I’m Sameera Yasser, a 3rd Year Medical Student from Ain Shams University in Egypt.
Even though I’ve never considered myself a creative person and I’ve always been more into science, ironically, Medical School is what got me to explore my creative side!
Here’s a little bit more about me!
So, why medicine? Who or what inspired you to go to Medical School?
I've always been fascinated by the human body! I love learning in general, but I especially enjoyed human biology when I was in high school. Deciding your future career as a 17-year old is extremely hard, but I've always felt that a rewarding career for me would be one that achieves a greater good in society. I believe education and health are equivalently the two most important things in society. Before medicine, and because of my love for learning, I wanted to become an educator. The passion I have for education has not faded, but it's what amplified my love for medicine and helped me stay motivated.
Now as a medical student, I'm more exposed to the impact of healthcare, and seeing the pain and suffering of people keeps me more motivated every day to learn how to be the person who helps lift their pain away. I always remind myself that as a doctor, you're helping people who are at their weakest, which makes it such a noble thing.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to somebody about to start Medical School?
If you're doing it for the right reasons, all the struggle and stress will be worth it in the end. Medicine is hard, harder than I estimated before I got in. When people described it, I'd always think they were exaggerating, but going through all that has shaped me into the person I am today. It has helped me become more resilient, and focusing on my mental health through it all has helped me connect with myself more than ever before.
Make the most out of your time in medical schools, and do NOT let your grades define you. Make friends, go on trips, participate in student activities (without letting it take up all your time of course). To do that, you have to learn time management, but remember that keeping your life balanced is key!
What’s been your highlight so far in Medical School?
My highlight in medical school is that it got me to explore so many sides of my personality that I never thought I could in such a demanding major. I explored my creative side and learned graphic design, I participated in many extracurriculars, related to charity work, hospital renovation, and public health. I made life-long friends. There's not a single moment in medical school that stood out the most, but rather the accumulation of experiences I've gained and will continue to gain throughout my time as a medical student at Ain Shams University.
How do you learn/study best?
I have adapted my study method a dozen times! Getting into medical school, you're always so clueless. It's definitely a trial and error until you discover what study method works best. I personally find it best to pre-read (if possible), attend classes (but only if it doesn't waste your time), and use active learning and spaced repetition. I make sure I take enough breaks in order to avoid burnout. As long as I'm doing all that I possibly can, I don't beat myself up; my mental health always comes first!
What's the biggest challenge you've overcome in Medical School to date and how did you overcome it?
In my third year, I unknowingly took up a lot more than I can handle, by working a side job, and holding a leadership position at a student activity, as well as trying to keep up with my medical studies. It was extremely difficult to not be overwhelmed, and I was for a long time. Fortunately, it's now the end of the year, and as stressful as it was, it has taught me a lot. I learned that I can achieve much more than I expect, just by practicing effective time management. It's definitely a game-changer!
You've been using ClinicalKey Student for a while now, what do you like about it?
There's a huge database of questions, ranging from easy to difficult, and they're sorted by topic, which makes it easy to create a quiz testing the section I've just studied. What I like the most is the 'Performance' tab, where I can see where I'm scoring the highest and the lowest, and it tells me just what I need to focus on. I also love that I get access to many textbooks all in one place.
Why did you enter the ClinicalKey Student Global Challenge?
I saw the challenge on social media a couple of times and every time I would see it, I would think about applying but dismiss the idea, because I thought I'd never win! Then, after a while, I talked to my friend about it and she encouraged me to apply. We applied together and she was the one who motivated me to practice on ClinicalKey Student. We started scheduling practice sessions together, which was extremely fun! I had no expectations whatsoever, and just enjoyed the process. I'm very grateful to have her by my side, and without her I wouldn't have become a finalist!
What learnings have you taken from the ClinicalKey Student Global Challenge?
The main lesson I learned was definitely to not let self-doubt stop you from making the most out of opportunities that arise. Even if you think you'll fail, it makes no sense to decide that for yourself without even trying. The only way you can succeed is by giving yourself the chance to!
How did you feel when you were selected to be a finalist of the ClinicalKey Student Challenge 2021?
I was tremendously surprised! The love and best wishes I got from my friends and family were overwhelming and I'm extremely grateful! It's an honor to be selected as a finalist, but also a responsibility to represent my country and my university at such a big event, and I'm looking forward to making the most out of it.
If we asked your friends/family to describe you in three words, what would they be?
Ambitious, dedicated and eloquent.