Interviewed by: Fatima Omrani
When scientific content outperforms social media trends, it is certain that we are witnessing the rise of a unique experienc in creating, simplifying and presenting content to non-specialists.
Samah Saleh Mohammed, a medical student, and a creator of scientific content on social media platforms who proved the opposite of trends, as medical content is usually directed to a specific audience, however, the majority of people have grown interests in medical content in the last few years.
How do we turn medical information into a simpler and more understandable one for the audience? Samah Muhammad will provide us with answers.
Users of social media platforms who are interested in the medical field must have seen the name “Samah Saleh Muhammad” on these platforms, in your own words; can you tell us who is Samah Mohamed?
My name is Samah Saleh Muhammad, I am 24 years old, and I am a small step away from graduating from the Faculty of Medicine at Damascus University. I have more than 4 years of experience in writing various medical content in its different topics, goals and methods. This content targets different segments of society of all ages and cultures, and its aim is to transfer the level of medical knowledge in societies to a better one. In addition, through this content, I also aim to correct the wrong beliefs, customs and traditions that are related to the medical field in the hope of building a healthy society.
I wrote hundreds of articles on various medical specialties on local Syrian and Arab platforms as well, I also wrote on Facebook and in many newspapers. Nowadays, my content is focused on talking about children’s health and their spiritual and motor development through articles whose style is smooth, simple and close to mothers’ hearts so that the scientific story is told by the children themselves, with their own tongues, desires and feelings. Indeed, these articles have received a lot of interaction, followers and love.
From academic and research study to scientific communication, what motivated you to simplify and communicate science?
Whenever I start writing, I always ask myself; if I was the reader, how can I understand the article and be drawn to continue reading it without getting bored or hating science. Also, I myself, am a supporter of science, so I always strive to make science simpler, funnier and easier in which the other can understand and read with pleasure, and remembers the information regardless of one’s educational level or age, this, is actually a goal for me. To be honest, dull and harsh information is present in all references, websites, and educational resources, however, having a simple style is always an advantage.
What was the first spark that sparked your journey in the medical content industry?
When I carried the huge physiology reference book, it was talking about cancer at that time, but with a lot of complexity and dryness. So, I wrote a medical article impersonating cancer, and gave it a voice to talk about how it arises, how to resist and how it continues. I published the article not expecting such a feedback, people’s interaction with the article was unbelievable, it was actually a bit terrifying. Hence, I launched a whole series named “Know Your Enemy”, then I prepared medical articles on pregnancy in its different stages presented through the mother and the child’s voice. In those articles, I also discussed the spiritual and motor development of the child through the child’s voice, and so on.
A large percentage of your medical content is related to children, why did you choose children to be the focus of your interests in the content industry?
When I wrote my first article on children, I was astonished by the audience’s reaction and love for the article, even though it was discussing one of the most difficult things that a medical student could memorize in a children’s course, but the style of presenting the topic in the child’s voice was kind and close to everyone’s hearts, and actually this love encouraged me to continue writing.
Then, when I searched more and more, I discovered how important this information is, which talks about the development of the children and their mental health, and how new and strange this knowledge is to our Arab society. Because I believe that the child is the nucleus of society, I also believe that only when the child develops correctly, society will inevitably develop correctly as well, and that is why I decided to continue specializing in writing content about this particular category.
Writing scientific and medical content in particular is a wide field, what are the most prominent platforms on which you presented your content? What are the most important scientific communication activities that you have been involved in?
I worked and volunteered in many platforms and newspapers, the most important of which are Layalina newspaper, Al Wasat newspaper, BMA platform on Facebook, Samma`at Hakim platform also on Facebook.
As for scientific communication activities, I had many health campaigns that I participated in, including the awareness campaign against breast cancer among women, awareness campaigns about the Corona virus, and a social campaign to stand with children with cancer.
What difficulties did you face during your career in the medical content industry? What are the main challenges of Arab content makers in general in this field?
Personally, the worst thing I suffered from is copying my style and stealing my content, and a for few times I was subjected to some useless criticism by some people whose aim is only to offend, but it was actually really limited.
As for the main difficulty that content makers in Syria suffer from is funding and tools. We may have very meaningful ideas, but funding them on our own without anyone’s help, is extremely difficult, especially under these circumstances.
How would you describe the interaction of social media users on medical content? Was the current interaction expected for you?
The interaction is usually according to the style, when the style is close to people’s hearts or it is presented with humor, people will love the content and sometimes they will interact with it more than they even interact with the image of an artist, for instance. So, the plot lies in the style and the art of presenting the content.
I did not expect the interaction, love and followers I received, but thanks to God, and with commitment and passion, I am utterly satisfied and extremely proud of everything I have achieved and will achieve in the future.
What would you recommend those wishing to enter the world of writing medical content?
My only advice is to love what you do, do not make interaction your goal, but rather always think of the reader and remember your humanitarian goal, and as all content makers advise, be patient and continue, patience, persistence and passion are important keys to success.
As Arabesque London magazine, we wish you continued success and improvement.