February 26, 2021
Dr. Raja Affendi Raja Ali:
When I was selected for the Emerging Stars program for 2018–2019, it gave me a golden opportunity to learn from the best about aspects of soft (actually, hard!), technical, and many other skills. This special program gathers young and talented gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and endoscopists from all over the world (like a mini-Olympic team) to prepare to be future key opinion leaders in their countries, regional areas, and beyond. Each day was always a fresh start or “day one” in which I acquired new skillsets. The modules, from basic communication skills (“smile and pause”), to how to overcome institutional dinosaurs and even “how to manage an amygdala attack” were all brilliant and have prepared me to adopt and adapt to diverse environments in daily practice.
The communication skills that I learned helped me to appreciate everyone in the team and to cultivate a culture of inclusivity and fairness. This was the case when I was appointed to be the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in a well-established public university during the ongoing course. The many skills I learned have helped me in becoming an effective clinician, researcher, teacher, and administrator. and ultimately a leader. The course also helped me to deliver proactive adjustments in my daily tasks in a positive way, which is consistent with current workplace demands.
I enthusiastically salute Prof. Mostafa’s vision and mission for this very special program. You are truly a leader, who “knows the way, goes the way and shows the way,” and ultimately creates more MAGIC leaders! I highly recommend the Emerging Stars program to others, as it is truly a platform for international collaboration and great long-lasting friendship.
Dr. Ofelia Mosteanu:
My experience on the WEO Emerging Stars (ES) program has been life-changing and developmental in nature. Pushing myself to the edge in attaining new experiences, finding new and vibrant pathways for development and constant avenues for growth, is for me the most vital component of life.
During the three modules of the ES program, I studied courses on communication, paraendoscopic skills, medical education with emphasis on research and practice, and educational leadership. The system is scholar-centered, and interactive, as I always was able to share my experiences and thoughts and to learn from others. I was studying with about 20 colleagues from different parts of the world and it has been a wonderful experience, as I was learning about different cultures and my network was expanding. The lecturers become our mentors and friends, and were very supportive and approachable, with great interpersonal skills, professional experiences and knowledge.
While academic considerations have their place, the true wealth to be found in this scholarship consists in reaching out and tasting all those interesting things that you had wished for but told yourself you’ll do later.
I would certainly recommend applying for the ES program to anyone lucky enough to have the chance. This is a journey, your journey to self-discovery, it’s your interests, talents, and inclinations that matter and the opportunities available to the ES scholars are manifold.
Ultimately, as an ES alumna, immersing myself in this program has not only been the experience of a lifetime but has also given renewed focus and direction to my university career.