As a senior medical student, Mohammad Hassan Noureldine knows all too well that the road to this demanding career is fraught with obstacles. His project―a book on neuroscience suitable for academic teaching―sprang from the desire to remove at least one of the obstacles faced by future generations.
“The idea came to me two years ago when I was taking the module on neuroscience,” says Noureldine. “As no comprehensive text was available for teaching purposes, professors had to extract chapters from different books to provide the literature for the course.” Using a variety of different texts not catered to students meant more work for both teachers and students, who had to discern the information essential to a student from the more in-depth ones intended for professionals in the field.
“I thought this void should be filled with a book catered to medical students that is concise and yet comprehensive,” says Noureldine. The uniqueness of the project stands in its ability to combine anatomy with correlated clinical cases and their effect on the normal functioning of the body part at hand.
The idea for the book was brewing when he attended the Second International Conference on Medical Education hosted by LAU in November 2015. Among the many participants was the publishing house Elsevier, whose representative did not fail to notice the quality of Noureldine’s proposal and the market void it would contribute to fill.
“Who better than a student knows what students need,” says Senior Content Strategist at Elsevier Rasheed Roussan. “Students are often discouraged from taking up projects before they graduate, but Mohammad Hassan Noureldine is proof that this is an unfair stigmatization.”
Noureldine, however, had to go a long way to prove that, despite his young age, he was fit for the task. “We asked him to draft a sample chapter to present to the publishing committee and he was unrelenting,” says Roussan. “Everyone was impressed with the quality of the work he produced.”
Thanks to his enterprising spirit, Noureldine has become the first Arab student in the Middle East to have a book accepted by Elsevier. More than that, he was also selected to be part of Elsevier’s new marketing campaign Uncommon Knowledge, which will feature those whose exceptional stories can be of inspiration to others.
The first edition is scheduled for publication in 2017. “This project is extremely interesting as it is student-led,” says Rechdi Ahdab, one of Noureldine’s mentors and a contributor to the project. “It covers needs that we have heard our students express over and over during years of teaching.”
Noureldine hopes his work will spare other students some of the struggles he faced in studying one of the most complex topics in the curriculum and that this will be the first milestone in his educational career. “Every doctor should allocate time to teach and I intend to do this in the future,” he says. “The information is already out there, but it is necessary for it to be transferred in an easy and comprehensive way for the students to grasp.”