Being a visiting-student to Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) is an eye opening for me! Firstly, I was briefed about the rules and regulations in HMRI and also the lab induction. The procedures and tests took around three days. After we passed all the tests, we can finally assess the laboratory. Compared to IMU, the lab in HMRI is tidier and cleaner. There are many advanced machines that are not available in IMU such as Qiacube, which is used for RNA extraction and also RT-PCR machine. We spent our working time mostly in the biosafety cabinet. We have to ensure all the things that we bring in the cabinet is free of bacteria to prevent contamination. Our supervisor was Alan, a fulltime researcher in HMRI. He is a very experience researcher who focuses on influenza virus and asthma. He taught us a lot of new knowledge and explained to us patiently on how things work. We went there for about six weeks.
I did my posting under paediatric and neonatal surgery department in Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. I shadowed Mr. Saravanakumar Paramalingam, a consultant paediatric surgeon. I had a fixed schedule throughout the weekdays. Every Monday and Thursday, I followed him for his consultations in an outpatient clinic. In between the consultations, Mr. Sara usually would discuss cases with me and imparted me with new knowledge. On every Tuesday and Friday, I would follow him to the theatre. I had seen a various of cases in the theatre including laparoscopic hernia repair, circumcision, toe nails avulsion, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, laparoscopic appendicectomy, central line insertion, antegrade colonic enema(ACE) and also oesophageal dilation. I managed to scrubed in a few cases as a first assistant. Whereas for every Wednesday, which is usually Mr. Sara’s off day, I was given an assignment to complete. Together with Mr. Sara, I had contributed to two topics for a book that is going to be published in India. The topics were congenital malformation of oesophagus and also the role of oesophageal replacement in childhood. Besides, I also spent a day in Orthopaedic surgery department with Mr. Maripuri, which is in paediatric high dependency unit and their Trevor Mann baby unit. Learning outcomes achieved were mainly being able to apply knowledge on real patients, gain more theatre experience, understand how congenital malformations in children were treated surgically, experience their local working cultures and also to learn about healthcare system in United Kingdom.
It is a humble experience to be able to complete my selective program at LinKou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Apart from attending daily ward rounds with my supervisor, we were also exposed to various learning opportunities such as department meetings, educational lectures, clinics, research paper presentations and evidence-based medicine classes. I was able to appreciate the differences between healthcare delivery in Taiwan as compared to Malaysia. From this experience, I learned to adapt to the cultural differences in treating the patients. All doctors have great accountability towards their patients. I witnessed it during one of the clinical sessions with my supervisor whereby he explained the same procedure to different patients, again and again, to make sure that they were aware of their diseases and the treatment options. I also got to enhance my clinical skills by performing ECGs on patients in the Emergency Department and took histories from patients in the clinic. Being in Taiwan for 3 weeks also exposed me to the common diseases in Taiwan which are rarely found here in Malaysia. To name an example, the usage of betel nut in Taiwan makes squamous cell carcinoma of tongue fairly common among citizens. Overall, this learning experience would not be made possible without the support from IMU. With that, thank you.
In my two weeks of elective placement, I was able to observed and assisted some of the dental students in Otago as well as attending lectures with them. It was an eye-opening experience. I was able to observed the differences in patient management and learning environment between IMU and Otago. Their patient management approach is much more detail than IMU. Another difference was that the Otago University dental students work alone for some of their clinical sessions, whereas we work in pairs here for all of our sessions. I was able to experience the life as a student in Otago as well. It was a good experience for me as I have not had the chance of staying out on my own before. Dunedin is a well-equipped university-town and is convenient for students as everything is within walking distance. I was also able to interact with the locals in New Zealand. It was a pleasant experience as they were all very welcoming and friendly. I was able to learn more about their indigenous people as well, the Maori. They have different beliefs, so the Otago students have to learn about their culture so that they may provide better care for their patients. I also explored a few parts of New Zealand. New Zealand has the most breathtaking scenery and I would love to visit again.
Throughout my research in University of South Australia, I have successfully prepared and optimized the micro-particles and micro-particles loaded suppository of anticancer drug. I have also explored the proper use of different machines. For instance, encapsulator, freeze dryer and texture analyzer. I was also given the opportunity to operate High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) during my research. With these, I managed to improve my hands-on laboratory skills such as proper labelling, weighing and other good laboratory practices. I was also trained to be an independent and resourceful researcher. Besides, working along with the research staffs and students in a foreign country has allowed me to polish my interpersonal skills. I have also presented part of my research findings in a weekly group meeting and gained valuable feedbacks.