His Highness Shaikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman, presented degree certificates to the fourth batch of medical and physiotherapy graduates of Gulf Medical College (GMC) Ajman last week. Also present were Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Health, and Thumbay Moideen, president of GMC, Ajman.

Eighty-three graduates from the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) degree programmes received certificates in the presence of their families at a ceremony at the Ajman Kempinski.

"Excited and elated but a little bit nervous," was the general reaction of the graduating students, who looked resplendent in their robes of black, red and gold.

Dr Maliha Mohammad Moazam Ali, the first-rank holder in the Final MBBS Part-II Professional Examination, September 2006, and the Best Outgoing Student of her batch (MBBS 2001), says she grew up with the dream of becoming a doctor and ended up loving the subject.

"The human body and its workings always fascinated me. And when I joined MBBS, I knew that it was the right place for me. Of course it was hard work but I enjoyed it. However, at the end of every year I was glad and relieved of having gotten through it," she said. Dr Maliha completed her internship at Dubai Hospital, where she said she got opportunities to practise all that she had studied.

"I am thrilled more for my family than for myself because I know how proud and happy they will be when they see me get the awards. I am the second doctor in my family after my elder brother," Dr Maliha added.

She will now take up a job at GMC Hospital and simultaneously take the Ministry of Health (MOH) exams in Dubai to work as a resident. She is also preparing to sit for the United States Medical Licencing Exams (USMLE), her future plan being to join her brother in the US. Like him she intends to specialise in paediatrics.

Rewarding six years

The second rank holder in the MBBS programme, Dr Tope Titilayo Odofa says she remembers playing with first aid sets and doctor sets as a little girl in Lagos. "I guess I chose medicine because I felt I will like it but now I love it. It is very hard work, but [it's been] a wonderfully rewarding six years that I have spent becoming a doctor. I feel the biggest sense of achievement I have ever felt and I am happy to make my parents proud of me," she said.

Dr Tope is currently working as a resident doctor at GMC Hospital. She plans to sit for the Ministry of Health (MOH) exams in the UAE as well the USMLE in the US this year before doing a residency programme there.

Dr Noha Yaseen is of Palestinian origin and a French national. She is the third rank holder. She is married and will be a mother soon.

"I come from a family of doctors, which includes my parents, siblings and husband. So with their encouragement I decided to be a doctor too. Now that I am graduating I feel a great sense of accomplishment as my dream of being a doctor is coming true today. I also dreamed of being a topper from the first year and that came true in the most important final year. That is making me happy and fulfilled too," she said.

Dr Noha intends to specialise in Internal Medicine this year or next. "But first I have to deliver my baby in another two months and then take up further studies," she said.

On top of the world

Best Outgoing student in Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) from the batch of 2003, Arwa Najm Al Deen Fahim, is also the third rank holder in the Final BPT Professional Examination of March 2007. "I did put in the hard work required to get here but I think the prayers and support of my parents, sister and my husband also helped. I am feeling on top of the world right now. All our teachers have contributed to what I am today. I will do my MOH exams and apply for a job here for now. But later I want to do my master's in manual therapy, which is available only abroad," she said.

The first rank holder in BPT, Anshu Subedar Singh, feels that hard work combined with strong support from staff and her classmates at GMC and her parents helped her get the coveted rank. "I am feeling very happy and excited to be here with my parents and teachers watching me. I am working at GMC Hospital right now doing clinical internship. I also intend to sit for the MOH exams to work here for awhile and then do my master's, probably in Australia. I will be specialising in the neurology part of physiotherapy," she said.

Ahmareen Ahsan Hussain, the second rank holder in BPT, said the first three years were pretty easy but in the final year, she had to work really hard. She completed her internship in Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai, India, and enjoyed the exposure. She also felt that she and her co-interns – the other two rank holders in the programme – learned a lot from that experience.

"I am absolutely excited and feel happy to be here today. I am thinking of doing my master's, probably in neurosciences, after trying to get a job here," she added.