GREEK physician and father of modern medicine Hippocrates famously said:
“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”
That is what first year medical students from Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) Jerry Tan and Izham Halid discovered in their journey studying medicine.
Like most students entering university, Tan and Izham were unsure of what to expect. However, NUMed’s structure or course and the social activities have eased both into a settled and enjoyable first step towards becoming a doctor.
“There is a lot of work but I expected this as becoming a doctor requires commitment,” said Tan. “The course structure keeps the work interesting and I find it extremely 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. The focus is on delivering a rounded education, by developing key technical, practical and communication skills that students require to get to the top in their future careers. They also acquire 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 went and visited a pregnant woman to talk to her,” added Tan.
He said this form of integrated active learning is beneficial.
“We have a resident simulated patient called Sven who allows students to practise techniques that include clearing a patient’s airway or inserting an intravenous drip line into a vein, as well as treat emergencies such as heart attack 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 and lead to the award of the same degrees.
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 also useful for medical students – 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 that 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,” said Izham Halid.
“This is down to the friends I have 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.
Izham said the highlight of the year was the NUMed ball that was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton. The ball was open to NUMed students and is one of numerous events run by 20 student societies, clubs and organisations at the university.
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,” added Izham.
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.
Newcastle University UK’s established international branch campus in Johor, Malaysia provides undergraduate degrees in Medicine (MB BS) and the Biomedical Sciences (BSc).
A one-year Foundation Certificate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences is also available, the successful completion of which will lead to progression to the MB BS or BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences programme.
Studying at NUMed Malaysia allows students to obtain a reputable UK qualification from an internationally recognised university at a cost much less than studying in the UK.
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