Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

News items

Combining Exercise With Laughter

Future doctors play an active role in promoting health

Published in The Star, Thursday 14 May 2015 


They say laughter is the best medicine, but in fact when it comes to preventing illness exercise is even better. According to medical research an active lifestyle reduces the chance of suffering from heart disease, strokes and diabetes. So perhaps student doctors at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia have come up with the perfect remedy; the NUMed Games, an exclusive sporting event that combines exercise with laughter.


Now in its second year, the NUMed Games invites university students from around Malaysia to participate in competitive sporting tournaments. Over 200 students from University of Southampton, University of Reading, Netherlands Maritime, Institute of Technology (NMIT), International Medical University (IMU), and Monash Malaysia took part this year.


The competition included basketball, badminton, futsal, netball, tennis and swimming, and during the events some new sporting heroes were discovered. Hoh Hui Shan from IMU won all four of the gold medals on offer in the women’s swimming competition, while the men's star was Lee Ning Zheng from Southampton who walked away with two gold medals, a silver, and a bronze.


The NUMed Games, held at the sports stadium at the EduCity campus in Iskandar Malaysia where NUMed has its school of Medicine and Biomedical Science, was organised by a group of NUMed medical students.


President of the NUMed Student Association Rucchira Wickramasinghe said: "We were delighted with the response to the NUMed games. It was very encouraging to see students from around the country take an active interest in exercise and recognise the benefits it brings in terms of health and wellbeing.” 

Initiatives like the NUMed games form an important part of the work that the university carries out in the community. The university strongly encourages the students to get out and about in the local area. As well as having a lot to offer the community, they can also learn from real-life experiences which often go far beyond what can be learnt from a book. 


NUMed students regularly volunteer at children’s homes, host health camps and organise sports events. It also provides a meaningful way for students to develop their patient care and communication skills while helping others.


Rucchira Wickramasinghe added: “The NUMed Games had another unexpected benefit. It really helped to promote the idea of team work, we saw many students come together outside the more familiar classroom environment. They had to find new ways to work and communicate together and I think this was a valuable learning experience.”


In fact, communication is a skill that NUMed places at the centre of the curriculum.  The Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS) teaching faculty prides itself on offering a truly rounded medical degree that provides the technical, practical and communication skills required to reach the top of the medical profession.  Another of the ways that this is achieved is by regularly exposing students to the clinical setting during the syllabus. As early as week two in the programme students are introduced to local hospitals and clinics. Although they are not expected to practice at this early stage, they benefit from being immersed in a different learning environment. It is another way that NUMed encourages students to understand how medicine is about more than simply science.


They are also encouraged to take up periods of study at Newcastle University, UK, the parent institution which is consistently ranked in the top five for medical studies. By the time the students graduate their unique university experience leaves them fully prepared to become Tomorrow’s Doctors and ready to play an active role in promoting the theory that prevention is just as important as treatment and care.


About NUMed

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), and opportunities for postgraduate study. The 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. The undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS) degrees were launched in 2009 and BSc degrees in the Biomedical Sciences were launched in 2013. Both programmes offer opportunities for periods of study in the UK.

published on: 14 May 2015