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Members of the Academic Team in Penang Medical College are highly committed to improving healthcare through advances in each of their areas of specialty. For more information on their fields of study, please contact our academics. Their contact details are available here.
The Family Medicine Department’s primary research interest is in the areas of medical education (jointly with other departments) and community surveys. Research in the following areas have either been recently completed or ongoing: Communication skills teaching assessment: Role of simulated patients, Impact of Palliative Care curriculum, Perceptions of medical students towards General Practice, Medical Professionalism, Acute emergency teaching using advanced patient simulator, Competence in practical skills, Survey of depression, anxiety and stress amongst high school and undergraduate students. The department plans to embark on research on general practitioners’ utilization of guidelines for depression.
Research activity is currently focused on two major themes:
a) Research in Medical Education:
Here we have published and/or presented at international meetings over the past two years qualitative studies on cross-cultural awareness and the impact on student experience of community placements. Current projects include the assessment of the Learning Environment in collaboration with NUS, the impact of a promotional film on student recruitment in psychiatry and a qualitative study of student experiences of a support group for people with mental illness and their carers, in a local Mental Health NGO setting. A study on the impact on student learning resulting from psychiatry teaching in primary care is planned for 2014.
b) Research in Clinical Service Delivery:
In this category our department is leading a large epidemiological study of antenatal depression in collaboration with PMC Dept. of Public Health and an evaluation of psychiatry consultation services for in primary care government Health Clinics in collaboration with the Clinical Research Centre and the State Health Dept.
We are currently carrying out a clinical audit of the monitoring of health parameters among patients maintained on anti-psychotic medication at the Dept. of Psychiatry, Hospital Pulau Pinang. We are planning a survey with our colleagues in PMC Dept. of Family Medicine on primary care clinician perceptions of the Malaysian Guidelines for Recognition & Management of Depression.
The Paediatrics Department currently holds two major research grants obtained from competitive funding sources, one from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (the TOCAT study, a randomised controlled trial) and one Australian NMHRC grant (SEA URCHIN Project, an interrupted time series study of getting evidence into practice). In addition they also have a strong research interest in conducting systematic reviews, currently authoring or maintaining 18 Cochrane systematic reviews and one Overview of systematic reviews. The also provide training in Cochrane Systematic Review authoring. In addition over the past 5 years they have published a total of 26 peer reviewed articles, 3 invited commentaries and in addition presented 10 free papers or posters at International Meetings. The Professor is a journal editor for PLoS One.
The O&G Department is involved in research projects with the collaboration of our colleagues in the Penang General Hospital.
Our interest in Obstetric field is mainly in the area of gestational diabetes mellitus and also pre-existing diabetes mellitus in pregnancy. We are also involved in the field of ultrasound in pre natal diagnosis. We are also looking at incidence and long term effect of obstetric sphincter injury during delivery.
In gynaecology, our main area of interest is in the field of urogynaecology. This will include the treatment and management of urinary incontinence both stress and overactive bladder. We are looking at our success of defect specific repair for both anterior and posterior compartment prolapse.
Our research is focused on the following areas:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): population-based epidemiology and risk factor study (collaboration with International BOLD Network, Imperial College London); detailed characterization of moderate-to-severe COPD patients including High-Resolution CT and genetic studies (collaboration with Asian Network of Obstructive Lung Disease, Seoul, Korea, & with Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland).
Diabetes Mellitus: Youth onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (ongoing nationwide study); effect of Vitamin D replacement on glucose metabolism in women with former gestational diabetes; prevalence of diabetes and glucose intolerance in Malaysia including study of their risk factors between urban and rural population and in those with metabolic syndrome (nationwide study); HbA1C for diagnostic usefulness.
The department of public health medicine in Penang Medical College is very active in research, especially research related to the elderly and rural health. The department collaborates actively with the Penang state government. Among the collaborations include conducting research on the elderly in Penang to ascertain the needs, both social and health needs, and the health status especially the mental health status of its geriatric population. The department is also in collaboration with the Penang Government and the Ministry of Health Malaysia in its initiative in making Penang ‘tobacco smoke free’.