The first step to serv­ing hu­man­ity

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

GREEK physi­cian and father of mod­ern medicine Hip­pocrates said: “Wher­ever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Hu­man­ity.”

That is what first year med­i­cal stu­dents at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) Jerry Tan and Izham Halid dis­cov­ered on their jour­ney through medicine.

Like stu­dents around the world start­ing uni­ver­sity ed­u­ca­tion, Tan and Izham were un­sure of what to ex­pect.

But from the struc­ture or the course to the so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, both have set­tled in well and en­joyed their first step to­wards be­com­ing a doc­tor.

“My first year at NUMed has been amaz­ing,” said Tan.

“There is a lot of work but I ex­pected this as be­com­ing a doc­tor re­quires com­mit­ment.”

The course struc­ture keeps the work in­ter­est­ing and Tan found that re­ward­ing.

All of NUMed’s cour­ses of­fer a care­fully struc­tured com­bi­na­tion of hands-on prac­ti­cal skills and lab­o­ra­tory ses­sions, lec­tures and demon­stra­tions in state-of-theart lec­ture the­atres, and small group work in sem­i­nar-friendly class­rooms.

There is a real fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing a rounded ed­u­ca­tion and this means de­vel­op­ing key tech­ni­cal, prac­ti­cal and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills the stu­dents re­quire to get to the top in their fu­ture ca­reers, as well as ac­quir­ing the es­sen­tial sci­en­tific knowl­edge that un­der­pins medicine.

“The hands-on ap­proach is help­ful; for ex­am­ple, re­cently in our Pa­tient Doc­tor So­ci­ety elec­tive we were learn­ing about preg­nancy and so I went and vis­ited a preg­nant woman to talk to her,” Tan con­tin­ued.

“This form of in­te­grated ac­tive learn­ing is help­ful – we even have a res­i­dent sim­u­lated pa­tient called Sven that al­lows stu­dents to prac­tise tech­niques, in­clud­ing clear­ing a pa­tient’s air­way or in­sert­ing an in­tra­venous drip line into a vein, as well as treat emer­gen­cies such as heart at­tacks or sep­tic shock.”

Ac­tive learn­ing and sim­u­lated pa­tients, like Sven, are a cen­tral part of the Medicine (MBBS) course at NUMed and at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity, UK.

NUMed stu­dents en­joy iden­ti­cal train­ing stan­dards and cur­ricu­lum to those at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity, UK. Cer­tain as­pects have sim­ply been con­tex­tu­alised to Malaysian cul­ture and cir­cum­stances.

This has the ad­di­tional ben­e­fit of al­low­ing stu­dents to adapt quickly should they choose to spend a pe­riod of study in the UK, an op­tion open for ev­ery­one.

Sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the UK and Malaysia cam­puses are use­ful for med­i­cal stu­dents as NUMed be­came the first uni­ver­sity out­side of the UK to re­ceive recog­ni­tion by the Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil (GMC) – the statu­tory body that reg­is­ters and reg­u­lates doc­tors in the UK.

This was an im­por­tant mile­stone for NUMed as it means Malaysians who study medicine at NUMed and carry out their post­grad­u­ate clin­i­cal train­ing pro­gramme in se­lected Malaysian hos­pi­tals can now ap­ply for full reg­is­tra­tion as doc­tors with the GMC as well as the Malaysian Med­i­cal Coun­cil (MMC).

“Away from my stud­ies, I have had a fan­tas­tic first year at NUMed,” com­mented Izham Halid.

“This is down to the great friends I made in my first year who come from all walks of cam­pus life; my cour­ses, study groups, halls and the many events that the Stu­dent As­so­ci­a­tion or­gan­ises.

“The high­light of the year was the NUMed ball, which was held at the Dou­bleTree by Hil­ton.

“It was a fun way to end the year and mix with stu­dents from across the years.”

The ball was open to all the NUMed stu­dents and the turnout was im­pres­sive.

The NUMed Ball is one of nu­mer­ous events run by 20 stu­dent societies, clubs and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

NUMed is well known for its di­verse stu­dent pop­u­la­tion, which is re­flected by the wide range of eth­nic and so­cial societies avail­able. Event high­lights in­clude the NUMed Games, the Win­ter Ball, a Deep­avali night and a tal­ent night.

All of these ac­tiv­i­ties have pro­vided the stu­dents with ex­po­sure to a mix of cul­tures as well as the op­por­tu­nity to so­cialise across dif­fer­ent co­horts.

“My favourite so­ci­ety is the fut­sal so­ci­ety, we play ev­ery Thurs­day and even some of the lec­tur­ers join in,” Izham added.

The Stu­dent As­so­ci­a­tion ac­tively en­cour­ages stu­dents to form friend­ships, and as such a “peer-par­ent­ing” sys­tem is op­er­ated at NUMed whereby ev­ery new stu­dent is at­tached to a “fam­ily” of se­nior stu­dents who pro­vide an in­stant so­cial net­work.

They are also avail­able to of­fer ad­vice and guid­ance as an al­ter­na­tive to the pas­toral sup­port pro­vided by the stu­dent’s per­sonal tu­tor, al­low­ing all stu­dents the best start on their jour­ney to be­com­ing doc­tors.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion, look out for the ad­ver­tise­ment in this StarSpe­cial.

‘My first year at NUMed has been amaz­ing,’ said Tan.

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