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I graduated as a medical doctor fifteen years back and have specialized in Otorhinolaryngology in 2010. After a clinical career spanning a decade, I had the opportunity to join the academic side of medicine, where I developed an interest in medical education.
However, my knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of medical education was limited. I also lacked the research experience in the field. Completing the MHPE (Master of Health Professions Education) programme from Maastricht University provided me with a strong foundation and footing that helped me to incorporate what I had learnt from the programme to the educational and research system at my institution. My experience with the MHPE also encouraged me to pursue a PhD.
The course Writing a PhD Research Proposal provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with international colleagues and to be guided by a highly experienced academic team in a blended learning format. The course was also immensely helpful in the improvement of my academic writing skills. It provided me with the support and guidance from my supervisors and the faculty to refine my writing skills, which directed me to write the high-quality PhD research proposal that eventually helped me to get accepted to the PhD programme.
My recommendation for future PhD students would be to emphasize on the importance of identifying a niche in your field of medical education and to ensure that the area of your research is incorporated well within your local needs, but at the same time can blend with international needs. I found this difficult initially but the course and my supervisors helped me to target a niche and to build upon the idea to develop a full-fledged proposal. I am enthusiastic to embark on this exciting journey and look forward to a fruitful and rewarding experience.
Fazna Saleem, SHE PhD student since 2019 and Master of Health Professions Education alumna since 2016
Clinical specialist Otorhinolaryngology, Clinical Skills Learning Coordinator, Senior Lecturer; International Medical School, Management and Science University, Malaysia.