OICO has provided training to health care professionals, medical students and medical graduates from many different cultures. OICO values each trainee and the diverse perspective they bring to our program. Because each OICO training story is unique, the best testimony to our program is found in the experiences of our trainees. We asked current OICO trainees to share what they have learned from their training with OICO and what advice they would give to new students. These testimonials are from some of our current trainees who agreed to share their stories.
Hamidah Albasha, RN
Ms. Hamidah Albasha earned a nursing degree and worked as a supervisor back up nurse in the Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organization (SAMSO). She joined OICO as a student studying in the International Perspective in Oncology Nursing Program. This training program has given her many opportunities to practice nursing in different oncology sub-specialties.
The OICO training that Ms. Albasha has received allows her to enhance her communication skills, expand her professional experience, and improve her research writing and presentation skills.
Ms. Albasha looks forward to applying what she has learned at RPCI to her work back home, to provide the best quality of care to cancer patients.
Ms. Albasha would advise incoming students to take advantage of all available opportunities given by the OICO. She encourages others to empower their knowledge and skills from all available resources to the maximum, and think of how that knowledge can be applied to build a better future in their field of study.
Ms. Aljahdali came to OICO after studying Medical Laboratory Technology and working as a demonstrator at her home university She was accepted by OICO into a Master degree program in the department of Cell Stress Biology. She completed her Master’s Degree after defending her thesis “Role of c-trapping in anti-cancer activity of DNA-targeting drugs-correlative study.” Ms. Aljahdali continued her training and was accepted into the Cellular and Molecular Biology PhD program at RPCI. By furthering her education at OICO she can bring a specialization in oncology back home, where oncology is not widely studied. During her experience at OICO, Ms. Aljahdali worked with experts from around the world and enjoyed studying cancer in an environment that reflects diverse backgrounds and cultures.
The academic coursework and research experience Ms. Aljahdali will gain throughout her OICO program has helped shape her career plan. She appreciates the opportunity she had to participate in an OICO training program and highly recommends prospective students take the opportunity to study and research at RPCI.
Hani Almohanna, MBBS, MS
Dr. Almohanna began his career at OICO by studying with the Department of Pathology where he spent 18 months training in tissue bio-banking. His research experience earned him an acceptance to OICO’s MS program, where he completed a Master’s thesis entitled “Association between NSAID use and Breast Cancer Risk” in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control.
Dr. Almohanna continued his training as he was accepted in the Cancer Pathology and Prevention PhD program at RPCI. Dr. Almohanna’s future plans include a post-doctorate in Personalized Medicine and a career as a dry-lab molecular epidemiologist. The mentorship established by OICO has enabled him to enhance his skills in research study design and secured his acceptance to a PhD program. Dr. Almohanna enjoys the personalized programs that OICO offers while simultaneously bridging the gap between cultures. Dr. Almohanna would encourage incoming OICO students to communicate with fellow students and not to be afraid to ask for help.
Afnan Almuhanna, MBBS
Dr. Afnan Almuhanna is an Assistant Professor at Imam Abdulrahman AlFaisal University in Saudi Arabia. She also works as a Consultant Radiologist at King Fahd Hospital of the University, in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Almuhanna joined OICO as a post-doc research fellow studying breast cancer screening, imaging and diagnostic radiology. Throughout her fellowship she has had many opportunities to observe the latest in breast imaging and early detection practices, all of which she has only read and studied. She has realized the importance of teamwork. By observing the collaboration among fellow radiologists, pathologists and physicians, she has seen just how successful a team can be when everyone is involved.
Dr. Almuhanna recognizes that the training she receives in her OICO program will surely enhance her clinical and research experience, advance her medical credentials and enhance her Curriculum Vitae (CV).
After her training, Dr. Almuhanna plans on taking the knowledge and skills she learned pertaining to breast cancer screening, imagery, and early detection and apply it to her work back home. She also would like to educate her colleagues on the importance of teamwork.
Dr. Almuhanna would advise incoming trainees to come prepared with a good background of knowledge pertaining to their field of study. That way when they are going through the program they can build on what they already know, making their experience a great one.
Norah Almuhanna, MBBS
Dr. Norah Almuhanna completed her residency in psychiatry and she works as a psychiatrist and students’ counselor in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Almuhanna joined OICO training as a post-doc research fellow in psychology oncology. Since beginning her fellowship, she has learned new approaches to psychotherapy and the importance of teamwork.
Dr. Almuhanna has been given an opportunity to study and research the psychological effects of having breast cancer. More specifically, she has studied how breast cancer affects the quality of a patients’ life. Dr. Almuhanna feels that the training received in her OICO program has influenced the way she thinks about providing psychotherapy to patients. She has become more open-minded to the new approaches of therapy that are available, especially when working with breast cancer patients.
After her fellowship, Dr. Almuhanna plans to return home and establish a psychotherapy team for breast cancer patients. She is eager to apply what she has learned at RPCI and educate her colleges.
Dr. Almuhanna would advise incoming students to be open-minded and learn from those around you. Always find ways to educate yourself and continue learning.
Ahmad Alsulimani, MS
Mr. Alsulimani joined OICO as a graduate student, studying in the Cancer Pathology and Prevention PhD program. He came to OICO with a Master’s degree in Cytopathology and a desire to continue his graduation education in the USA. Since beginning his program, Mr. Alsulimani has been fulfilling his graduate coursework and established a strong background in oncology while working with an RPCI Primary Investigator in epidemiology. He is currently working on his research project.
Mr. Alsulimani plans to return to his home country to teach as a professor. He credits his OICO training with expanding his professional and personal experience, and for improving his research, lab and presentation skills. His best advice for incoming students would be to study hard and focus on your work, also noting that you should not just study to learn for an exam, you should learn for yourself.
Emad Alqassim, MBBS, MS
Dr. Alqassim came to OICO to further his graduate education. He worked closely with his mentor in an Immunology laboratory to enhance his laboratory skills and to successfully defend his Master’s thesis entitled “Role of Granzyme B in GvHD and GVT."
Dr. Alqassim continued his training through OICO as he was accepted in the PhD program in Cancer Pathology and Prevention. He is currently working on his research project. He credits the OICO program for building his vision for his career. He enjoys his time with OICO and in Buffalo, stating that it is a great place to live, study and work and he notes that the OICO programs are well designed and well run. After completing his PhD program, Dr. Alqassim plans to pursue post-doctorate training in hematopathology. His advice to incoming students would be to take advantage of the opportunities available with OICO
Ghadeer Fatani, MBBS
Dr. Ghadeer Fatani joined OICO as a post-doc research fellow in the Department of Immunology. Since the beginning of her program, Ghadeer has had the opportunity to learn the necessary techniques and skills of basic research and the value of teamwork, which she did not have prior to coming to OICO. Expending on these basic skills and techniques, she looks forward to conducting her own research project and future publication.
Dr. Fatani strongly believes that the OICO training she received has improved her credentials and strengthened her Curriculum Vitae (CV), which will bring her one step closer to her goal of getting accepted into a U.S. residency program.
Dr. Fatani would advise incoming trainees, to make sure to take initiative and become involved with the project they are working on. New trainees need to show interest and not be afraid to ask questions and seek help from mentors, researchers, and other trainees.