Medicine is an incredibly vast field offering a career in many different specialisms. There are so many opportunities that undergraduate students often find it difficult to decide what to specialise in. Advice from those who have spent years in a particular field can help students inform their choice and that is why an audience of 250 from all over Malaysia congregated at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed).
Third year NUMed medical student, Sailesh Mohana Krishan, led a team of students, in conjunction with the Asian Students Medical Association (ASMA), to conceptualise the Southern National Undergraduate Surgical Symposium.
The inspiration for the Southern National Undergraduate Surgical Symposium was a medical conference that Sailesh attended during his time spent in the UK. Sailesh saw first-hand how useful these events can be for undergraduates and their careers, therefore, decided to start a similar conference at NUMed.
The concept became a reality when seven of the leading surgeons in Malaysia imparted their advice to over 250 students at NUMed’s Iskandar Demonstration Theatre.
The speakers were specialists in; Colorectal Surgery, Neurosurgery, General Surgery, Breast and Endocrine Surgery, as well as Plastic Surgery.
Sailesh, reflecting on the event, said: “The symposium was very successful, we got excellent feedback which we are really pleased with as NUMed students put the proposal together. The hardest part of the event was trying to secure all these leading surgeons to come and speak on the same day, luckily with hard work from the NUMed team and the flexibility of the experts we managed to pull off a great symposium. I am incredibly grateful to the speakers for coming down and sharing their expertise.”
The surgical field is ever evolving and so it was a privilege for the students to hear about the latest advancements from those at the forefront of the field. Many of the speakers sit on selection panels and are best placed to give advice to aspiring surgeons on what they need to do to get into the field.
“The day ran smoothly; the audience wanted to hear more from every speaker - so it was a challenge trying to fit it all in!
One of the highest ranked female surgeons in Malaysia, Professor April Roslani, who spoke on Colorectal surgery, gave an additional talk on work life balance. Professor Roslani stated the importance of a work life balance and explained how she juggles her roles as a mother, wife, surgeon and educator. The notion of an all-round education is core to NUMed’s values and as a result NUMed encourages its students to lead an active lifestyle.
“NUMed aims to enrich a student’s life outside of their immediate studies. We have a busy schedule of events throughout the year, often organised by one of our 20 student societies and clubs, these events give a platform for students to get further insights into medicine and society in general. Our objective is to provide a vibrant social, sporting and cultural offering to complement the high quality medical education provided at NUMed,” Dr Kenneth McKeegan, NUMed’s Dean of Academic Affairs, stated.
NUMed students, such a Sailesh, have been offered the opportunity to study for short periods in the UK, ever since the British university opened a branch-campus for medicine in Johor in 2009. Almost all students take advantage of this. Similarities from the design of the campus to the style of teaching help the students adapt quickly to life in the UK, which maximises the time they have to benefit from the experience.
The similarities between the UK and Malaysia campus are useful for the students as NUMed recently 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).
Newcastle University UK, has established an international branch campus in Johor, Malaysia to provide its undergraduate degrees in Medicine (MB BS) and the Biomedical Sciences (BSc). Both programmes offer opportunities for periods of study in the UK. 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. All programmes of study are equivalent to those of Newcastle’s UK-based provision, and lead to the award of the same degrees. By choosing to study at NUMed Malaysia, students will obtain a reputable UK qualification, from an internationally recognized university, at a cost significantly less than that of studying in the UK.
published on: 27 July 2016