Dr Azra Kurtovic from Sarajevo in Bosnia graduated with an MBBS from the International Medical University (IMU) in June 2013. She has since returned to Sarjevo and will be completing her internship in May. While doing her internship, she pursued her Master of Science in Clinical Genetics. She will be completing her Masters in June/July this year. Recently, Dr Azra and her sister received a Swiss National Science Foundation award/grant for young female researchers to start a translational medicine research lab in Bosnia.
Dr Azra said, “My sister and I were both excited when we were informed that we will be receiving the grant. Receiving this grant means that my sister, who is already a well- established scientist with two original papers in Nature and a Fullbright Scholar, will be able to proceed with new research and it certainly validates her effort, success and love for knowledge and science. This grant will enable us to buy the basic laboratory equipment needed to cover the basic infrastructure and reagents in setting up a translational medicine research lab. The translational medicine research lab deals with samples of leukemic cells from patients from hematology department, and other samples as well. It will serve as a basis for future research for doctors who wish to pursue academic and scientific career, but also train new generation of scientists.”
“We decided to set up this lab for the love for science and medicine! Pursuit of knowledge and sharing it with other scientists and doctors is the most important thing in academic and healthcare settings. The final consumers of the research are actually patients, because most of the work that comes out of it will guide doctors in better management and patient care,”
added Dr Azra who, together with her sister, has also applied for other sources of funds for this project. Commenting on studying her Masters, Dr Azra said, “I did my masters at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia while undergoing my internship. I did not find it difficult to do this concurrently because both complemented each other, and I enjoyed them equally. When you like doing something, working and learning is actually lots of fun!, Right after completing my masters, I will be going to pursue my PhD.”
“IMU is a fantastic school and a perfect match for me. I keep mentioning and talking about its values and 8 outcomes that are proving to be a part of my everyday life. I had great pre-clinical and clinical mentors, and the values they instilled in me, care and love for patients, being a good listener, holistic approach to patients, being not just good-but the best I can be and professionalism transcends the walls of not only clinical life, but takes shape in my whole life and way of living. Thank you IMU!”
Dr Azra’s advice to current IMU students is, “Listen to your teachers, talk to them, write down rounds notes and take time to thank them, because they are the ones you will be remembering and quoting once you step out into the real medical and science world.”