Archive for the ‘For Medical Students’ Category

DAAD’s 2015/2016 English Master Programs Scholarships for Jordanians (Two are Medicine-Related out of a Toal of 36 Programs)

DAAD Amman Jordanien
This is a copy-paste from a post published today by DAAD Jordan’s facebook page:

DAAD proudly presents its brand new brochure of its next intake for its Master portfolio “Developing-Related Postgraduate Courses”!!!

The funding line comprises 36 English Master programmes at different German universities in the fields Economic Sciences, Development Cooperation, Engineering,Mathematics, Regional Planning, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Public Health, Social Sciences and Media Studies.
All programmes are open for Jordanian applicants and there is full scholarships available.
Note: Applications have to be directed to the respective university and NOT to the DAAD. All information on the programmes can be found here :
Application deadlines differ from programme to programme but most deadlines are between September and October. Good luck with your application!

Source: DAAD’s Jordan Facebook Page,

Notes from me:

# Prerequisites and Requirements for DAAD scholarhships: Are you eligible for a DAAD scholarship?

# There are only two Medicine-related master programs and they are in Public Health. Their full details are on pages 101-108 of the DAAD’s brochure on You can see the embeded Brochure below starting at page 101 (Master of Science in International Health (Berlin)). Alternatively, you can click here to go directly to page 101 on the Scribd website.


Postgraduate Courses 2015-16 by Daad Amman


Review: Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers

Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers by Robert B. Taylor My rating: 4 of 5 stars




What I most like:
• I did not know that medical writing is also a problem for native speakers. This book quickly gave me this conclusion. In addition, I now know that medical writing is a long process and one need a lot of time and effort to master it. Therefore, it is no wonder, as a non-native English speaker, that I am having problems in writing my first papers. Finally, I also concluded that writing a manuscript could not be finished in few days and by one person (I am not to be blamed then!).
• The book mentions real life examples from published papers. I wished they were more.
• The book have tables that summarize information regarding certain topics. For examples, “The origins of selected medical words,” p. 54. In addition, some common mistakes and corrections. 
• I like the author’s enthusiasm about the Etymology of words. I am a big enthusiast too. I think this is reflected in how detailed the author supports his points of view.

What I most dislike:
• I found many words and expressions in this book very hard to understand. I had to use the dictionary a lot. I would not say that I read a lot in English since years and think my English is good. This is very subjective. In comparison with “English for Writing Research Papers,” by Adrian Wallwork (…), I used the dictionary to look up new words at least 10 times more. I think this is ironic as the author warns against using hard words and expression. Moreover, I think that the greatest majority of those interested to read a book on medical writing would be people with English as their second language. Would it not be a good idea to use simple and commoner words? Examples of hard words include:

– “… Take ear infection, example, which most would describe as a mundane topic…”, p. 13.==> What does mundane means? One of the nice methods advocated by the author is to use the Microsoft Word Thesaurus. I have Microsoft 2010 and it gave me the following suggestions: “Ordinary, dull, routine, every day, commonplace,… among others.” Is not one or two of these words beautiful substitutes?
– “The review article is the Rodney Dangerfield of medical writing. Review articles get no respect, even though, as discussed in Chap. 5, they are often indexed and counted in calculating a journal’s Impact Factor…” To be like Rodney Dongerfiled? I do not have time to look who this person is and what it is supposed to mean if something is like him. This kind of expressions and hard words delayed my reading speed.
– “I think that highest accolades go to those case reports that change what we do in practice. p. 162” Accolades? 

• The title of the book is a little bit different than the content. Although the title contains “medical writing”, the concentration on writing in the book is little. I think that chapter two mostly address tips on writing. I wish that it was longer and it was more detailed. For example, the tables in it that mention wrong and correct pairs are amazing but unfortunately short. Nonetheless, this is somewhat understood as the book provides an overall view of the whole process of what to from what to do in case you had the idea of a research to getting your writing published. Adrian Wallwork’s English for Writing research papers is deficient in this late point, but without argument, much stronger in teaching writing skills. For this purpose, I highly recommend “English for Writing Research Papers”.

• I think that some technical recommendations needs to be updated. For example, the author dangerously says, ” The disadvantages [of EndNote Program] are cost (currently $299 for the full product) and the steep learning curve facing the new user. The program is not “intuitive” and the online instructions are challenging… EndNote software is great for experienced and prolific medical authors, especially if compiling long lists of citations.” However, in my opinion, beginning medical authors should use my more primitive “cut and paste” method, and spend their energy learning how to be better writers.” I think that the time wasted using the traditional “cut and paste” method in a writer’s first research is enough for him to learn using EndNote. However, I understand that the book was written in 2011 and referencing program might not have been famous back then. Moreover, the author wrote in page 7: “Not too many years ago, I was highly dependent on secretarial support; I dictated my articles and made corrections by hand to be changed on computer by my typist.” Therefore, Dr. Taylor reminds me of some old professors of me at medical school who found some “mundane” tasks in computer to be very hard simply because they started using computers at an old age. Finally, there are now many free professional alternatives to EndNote. The most famous one of them in my opinion is Mendely (

To sum up, the book is amazing because it gives a whole overview of the writing and publication process. However, I find some words and expressions in it very hard to quickly understand. I hope that it would be taken into consideration that many non-Native speakers will read such a book. The strongest advantage of this book is that it gives real-life examples from published papers. I hope that more will be given in future editions. Finally, I hope that more concentration will be given to writing skills. View all my reviews

Doctors of Medicine (MDs) can get directly into a PhD program in Germany “in general”

Three years after graduating from medical school, can a medical doctor have a PhD? In Germany, the answer is “in general” yes. In case a medical doctor is interested in doing a PhD, mainly in basic sciences, then he can directly enter into a PhD program in Germany. I was told that this is the “general rule.” Our certificates, MBBS (Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Surgery), are considered equal to master in Germany. In other words, you do not need to have done a master in order to enter into a PhD program. A German friend of mine told me this information, and I confirmed it in a famous Facebook page about higher studies in Germany (recommended by DAAD officials in Jordan). I asked my question in “German” here. To be 100% sure, they told me to check with individual universities to find if my MD degree from outside Germany is equivalent to master. However, they confirmed that the general rule is that it is equal. I was interested in a program in a University in Berlin called “Humboldt University of Berlin (wikipedia page).” Therefore, I mailed a department in it. For the year 2013/2014, according  to the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (Powered by Thompson Reuter), this university is number 94 in the world:

Source: A page for the Humboldt University at the Times World Ranking Website.

For comparison, no Arab university is in the same year among the top 350 Universities in the World, ). The highest being King Abdulazziz university in Saudi Arabia ranking “351-400”.

I sent the following email to a department in this university asking if I can enter directly into a PhD program. They replied that my academic background (which is equal to that of all graduates of Mutah Medical School, and that of all graduates of medical schools in Jordan) makes me qualified to “apply for [their] PhD program.”


Dear Sir or Madam,

I hope that my email will find you doing well. I graduated last June from medical school here in Jordan, Middle East. I have a MBBS (Bacehelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) [Mutah University Graduates has MBBS. Source: The faculty’s page at Mutah Unviersity Website]. A German friend of me told me that in Germany, those with MBBS could directly do PhD. I asked this question in the Facebook group Research in Germany. They answered with yes… I am interested in a program of yours. May I ask if I may apply for it now that I do not have a master degree and only have an MBBS?

Best regards.


Dear Jameel K. Hijazeen,

Thank you for your e-mail and your interest in our program. It is correct that a MBBS is equal to a German Master’s degree. With your academic background you are qualified to apply for our PhD program.

If you have any further questions, you are welcome to send me another e-mail or give me a call.

Best regards,


• As I easily noticed, the language of teaching in most programs is in English (Amazing, huh?). As a proof of your English knowledge, universities require certain TOEFL or IELTS scores.  In one university, they wrote that it is enough if you can provide them with a certificate from a professor who says that you know a good level of English (I cannot remember the precise characteristics of such a professor).

• The requirements for each program are different. The competition is very high in some programs. In particular, one program asked that you pass an exam on Biology and Chemistry. Many details are present in the websites of each program. You can mail them, and from my experience, they reply quickly.

• The tuition fees are very little as universities are supported by the German goverment. In one PhD program, which consists of six semesters, the tuition fees of each semester are 280 euro, which covers free transportation ticket for the entire semester. Concerning living costs, in Berlin, for example, they estimate living costs to be around 1,000 Euro per month. I read and heard about estimated living costs ranging from 700-1200 euro per month. In one study conducted by HSBC bank, it was concluded that among 13 of the world top countries, it is chepeast for overseas students to study in Germany!!! The list of countries is shown in the figure below:

Living costs in 13 of the top world countries: Australia is the most expensive and Germany is the cheapest!

Living costs in 13 of the top world countries: Australia is the most expensive and Germany is the cheapest! Source: Website of HSBC bank.

• You can get sponsorship from different organizations. I know of two. One is called the KAAD. However, the most famous is called the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service). They offer thousands of scholarships every year. They have a central branch of them in Jordan: , ). They hold a free information lecture إستشارة طلابية each month. The lecture is very informative and the explanation is great. It is present by a Dr. Abdelnasser Hindawi. He is very nice, cooperative, and welcomes any questions on the email of DAAD Amman He replies quickly and with full details. The nearest lecture is today, Tuesday, 22.04.2014, at 05:00 PM in Goethe Institute, Amman, You can follow the DAAD Jordan’s facebook page for future lectures. The last 6-8 lectures Ads that I saw stated that the lecture would take place on a Tuesday). The last time I checked, the health-related scholarships they have were two master programs in Public Health. The master programs can be finished in one year. They require however a practical experience of at least two years, among other things. The tuition fees of one program, as I remember, are about 14,000 Euro. They are all covered by the DAAD. For full details of these two programs, and all other scholarships to Jordanians, see this PDF by the DAAD Jordan:

Doing a PhD does not mean that you will continue your life in teaching. This will be very important in your CVs. I know some people who took masters in order to increase their chances of being accepted for residency in the USA. However, some scholarship program will tie candidates with researching about a topic that will help his/her country and with showing “genuine” interest of returning back to his/her country. For example, Yousef Jameel Scholarships:

Humboldt-University is offering five doctoral scholarships with support of the Yousef Jameel Scholarship Fund. Students of Arabic countries, Malaysia and Indonesia are eligible for the scholarships. The scholarships are awarded for a period of three years and commence on October 1. The stipend awarded is in the amount of 1350 Euros per month, plus materials expenses. To be eligible for this scholarship, English and German skills are required. Women and disabled students are encouraged to apply. Applications should be submitted till 15th July 2014.


Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Source: Link.


Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University: Application requirement. Source: PDF file from the university's website. Click here to download it.

Yousef Jameel Scholarships at Humboldt University: Application requirement. Source: PDF file from the university’s website. Click here to download it.

• More scholarships and funding opportunities other than the DAAD and KAAD: Link.

• The DAAD website shows 61 medicine-related PhD programs. I think that this is a large number to choose programs to choose from.

 • How to search the DAAD’s website for a PhD Program (among other study options) and avaialbe funding options for studying in Germany.


• The below PhD positions were posted yesterday by the facebook page “Research in Germany“. They are all in Humboldt-University in Germany:

Source: A post in the website of the facebook page, Research in Germany.

Deutschland: Land der Ideen - Germany: The Land of Ideas

Deutschland: Land der Ideen – Germany: The Land of Ideas. Source: Webseite der Technische Universität München.

*** Note: I based little information above on my own short experience. I tried my best to put references where possible. Please feel free to make any corrections for the benefit of me and future visitors to this page ***

معاملة البورد الألماني = معاملة البورد الأردني = معاملة البورد العربي في إمارة دبي وجزئياً في إمارة أبو ظبي – German Board v.s. Jordanian and Arab Boards

هل البورد الألماني يشكل أي أفضلّية في الخليج على البورد الأردني أو البورد العربي ؟

كان هذا السؤال هو موضوع نقاش تم في أفضل مجموعة عربية  على الفيسبوك (برأيي) مختصة بالإختصاص في ألمانيا: مجموعة الدكتور فراس عبيدات (مقابلات الإختصاص في ألمانيا). بدأ النقاش في 28/01/2014 وما زلت أرى تعليقات جديدة على الموضوع آخرها اليوم. عندما قرأت الموضوع، لم أتفاجأ كثيراً بالآراء السلبية عن الإختصاص في ألمانيا، وذلك لأنه هذا أمر شائع في الجروبات وخصوصاً من الأطباء الذين لم يحالفهم الحظ في ألمانيا. ولكن الأهم من ذلك أن كل هذه الآراء تنشر بشكل شبه دائم بدون أي مراجع. بخصوص السؤال أعلاه، هذا رأي سلبي عن الإختصاص في ألمانيا يبدو أن صاحب التعليق قد نقله من مكان ما:

لو سمحتم يا دكاترة انا قرأت الكلام ده ولا ادرى مدى صحته ارجو من حضراتكم التوضيح هل صح أم غلط و ما هو التقيم الفعلى لشهادة الفاخ فى العالم ومصر ودول الخليج ارجو الرد والتوضيح ولكم جزيل الشكر:

الفاخ كشهادة قيمتها ضعيفة حتي في المانيا . عنى حصولك عليها طبقا للنظام الالماني انك كده اصبحت امن علي المريض ومؤهل لاستكمال تدريبك اللي بالاساس بيتم في الفترة اللي بعد الفاخ وحتى الوصول الي اوبر ارتز Oberarzt .

الفترة دي بتبقي علي الاقل سنتين وقد تصل الي خمس سنوات من التدر هي التعليم الحقيقي ، يستثني من ذلك تخصصات زى التخدير اللي نظرا لقلة العاملين به والشغل الكتير فحت فالناس بتعلمك شوية بقدر تسيير الشغل فبتلاقي نفسك خصوصا لو ف مستشفى كبير نسبيا او متوسط متعلم لك حاجة وواقف ع رجلك شوية ، بس برضوا هيبقي ناقصك كتير ف الاغلب، تخصصات اخرى زى النسا والجراحات انت اصلا ممكن ماتشوفش العمليات ف الخمس سنين الا اخر سنة او اتنين وهتبقي بتساعد مش بتمد ايدك ، الباطنات مش مسموح لك تعمل حاجة مع نفسك غير لما تبقي فاخ .

النقطة التانية الفوارق الكبيرة بين المستشفيات ، مستشفى ف قرية وللا مدينة عدد سكانها لا يتخطى عشرين الف ، بالتاكيد مستوى الطبيب والنيابة فيها مش هيبقي زى مستوى مستشفى كبير ف مدينة رئيسية ، والبرنامج التدريبي هيبقي مختلف جدا، ف الاولي الاغلب ان الشغل اللي بيقوم به الاوبر ارتز وانت بتعمل اعمال ورقية وتتابع المرضي بالاساس ، ف المستشفيات الاكبر اللي هتشتغل فيها غالبا لما تقدم هنا شوية او بعد ماتبقي فاخ الشغل الكتير هيدى لك فرصة اكبر تمد ايدك.

م الاخر البرنامج التعليمي هنا ينتهي انك تبقي Oberarzt مش بحصولك ع الفاخ ، ويمتد مابين سبع الي عشر سنين مش اربع خمس سنين تضرب فيهم الفاخ وتجرى.. 
اى دولة هلاقيها بتعادل الفاخ كشهادة بالBritish Fellowship or American Board or even Arabian board تبقي بلد خرفان مش فاهمين حاجة وموهومين بالنسر الالماني اللي ع الختم بس
المصدر: بوست في مجموعة الدكتور فراس عبيدات لعضو تحت اسم Ahmed Shams.

يفترض بأي شخص أن يتأكد من أي كلام يسمعه من مراجع أو مصادر رسمية. ولذلك، أعجبني تعليق من أحد أعضاء المجموعة (Mohammed Alaqad) حيث قام بوضع روابط إلى الهيئات الصحية الرسمية في إمارتي دبي وأبو ظبي. تظهر هذه الروابط تقييم هذه الهيئات للبورد الألماني مقارنة مع البوردات العالمية الأخرى. وبالواقع، تفاجأت لا بل انصدمت  بما قرأته حيت تبين أنه:
(1) في إمارة دبي الحاصلون على البورد الألماني هم مساوون من حيث شي يسمى التأهيل للحاصلين على البورد العربي أوالبورد الأردني.
(2) في إمارة أبو ظبي الحاصلون على البورد الألماني بعد فترة تدريب في مستشفى غير جامعي هم مساوون في درجة التأهيل للحاصلين على البورد الأردني أو البورد العربي. أما الحاصلين على بورد ألماني من مستشفى جامعي فقط فهم يعتبرون من المؤهلات من الصف الأول ومساوون في التأهيل للبورد الأمريكي أو البريطاني.

أو هذا تلخيص لهذه المعلومات للكاتب الذي قام مشكوراً بنشر الروابط:

Summary of the situation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by Mohammed Alaqad

التفاصيل مع المراجع:

إمارة دبي:

البورد الأردني والبورد العربي مساويان من حيث “درجة التأهيل” للبورد الألماني. هذه التخصصات الثلاثة تعطي مؤهلات من الدرجة الثانية Tier 2 Qualifications:

البورد الأردني والبورد العربي مساويان من حيث “درجة التأهيل” للبورد الألماني. هذه التخصصات الثلاثة تعطي مؤهلات من الدرجة الثانية Tier 2 Qualifications:

المصدر: موقع هيئة الصحة في دبي، قسم التنظيم الصحي، ملف بعنوان: Dubai Healthcare Professional Licensing Guide 2013، الصفحات 17 و20 و 22.
رابط الصفحة: اضغط هنا.
رابط الملف: اضغط هنا.

الدول التي تعطي الأخصائي مؤهلات من الدرجة الأولى في أمارة دبي:

الدول التي تعطي الأخصائي مؤهلات من الدرجة الأولى في أمارة دبي:

الدول التي تعطي الأخصائي مؤهلات من الدرجة الأولى في أمارة دبي:

المصدر: موقع هيئة الصحة في دبي، قسم التنظيم الصحي، ملف بعنوان: Dubai Healthcare Professional Licensing Guide 2013، الصفحات 17 -28.
رابط الصفحة: اضغط هنا.
رابط الملف: اضغط هنا.

ماذا يترتب على تصنيف إمارة دبي للإخصائيين إلى أصحاب مؤهلات من الصف الأول Tier 1 Qualifications وأصحاب مؤهلات من الصف الثاني Tier 2 Qualifications؟

الأخصائيين الحاصلين على مؤهلات من الصف الأول لا يحتاجون إلى أية سنوات خبرة للحصول على إعتراف بهم كإخصائيين (مثلا، الحاصلين على البورد الأمريكي). أما من يحملون مؤهلات من الصف الثاني (البورد الأردني أو البورد الألماني بغض النظر إن كان بعد تدريب في مستشفى جامعي أو غير جامعي) فيحتاجون إلى سنتي خبرة. في حال عدم توفر سنتي الخبرة، سيتم إعطائهم تصريح مؤقت Provisional license تحت مسمى أخصائي تحت الإشراف Specialist Under Supervision.

وللحصول على إعتراف كإستشاري، أصحاب المؤهلات من الصف الأولى يحتاجون فقط إلى سنتي خبرة. أما أصحاب المؤهلات من الصف الثاني فيحتاجون إلى ثمانية سنوات خبرة. انظر إلى الصورة في الأسفل:



المصدر: موقع هيئة الصحة في دبي، قسم التنظيم الصحي، ملف بعنوان: Dubai Healthcare Professional Licensing Guide 2013، الصفحة 16.
رابط الصفحة: اضغط هنا.
رابط الملف: اضغط هنا.

إمارة أبو ظبي:

الإمارة تفرق بين البورد الألماني الذي حصل عليه الأخصائي بعد تدريب في مستشفى جامعي أو مستشفى غير جامعي. معاملة الأخصائيين الذين انهوا تخصصهم في مستشفى غير جامعي تساوي البورد الأردني والبورد العربي.  وهذان البوردان يعطيان الأخصائي مؤهلات من الدرجة الثانية Tier 2 Qualifications. انظر إلى الصورة في الأسفل التي نقلتها من ملف من موقع هيئة الصحة في أبو ظبي من ملف بعنوان 2011 َProfessional Qualifications Requirements PQR.

لاحظ أن البورد الألماني من مستشفى غير جامعي = بورد أردني = البورد العربي = بقية المؤهلات من دول عربية مثل مصر والعراق ولبنان.


المصدر: موقع هيئة الصحة، أبو ظبي، ملف بعنوان Professional Qualifications Requirements 2011، صفحة 18.

رابط الصفحة:

البورد الألماني لأخصائي أنهى تدريبه في مستشفى جامعي ألماني يعتبر من مؤهلات الصف الأول. أي أنه مساوي للبورد الأمريكي أو البريطاني بالإضافة إلى دول متقدمة أخرى. يمكنك أن ترى الدول التي تعطي الأخصائيين “موهلات من الدرجة الأولى”:

البورد الألماني لأخصائي أنهى تدريبه في مستشفى جامعي يعتبر من مؤهلات الصف الأول. أي أنه مساوي للبورد الأمريكي أو البريطاني بالإضافة إلى دول متقدمة أخرى يمكنك أن تراها في الصورة في الأسفل من نفس الملف المذكور أعلاه:

المصدر: موقع هيئة الصحة، أبو ظبي، ملف بعنوان Professional Qualifications Requirements 2011، صفحة 17.

رابط الصفحة:

ماذا يترتب على التصنيف إلى مؤهلات من الدرجة الأولى أو الثانية في إمارة أبو ظبي؟

حسب الجدول التالي، هذا يحدد سنوات الخبرة المطلوبة بعد البورد وذلك للحصول على مسمى إستشاري. للإخصائيين ذوي مؤهلات من  الدرجة الأولى (مثلاً، البورد الأمريكي أو البورد الألماني بعد تدريب في مسشفى جامعي) سنوات الخبرة المطلوبة هي سنتان فقط. أم لأصحاب المؤهلات من الدرجة الثانية، مثل البورد الأردني أو البورد العربي أو البورد الألماني بعد تدريب في مستشفى غير جامعي، فترة الخبرة المطلوبة هي ثمانية سنوات. انظر إلى الصورة في الأسفل من نفس الملف:

المصدر: موقع هيئة الصحة، أبو ظبي، ملف بعنوان Professional Qualifications Requirements 2011، صفحة 15.

رابط الصفحة:

يا هل ترى، ما هو الوضع في باقي دول الخليج؟ هل البورد الألماني مساوي في القيمة للبورد الأردني أو للبورد   العربي؟


Dear foreign doctor, are you dreaming of a medical specialty in Germany? Are you learning or planning to begin learning the German language? Some good news and bad news… But is the final balance more good or bad?

During the previous weeks, I and many of my doctor friends, were very frightened by the rumors that spread like fire in the German medical specialty-related facebook groups. These rumors, to the best of the understanding of me and some of my friends, talked about language and medicine exams for ALL foreign doctors coming to German. These rumors also profoundly shacked the German Residency dreams of us because they also talked how there will be no more thing as “Temporary Working Permit”. In other words, your parents should be affording the price of your stay in German (For weeks? Months? Years?) until you can pass these tests and be eligible for a working permit. Hence, starting to receive a salary. Is this true? This is very frightening! I tried to relieve my fears by not searching about the topic. Beside, rumors are still rumors. Nothing is 100% certain. When the next year comes, things would become more and more clear.

Today, I found the following great German article which talks how one German state is doing to change how it deals with foreign doctors coming to work in it. This great article was posted at the Language Geneartion Center (LGC) facebook group by Frau Dr. Renat Asali. Dr. Asali is the head of the LGC center and a professor at the German department at the University of Jordan. Dr. Asali knows a lot about medical specialty in Germany. Moreover, I think that she has been so far teaching German in Jordan for +20 years. I am mentioning Dr. Asali’s qualifications mainly because I do not know how good the website that published the article (although it has a very excellent design like those of famous American newspapers). I cannot trust that website. However, I think that I can trust Dr. Asali! In addition to the above qualifications, I know Dr. Asali personally. Dr. Asali is now my German language teacher at LGC!

With the help of Google Translate, I think that I understood most of the very informative article chosen by my teacher (Here is a link to the article translated by Google Translate). I will try to summarize what I understood. Hopefully, you can correct any mistakes I will make. Together, we can arrive at a better understanding.

Let me start with some good news. The article confirms the shortage of physicians in Germany. The shortage of physicians is still in thousands. Certainly, this would not change in months or even years:

“In the year 2012, 6000 doctor posts were unfilled in hospitals in Germany according to the Federal Chamber of Physicians. The doctors’ union Marburger Bund in 2011 even spoke of 12,000 vacancies rising.”

Here comes the bad news. The article talks how “in the past”, foreign physicians were allowed to work in Germany without having their “Language skills” examined:

“… no one has examined whether [foreign doctors] can make themselves understood, and whether they understand patients and colleagues at all.

But one might say, are not foreign doctors requested to pass the B2 level? Is not this a language test?

“The language diploma [B2] to prove that the doctor has understood the main ideas of complex text on an abstract theme and can maintain a normal conversation without problems. Medical language or the “understanding between the lines” are not checked.

So, having passed the B2 level is no longer thought of to be a good “surrogate” marker for the ability of the foreign doctors to deal with German patients. The article mentions example about how (1) foreign physicians are not communicating well with patients, that (2) they are not as good as their German counterparts, and unfortunately enough, (3) that German patients are now forced to be treated by doctors from countries in which they would voluntarily not be treated by whom.

"If I had the chance, I would not allow such a doctor to treat me!" An angry German patient not comfortable with his foreign physician

Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-PalatinateTherefore, “One” German state, wants to allow this situation no more. This German state is Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate. [Since the most of doctor graduates of Mu’tah in Germany are now in the Nordrhein-Westfalen state (~8), then it is worth to say that this state is the sate immediately south of NW.]

Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate state now has a “medical language test”. Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate has already “piloted” this medical language test. What caught my attention is the failure rate:

“About 180 language tests have been deposited in Mainz far, most of candidates from Romania, Hungary, Russia and Syria. Around forty percent of applicants fail the test.”

Should we panic? How hard is the exam? This paragraph can give an approximate idea what the exam is about:

“Patient must make X-ray neck

After twenty minutes Manoppo did it. You must now summarize the conversation in a doctor’s letter. Prior to the twenty-five year old has already delivered a note with translation exercises. Then they should translate into German 25 Latin medical terms. Only four were right, “invasive” for “derma”, “axillary fossa” or is it not occurred to German term. At the end of the doctor’s letter, the interview and the translation exercise will feed into the review.”

This exam is already decided upon. The good/bad news; it is only in this sate, but other states are expected to follow:

“Rhineland-Palatinate makes today the first federal state in Germany a language test before foreign doctors are allowed to work there, other [sates] are following.”

I personally think that the language test, if applied, would not make a big problem. Firstly, they are testing only “language skills”. Secondly, and most importantly, it is not an MCQ exam. It is only a passed/failed Oral exam! Take a history… summarize it… Translate some medical terms into German… Well, does this sound like an almost identical but shortened German-version of the USMLE Step 2 CS?

But, before one can say that foreign doctors should not be afraid, one should remember the “Academic Performance Test”. The following talks how foreign doctors are now allowed to work and get salaries in Germany:

*** Doctors from safe third countries, they can only get if the competent authority has established the “equivalence” of education, that is, when the size of classes, the variety of subjects and practical activities equivalent to those of medical education in Germany. Uniform guidelines for does not yet exist. The awarding of the license and the design of the tests is the states. So far, most authorities do not even want to know before the Candidates. *******But even if the “equivalence” was not found, a foreign doctor can get a temporary work permit for that state 🙂 🙂 🙂 ******* To be after a set period of a “knowledge test” is stored, which is also the states. Rhineland-Palatinate asks from knowledge in the subjects of Internal and General Medicine, Surgery and Pediatrics. In the German exams medical students are tested in more than twenty subjects, including pharmacy, ear, nose and throat medicine, urology, gynecology, psychiatry, occupational medicine or social medicine…..

The failure rate for the knowledge test is in Rhineland-Palatinate at around fifty percent 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 :(. The test may be repeated three times****

To the best of my understanding, the article does not mention any thing about this being changed. Yes, if this “Academic Performance Exam” is to be extended to other German states, then certainly, the “around fifty percent” failure rate is VERY FRIGHTENING. However, there is a lot of “good news”:

1) Within a period of one and a half year, you are allowed to repeat the exam up to three times.

The failure rate for the knowledge test is in Rhineland-Palatinate at around fifty percent. The test may be repeated three times.

2) More than 20 subjects v.s. 3 subjects: German doctors are tested in over than 20 subjects. In RP state, foreign doctors are only tested in three subjects (Internal and General Medicine, Surgery and Pediatrics.).

“Rhineland-Palatinate asks from knowledge in the subjects of Internal and General Medicine, Surgery and Pediatrics. In the German exams medical students are tested in more than twenty subjects, including pharmacy, ear, nose and throat medicine, urology, gynecology, psychiatry, occupational medicine or social medicine.”

3) Thirdly, and this is the best piece of conclusion: You are given a “temporary working permit”. In other words, while preparing for the exam, you will be getting a “Salary”. Foreign doctors are given “a temporary work permit for that state”. The article does not mention anything about “No Wok (Salary) before passing the Language Proficiency Test and the Academic Performance Test”.

What about the situation in the rest of German states? Will their be exams there just like in Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate? The answer is in the SHORT TERM “No”. No decision has been reached yet:

The German Medical Assembly has already come out in May in Hannover for in June, the Conference of Health Ministers in Potsdam, completed in the claim. They also pleaded for an “improvement in the practice of recognition of foreign professional qualifications” means a transnational agency reports.

All in all, and to the best of my understanding, and please correct me if I am wrong, both of these tests are now confirmed in only one German state. Both of these tests are passed/failed exams. They are testing General information; whether in language or in medicine. Finally, and most importantly, you are not denied the “Temporary working permit” allowing you to work and get a salary before getting a salary. At least, you can work before passing the Academic Proficiency Test.

What do you think?

For Medical Students: Normal values for laboratory investigations, BP, and BMI (USMLE-friendly)

“We teach our students that they should not believe us… Do not believe your professors!” Dr. Kevin Hanretty, University of Glasgow, UK.

If some professors, somewhere, are teaching their students not to trust them, how come that you trust a colleague of yours? Therefore, the  source of the below information: Unless specified, most of the values are from “Step 1: Content Description & General Information 2012”, p. 22,  The remaining few are from “Reference Intervals for Laboratory Tests & Procedures”, ch.708, Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 19th ed, 2011.

*** To view and download a printer-friendly version, you can visit Google Docs at: ***

Normal Values: Laboratory, BP, and BMI
Reference Range
Conventional Units SI Units
Serum Nonelectrolytes
Amylase, serum 25-125 U/L
Phosphatase (alkaline), serum (p-NPP at 30EC) 20-70 U/L
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT at 30EC) SGPT(serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase) 8-20 U/L
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST at 30EC) SGOT(serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase) 8-20 U/L
Bilirubin, serum (adult) Total // Direct 0.1-1.0 mg/dL // 0.0-0.3 mg/dL 2-17 µmol/L // 0-5 µmol/L
Lipoprotein levels – Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III Classification of LDL, Total, and HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL):Cholesterol mmol/L (Total, LDL, and HDL) = mg/dL ÷ 38.6 // Triglyceride mmol/L = mg/dL ÷ 88.5 LDL Cholesterol (Primarytarget of therapy):

  • <100: Optimal
  • 100-129: Near optimal/above optimal
  • 130-159: Borderline high
  • 160-189: High
  • ≥190: Very high

Serum Triglycerides:

  • <150: Normal
  • 150-199: Borderline high
  • 200-499: High
  • ≥500: Very high
Total Cholesterol:

  • <200: Desirable\Recommen.
  • 200-239: Borderline high
  • ≥240: High

HDL Cholesterol:

  • <40: Low
  • ≥60: High
Creatine kinase, serum M: 25-90 U/L // F: 10-70 U/L
Creatinine, serum 0.6-1.2 mg/dL 53-106 µmol/L
Urea nitrogen, serum Cord blood: 21-40 // Premature (1 wk): 3-25 // Newborn: 3-12 // Infant or child: 5-18 // Thereafter: 7-18 mg/dL Thereafter: 2.5-6.4 mmol/L [BUN (mmol/L) = BUN (mg/d)/2.8]
Uric acid, serum 3.0-8.2 mg/dL 0.18-0.48 mmol/L
Glucose, serum Fasting: 70-99 mg/dL (USMLE: 110 mg/dL) (3.8-5.6) mmol/L2-h postprandial: < 120 mg/dL (6.6 mmol/L)
Categories of increased risk for diabetes (prediabetes): FPG: 100-125 mg/dL (5.6-6.9 mmol/L): IFG OR 2-h plasma glucose in the 75-g OGTT: 140-199 mg/dL (7.8-11.0 mmol/L): IGT OR A1C: 5.7-6.4%
Diabetes can be diagnosed with either one of the following four criteria:
(Source: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2011, American Diabetes Association)  Glucose (mmol) = Glucose (mg/dL)/18
1. A1C ≥ 6.5%.The test should be performed in a laboratory using a method that is NGSP certified and standardized to the DCCT assay. *2. FPG ≥ 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L).Fasting is defined as no caloric intake for at least 8 h.*3. 2-h plasma glucose ≥ 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) during an OGTT.The test should be performed as described by the World Health Organization, using a glucose load containing the equivalent of 75 g anhydrous glucose dissolved in water.*4. In a patient with classic symptoms of hyperglycemia or hyperglycemic crisis, a random plasma glucose ≥ 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L)*(*In the absence of unequivocal hyperglycemia, result should be confirmed by repeat testing.)
Lactate dehydrogenase, serum 45-90 U/L
Osmolality, serum 275-295 mOsmol/kg (Osmolality=  2x[Na] + [Glucose]/18 + [BUN]/2.8)
Iron 50-170 µg/dL 9-30 µmol/L
Ferritin, serum M: 15-200 ng/mL
F: 12-150 ng/mL
M: 15-200 µg/L 
 12-150 µg/L
Serum proteins Total (recumbent) 6.0-7.8 g/dL 60-78 g/L
Albumin 3.5-5.5 g/dL 35-55 g/L
Globulin 2.3-3.5 g/dL 23-35 g/L
Immunoglobulins, serum IgAIgE
76-390 mg/dL0-380 IU/mL650-1500 mg/dL40-345 mg/dL 0.76-3.90 g/L0-380 kIU/L6.5-15 g/L0.4-3.45 g/L
Serum hormones
Cortisol, serum 0800 h: 5-23 µg/dL
1600 h: 3-15 µg/dL
2000 h: <50% of 0800 h
138-635 nmol/L
82-413 nmol/L
Fraction of 0800 h: <0.50
TSH, serum or plasma 0.5-5.0 µU/mL
Thyroidal iodine (123I) uptake 8%-30% of administered dose/24 h 0.08-0.30/24 h
Thyroxine (T4), serum 5-12 µg/dL 64-155 nmol/L
Triiodothyronine (T3), serum (RIA) 115-190 ng/dL 1.8-2.9 nmol/L
Triiodothyronine (T3) resin uptake 25%-35% 0.25-0.35
LH, serum/plasma
(Range in SI units: Same but in U/L)
M: 6-23 mIU/mL // F: follicular phase 5-30 mIU/mL // midcycle 75-150 mIU/mL // postmenopause 30-200 mIU/mL
PTH, serum, N-terminal 230-630 pg/mL (Pico=10-12 230-630 ng/L (Nano=10-9)
Prolactin, serum (hPRL) <20 ng/mL <20 µg/L
Estriol, total, serum (in pregnancy) 24-28 wks // 32-36 wks 30-170 ng/mL // 60-280 ng/mL 104-590 nmol/L // 208-970 nmol/L
28-32 wks // 36-40 wks 40-220 ng/mL // 80-350 ng/mL 140-760 nmol/L // 280-1210 nmol/L
FSH, serum/plasma
(Range in SI units: Same but in U/L)
M: 4-25 mIU/mL // F: premenopause 4-30 mIU/mL// midcycle peak 10-90 mIU/mL // postmenopause 40-250 mIU/mL
GH  – arginine stimulation
(Range in SI units: Same but in ug/L)
Fasting: <5 ng/mL // Provocative stimuli: >7 ng/mL
Serum Electrolytes
  1. 1.  Sodium (Na+)
  2. 2.  Potassium (K+)
  3. 3.  Chloride (Cl)
  4. 4.  Calcium, serum (Ca2+)
  5. 5.  Magnesium (Mg2+)
  6. 6.  Bicarbonate (HCO3)
  7. 7.  Phosphorus (inorganic), serum
136-145 mEq/L3.5-5.0 mEq/L95-105 mEq/L8.4-10.2 mg/dL1.5-2.0 mEq/L22-28 (25 ± 3) mEq/L3.0-4.5 mg/dL 136-145 mmol/L3.5-5.0 mmol/L95-105 mmol/L2.1-2.8 mmol/L0.75-1.0 mmol/L22-28 (25 ± 3)  mmol/L1.0-1.5 mmol/L
Arterial Blood Gases (ABGs) (room air)
pHPaCO2 PaO2 7.35-7.45 (7.40 ± 0.05)35-45 (40 ± 5) mm Hg75-105 mm Hg [H+] = 36-44 nmol/L4.7-5.9 kPa10.0-14.0 kPa
Erythrocyte count M: 4.3-5.9 million/mm3F: 3.5-5.5 million/mm3 M: 4.3-5.9 x 1012/LF: 3.5-5.5 x 1012/L
ESR (Westergren method) (mm/hr) (Source: Medscape) NB: 0-2 // NB to puberty: 3-13  // M under 50: < 15 // F under 50: < 20 // M over 50: < 20 // F over 50: < 30
Hematocrit or PCV (Packed red cell volume) M: 41%-53%
F: 36%-46%
M: 0.41-0.53
F: 0.36-0.46
Hemoglobin, blood  0-30 days:15.0-24.0 g/dL1-23 mo: 10.5-14.0 g/dL
Until 18:11.5-16.1 (M) // 15.0 (F)…M:13.5-17.5 g/dLF: 12.0-16.0 g/dL
0-30 days:2.32-3.72 mmol/L1-23 mo:1.63-2.17 mmol/LUntil 18: 1.78-2.50 (M) // 2.32 (F)
M:2.09-2.71 mmol/LF: 1.86-2.48 mmol/L
Hemoglobin, plasma 1-4 mg/dL 0.16-0.62 mmol/L
Reticulocyte count 0.5%-1.5% of red cells 0.005-0.015
MCH 25.4-34.6 pg/cell 0.39-0.54 fmol/cell
MCHC 31%-36% Hb/cell 4.81-5.58 mmol Hb/L
MCV 80-100 µm3 80-100 fL (Femto  =10-15)
RDW_CV (Coefficient of Variation) 11.6-14.6% in adult
RDW_SD (Standard Deviation) 39-46 fL
Platelet count 150,000-400,000/mm3 150-400 x 109/L
Partial thromboplastin time (activated) 25-40 s
Prothrombin time 11-15 s
INR 1.0-1.1
Bleeding time (template) 2-7 minutes
Thrombin time <2s deviation from control
Leukocyte count and differential
Leukocyte count (WCC: White Cell Count) 4,500-11,000/mm3 4.5-11.0 x 109/L
  1. 1.    Segmented neutrophils
  2. 2.    Lymphocytes
  3. 3.    Monocytes
  4. 4.    Eosinophils
  5. 5.    Basophils
  6. 6.    Bands
54%-62%25%-33%3%-7%1%-3%0%-0.75%3%-5% 0.54-0.620.25-0.330.03-0.070.01-0.030-0.00750.03-0.05
Volume    Plasma M: 25-43 mL/kg
F: 28-45 mL/kg
M: 0.025-0.043 L/kg
F: 0.028-0.045 L/kg
   Red cell M:20-36 mL/kgF: 19-31 mL/kg M: 0.020-0.036 L/kg
F: 0.019-0.031 L/kg
Chloride 0-35 mmol/L (ñ in CF, Ald defeciency, or pseudohypoaldosteronism)
Sodium 5-40 mmol/L
Oxalate 8-40 µg/mL 90-445 µmol/L
Proteins, total < 150 mg/24 h <0.15 g/24 h
Calcium 100-300 mg/24 h 2.5-7.5 mmol/24 h
Osmolality 50-1400 mOsmol/kg
Sodium, potassium, chloride, and uric acid Vary with intake/diet
Creatinine clearance M: 97-137 mL/min // F: 88-128 mL/min
Estriol, total (in pregnancy):

  • 30 wks
  • 35 wks
  • 40 wks
6-18 mg/24 h9-28 mg/24 h13-42 mg/24 h 21-62 µmol/24 h31-97 µmol/24 h45-146 µmol/24 h
17-Hydroxycorticosteroids M:3.0-10.0 mg/24 hF: 2.0-8.0 mg/24 h 8.2-27.6 µmol/24 h5.5-22.0 µmol/24 h
17-Ketosteroids, total M:8-20 mg/24 hF: 6-15 mg/24 h 28-70 µmol/24 h21-52 µmol/24 h
Urinary dipstick test (mg/dL) Trace: 10-20 // 1+: 30  // 2+: 100 // 3+: 300 // 4+: 1,000-2,000
Cell count 0-5 cells/mm3 0-5 x 106/L
Chloride 118-132 mEq/L 118-132 mmol/L
Gamma globulin 3-12% total proteins 0.03-0.12
Glucose 40-70 mg/dL 2.2-3.9 mmol/L
Proteins, total < 40 mg/dL < 0.40 g/L
Pressure 70-180 mm H2O
BP Classification (Source: Seventh report of the JNC, 2003, American Heart Association)
SBP (mm Hg) DBP (mm Hg)
Normal <120 and <80
Prehypertension 120–139 or 80–89
Stage 1 Hypertension 140–159 or 90–99
Stage 2  Hypertension ≥160 or ≥100
Body Mass Index (BMI)  (kg/m2(Source: WHO)
Underweight: <18.5 // Normal: 18.5-24.99 // Overweight: 25-29.99 // Obese: ≥ 30 (BMI =  Weight (kg) / Height(m)2)
  • 1 m3 = 103 dm3 = 106 cc = 10mm3 (One cubic meter = One thousand cubic decimeter = One million cubic cm =  One billion cubic mm = one billion uL)
  • 1 L = 1,000 cc = 1,000,000 mm3 = 1,000,000 uL // 1 uL = 1 mm3

 By: Hijazeen, JK. Any feedback? 

Filetype: How to use google to search for PowerPoint presentations?

If you were asked to prepare a PowerPoint presentation then you can use google to search for already prepared ones.

I am a Medical students. Through the following method, I can easily locate tens of presentations related to common topics in Medicine.

So, how to ask google to show results that are PowerPoint presentations?

In the main page of google, type the topic you want to search for. For example, “Pneumonia”. However, to only get results that are PowerPoint presentations, you need to add the following: “Filetype:ppt” or “Filetype:pptx“. PPT and PPTX are the extensions of PowerPoint files. See the images below:



Similarly, you can use this method to search for other file types. For example, if you want to search for word documents, type: “Pneumonia filetype:doc” or “Pneumonia filetype:docx“. Or if you want to search for PDF files, type: “Pneumonia filetype:pdf“.

How do you qualify to be an author in a Medical Research? ما هي المعايير التي تؤهلك لكل تصبح مؤلف في بحث علمي

In Mu’tah faculty of Medicine, and Jordan University faculty of Medicine, there is no formal teaching or training to allow Medical students to conduct research by themselves. Almost certainly, this runs also on the remaining two faculties of Medicine in Jordan (At Jordan University of Science and Technology, and Hashemite University). I haven’t read or heard about the situation there so I can’t confirm this conclusion.

Back to Mu’tah and Jordan Universities, preparing a research, not to mention publishing one, is not part of the degree requirements to become a medical doctor. Therefore, students do research as an extracurricular activity.

During the past two years, I had the luck of dealing with many students doing research. One important thing that struck me is that many students have a misconception of how much contribution is enough to make someone eligible to be a co-author. During a study that I took part in, I asked some friends of mine to help me with distributing questionnaires and collecting them from university students. A comment that I always seemed to hear, “Well, I have collected 100+ questionnaires for you so far, why do not you make me a co-author with you in this study?”. Many think that if they simply help in data gathering, doing a literature review, data entry, data analysis, etc., then they can be eligible for authorship. But what could I have told them? From now on, I will be citing the following which happened with a colleague of mine.

My colleague submitted a paper to the Saudi Medical Journal (SMJ). As part of the reviewing process, SMJ sent him the following regarding who should qualify to be an author. The following would be a very good explanation to anyone who is new to the world of research:

“Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Acquisition of funding, collection of data or general supervision of the research group, alone does not justify authorship.”

To sum it up, to be eligible for authorship doesn’t only require you to finish one task; be it a literature review, study design, data collection, data entry, data analysis, or manuscript writing. On the contrary, becoming a co-author means a combination of all of the above. Or at least, most of which.

Finally, as I sometimes say when I finish my talk about research: Happy researching!

How to know about forthcoming Medical Conferences in Jordan? معرفة مواعيد المؤتمرات الطبية التي ستعقد في الأردن

As a medical student, I found it very hard to discover about forthcoming medical conferences in Jordan. The website of Jordan Medical Association, unfortunately, doesn’t provide this service.

It turned out that there is a Jordanian website that keeps track of the Medical conferences that are to be held in Jordan. This service is provided by a Jordanian Medical Magazine. This magazine, as they describe themselves in this page, are the “only specialized Medical Magazine in Jordan”. Their magazine is very interesting and is always beautifully designed. I sent a them a message on their facebook group and was sent the following link:

معرفة مواعيد المؤتمرات الطبية التي ستعقد في الأردن

 لمعرفة المؤتمرات الطبية التي ستعقد في الأردن. لا تتوجه إلى موقع نقابة الأطباء الأردنية لأنهم لا يقدمون هذه الخدمة. على العكس، توجه إلى هذه الصفحة في موقع مجلة طبية أردنية بعنوان: “الصفحات الطبية الأردنية”. الرابط موجود في الأعلى.


:تحديث 27-06-2013

حتى لو عرفت أن هناك مؤتمر سيقام بعد شهر أو شهرين؟ كيف ستتذكر ذلك؟ من سيقوم بتذكيرك عندما يقترب موعد المؤتمر؟ ماذا لو تغير موعد المؤتمر؟

Event الآن يمكن لفيسبوك أن يقوم بتذكيرك تلقائيا بكل مؤتمر وذلك من خلال

:خاص بكل مؤتمر وذلك على صفحة خاصة على الفيسبوك أنشئتها لهذه الغاية

Medical Conferences in Jordan صفحة مؤتمرات طبية في الأردن

Medical Conferences in Jordan صفحة مؤتمرات طبية في الأردن

كيف يمكن أن تتلقى تنبيه من صفحة "مؤتمرات طبية في الأردن بمجرد أي ينزل إعلان أي مؤتمر جديد. قم بوضع إشارة صح كما في الصورة.

كيف يمكن أن تتلقى تنبيه من صفحة “مؤتمرات طبية في الأردن بمجرد أي ينزل إعلان أي مؤتمر جديد. قم بوضع إشارة صح كما في الصورة.

Medical Conferences in Jordan Facebook Page صفحة فيسبوك بعنوان مؤتمرات طبية في الأردن

Elective course of clinical training in the USA: My horrible experience!

Elective Reqest- Jameel Khaleel Hijazeen - Mu'tah University*** This is a imaginary letter to a person who will enter my Blog and help me accomplish a dream of mine. Time is runnig out and this dream is most likely not going to be fulfilled… What is most important to me is that when other friends of mine have accomplished this dream, I will not be angry or feeling sorry, simply because I will have asked for help from all those whom I thought they could offer it! My blog is my last place to seek help! What I am requesting might be hard… yes… it is a DREAM! ***


My name is Jameel Hijazeen. I am a 5th-year Medical student in Mu’tah University. In the period of June-August 2012, I am required by my faculty to do “two-months of clinical training in two of the major branches of medicine” (Please, to see the elective request, click on the resized image above).

Worldwide, the most advanced country in Medicine is undoubtedly the United States. What is more, if you are a doctor who is to be accepted for residency in the USA, one of the things that will tremendously support your CV is having “US experience”. Therefore, a dream of mine is to do my two months of clinical training in internal medicine in the form of an elective in the United States.


How did it all begin?

Starting from exactly 8 months ago, I started searching for how a Jordanian medical student from Mu’tah University can obtain such training.

Soon after my search started, I realized how expensive, complicated, and demanding is such a “dream” is. These are the main reasons:

1. Most universities\hospitals require expensive application fees and training fees. What is ‘interesting’ is that your application fees are ‘non-refundable’ even if you are not accepted.

2. Most universities\hospitals require having finished a USMLE step.

3. Most universities\hospitals require TOEFL (not required if you had finished a USMLE step or are recommended as a good English speaker)

4. Few universities\hospitals accept students from outside the US (Sometimes, an exception can be made if you are recommended).

5. Few universities\hospitals acknowledge Jordanian universities. Even fewer universities acknowledge Mu’tah University.

6. Applying for these universities\hospitals requires hours of papers filing, preparation, and sending.


What is the solution then?

I asked older students who know about this issue, all of them summarized the way in which someone can be accepted into two: Pure luck or having someone recommending you for acceptance. Till today, two students in my batch have already obtained an elective via the second way (one in the USA and another in France).  Via the first way, not a single students of the 5th year in Mu’tah University has obtained an acceptance; How surprised am I!.

For the above reasons, I did not contact any university\hospital. As a result, I was left with the second option.


Here is a list of the people I contacted:

# My faculty: No formal programs are available that are meant for sending faculty students to western countries. Nonetheless, certain efforts have been given. I deduced that because Dr. Omar Nafia Al-Ajarmeh, the vice dean, thankfully, contacted a certain University in the USA to accept some of Mu’tah students. In an email reply hanged on one of the boards in the faculty, a part of the response was, “Your university is not recognized by (certain accreditation committee)… Therefore, students from Mu’tah University cannot be accepted for electives in our university”.

# An uncle of mine: A thoracic surgeon in a western country since the 1980s. He had performed more than 4,500 operations. My uncle apologized and denied the presence of any friends of him in the US who could help. He advised me to seek help from my faculty doctors!

# Dr. Nabil S: An American-Jordanian doctor whom I met in a medical conference that was held in Amman. I took a list of the doctors who participated in that conference and showed them to another Uncle of mine to see if he knew anyone of them. For my huge surprise, he turned out to know the brother of this Dr. Nabil S. My uncle contacted his brother. Dr. Nabil, to my happiness, emailed me showing his readiness to help me. From the beginning, unfortunately, it was a hard road full of multiple obstacles!

The first obstacle that face me was that his hospital only accept students for obeserverships not for electives (It is enough to know that if you are an observer, you are never allowed to be in the hospital unless your sponsoring doctor is. What is more humiliating, you can never touch or simply talk to a patient). Reluctantly, I agreed. Do I have any other options so as to refuse this “great opportunity”?

Nevertheless, things got even worst. The doctor sent an acceptance for a two-month observership in family medicine; a branch which my faculty does not accept. So, I asked for the observership to be changed. Because I thought that I am going to remain under the supervision of the same doctor, I did not specifically talk about my wish to be accepted in the internal medicine department. As a result, I was accepted in the surgery department and at the same time, was told by an administrative in the hospital that I can only be accepted for one month… How worst can things be more than this? I emaild my complaints for two times… Dr. Nabil never responded!

# An American young Jordanian doctor: All my information about this doctor are from a blog that he has. Despite realizing how hard it is for a young doctor to recommend others for such a hard thing as an elective, and despite my little knowledge of him, I rudely contacted him. With a big heart, he showed readiness to help (as I expected). Unfortunately, the hospital where he works did not offer electives. At that point, I decided to bother him no more and so sent him no further requests. If my faculty, my relatives, and the friends of my relatives could not help, why would I bother a person that does not know anything about me to help?

The above is a list of the persons whom I contacted. I do not carry any bad feelings about them for not being able to help. On the contrary, whenever I talked to anyone about my elective, I felt ashamed because of my consuming their time and efforts!


Can you help me get accepted for a two-month

elective in internal medicine in the US?


You might consider it a small favor, but with this “small” favor, you are changing the life of a doctor-to-be forever!… It is like the “small step” of Neil Armstrong:

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”[1]

Neil Armstrong, 2:56 UTC July 21, 1969.



[1] Source: “Neil Armstrong”,, retrieved: 07.02.2012.

Scientific Research in the Arab World: Reality or fiction?

imageLast year, during the period from June 26-30, I attended the 25th conference of NAAMA (National Arab American Medical Association) in Le Meridien Hotel in Amman. During the conference, I heard many Arab American doctors stressing the importance of Medical Research for medical students who want to pursuit their higher studies in the USA and other western countries.

Because of how much this subject was stressed, I went back to my faculty with the goal of starting a research in whatever field of medicine. I set up this goal only to be later on shocked by how unrealistic is such a goal!

Frankly speaking, my university curriculum does not require students neither to prepare nor to publish any medical research as part of their undergraduate studies. In the USA, on the other hand, it is a different story. Dr. Wael K. Al-Delaimy, an Iraqi-American professor told me during the same conference:

Dr. Wael K. Al-Delaimy

Dr. Wael K. Al-Delaimy

“In contrary to the situation in our Arab countries, before graduating, US students are required to prepare at least one research”

The above sad fact is the most important obstacle that faced me. Firstly, I will find hardship in finding a professor that will be available solely for the aim of helping me in doing a research. Secondly, the huge time that any student will spend in doing a research would not be compensated with marks. Certainly, this will affect the university marks of the students who will be subtracting time from studying their university curriculum and investing it in a research.

Dr. Aiman Hamdan, a Jordan Unviersity of Science and Technology graduate (second batch), who is now a cardiologist in the United States and certified with seven boards, had the following to say regarding this sad fact:

Dr. Aiman Hamdan

Dr. Aiman Hamdan

“During my University years in JUST, if my father knew that I am doing a research and not studying to get high marks, he would have KILLED me!”

Source: Dr. Aiman Hamdan said the above comment in a lecture he gave –with other Arab-American doctors- about studying in the USA in King Abdullah University Hospital in Irbid in June 2011 as part of the activities of NAAMA’s 25th conference.

Despite the hardship mentioned above, I enrolled in two researches; lucky me!

image“Finally,” I happily thought, “I will be doing what students in developed country are doing!”.  “But could this be a reality? Is that possible?” I found hardship in accepting this very happy piece of news. But at the end… Why should I not hope? How are students in Harvard university better than me?[3]

I felt like I was finally going to achieve something! I will not only be graduating with a certificate, but also, having mastered how to prepare and publish a research! I felt too proud of the notion of having my name on a published research in a medical journal. Can you imagine how important is this achievement?

imageMy happiness did not last long. The first research ended because we discovered that we were collecting “useless” data that no conclusions can be drawn from it [Update 09.04.2012: This was a wrong conclusion. Things went differently than I and my colleagues calculated… It is one of the times in which you are happy when your calculations turn out to be wrong! Read more!]

The second reserach was very succesfful. However, due to deduction of the amount of credit our supervising doctors will get from including us in the publication, I refused to be included in the publication “initially”. Still, the supervising doctor refused but to include us in the publication. “I have an enlightening plan!” The doctor said. “I came back from abroad with a main aim of letting you do what I was taught abroad”. Truthfully, this doctor is sacrificying a lot by including us in the publication. What he is doing would be normal where he studied abroad, but is the situation the same here in the Arab world? Do universities in the arab wrold care about scientific research? Do our universities provides incentives to both doctors and students to do scientific research?

Frankly speaking, it seems that we have a problem… a big problem… How did I come up with this conclusion? But most importantly, who is responsible?


Every year, a report is published on the Academic ranking of World Universities (ARWU), commonly known as the Shanghai ranking. During the year 2011, the following statistics came out:

Universities that have been included in the top 500 world universities on the Shanghai ranking 2011:

Arab Universities[1]

Israeli Universities[2]

A. King Saud University (201-300)B. King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (301-400)C. Cairo University (401-500) A. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (57)B. Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (102-150)

C. Tel Aviv University (102-150)

D. Weizmann Institute of Science (102-150)

E. Bar-Ilan University (301-400)

F. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (301-400)

G. University of Haifa (401-500)

Total: 3 universities Total: 7 universities
Arab countries v.s. Israel

Arab countries v.s. Israel

To summarize the above table:
Israel, a country with less than 8 million people, has 7 universities among the top 500 universities in the world. While 22 Arab countries with 355 million people, have only 3 universities in the same list!

Finally, and again and again, the first step in solving any problem is to recognize its existence in the first place. Is there a problem in our universities in the Arab world? It is left to your judgment!

So… I belive it is too unfair to attribute the problem to a single doctor, a single university, or a single country! As you can read above, it is a problem of…

[1] “KSU ranked leading arab university by shanghai world rankings”, King Saud University,, retrieved: 05.02.2012

[2] Reuveni, R. “Israel’s Universities are among the 500 top universities in the world”, retrieved: 05.02.2011

[3] According to 2011 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities, the world ranking of Harvard university is “1”!

What is the difference between direct and indirect ophthalmosopes (ophthalmoscopy)?

imageimage image

This is a summary of the differences between direct and indirect ophtalmoscopes (ophthalmoscopy). I searched the internet for a page that answer this question adequately, but did not find any. Luckily, I found the answer in a book entitled: “Textbook of opthalmology” (2nd edition, 2001) by E. Ahmed. This is a tabulation of the differences mentioned in this book only. I didn’t use any other source.

Update 15/01/2014:
This post is now a famous one in my Blog. It brings me a lot of visits (4465 visists so far). I need to thank the doctor who asked me to research this topic. Dr. Khalil Alsalem thanks a lot 🙂

Direct Ophthalmoscopy Indirect ophthalmoscopy
Magnification About 15 times 5 times when a +13D condensing lens is used
Diameter of the field of observation\view Smaller (about 10o in diameter) Wider (about 37o in diameter)
Brightness There is relatively low brightness There is relatively greater brightness
Structures seen Central retina only Peripheral retina seen (by using a scleral depressor in addition to the indirect ophthalmoscopy itself)
Image of the fundus that is seen Virtual & erect image Real & inverted image
Stereopsis Image formed is not stereoscopic Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy provides better stereopsis
Retina anterior to the equator Not well seen (seen with difficulty) Seen better
Scleral indentation Difficult Can be easily done in binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy
Visualization in hazy media Poor Better

صور تشريح باللغة العربية من المعجم الطبي الموحد



صور التشريح في الأعلى استخرجتها من أحد الفولدرات التي تم تنزيلها مع برنامج المعجم الطبي الموحد. الصور بالأبيض والأسود ولكن المهم أنها باللغة العربية.

أضغط على الألبوم في الأعلى لتنتقل إلى حسابي على Picasa الذي يحتوي على صور التشريح والبالغ عددها183 صورة قمت بإعادة تسميتها كاملة لتدل على محتواها.

عن المعجم الطبي الموحد:

المعجم هو من إنتاج منظمة  الصحة العالمية.لم يعمل عندي على الكمبيوتر لأنه غير متوافق مع ويندوز فيستا. هذا هو موقع القاموس على الإنترنت. لا أدري إذا كانت هناك إصدرات حديثة من البرنامج ولكن موقع القاموس يشير إلى أن أحدث تحديث للموقع كان في تاريخ 6/1/2009.