Sunday, January 28, 2007

Medical College Cons?

This issue has been raised regularly over the past year or so. It has also been blogged fairly regularly here. Concern Malaysians as well as those involved in the medical profession have been asking, "are we sacrificing too much of quality to boost the quantity of doctors?"

Two private medical colleges in Malaysia are under investigation by the Health Ministry for violating regulations pertaining to training of students in the clinical phase of their studies.
The colleges are believed to be taking in too many students and not providing adequate training for them, which is vital before they can be full-fledged doctors. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that, after a six-month-probe, the ministry found the lecturer-student ratio to be 1:20 when ideally it should be one to between six and eight.

“While Universiti Malaya alone is churning out about 200 students each year, these private colleges, which have been operating less than 10 years and have produced 300 students,” he said.
What's more investigations have found that there are NO permanent lecturers at the colleges, just part-timers!

How did the Minister of Higher Education approve these colleges in the first place? Unlike the expansion of tertiary education in other aspects, reckless expansion of medical colleges will result in unqualified doctors, who will put the lives of all Malaysians at risk. And instead of acting with greater urgency, the Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed could only say that "he had not received a report on the matter from the Health Ministry."

Then next question then is, who are these colleges and why are they banned with immediate effect? It has been more than a week since this was reported, what are our Ministries waiting for?

See further related post here:

35 comments:

nerd said...

Another question I'd like to post is, why are these medical institutions being approved by the relevant authorities in the first place when their quality are highly questionable? While the medical degrees from other countries are being subjected to the rigorous and stringent test and screening from professional bodies worldwide, our self-awarding degree institutions are indifferent and ignorant about the importance of recognition by bodies other than our government.

Anonymous said...

The Ministry of Education has made it easier for students to score 4As and the Ministry of Higher Education has approved the creation of many medical schools so that more students with 4As may find a place in medical schools. It is sad.....Before too long, we will be producing locally a large number of actuaries because the parents and students have come to know that actuaries make good money. My neighbour is adamant about sending his son to do actuarial science and he proudly told me that his son had never got anything less than a B for mathematics.

lalaland said...

praise MOH for daring to report this.

DKR said...

My 2 cents worth on the issue. The way I see it, and the way some senior ministers from the government claim it is, is that they have approved all these medical colleges in the country to 'flood the market' with doctors to reduce the doctor to population ratio. However, this has been done in a very haphazard way and now that the government are running into some difficulties with the quality of medical graduates they produce, they're kinda taking a step backwards on what they initially did. There are currently 17 colleges of medicine in Malaysia (I may have missed one or two with the way they're popping up these days), who allow people with various results from various different examinations to enrol. There seems to be no standardisation of results to enrol into these institutions. To start out with, this raises some interesting questions of the quality of students that enrol in the various universities. Secondly, if we are already experienceing a relative shortage of doctors in the country, how are we going to find the man power to staff these various institutions. (Note I use the term 'relative' as in many urban areas in the country, the ratio of doctor to popualtion resembles that of most developed countries.) As a whole, I personally feel that medical education delivery is poor in private medical universities in the country as they are understaffed and often 'make do' with the staff they have. What we are going to make up in quantity over the next few years, we would have lost in quantity, and it will be interesting to see how the government will reverse this trend in 20 or so years time, when technically we should have a doctor to population ratio resembling a developed nation.

mich said...

Quality and quantity of doctor should not be a zero-sum equation if a healthy balance and system is in place. But if seriously we need to have a good doctor to population ratio, importing doctors is seemed to be inevitable. But mentioning this is also by meaning we still need to have stringent requirement for incoming doctors or local student who did medical overseas. We can't really afford to risk human lives as compromise, and it seemed that spending good amount of money would be the sacrifice we have to make :)

Anonymous said...

Do I see some 'politician's finger' in the set up of the medical schools?

Anonymous said...

Talking about Medical schools, I heard some talks about AIMST up in Sg. Petani that the VC and registrar sacked. Is this true? I also heard that there are many complains about the management and that the medeical univ is facing hugh problems. Can anyone confirm this? Also heard 90% of lecturers are from India, part time and some cannot spk Eng properly.

Tan said...

Somehow it doesn't really matter where someone graduate. Many good doctors came from less than prestigious instiutions while many who do don't necessarily make good doctors. What is more important is continual improvement and continuous education. While many may diagree, creating a situation where there is a glut of doctors does have benefits. Prices will be brought down as clinics compete with each other. Good doctors will have to improve themselves to stay ahead of the competition while inferior ones well they just go out of business. What is important is patients have a choice and have access to good second opinion. There are reasons for second opinions.

Anonymous said...

The VC or former VC of AIMST was the Dean of Science in UM before. A very "remarkable chap"!! Under his deanship he has set up the AMCAL CENTRE which I believed till to date has not have any significant function in the University. Throughout its life there the AMCAL centre looks like the iconic sphinx....its there but no one seems to know wat its function is....
The doors are often closed, and a very expensive mobile environmental laboratory have been standing there both in rain or shine doing nothing!
Wat a waste!

ISO should look at it. The Audit should look at it!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the teaching staff at AIMST, I think most are Indian Malaysians or Indians from India.
Go over their website!!

In the know said...

I was told by the staff of AIMST that Samy Vellu was shouting at them during his recent visit to Semeling. There appears to be some problems. He even sacked some of them but I believe this was after the VC and registrar was sacked a few weeks back. The move to Semeling was suppose to happen several years back but was perpetually delayed. The last announcement was that they were suppose to move in in Jan but I think the Amanjaya campus is still running. I also heard many contractors and vendors were not paid or had their payment delayed. Cracks in the AIMST finance and adminstration? I understand that turnover of staff is also quite high. Also, heard many datuks and tan sris are calling into the college for favors. on top of that, there have been unreported incidence of fights and accidents involving hospitalization over the last few years. In this sort of a situation, political interference and all, can there be good education?

Anonymous said...

Maybe there are too much " Toddy power" at AIMST??

Anonymous said...

"Regarding the teaching staff at AIMST, I think most are Indian Malaysians or Indians from India."

I thought there is a regulation on the percentage of foreign staff allowed. Surprisngly, contrary to the popular belief that Indian ex-pats speak and write good English, my expereince with them on the whole has been the opposite

So for a "serious" program like medicine, I have my doubts if there is too high a percentage of Indian ex-pats are on the staff.

India is a big country and no doubt some very good people. However, those who venture to Malaysia would not usually be the best. Those really good ones have greener pastures elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

this the first time i saw the bad blog bout aimst..i myself as a student of aimst..felt shameful of myself..honestly aimst really an evidence that had proven that the dean didn't do wat their promise..shifting to semeling campus should be done many years ago..they keep 'cheating' us..sorry..i have to use 'cheating'..they treat us like children..is aimst in semeling just a sample for us to view and to console us?we paid so mush for our fees and wish to get a good degree in aimst..but sadly all that just a white elephant..further more, they promise us to have a very good condition like wifi, good accomodation, nice food. but all those just a big pale of rubbish.if got chance, i will quit aimst..no doubt..i don't want to waste my university life in aimst..i been insulted for being aimst student.they should show their best reputation due to they unregconize condition..don't let student felt disappointed..hope they all will think rationally..aimst got future if they tresure it.do something right for aimst..please..i heard to much con about aimst..sigh..don't spoil aimst anymore..raise it!!pump it!!

Poligar said...

While, the quality of medical education is a concern for every one, I am upset by the assumption that AIMST is one of the two under a cloud.

First of all, the intake at AIMST is just 60 per batch and not 300 as cited in the news. More over the first batch is yet to appear in their final exam. In fact every one involved with AIMST students (batch-1 especially) is quite impressed with their training.

Secondly, Indian expat academics helped to run USM (universiti sains malaysia)for the first few years in the 80's before it became an established university. AIMST is under going a similar experience now.

Thirdly, English accent is a matter of habit; if one is aware of 'cultural linguistics' he or she will not mind ethnic differences in accent. Holding one's own accent as the greatest is presumptuous and a folly.

Finally as a person recently helping AIMST achieve its mission, I can say that its students and staff are good; AIMST will be a pride of the nation in the nesr future.

*SaMaNtHa* said...

Well i need some infomation about AIMST actually. Can you tell me about the biotech courses there? i heard from a friend that AIMST's cert is not really recognized yet, she said we have to do our final year in IMU. is it true?

Anonymous said...

I'm an Aimst medical student..

As far as I'm concern, compare to other medical school that comes to our clinical hospital for training and elective posting. Local universities like USM, UKM, IMU, Manipal-Melaka and even Kasturba medica school.. I would say our students standard are the same. If not, even better in some ways. Some of my batch students are excellent to the extent they can answer post-graduate level question where even registrar in hospital can't.

I personally believe all medical school produce good, best, average, mediocare and poor graduates. It is up to the individual to improve themselves after they graduate. The medical field evolve so fast these days that at times what I studied in my early clinical days no longer matters. New regime and protocols are update annually.

As far as I'm concern, AIMST is growing and expanding. I have asked around before about what we are lacking comparative to other medical school. The only thing i found is my medical school have more exams and life is more hectic. With professors and clinicians from Indian is a positive effect. I would say AIMST blends the new modern medical curriculum and the traditional one together. It depends on individuals perference, some prefer the conventional medical program..some prefer the new one. That you must decide for yourself. Good thing is we learn more. Bad thing is we constantly bombarded with exams and assessmet.
Overall, Aimst is ok.

In regard to all the people who comment on aimst, some i don't deny is true. Our management is on the down side but still, what can I expect when it is a new institution. Nothing runs smoothly. I have to be realistic in a way because I'm paying Rm200K in compare to IMU students now paying 330K.

On the other hand, life is about looking at the positive things. Aimst offer a complete package when it comes to medicine. I think dentistry faculty is quite effecient too.

What Poligar say is true, Indians have perfect grammar and english usage. Its just because of their accent we think that they are bad. Besides most whites are uneducated and has a poor usage of English.I have seen local graduates and surgeons who cant even complete a proper sentence in English.

There is always two side to the story. No offence to other bloggers. This is not a comment to insult anyone. Just my own view on what aimst is really like in compare to other institutions.

Anonymous said...

refering to samantha's questions about biotech program in AIMST, i my self as a final sem student, i think i can give a few shreads of advice on the biotech program.

there are some rumors passing around stating that the program is not recognize by the LAN, but actually, it's been fully accredidated by the LAN and MoE and recognize world wide. we even have collaboration with universities over seas such as bristol and QUT. a few of our moderators are from australia and eupore as well.

our dean, is doing a great job of establishing linkages and contact with other universities and the outcome of the collaboration, enable the department to grow steadily.

as for the program, i wouldn't say is the best in MAlaysia but the students the program chern out are competative and job ready for the growing market. we get a lot of hands on experience in various fields such as molecular biology, plant, animal biotechnology, cell culture techniques, fermentation technology and whole lot more. check the web site to find out more if ur interested.

regarding to the staff, everyone had put in a lot of effort to help to build the department, but there are also some staff, which i think is less competative, had not been helping much in the department. but over all, the rest of the staff are extremly helpful and dedicated. they really take care of the students and guide then through thicks and thins... really appreciate that.

as for the AIMST management, as mention in a few post above, is really having huge problem. the management staff are not EFFECTIVE and not EFFICIENT, which is a waste of resources and money in AIMST which is paid BY THE STUDENTS. some are extremly rude and in polite... some are not qualify nor educated to hold the managerial post in AIMST.

what i said here may be of my personal view, there may be some other people that have different opinion about the biotech progrram in AIMST, but anyway, whether the program is good or bad, time will revwal everything.

Jayelle said...

I'm a dental student at AIMST. Doing my third year now actually. I echo all the positive comments about AIMST but I agree that the management can be terrible.

But my faculty is pretty awesome as our dean is from the UK and has a vast experience in the academic side of dentistry.

However, what's even more embarrassing would be the grammar and the spelling done by some of the commentators here who claim that they are from AIMST. Oh my god, please use a spell checker before leaving a comment and don't embarrass AIMST's name any further.

Anonymous said...

i'm a student from imu.

first of all i would like to say AIMST is a university worth 2 billion ringgit but still has problems with the management. the mismanagement is the one that cause all problems that i would say could be avoided if a proper system is upheld. i'm not saying imu is all a bed of roses as well. everything has it's pro and cons.

but one advice is that imu offers TWINNING PROGRAMMES, a case which AIMST don't. and with all the problems of having classes in shoplots will only degrade aimst in an aspect of mismanagement as well as proper usage of funds. of course one would say that u only pay RM200k for medicine. but one frank advice is that the another RM130k extra will give u a much better experience.

in imu we have a good history with our partner medical schools. if aimst is good then why don't they just twin with overseas uni like melbourne? simple because it's not yet up to standard.

but those in aimst will have their own side of point of view. imu is not very much different. but look in a way that the extra RM130k u put into IMU will be the building block for a solid foundation in future medical education to come.

at least i can bravely say that AIMST students are better than those who come back from universities in russia. they are just not good enough.

Anonymous said...

from the previous comment, I don't think is right if a person compares like that. Twinning is about matter of choices. To some people they can;t afford the twinning programme. In addition, paying extra Rm130k with no cadavers dissection classes and the campus is based on a shopping mall?
Take a look at the bigger picture. The true picture is to compare between MBBS IMU vs MBBS AIMST. Then its fair. Is MBBS IMU recognized by GMC? No. So what standard are we talking about then?
Whatever he/she mentions right if you are interested going abroad to practice then IMU Twinning programme is a great place to start. If going for MBBS IMU alone, one should think twice.

When IMU first few batches graduated (pertaining to MBBS IMU), they faced alot of harsh criticism too. I heard specialists complaining they faint when they see blood, their practical skills are terrible and etc. Its like a cycle for every new medical school.

Comparing to my friends in IMU, paying extra rm130k for the extra experience? I don't think much experience IMU could give. Maybe things have changed now.

I think is all about where you want to practice and the amount money you can afford to attend medical school.

Like mentioned earlier, every medical school has pros and cons. IMU graduates are famous for being a dependent colleague in hospitals all over Malaysia.

AIMST is a new medical school. Its subject to all new critism day in and out. At the end of the day, is the student itself make a difference in where they want to go.

All students definitely have a defensive mechanism about their medical school and stuff. At the end of the day, no matter where you come from. Its part of a fraternity already. A Medical Fraternity....

I have no comments about Russia lol.Never had experience with them. Alot of AIMST people who didn't make it after matriculation are doing medicine there.

Aung san said...

AIMST treats their lecturers shabbily.It will never improve because of thsi.

Anonymous said...

ameya

Can anybody explain me what is the problem with AIMST,Medical School?

Anonymous said...

to ameya

Every college has its pros and cons.

Administration: It has been improving. The juniors are enjoying a better system today

Academic: Lecturers and proffesor from India. very knowledgable and factual compare to some of our local specialist i would say.
Accent might be a problem for those who are not familiar with it.

Social life: With additional new course and expansion of the uni, the increase in number of students frm various faculty. Social is life is not a problem.

Facilities: By far better than any medical school in Malaysia. State of the art. But its not fully utilize because certain construction are going on for the dental school hospital.

From my various experience and chat with PMC, IMU and MMC students. I would say each school has its own approach in medicine and how they train their undergraduate. So it boils down to what you really want. Perhaps chat with other students from other medical school to find out which medical school suits you better.

Anonymous said...

Hi, can some AIMST seniors enlighten me on the prospect of taking up Dentistry there. Is it as "well" as it's medical course? TQ.

Anonymous said...

I'm a matriculation student in aimst and all i could say is that i make a mistake by enrolling in this university. I believe that aimst's foundation is recognized by various universities worldwide especially QUT, Australia. However, a recent visit to their website shows that aimst is not listed for credit transfer and such..I am very confused..Futhermore, as far as i know(correct me if i'm wrong), aimst foundation is not recognized by other local public & private universities..However, i encourage anyone who's interested to pursue a degree course in medicine,dentistry,pharmacy and biotech to enroll. Ignore the cafeteria's fly attack(not to mention the food),freezing lecture halls,temporary out of service lifts,frequent 'visits' to the old aman jaya campus for class as construction's way to slow here and the absence of wireless LAN and you'll be fine..And yes, some lectures are part-timers especially matriculation lecturers..2 of my lecturers are leaving, can you believe that? And term1 has just ended.. forward your email to sphere89@yahoo.com for futher info and co-responding comments..tq

Anonymous said...

dude, im a jpa scholar offered med currently in oversea(2002). just after my spm i joined aimst while waiting for my results. what im giving u here is my experience and not my views. ive been in at least 3 different colleges under JPA. i would not like to divulge the names of these instituition as for my own sense of security. the lec i had in aimst were totally indian imports.(im not an indian so get the racist judgement out) believe me, they are walking library books. no wonder US is packed with indian doc. its kinda surprising to hear u people are underestimating them just bcoz they come from a poor country. be reminded that later when u start ur course u will be reading ref books written by indian and not americans. dun believe me, ask for any doc in ur area for the patho book they read. believe me, we cant even compete with a singaporeon primary school kid. life out there is do or die unlike our country: live like u're gonna die tomorrow. nevertheless wat is life when u dunt have fun. hurray to the malaysian way (kita boleh). the local JPA affiliated colleges had local gradts who infact were learning from the scholars. sad to say the cant make one complete error free sentence in eng. kudos for the science in eng by gov recently. guess they finally realised language comes by experience and exposure. ironically Dr.M was the one who changed it to BM when it was eng 20yrs back. i still wonder why? nevertheless i dunt blame jpa as they play their role by helping these new colleges to get experience and grow by sending in good students who can help themselves. in the end it all depends on urself and not where u get your degree. besides einstein did not go to college to create relativity niether did davinci nor gray or bailey. geniuses are born and not engineered.

Jayelle said...

to the anonymous commentator who wanted to know more about dentistry..

please feel free to visit our blogs...i'll put up links to 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students' blogs. Our blogs are closely monitored by our uni...but we've got the approval of our dean to keep blogs. He's a very very nice man.

http://jayelleenelial.com/?cat=7
... here're a list of blog entries that i've done on my practical classes. I'm the pioneer dentistry batch at aimst and we're currently in our third year.

http://jayelleenelial.com/?p=210 I wrote that post at the end of year 1, writing in detail about life in Sungai Petani.

a few other blogs that you might like to read:

http://kennethwongpk.blogspot.com
Http://gillianleongyokeling.blogspot.com
http://mischique.blogspot.com
http://sweetlikechocolateglaze.blogspot.com

there are many more. :) but do feel free to take a look at those blogs.. we try to be a close knitted family..but i'm sure you're not that interested about our activities as of now...

well, it has been said that the LAN people will come again in our fourth year(next year!) to evaluate our skills....to evaluate the results of the course, i guess.. But the university is always collaborating with other medical/dental institutions as well as building up its reputation via conferences and events.

The dental hospital will be ready in December 2007 and when I attended the MDA conference in Penang recently, a dental sales rep told us that the dental chairs that the university is bringing in for us is like the Mercedes Benz of dental chairs. It will be one of the most advance dental teaching hospitals in the South east Asia region.

of course there are many things that can be ironed out, but otherwise, if you're here to fulfill your academic purposes, then yes, lecturers ARE walking library books. they are like super smart and they will help you. I've not encountered a horrible lecturer before. You're here to study, if you're expecting a campus life with superb management, then allow that a decade or so for improvement.

Brainer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am a medical student from AIMST.it is indeed disheartening to note that people always enjoy rattling about things that they dont know..I think the most shocking part that really took my breath away was the baseless accusation cast upon our teaching staff. I daresay that i am extremely proud of my lecturers, Yes majority about 90% of our lecturers are from India..EVERYONE KNOWS ( AT LEAST THOSE WHO KNOW THEIR FACTS AND FIGURES ) That INDIA IS THE BEST COUNTRY TO STUDY MEDICINE, IT IS EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE AND PRODUCES WORLD'S FINEST DOCTORS, WHICH I DARESAY, HEAD AND SHOULDERS THAN ANY OTHER WESTERN INSTITUTIONS..this is not a question, but this is a fact..deal with it..most of our lecturers are truly renowed and have published countless journals..you can just go to aimst wepage, pick up a lectuer's name and type it in Yahoo or Goodle and be amzed with the search results..about their english profiency, trust me they speak better english than malaysians, devoid of grammatical errors, except you may see a variation in accent..is there anything wrong? or are we just being racist? why do i say that? well ( anyone with an organ between the two ears ) would know that various populations of the world have their own accent..australians hav accent, the british have accent, the americans have accent.but why is it that we claim that to be stylish and flawless, but when indian lecturers utter the same words with their accent, we classify as poor english? totally rubbish..well if your english is really good, im sure you will be able to understand them..frankly, i never had any problems in perceiving their words..by the way, it makes me laugh until my sides ached when i read a silly statemen " I have my doubts if there is too high a percentage of Indian ex-pats are on the staff. "..i only have one thing to say,i pity you for whiever institution ur from...i would rather sell fruits in the market than having some local lecturers replacing my highly repted indian lecturers..i would feel like replacing platinum with rusty metal..what a joke...in conclusion, if you have not been to aimst, and if you have not experienced anything in aimst and if you dont know anything about aimst, i truly suggest that you just keep your tongue behind your teeth..pls dont make a complete fool of yourself,,i offer you my utmost sympathy in advance..and for those "interesting" students from aimst ( or at least claim to be from aimst with loads of negative comments to express, i pity you too..for all of us in aimst know well that anyone who comes to aimst and then leaves aimst without doing degree or finishing whatever course their doing..we know its because you are incompetent and severely lack the ability to cope with the competition that you have no choice but to be a reject from AIMST who tried better luck in indonesia, russia, ukraine..dont worry, even if the public buys your sour grape story about aimst, we the qualified aimst students, know your true dark story in aimst..and by the way, please dont come to a absurd conclusion that im taking in favour of aimst just because im stuck here..rubbish..im not stuck in aimst..i came here by choice..and dont simply utter things like it is cheap etc etc..i can afford to study in any institutions in malaysia..and i chose aimst, because i have faith in it...

Anonymous said...

superbly said, im an x-biotech student in aimst, graduated last year. juz wana say FUCKK OOF to all of you who knows how to criticize. go look in the fucking mirror. what makes you think tht you all are so special? dont like aimst means go OXFORD la , better wat? the problem is , they wont give a flying fuck to all you retards. what makes you think IMU is better than aimst? fuck imu. look at their students 1st la. compare the IQ of the students, not the fees or the university. twinning it seems. We in aimst are good enough tht we dont have to twin to other retard colleges.

Anonymous said...

to those who does not know anything about AIMST just fuck off!!
i am a student in AIMST university and i am proud of it!
the lecturers are really gd..
futhermore i don't think that is wrg if our lecturers are all came from india! India is the place where produce a lot of finest doctor! what i wanna say is.. to those who do not know the situation in AIMST just fuck off!!

GrassPopper said...

Hey, would like to check out the Dentistry courses in AIMST. Is it good? From what i have read, it all seems quite promising and exciting. I would be grateful if any dentistry student could share their experience and thought. Thank You.

Anonymous said...

I am a Pakistani, have recently done my Alevels and my parents are moving to Penang,Malaysia in the coming year.
Now I need to take a decision whether to stay and apply in a medical college here in Pakistan or to go along with them.

The med schools here are pretty good and there are many Srilankans and people from Arab states here.
So to make a decision I need to know the standard of medical colleges in Malaysia and their recognition worldwide.
Which medical college is supposed to be the best in Malaysia?

What better way to learn about this than from someone who is doing medicine from there.
It would be great help if I am able to get a proper and balanced insight into the medical colleges in Malaysia with pros and cons.
Thankyou

Anonymous said...

AIMST has some of the best professors from India in medical faculty. A lot of JPA top scholars in SPM from 9A+ above are admitted to this university for the past 3 years, with the most most intake this year. With merely 100 seats for the MBBS degree course, the 600 over Foundation in Science students have to fight really hard for a seat in the 1st degree course every year. A lot of them couldn't make into medicine and they took up pharmacy, biotech etc.
The standard of education from this private university AIMST has overtaken the public universities with the latter majority intake of half past six students from government matriculation stream.
Therefore those who failed to make it into the MBBS degree course at AIMST done keep blaming that grapes are sour if you can't have a grape to taste.