sudan is varied between the distinctive culture, the authentic African character, and the kind and welcoming people.
2. Why did you choose medicine? Or did medicine choose you? Medicine was a childhood dream for me, and I also faced some difficulties that were strong motivators for me. Likewise, medicine is considered a profession with many aspects, including humanity and is an interesting and fascinating occupation to be apart of. In addition, the doctor is considered the angel of mercy.
3. Did you always want to study medicine in Sudan? What’s the story there? Actually, I searched for several places, but there was one problem that kept hindering my way, and that is the war and its effect on my country, Yemen. There are some countries that we cannot visit because there is a war in my country. So Sudan it was.
4. How do you apply for medical school in Sudan? In Sudan we don’t apply for the medical schools directly. It is the government that places us in different universities and fields of study based on our grades on the national exam we take at the end of the last year of highschool. After that, our application is made to the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in Science in order to obtain university admission and then continue on with registration at the university itself.
International students if interested can apply at one of the many of the accredited universities- these are only some of the available options:
1- University of Khartoum
2- Sudan University of Science and Technology
3- University of Gezira
4- National University – Sudan
5-International University of Africa
5. What does medical school entail there? Medical school here takes 6 years. That is one year of premed, two years of preclinical, two clinical years and one year of internship.
6. What’s the normal professional trajectory after graduating from medical school in Sudan? Like most of us already know, after graduating from medical school, there are a number of things one can do: like continue as a GP (general practitioner), take an exam for residency and specialize, work in public and global health and many more. It’s no different here. Most go for residency though.
7. What does a normal day look like for you? A normal weekday for me looks something like this: I wake up at 6:30am to go to my morning sessions which start at 7:30 am. From 10 am-12 pm I’ll most likely be at the lecture room and library and then go to the hospital to do rounds about what we’ve studied. Then I go back to my dorm and have lunch.
I usually take a break afterward, drink coffee ☕ and then go to the library and study my subjects. Sometimes we have research or a student activity in the hospital that takes two to three hours in most cases. After this, I go to the gym for some exercise twice a week and then I go to dinner and make sure I achieve my goals for the day and make a plan for tomorrow and then I go to sleep at 12:00 midnight. 💤
8. What do you do to destress? Time management is one of the most important things that protects you from tension and distraction, and if you face tension, there are several solutions including practicing sports 🏐- other than carrying weights, yoga and dancing 🕺🏽 , as well as swimming or communicating with friends and family 👪.
9. If you could give advice to yourself in your first year of medicine, what would you say?
1- Do not be afraid of the first lecture even if you do not understand because it will improve from the second lecture.
2- Time management (using appropriate times for studying) .
3- Do not pressure yourself over your energy and do not isolate from the world.
4- Every year, medicine will be more fun and exciting .
5- Learn the correct study techniques and not just conservation and repetition techniques only.
10. What do you hope life looks like for you in the next ten years?
I hope to be accepted into the UK or Europe in general. There I hope to continue my higher education and after that specialize in general surgery. That’s my ultimate dream. Surgery depends on memorization, understanding, imagination, accuracy and perfection. Thereafter, I want to specialize in cardiothoracic surgery and after that, establish a charity hospital supported by charitable organizations to help all those in need and contracting new graduates for training.
In the end, I hope that everyone views the profession of medicine as a humanitarian one that was made in order to wipe the tears of the patient and treat the pain and take into account the human condition. Be merciful. You were created to be a balm of healing and the angel of mercy.
Thanks to Omar for being apart of our International medicine #Sudan🇸🇩 edition! Follow him on Instagram at @0marys0, and tell us where else you want us to go for our series! Leave us your suggestions in the comments!