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Study tour for medical students- some thoughts

Very recently I went to Dhaka, Chittagong and Cox's Bazar as a member of study tour for the 4th year student's of Mymensing Medical College.

Initially we were in Dhaka for 2 days and visited ICDDRB, IPH, EPI and Nabisco biscuit factory.

Then another 2 days for Chittagong . We supposed to visit Kaptai Hydroelectric project, Karnophuli paper mill and Chittagong port during that period. But due to 8th January's hartal we were not able to move out and on the following day we did not visit Chittagong port, I don't know why. On the next day we started for Cox's Bazar, stayed there for 2 days and did nothing except bathing in the sea and roaming here and there. But it was written in the program that, we would be in the meteorological office in Cox's Bazar.

As it has become a tradition that study tour will be a mixture of practical studies and little bit recreation, so we enjoyed this 2 days freedom along with sea and mountain.

Everybody knows that medical education is a vast discipline, and also perhaps the most monotonous and tiresome education existing in the whole world. So, we are happy with this study tour. Thanks to the department and of course those who initiate and keep this in our curriculum.

After returning from this tour, I have taken some time to think about it and come up with some ideas for future study tours.

I would like to share my views with others specially those who are medical students or would be medical students and the planners of medical education.

First of all the program:
In our curriculum we study about preventive medicine, so this study tour should be related to the subject.

ICDDRB, IPH or EPI programs are alright, but what have we learn from this tour other than what is the treatment of Diarrhoea, and what are the activities of IPH and EPI? These sorts of theoretical things we could have learnt that in our classrooms from our own teacher. I should repeat my desire that the study tour should focus on practical learning.

There are water treatment plant in Dhaka, which we could visit and see how they treat water. These things are most important for us.

We could go to IEDCR and see some practical epidemiological research in progress.

A visit to city slums to see the environmental problems firsthand and some modern slums to compare them and get a good idea of the health and hygiene conditions in these areas.

I have read in newspapers that the ICDDRB has equipment for monitoring the daily air condition of Dhaka City. Seeing how air pollution is such a concern for us, the place definitely merits a visit.

Textile, Jute and leather mills are very interesting to study. How they prepare the products and the medical dispensaries present there are points of note, so that we can see what medical problems could arise.

There are some ORS plants in Dhaka, so to learn more about them. ORS has become a part and parcel of our everyday life. It is a part of our exam also. Most of the time we forget to answer some vital question related to it.

Let's come to Chittagong:
Hydroelectric projects are one of the modern technologies of our country and it is prohibited for the general people. It could be a great opportunity for a Medical student to visit this.

One of the biggest medicine-manufacturing factories is there in CTG. But it never been included in the study tour. Being a would be member of Medical profession I am sure it is very important to us.

Paper mills are also educative.
Finally in Cox's Bazar:

I don't have any idea on Meteorological department but I am pretty sure that fish drying activities are great if we can consider the smell. The people, their health, their work all could create some….

Let's talk for the recreational part. Officially we can visit Ahsan Manjil, Lalbagh Fort, National Museum etc, unofficially it could be the Sea beaches in Patenga, Maheshkhali, Inani, Himchhari, Saint Martin and the Mountains in Bandarban and Rangamati lake and so on.

Finally we were 157 students and only 3 Teacher and 2 other staff accompanied us. The money provided by the Government was insufficient; the problem was not with the money, it was the security or rather, the lack of it. It was unthinkable that only 5 person had to manage us. As we are grown up and responsible and of course by the grace of Allah, we suffered no mishaps. Otherwise every year some students from different institution die either in the Madhabkundu Falls, or drown in the sea. Well this is true that we cannot predict disaster, but well we ought to have some precautions for that.

Here is my own idea, something we did in Dhaka.

The venue was stated before, we went there individually by our own effort, Our supervisor also came there then we started the program together. We ought to do the same in CTG and Cox's Bazar. We can reach our site, follow the program, meanwhile we can do some recreation here and there.

I think some of our guardians will be happy by accompanying us in the tour. And there will be less pressure on the Teachers about our security.

Oh yes another very important point regarding the Hartal. We should permission letters from the authority to allow us to visit the commonly prohibited area and others that we will be able to do it on the following day in case of hartal or some others.

There must be some more places to visit and some more points to share. I will hope for a real tensionless study and recreational tour for the future students.

By S. Haque

Reminiscence of the months gone by…

It's 11:45 pm. I just finished closing the window. The dryer didn't do a good job of drying my sweatpants and so I'm letting them toast over the heater. My roommate's phone is ringing incessantly and I have this bewildering desire to yank it off the wall and throw it against the closet till it shatters. I have a 9am yoga class tomorrow and five different fashion sketches to draw for Wednesday.

You'd think this would be the worst time to sit down and write an article. It is. But ever since my writer's block a year and a half ago any attempts at writing have produced half-baked productions that I can't even bear to look at. Yet at times like this when the New York life is bearing down on me I get these intense urges to just sit and write. Tonight is the first time I've actually paid any heed to such an urge and thus here I am writing?

What brought this on you're wondering? Well Maa wrote an e-mail where she mentioned that she'd Googled my name and discovered 32 links. For very inexplicable narcissistic reasons I decided to Google my name and true to her word 33 links with my name highlighted stared back at me. I was going through them when I came across the last article I had written as an official member of the RS and LS team. I read through it and the memories just surged back into my mind.

You can say nostalgia has driven me to write. I haven't written anything creative in so long that I feel rusty at the edges. I left my exciting life in Dhaka to pursue a Fashion Degree at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta (SUNY Oneonta) in August 2003. When I got there I discovered that I had been lied to so that I'd accept their offer and come. It was a ploy to increase their campus diversity ratio. Where I really wanted to go was to FIT- Fashion Institute of Technology. My first semester at SUNY Oneonta was miserable. I realized that I was in a school full of Jewish American Princesses and pretty white boys from Long Island who were there to drink, party and waste their parents' money. It was a segregated campus. The second semester went by and I jumped on a plane to go back home for 3 months in summer.

At first I spent the summer playing with my sister and working at RS and LS. Summer started to fly when I landed a 9 to 5 internship at Aarong. But it was a good experience that led to newer friends and a newer sense of belonging. At the end of summer I was in tears when I boarded the plane that would take me back to the pit of hell- Oneonta. As soon as I got back I applied to five different fashion schools, FIT included. I started working 20 hours a week and signed up for a sewing course which later turned out to be an even bigger hell pit thanks to the unethical teacher. But I had two goals in mind. Get out of Oneonta, get into FIT. I spent hours, days and weeks to prepare my FIT portfolio. My interview date quickly came and by that time I was ready to sell my soul to the devil and my kidney to Mount Sinai Hospital to get into FIT.

The semester ended and still no word from FIT. I came back home for a month and ungratefully refused to go back to DS making the excuse that I was pressed for time. Truth was that my RS and LS experience could never be relived. They would be in the pages of my memory and that is how I would have to enjoy them.

Two weeks before my flight and after numerous 3am international calls I learned that my dream since eighth grade had come true. I had been accepted at the Fashion Institute of Technology. They would give me a credit evaluation later but for now I would have to start over. I could care less. If I ended up graduating from FIT, my name would be on the same alumni list as Calvin Klein, Nanette Lepore, Ralph Rucci, Reem Acra, Michael Kors and countless other world famous designers. It was worth starting over for. After all it is one of the best Fashion Schools in the world.

Now as I sit in my room on the 10th floor of Co-Ed Hall, typing away on my new laptop, I look back at the past month and a half. FIT is completely different from Oneonta. The school is a million times better, the people friendlier and the environment more professional. I've even taken the bold step of running for Student Government and the results come in this Thursday.

Starting over at college will set me a year back. I have decided not to stay back and do summer courses. The summer session will always be there but watching my one year old sister grow up only comes around once in a lifetime. Thus I've booked a flight back home in May. Spring break starts next week and I'm going to Toronto for the third time simply to spend nine glorious days with my friend Trisha who's been my friend since third grade.

My life after a year and a half of turbulence is now pretty perfect (knock on wood). I'm where I want to be studying what I've always wanted to study. I'm in the heart of the Fashion District in Manhattan. And I have a new boyfriend. His name is New York City. And every weekend I have a date with him. Sometimes I bring a friend along but the Big Apple doesn't mind. After all it's always more fun to roam Soho, feast in Little Italy and spilt a Frrrrrrrozen Hot Chocolate at the famous Serendipity with a friend.

I'll tell you all about those escapades some other night when I get this intense urge to write. For now, it's 12:39 am and I'm off to bed.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

Tying Loose Ends

Occasionally universities may send you letters, brochures, or other information related leaflets which they think may be useful to you. Study these carefully, and then store them in a safe place. Remember to save ALL the correspondence letters from UCAS. They are as vital as food and water at that moment to you. Once you have received all your results, from the universities and UCAS, do this: WAIT. Do NOT make hasty decisions you may regret. Remember how hard it was to choose those six universities from the list of 230 universities that were available? Well not you have to further narrow them down to only two universities.

You ask 'why?' I'll tell you why. You can only accept two universities of your choice, no more than that. Some of the choices may already be done for you, i.e. the universities who have sent back 'Unsuccessful Application' as a reply. Out of the remaining ones, choose two. Focus on facts like: location of the university, fees, scholarships, accommodation, social life, work opportunities, and so on. Once you find the university that seems to suitably satisfy your requirements, keep that aside. Your will need to accept one university as your 'Firm Acceptance' and the other as your 'Insurance Acceptance'.

Once you have made your choice, keep a lookout in your mail for a third packet from UCAS. This packet will contain (most importantly) your reply form to the universities, and instructions on how to reply. You can reply by filling in the form appropriately, or by doing this from the UCAS website once you read their instructions. Send the form back, with the required correct details, IMMEDIATELY. If your reply delays in reaching them, there's a dangerous chance of your offers being withdrawn. And who would like to take that risk?

Very soon, you will begin getting accommodation and other information from the universities, whose offers you have decided to accept. Read this information very carefully, and apply early for accommodation to insure a place there. It can also be helpful if you can manage to maintain an email correspondence with your universities. Instead of spending all your time online chatting, do some constructive work. Okay, okay. now I'm beginning to sound like a mother hen! Universities normally give conditional offers, i.e. to be accepted you'll have to achieve a required grade/ fulfill their conditions. Best of luck with those! Also, before I sign off for good, one last reminder: focus HEAVILY on your Personal Statement (UCAS Form), and if you need help contact Essay SOS (essay_sos@yahoo.com). Ciao!

By Jennifer Ashraf


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