The new AIMA Victoria Student Wing hosted their inaugural event ‘Healthcare Horizons’ on Sunday 5 May 2024 at The University of Melbourne, an evening focused on providing insight into advocacy as Muslim healthcare providers alongside discussion on career pathways.

They were joined by over 50 students, eager to hear the experiences, advice and wisdom of the accomplished panelists. These panel members included Dr Bhayat (general practitioner) Dr Mian (rheumatologist), Sr Huda (pharmacist), Sr Wajiha (registered nurse), Dr Awad (neurosurgeon), Dr Neelam (general practitioner), Dr Nazer (clinical genetics fellow and pediatrics registrar), Br Yousef, (physiotherapist and secretary for AIMA Victoria) with special guest Dr Fakhouri (general practitioner).

The evening began with Quran recitation from Surah Al-Ma’idah followed by an introduction to AIMA by Rahman Abdul, a 3rd-year medical student, outlining their purpose and ongoing initiatives. He explained that as the president of the new victorian subcommittee, he and his team aim to provide as many opportunities as possible for student growth and inspiration, networking, and assisting with professional growth through various initiatives.

One such initiative working closely with the new committee is AIMA Careers Corner, a nationwide platform designed to assist Australian Healthcare professionals with career progression at all stages, from student to professor.

The panelist then introduced themselves, and the students delved straight into carefully constructed OSCE style scenarios targeting the key issues of thriving in healthcare as a muslim, and the role healthcare professionals have in advocacy for the muslim community.

Key takeaways mentioned by all panelists were to uphold the values of Islam, always stand for justice and utilize the Islamic perspective to elevate healthcare skills.

Of particular note were Dr Bhayat’s reframing of the word “surviving” to “thriving” as a Muslim in healthcare, given that Islam provides us ability to flourish, not just get by as healthcare professionals, as evidenced by Br Yousuf’s use of Quranic lessons and prophetic examples in how to treat patients.

Following this, the panel members shared their unique journeys through their healthcare journey’s, inspiring students to reach their full potential. The attendees also had a chance to connect with like-minded Muslim students – as well as to network with panelists.

Dr Amireh’s recent $230 million dollar win following settlement of junior doctor underpayment class action was inspirational to all in attendance, and provided real world evidence of Muslim success in achieving justice for healthcare workers.

Sr Wajiha and Sr Huda provided their raw experiences working in pharmacy and nursing, indicating the great lengths that healthcare workers outside of medicine commit to, ensuring world-class care for patients.

With enthusiastic participation from the AIMA committee volunteers and generosity of speakers in sharing their expertise, the event concluded with a resounding success.