Enduring Matters – By Prof. K. R. Sethuraman

Enduring Matters
Prof. K. R. Sethuraman
DVC Academic and International affairs
Dean, Faculty of Medicine

While AIMST University completes 10 years this year, my own stint here will be 5 years on Valentine’s Day (Feb-14th). I arrived on 14-2-2006 and took over as the dean of Medical school at the Amanjaya campus. It was a shop-lot, well worked to serve as a medical school; every batch of students had its own lecture hall. Being small and compact, you would come across all the University staff several times a day and it was conducive to fostering collegial feelings.

The pioneering batch of 21 students of June 2002 intake (batch-1) had entered year-4, term-2 and the newbie batch-9 had just joined in early Feb, 2006. Those days were tough as the staff and students had to stay in rented houses (mostly in Bandar Laguna, about 2 km from the University). A few had personal transport, and others had to catch the 7.30 staff bus to commute to and from the Varsity. The students along with their teachers used to go by buses to the hospitals. Every day was a challenge with some late-comers missing the bus or the students going off without their instructor!

We used to go to the old SP Hospital till Jan 2007, which is now functioning as an A&E centre. It was a cramped and crowded place. We had our own “AIMST cabin” made of a 30’x20’ container, which was fitted with air-cons and was used as a class room. It even served as a ‘ward’ to conduct the year-4 clinical exams in Medicine for the batch-1 students in July 2006, since no ward could be vacated to conduct the clinical exam.

When the hospital moved to the state-of-the-art construction in Amanjaya, quite close to the former AIMST campus, our set up looked totally jaded and ancient. Only our new swanky campus at Semeling could match up with the new hospital Sultan Abdul Halim (HSAH). On Jan 12th 2007, after Batch-2 completed their year-4 clinical exams in the shiny new HSAH, we requested to be shifted to the Semeling campus even though it meant that we had to move far away from HSAH. We wished that the MQA/MMC panellists, who were expected to visit us soon for the final accreditation of MBBS, to see us in the permanent campus and not the temporary campus.

In Feb 2006, there were only 22 teaching staff members. “Each one, get one” was the slogan that made us double the staff strength within the next 8 months and to reach 65 by mid 2007. The faculty of Medicine was the first to move in to the Semeling campus in April 2007 and shifted in stages over the next 4 months. The accreditation went off smoothly in August 2007. It took 3 more years of trying to get in to the Avicenna directory of world medical schools before successful entry. However getting in to the US directory (FAIMER-ECFMG directory) was much easier and was achieved in 2008.

With the revisit by MQA-MMC joint panel in 2010, the flagship is set to sail till 2013 when the next accreditation visit
is due to take place. Will it be a smooth sailing? Time will tell us the answer…

Prof K.R. Sethuraman. Dean- FoM

Source: AIMST University Faculty of Medicine Newsletter Volume 2 (August 2010 – Febuary 2011)

The book Davidson’s Clinical Cases, Strachan MW, Sharma SK, Hunter JA (editors), Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008, 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 proud that Dean, Senior Professor K R Sethuraman is a contributing author to this book.

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