This is the fifth in our Student Spotlight series, where our students tell their stories in their own words.
"My name is Sauda Basaleh and I’m originally from Ash-Shihr, a coastal city in Hadhramout governorate, Yemen. I have a Bachelor’s in Pharmacy with a specialty in PharmD from Hadhramout University in Yemen, and I am a Licensed Pharmacist and member of the Yemeni Pharmacists Syndicate. I also obtained a Master’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Colorado in the United States, as well as a Certified Population PK/PD Pharmacometrician using Phoenix NLME from Certara University. I come from a big family, and most of them are also degree holders. My father is a psychiatrist and five of my six sisters are degree-holders, as well as most of my half-siblings.
Growing up in a household where my father envisioned a future for me as a doctor, I encountered a significant internal conflict when my own aspirations led me to pursue a career in pharmacy, specifically a PharmD. The expectation to follow in my father's footsteps was palpable, and while the decision was met with initial resistance, I believed passionately in the vital role pharmacists play in healthcare. However, upon completing my PharmD, I faced an unforeseen challenge. In Hadhramout hospitals, the position of a pharmacist, particularly in a clinical capacity, remained elusive. Even now, the opportunities for pharmacists to work clinically are restricted, limited to completing internships without the prospect of fully utilizing their skills. This hurdle served as a stark reminder of the disparities within the healthcare system and fueled my determination to advocate for the recognition of pharmacists in clinical roles. My journey is not only a personal one of pursuing a passion but also a commitment to breaking down barriers, ensuring that pharmacists in Hadhramout can contribute meaningfully to patient care despite the existing limitations.
My highest degree is the Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences focusing on Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. Throughout my undergraduate studies and my tenure as an intern clinical pharmacist across various wards at Ibn Sina General Hospital, I recognized the significance of personalized treatments. This insight highlighted the necessity for pharmacokinetic research to enhance healthcare quality. Notably, there's a notable absence of such research initiatives in Hadhramout. Currently, therapeutic guidelines predominantly derive from European or American resources, tailored for populations that may exhibit differences in both physiological responses and pharmacokinetics. This observation underscores the potential benefits of localized research efforts to refine treatment strategies in our specific healthcare context. These reasons specifically were why I chose my major.
Outside of my formal education, I find immense joy in spending time with my cherished 11-month-old son, creating beautiful moments together. Additionally, I have a keen interest in artistic pursuits, particularly drawing and appreciating various forms of art. Engaging with nature through hobbies like hiking, camping, exploring new locales, and traveling are also passions that bring me fulfillment and relaxation.
I am deeply committed to giving back to the community in Yemen. I plan to actively contribute to educational initiatives, leveraging my skills and knowledge to enhance pharmaceutical education and research capabilities in the region, whether through mentorship programs, collaborative research projects, or educational workshops, my goal is to make a meaningful impact on the healthcare landscape in Yemen. By leveraging my expertise in pharmaceutical sciences to contribute to educational programs in Yemen, I could potentially collaborate with universities or institutions to establish workshops, training sessions, or courses that focus on advanced pharmaceutical concepts. Also, by sharing my experiences and creating opportunities for joint research, I could further enhance these research collaborations between Yemen and institutions in other countries.
I also hope to utilize my experience to initiate programs that help pharmaceutical innovation and projects that address healthcare challenges specific to Yemen, and to apply my Pharmacometrician skills to contribute to pharmacometric research. There’s also the chance to explore opportunities to participate in or contribute to global health programs that focus on improving healthcare outcomes in developing nations, including Yemen, while also mentoring students or professionals in Yemen remotely where I can share my knowledge and skills in pharmaceutical sciences through virtual mentorship programs. Finally, I want to advocate for policies and initiatives that support healthcare improvement in Yemen by participating in international conferences, writing articles, or collaborating with organizations focused on global health."
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