Saturday, November 08, 2014

Taif-then Al Muwayh-then back at Taif

The last four days have been quite eventful. I had registered for an accredited learning program on Rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury that was organised by the Armed Forces Rehab Center in Taif from this week's Tuesday until Thursday. Dr. Afzal was on call this week, and so I proceeded to go to Taif early on Tuesday morning. I reached the AFRC on Jaish street at about half-past ten in the morning. The registration I had done was over the phone, and I was to go to the registration counter and confirm my presence, pay my fees for the meeting and collect any gifts etc. from them. When I arrived there, however, I saw that the registration counters were overflowing with doctors, awaiting their turn to pay the applicable monies and do a spot registration. The organisers had decided that since the money was flowing, there was no harm in taking more and more registrations. They took advantage of the huge demand and demanded a premium of SR 100 over and above the previously announced SR 150 for the entire meeting. In return, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties had granted the meeting 30 accredited Saudi license points. 

The doctors and nurses are very keen to collect these points not because they wish to learn; rather, they need those points to continue their professional practising license. You need 120 points to extend your professional license for 3 more years. Thus, I gave SR 250 to make a spot registration and then moved to the main hall where a lecture was in progress. Even if you were to remove all the chairs in the hall and make people stand in close proximity to each other, the hall would barely accommodate 150 participants at one time! And here, they were registering any one and everyone, reaching more than 1600 registered delegates at the time of the end of the first day's deliberations.

They served unlimited tea and coffee; lunch at noon; and, as I discovered on the next day, they also served snacks at half-past ten. I returned to Al Muwayh in the evening on the first day, and went back to Taif on the second morning. The conference was quite a good one, actually, and the topics ranged from psychological aspects to various systems, to orthotics (use of appliances to help people locomote, rehabilitate and so on), to pervasive problems like bed-sores, deep vein thrombosis, disfigurement and deformities, etc. I was impressed by the knowledge of some of the Saudi doctors. Not just that, some of them spoke perfect English, which was, to me, surprising. 

I booked a single room in the Ahle-Saif hotel in the afternoon after completing the attendance of the second day at the AFRC. I discovered that the net here was working just fine, and I was therefore able to complete several internet-based tasks like online study, uploading stuff on Facebook or elsewhere, checking my mails and downloading movies on to my laptop. Significantly, I was able to complete more than 10 modules - related to Quality and Safety in Healthcare, and some Pediatric topics - on BMJ Learning website. 

The meeting ended on Thursday, but I decided to stay on in Taif, and thus, I spent the entire Friday here. Mostly, I relaxed or studied. I had my Skype sessions on all the evenings except on Friday when my study colleagues did not turn up at all.

That's it for now. Have a good Saturday.

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