Muslim medic guide – For students by students

Thu, 14 Oct 2021 15:17:00 BST

Starting the journey through medical school is a daunting experience for all students, but even more so for students facing challenges due to their faith. Which is why a group of staff and students had the idea to start a guide aimed at Muslim students to help them navigate through their medical journey.

The team had the idea for the guide in 2015, led by the University of Manchester’s Muslim Chaplain Mohammed Ullah, Dr Enam Haque, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Co-Lead for the Medical Programme and other Muslim academics. The team finalised the document this year, after four medical students: Abdul Hadi Kafagi, Aziz Al-Qaisia, Maliha Momo & Sara Bahadur wrote the document. The first edition of the guide is now out with 400 printed copies ready to be distributed to students.

The aim of the guide is to help Muslim students, through offering practical tips and advice, and providing answers to the most common questions that students might have. The guide starts off with fresher’s week and includes tips on meeting new people and making friends. It also includes guidance on how to navigate situations that students might find themselves in, to ease transition into university.

The guide covers a wide range of topics, from accommodation to prayers, with tips on how to make the academic timetable work around a prayer schedule. It even includes a section on placements, and faith appropriate work wear within a clinical environment. Most importantly, the guide includes a section on wellbeing, and highlights how dedicated the University of Manchester medical school is to the academic and pastoral support of students, through the variety of services available.

Mohammed Ullah is now aiming to work with other schools within the faculty, to produce subject specific guides and resources for Muslim students. The Medicine Programme is also reviewing the document, with a plan to develop similar guidance documents for other students from protected characteristics.

Dr Enam-Ul Haque commented: As a Muslim student in medical school, I never felt I belonged, and found it difficult to request anything relating to my faith. Hopefully, this guide will help develop a more inclusive learning environment for Muslim medical students and plant a seed to widen inclusivity for other groups.”