9 Aug 2021 My Rough but Prosperous Life Journey in Chinese Medicine!

Ng Ai Hua (Irene), in the photo above, is currently working as a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner in a Chinese Medicine Clinic in Petaling Jaya. She has come a long way since she started her studies in Chinese Medicine at the International Medical University and later transferred to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM) for the completion of her degree via a credit transfer arrangement between the two universities. Irene shares her journey with us here.

How did I get into this course?

My academic journey was slightly eventful as Chinese Medicine was not my first choice of degree.  I was first enrolled to the Dietetics and Nutrition course which is offered by International Medical University (IMU). At that time, I was not clear about my future pathway. By God’s grace, I decided to switch to the Chinese Medicine course and enrolled to the 2014 cohort. Thus, began my exploration of Chinese Medicine.

Why Chinese Medicine at IMU?
There are a few universities in Malaysia that offer Chinese Medicine degree course however I found out that IMU has top clinical practice facilities and well-arranged modules. I was really impressed when our lessons were taught in various ways such as problem-based learning, presentations and workshops. These help us to acquire broader thinking in solving different problems that we will face in our future career.

Besides, IMU also provides a few credit transfer options to different partner universities such as the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in order to learn more about Chinese Medicine and gain more clinical experiences.

My unforgettable memory in the Chinese Medicine programme at IMU 

When people asked, “What is the most unforgettable memory you had throughout the programme of Chinese Medicine?” I would say the first most official event that was organised by the whole IMU Chinese Medicine Department which is known as Chinese Medicine Week. It was not a simple and ordinary exhibition but a long-awaited opportunity to present the core content of Chinese Medicine to all students from different courses at IMU as well as the public.

I found that Chinese Medicine is full of challenges but also interesting as it consists of different theories and diagnostic methods. Apart from that, the most precious thing that I obtained from the IMU Chinese Medicine course is the friendship and teamwork among my course mates. I would never forget the time spent with them throughout my academic life.

Clinical practice life in Partner University – Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM)

Clinical practice life in SHUTCM was one of the delightful lifetime events in my life. I was given the chance to be clinically trained in one of the tertiary hospitals, ShuGuang Hospital in Shanghai, during the last year of this course. It was during this time that I had the chance to master my practical and social skills. Due to the high volume of patients with different types of diseases, I acquired various clinical skills and experiences throughout the intense training. I learned from lecturers and doctors of different medical professions in this period.

I was also grateful to have the opportunity meet and make friends with international students from different countries such as Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan which would be beneficial for future sharing.

Ng Ai Hua celebrating her graduation with friends from IMU

My career pathway

When I was back to Malaysia in 2019, I had a few job opportunities and ended up hired as a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner in a Chinese Medicine Clinic in Petaling Jaya. At work, I noticed that all the knowledge and experiences I had gained throughout my academic life were all utilised in my career. The most significant social skills learnt that were applied in my career is the way to communicate with patients, patient-centeredness and patients’ concerns which are always emphasised in the IMU teaching.

The clinical working life isn’t easy at all. However, I will keep myself equipped in both Chinese medicine knowledge and clinical practice skills in order to provide help as much as I can for my patients to be healthy.

Last but not least, I will never regret of the decision that I made in the beginning. It seems to be a rough but prosperous life journey to me!

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