Sakiinah is a 4th year medical student at the University of Manchester. She was born in Mauritius and moved to the UK in 2016 to pursue higher education after enrolling in the Ashinaga Africa Initiative. We would like to congratulate Sakiinah for having an abstract published in the British Medical Journal based on her third-year dissertation topic: the introduction of a new type of examination in post-graduate plastic surgery training in the UK.
When Sakiinah was two years old, her mother passed away of leukemia because of the lack of medical care in Mauritius. She recalls that without a mother was not easy, but it is what initially sparked her interest in pursuing a career in medicine. Now, she wants to improve the lives of others through providing medical care.
She has a special interest in plastic and reconstructive surgery, mental health and education. Her kokorozashi is to help victims of burns, accidents, and birth malformations in Mauritius and also to contribute in the training of future doctors in Africa.
The new examination she wrote about in her abstract is called the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). An OSCE is composed of a series of short stations which makes use of simulations to assess the clinical competence of candidates. It usually reflects real-life situations. While its use is common in undergraduate medical education, it does not form part of the usual post-graduate training curriculum for doctors. However, five years ago, the OSCE was introduced on a trial basis in North West England in plastic surgery training assessment, and it has been carried out on an annual basis since then. Sakiinah’s role in the project was to analyze the data generated and establish the validity of this new assessment method, identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in its design, as well as evaluate the performance and progress of the candidates and identify those who were struggling such that tailored support could be provided to them.
Since this is a novel assessment method that could actually revolutionize plastic surgery training, she was able to present the topic at a national conference called ASPiH in Belfast and the abstract got chosen to be published in the BMJ. Sikiinah is also due to undertake two more presentations on the topic at the DEMEC conference in Manchester and the Ottawa 2020 conference in Malaysia, which are national and international conferences on medical education and research respectively.
She says about her research;
“This dissertation involved a lot of hard work and dedication, especially since it involved a lot of statistical analyses which is not my forte. Therefore, I had to put in extra work to be able to work through it and produce a good quality report. However, Ashinaga has taught me that resilience is important for any good leader and success comes with hard work. Finally, my effort paid off, and I scored a ‘distinction’ at university level for the dissertation. Most importantly, this research opened several doors for me; it gave me the opportunity to be selected to present at 3 national/international conferences and my abstract got published in the BMJ.”
We would like to congratulate Sakiinah once again on her successes. We look forward to seeing how her future research will change the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery.