The faculty of medicine has come a long way from our fledgling days at the Amanjaya campus where the MBBS programme was launched in 2002. Now at the sprawling Semeling campus, the Faculty of Medicine is the flag ship of the University with about 100 full time staff and another 100 doctors as parttime faculty.

The staff includes senior professors with rich clinical and teaching experience, many of whom have published extensively in peer reviewed international journals. Many of the staff has published books. The Dean, Prof. K.R. Sethuraman (also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic affairs) is one of two from Malaysia in the international advisory panel for Davidson’s text book of Medicine. The book Davidson’s Clinical Cases, Strachan MW, Sharma SK, Hunter JA (editors), Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008, for which Dean Professor K R Sethuraman is a contributing author has been awarded the First Prize for the best book in Medicine by the British Medical Association in the 2009 Book Competition. The faculty is further strengthened by a team of highly reputed external examiners holding key posts in National and International medical institutions.

At present AIMST FOM has 870 undergraduates. 135 AIMST medicos have joined internship this year; this amounts to a total of 310 interns from AIMST University. A total of 59 graduates from Faculty of Medicine comprising of the first two cohorts (2002 intake) have entered National Health Services as Medical Officers.

The MBBS course follows an outcome based integrated curriculum. The students are given onus and ownership of their studies and this positive approach has produced a handful of publications and quite a few paper presentations at conferences by our students. At the campus, the students as early as Year one are exposed to the state-of-the-art clinical skills center. This facility is the best in our part of the country with mannequins and equipment able to offer training ranging from teaching a fresher on how to transfer an accident victim safely up to a final year student on how to perform advanced life support procedures. Early exposure to clinical material is useful to give meaning to basic science learning and our students are mentored, tutored and trained at 5 hospitals. The students are exposed to stages of health care delivery from primary health care to tertiary care hospitals. This helps them function effectively in any healthcare setting later.

Computer assisted learning and special study modules enhance competency in information and communication technology and its management among our MBBS undergraduates.

The faculty is proud that our students have won quizzes and events held at other medical universities and thus propose to launch a national level preclinical quiz tentatively in the year 2011. Though most of the subjects offered builds up the knowledge and skills of the students, FOM reinforces on the importance of attitude in the grooming of a doctor. Community and Family medicine postings enables our students to recognize and analyze health problems at the level of the individual, family and the community; and solve these problems through health promotion, disease prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, using the available resources in a cost-effective manner. They are also encouraged to demonstrate sensitivity towards religious, moral, cultural and traditional values of the community they serve.

Problem based learning (PBL) is used as a teaching learning tool through the course. It ensures the students develop the ability to apply knowledge and clinical skills to practice safely and competently. It also encourages critical thinking to solve problems and for decision-making. PBL truly works towards the stated mission of the MBBS course – “To empower graduates with the knowledge, skills and values needed to deliver humanistic and evidence based quality health care in Malaysia and the rest of the world with an aptitude for continuing medical education.”

A – Activate prior knowledge,
I – Integrate basic and clinical sciences,
M – Motivate interactive learning,
S – Stimulate self directed learning,
T – Trigger curiosity to commit to life-long learning.

Publish or Perish is today’s mantra-Abraham Lincoln said “If you are not for yourself who will be” and thus this newsletter, to document aimst FOM’s continued journey towards excellence. However this maiden venture of ours is a modest compilation from the monthly faculty meeting minutes. To quote Lincoln again “you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.

Dr. P. K. Rajesh, Deputy Dean Preclinical FOM, Editor, AIMST FOM Newsletter

Foreword by the Dean

The idea of a newsletter from the Faculty of Medicine (FOM) has been mooted quite some time ago. Meanwhile, a newsletter from the university was initiated, which made the Faculty’s proposal for a newsletter rather redundant. The University newsletter has now been discontinued for some time now, paving way for revival of our earlier proposal.

Starting a newsletter is relatively easy; however, sustaining it is much more difficult. It needs a dedicated team of editorial board to collect and collate relevant news-worthy materials on a regular basis for sustenance of the publication. The present deputy deans Dr Aruljoethy and Dr Rajesh, and Dr Selvam are committed to AIMST University and the Faculty. I have no doubt that, given enough support, they will be able to provide the necessary leadership to sustain the newsletter.

The main objective of the newsletter is to facilitate exchange of relevant, meaningful and interesting information among the key stake-holders: the full time academic and administrative staff of the Faculty, the part-time academic staff, the students and the management.

The Faculty of Medicine has been the flag-ship of the University since inception. The major news items of topical interest are: the arrival of JPA scholars, nominated for the MBBS course at AIMST-FOM, the entry of the graduates of the 2002 intake in to the health services as Medical Officers (MO) and the provisional approval given to FOM to start MSc in four basic sciences.

I am sure the hospital staff, and the students would also have some news worthy items to share with the other stake-holders. The editorial team has to make extra efforts to get these nuggets of news items and add more colour and variety to the newsletter.

I feel privileged to write this foreword to the inaugural issue of the newsletter. I seek the active support of all the readers and key players to sustain it on a regular basis.

Prof K.R. Sethuraman. MD
Dean-FOM and Deputy VC (Academic & International affairs)

Source: AIMST University Faculty of Medicine Newsletter Volume 1

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