Giv­ing stu­dents a cut­ting edge

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

THE field of medicine is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive with thou­sands of doc­tors grad­u­at­ing each year. This in­crease ne­ces­si­tates the need for med­i­cal grad­u­ates to pur­sue some­thing ex­tra that would give them a cut­ting edge.

Monash Univer­sity Malaysia’s Bach­e­lor of Med­i­cal Sci­ence (Hon­ours) pro­gramme – BMedSc (Hons) – is a one-year full-time re­search course that of­fers this. The pro­gramme is of­fered at the Jef­frey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences of Monash Univer­sity.

It is a re­search-in­ten­sive hon­ours pro­gramme that be­gan in 2012 solely for Monash Univer­sity med­i­cal grad­u­ates and has now opened its doors to med­i­cal grad­u­ates from other med­i­cal schools that ful­fil the ad­mis­sion cri­te­ria.

With the con­tin­u­ing ad­vances in medicine to­day, it is im­per­a­tive that doc­tors get in­volved in re­search.

Clin­i­cians, let alone med­i­cal stu­dents, of­ten find the tran­si­tion to­wards con­duct­ing re­search chal­leng­ing. This pro­gramme helps to bridge this gap.

“The field of medicine is a broad spec­trum. MBBS grad­u­ates do­ing this pro­gramme get an in-depth un­der­stand­ing of bio­med­i­cal sciences, sharpen their think­ing skills and learn to de­sign frame­works,” said Monash Univer­sity Malaysia, Jef­frey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, BMedSc (Hons) pro­gramme se­nior lec­turer and aca­demic co­or­di­na­tor Dr Kyi Kyi Tha.

“For stu­dents who wish to branch out into an area of spe­cial­i­sa­tion, this ex­pe­ri­ence of a hon­ours re­search de­gree pro­gramme will be ben­e­fi­cial,” she added.

In con­duct­ing their re­search, BMedSc (Hons) stu­dents get to en­joy mod­ern, state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties such as the Brain Re­search In­sti­tute Monash Sun­way (BRIMS), a rep­utable neu­ro­science re­search cen­tre led by one of the world’s lead­ing com­par­a­tive neu­ro­sci­en­tists, Prof Ish­war Parhar.

The South East Asia Com­mu­nity Ob­ser­va­tory (SEACO) is an­other re­search plat­form for those keen on pop­u­la­tion health and well-be­ing.

Med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion re­search al­lows stu­dents to ex­pe­ri­ence var­i­ous ed­u­ca­tion re­search projects, in­clud­ing dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy and 3D vi­su­als of the hu­man anatomy, at the Med­i­cal Anatomy and Pathol­ogy E-Learn­ing Lab­o­ra­tory (MAPEL).

Stu­dents will also have the op­por­tu­nity to con­duct clin­i­cal re­search in sev­eral health in­sti­tu­tions such as Hos­pi­tal Sul­tanah Ami­nah, Po­lik­linik Mah­mood­iah, Hos­pi­tal Sul­tan Is­mail, Hos­pi­tal Sega­mat, Pe­ja­bat Ke­si­hatan Daerah Sega­mat and the Na­tional Heart In­sti­tute (IJN).

“The em­pha­sis on re­search helps to de­velop their knowl­edge in re­search method­ol­ogy and anal­y­sis and de­rive key in­for­ma­tion from a plethora of data that is out there,” said Dr Kyi.

“The work of the pre­vi­ous batch of stu­dents has been pub­lished in peer-re­viewed jour­nals, con­fer­ence pre­sen­ta­tions and poster pre­sen­ta­tions at re­search week sym­po­siums. One of the main strengths of this pro­gramme is that the stu­dents are su­per­vised closely by their su­per­vi­sors and sup­ported by the school with a se­ries of work­shops on re­search method­ol­ogy, ap­plied sta­tis­tics and data­base search. With lead­ing re­searchers and aca­demics in their re­spec­tive ar­eas, stu­dents re­ceive ex­pert men­tor­ing, which ben­e­fits them im­mensely,” she added.

Among the stel­lar works that have been pro­duced by pre­vi­ous stu­dents in­clude stud­ies into the im­pact and out­comes of af­ter hours In­ten­sive Care Unit dis­charges, the de­vel­op­ment of in­ter­ac­tive 3D pathol­ogy repos­i­tory and tar­geted knock­down of cation trans­porters in breast can­cer pa­tients, a ret­ro­spec­tive re­view on atrial fib­ril­la­tion af­ter coro­nary artery by­pass graft­ing and pre­dic­tors of re-emerg­ing tu­ber­cu­lo­sis.

■ For de­tails, visit www.med.monash.edu.my.

The BMedSc (Hons) pro­gramme is a one-year full-time re­search course, of­fered at the Jef­frey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences of Monash Univer­sity.

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