23 Sep 2013 Medical Housemanship in Malaysia: An IMU Alumnus’ Experience
Dr Wilkinson Tan has always wanted to be a doctor since he was young. He joined the medical programme at International Medical University (IMU) in February 2007 and completed his MBBS in February 2012. He is currently doing his housemanship in Hospital Taiping and intends to specialise in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He shares with us his experience as a houseman.
“Housemanship has been a great opportunity to put into practise the training I have received at IMU. It has been a great opportunity to meet patients of various backgrounds and work with fellow doctors who have trained at different medical schools. Being a doctor is to constantly train and improve ourselves. Every day brings upon new opportunities to learn and improve myself. What’s important is the desire to constantly learn and improve. There will always be tough times. Difficult patients, troublesome co-workers, seniors, dealing with death. It’s all in a day’s work. It is important to always remember why I chose this career path and pick myself up every time I face a difficult challenge.”
“The training we received in IMU has prepared us to work as doctors. Our training is practical, focusing on what is important in our day to day practice rather than just textbook knowledge. The problem-based learning / task-based learning sessions trained us to approach problematic cases and trained us to be a lifelong independent learner. The 6 months of senior clerkship at Batu Pahat was crucial in the transition from medical student to doctors as it presented us the opportunity to start practising our knowledge while still under the close supervision of our faculty members.”
“I remember my first week as a houseman. I didn’t feel strange or out of place as the ward work and ward rounds were familiar to what we have been going through in IMU. It feels like I am still at IMU, only with different ‘lecturers’”
Wilkinson’s advice to those who are intending to pursue a career in medicine is “Students should only sign up if being a doctor is really what they want. Get to know how things will be as a doctor. Get to know the lifestyle that is involved. Medical training is long and tiring. Medical school, housemanship, specialist training can be overwhelming if one does not have the right motivation to pull through tough times.”