An Egyptian “Lister” Journey

An Egyptian “Lister” Journey

The first Egyptian to win the Lister Medal, Ahmed Mohamed Abdou Ahmed, outlines the journey to receiving this prestigious award. 

I am Ahmed Mohamed Abdou Ahmed, an Egyptian orthopaedic surgeon. Currently, I am holding a teaching assistant position at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology at Qena Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University, Egypt.

Over the past three years, I have been honoured to be a member of the renowned University of Edinburgh. I was enrolled in a 3-year MSc in Surgical Sciences programme as an online part-time student. Thankfully, I had the privilege to be awarded full funding by the Edinburgh Surgery Online Global Scholarship for the entire length of the programme. I was extremely enthusiastic about the flexibility of the programme since it provided me with a unique way to expand my research and academic skills with no interruption of my surgical training. This was particularly true during the COVID crisis when clinicians worldwide were the first defence line against the ongoing viral pandemic.

The first two years were structured for underpinning a sound understanding of applied surgical sciences, perioperative care, and principles of surgical management. Thanks to the core curriculum of the programme, I was able to broaden my surgical knowledge, and ameliorate my surgical practice in my home country. Being deeply interested in scientific research, the third year was such an outstanding opportunity for me to challenge my research skills, including methodological design, data collection, statistical analysis, and academic writing. Thanks to this marvellous experience, I have evolved into not only a better surgeon but also, a better researcher.

Following three years of arduous work and dedication, one of my biggest dreams has come to life. I have been awarded a Distinction-level MSc in Surgical Sciences. I was gratefully announced by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, as the top-performing MSc-level student and the winner of the “Lister Medal,” named after Joseph Lister, the “Father of Antiseptic Surgery.” Being the First Egyptian to ever win this prestigious medal and one of the few to commemorate such a great surgeon is an overwhelming honour.

Winning the “Lister Medal” is a testimony that the University of Edinburgh is a place where hard work is truly acknowledged and aptly appreciated. I am extremely proud to be an alumnus of such an esteemed institution. Hopefully, this would be my first step toward a successful academic career in the field of surgical sciences.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Elsayed Said, my MSc thesis supervisor for his tremendous support. I am also profoundly thankful to the tutors and supervisors of the Edinburgh Surgical Sciences Qualification programme. They all have been the source of my motivation, ambition, and enthusiasm along my “Lister” journey.

The University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh have developed award-winning, part-time online Master’s programmes to support the early and advanced surgical trainee. The track record of the existing team in developing online postgraduate education is excellent. The MSc in Surgical Sciences was launched by both institutions in 2007 as a response to the considerable changes in surgical training. The programme delivered its first group of graduates in July 2010 and has demonstrated in its short existence that the format meets with strong student approval, resulting in increasing recruitment year on year, and leading to a significantly improved success rate for MSc in Surgical Sciences students in the MRCS examination. Learn more.

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