Specialization: General Medicine. Internship: University of Surrey, United Kingdom.
Alibek is a student of the State Medical University of Semey. Having won a grant from the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation, this summer he went to the University of Surrey, where he did his research at the School of Health sciences.
What interesting did you take out from the competition program?
I participated in many programs and competitions, but the Internship competition was one of the brightest. It was not just a competition of minds, but persistent, ambitious and purposeful leaders. Especially I remember the second stage, which involved semifinalists from all over the country. The process of the second stage reminded me the film “Hunger Games”, where each participant fights for the right to become the owner of the title “Winner”. I was glad that I was among the lucky winners.
Please tell us about the Internship.
I worked in the laboratory Brain and Behaviour Research Group under the guidance of a Professor of Neurology and Neuropsychology – Annette Sterr. We worked together with the laboratory of the University of London, which provided us with all the necessary materials and data on the blood-stroke. I learned a lot from those scientists with whom I worked. I could feel myself to be a scientist who contributes to the development of science. My area of study was plasticity of the brain. We studied all sorts of effects of immobilization of the dominant hand in healthy people using computer games and stimulated the activity of the brain. Experiments conducted in the Laboratory proved that the plasticity of the brain is a fundamental factor in the rehabilitation of patients. Before the start of the Internship, I set myself several goals. Professional goals included the development of qualities that in the future will be necessary for me in the profession of a Doctor-researcher and in admission to Doctoral Studies.
What were the results?
It seems to me that I acquired leadership qualities, managed to develop analytical, critical thinking and skills of strategic planning. Also, I developed such qualities as responsibility, diligence, curiosity and perseverance.
What did you achieve during the Internship in the scientific sphere?
During the research, there were different difficulties. For example, there were not enough volunteer – patients and the means to conduct full scientific work. Finally, the results of the first month of the Internship were below what I expected. But by changing the trajectory of the study, selecting only the stroke data, we managed to achieve all the goals set. I think that the most important thing is the team spirit in the Laboratory itself; this atmosphere gave endless energy and enthusiasm every day. The results of our study can be used in the rehabilitation of patients with lesion of the function of the brain.
Alibek, what are your plans?
John Dewey once said: «Education is not a preparation for life, education is life itself». I always keep in mind these great words. Why did I become a grant holder? For what I got experience during the internship? I have a long-term goal – the development of Neurology as a science in Kazakhstan. And to achieve it, I must even more closely engage in science. First, I’ll get a Doctor’s degree (MD) in Kazakhstan, and then I’ll continue my education in a foreign doctorate. Having received a degree, I can begin to introduce advanced diagnostic technologies and methods of treatment in our hospitals. And, if you look very far ahead, then I plan to create in our country a network of research laboratories.
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