The day I passed anatomy I think will forever remain a strong memory…
He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland but he spent most of his life growing up in England. He is however originally from Libya. His favorite Czech meal is Roasted Duck, and as a snack, Smaženy syr. By far the most difficult for him regarding pronunciation is anything with the letter ‘ř ’ so everything from ‘čtyři’ to ‘třida’ and yes he has spent countless minutes practicing in front of the mirror with no improvement. Suhib Taher – LF1 MEDSOC President.
Why did you decide to study in the Czech Republic?
Honestly I don’t have a glamorous answer for this, my first choice was the UK but unfortunately I did not get a place to study there. So it was completely random, my father’s work colleague spoke to him about LF1, so he told me about an entrance exam, I went, I passed (somehow) and 2 weeks later I was in Prague. It was the best thing to have happened to me, studying here has developed my character and knowledge in all aspects of life beyond belief. I have never regretted it! If I were to go back in time I would not change a thing!
What is the biggest culture shock that you have experienced in the Czech Republic?
The hardworking nature of the people here compared to the UK. Professors don’t seem to ever retire here! That is inspirational in it’s own sense, so the work ethic I saw was definitely a positive cultural shock.
Do you find studying at the 1. LF UK challenging and rewarding?
I think challenging is an understatement! It was super tough to adapt to in the beginning and even throughout. But it definitely is rewarding when you succeed. Over time it becomes a little easier due to the experience gained over the years.
What surprised you the most about 1. LF?
How tough it was. I could never have imagined how much a student would have to study to pass first year, but the most positive surprise was the huge diversity in students and this is definitely the biggest advantage of the faculty. It provides such an amazing opportunity to learn about one another’s cultures amongst other things.
You have had the honor of serving in LF1 MEDSOC for the past several years. How would you describe the transformation MEDSOC has made during that period of time?
This has to be truly one of my proudest achievements during my time here. When I first came here, LF1 MEDSOC was not a very well known entity within our students and was not very active. However in my second year there was a new president who reformed the structure. Ever since we have flourished due to the immense commitment of so many students all with the aim of providing a better university experience for one another. Whether it is in an educational, social or supportive capacity. We have in the space of four years implemented an incredibly successful system of guides for new students, an online resource system to provide equality for all. We have created very successful teams in basketball and football, we are current interfaculty champions in the latter. We have also thrown some of the biggest parties in Prague, which have of course provided a lot of entertainment but also allowed us to fund all of these projects. There really is a huge amount and the list is very long. But the main achievement through LF1 MEDSOC is building a strong community feeling within our student body. We all work hard for one another for absolutely no financial gain of any sort, merely the desire to help one another succeed.
What is the main goal you as MEDSOC President want to achieve?
To continue to develop students outside of the classroom by providing constant opportunities to develop other skills, in my opinion it is these skills that distinguish between a good doctor and a great doctor!
How would you describe the communication and ideal collaboration between Czech and English parallel students?
Unfortunately this is one aspect that should be far better at our university. I hope one day the relationship will continue to improve. I think we have so much to learn from one another.
I think it would be great to just feel like one student body because at the moment it does not feel like that, it is two entities. I think the faculty could try and involve English parallel more in the official university events so that we can participate and have an opportunity to meet one another. In return it will most certainly improve the faculty’s reputation to know that the students are well integrated.
Do you have a memory related to 1. LF UK you will never forget?
Definitely! This whole experience! Whenever I see that name it will always bring back amazing memories, it is the reason I am who I am now, it has completely shaped me as a person, I came here as an 18 year old boy and will most certainly be leaving a more mature version of myself! But regarding a single memory, well… the day I passed anatomy I think will forever remain a strong memory.
What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to return back to the UK and enter the training program there with an aim of one day being an orthopaedic surgeon. There are many reasons why but most of all it matches what I want in a job, with an elective aspect and then the excitement of emergency trauma so it keeps it interesting. In terms of inspiration, I think it actually comes more from the younger doctors!
1. LF UK has recently started with ALUMNI club for graduates. Would you consider to be a part of ALUMNI club after graduation?
Most certainly! The ALUMNI project is one of the most important things for any student leaving an institution. Every student wants to be associated with their faculty after finishing, add the fact we have spent 6 years of our lives here and it becomes a very obvious decision. This is the place that has shaped us as individuals and future healthcare professionals so I would most certainly stay in contact. The vast majority of students who graduated last year have started working in places like the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Malaysia, Taiwan, and more.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love football, I spend a lot of time either playing or watching it. I grew up playing Rugby in a very traditional school in England. So that still remains an interest. I also love learning more about world affairs and different people. Being in this university surrounded by students from all over the world has certainly given me new perspectives on different cultures, which has most certainly allowed me to grow as a person. This has played a part in my feeling towards travelling and experiencing new things so I think if I had more free time I would dedicate it to seeing more places!