Alfaisal Student wins at International Surgical Oncology Congress and Residents Research Day

By: Mohamed D. Ray-zack
Third-year student
MSA: 3rd year BLC member, URC member and batch representative

A series of research-based conferences and seminars was recently organized in preparation for the commissioning of the King Abdullah Cancer Center, where all multi-disciplinary services will join hands and share expertise in the treatment and management of cancer patients within the Gulf region, with the underlying goal to become a world-leading cancer center. The event took place on Nov 6-8, 2012 and was held at the Postgraduate Center at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. It was attended by many surgeons, residents and scientific delegates. The attendees included Dr. Dieter Broering (OTC Director), Dr. Abdulaziz Jarman, Dr. Suleiman Al-Omran, Dr. Khaled Alkattan, Dr. Nasser Al Sanea, and Dr. Luai Ashari. The first two days were dedicated to speeches from surgeons and oncology researchers. The third day was the 12th Annual Surgical Research and Residents Day opening the floor to residents and students to present their novel research abstracts in the fields of oncology and surgery.

Among the event applicants, 15 speakers were chosen: 13 residents and 2 medical students. The abstract I presented at this conference was from a research I conducted in the summer of 2012 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center entitled: “Relationship between Postmenopausal Obesity and Breast Cancer Progression”. Both the audience and the evaluating committee praised the efforts put into the research. With the conclusion of the presentations, the board held a meeting to discuss whose abstracts should receive the top three prizes. The second and third prizes were awarded to resident speakers, while the first prize was presented to me – all thanks to God.

This conference had given me a chance to interact with international experts in the field of surgical oncology. Fear, anxiety, and nervousness were all feelings I had to deal with on that day. Winning the first prize was unexpected, considering that I had to compete with residents, who were more knowledgeable and experienced than me. When they called out the first prize winner, I couldn’t believe that I actually beat the residents to it. All my feelings were amended into positive ones. Fear turned into confidence, anxiety to happiness, and nervousness to self-belief.

To conclude, here is some advice I’d like to share. It’s all about confidence, never doubt yourself. Do not let go of your research passion. KFSH&RC has a good impression of Alfaisal University students, and that’s a quality that has to be continuously built upon by us. I highly encourage my fellow colleagues to participate in such medical conferences. Finally, I’d like to thank my friend, Mohammad Al-Sadoon for his continuous support throughout the event.