A global alumni network

As a graduate of Penang Medical College you will join an esteemed and growing global alumni network. In July 2013, the 1,000th doctor graduated from Penang Medical College, joining a global community of world-class doctors. PMC graduates have taken up senior positions in countries as diverse as Malaysia, Ireland, Australia, the United States, Brunei, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Our graduates are a source of immense pride to PMC, RCSI and UCD. Because PMC graduates are awarded the same qualifications as students of RCSI and UCD, they become part of a rich alumni network with centuries-old connections in countries and healthcare systems across the world.

This network includes a former President of Ireland, the President of UCD, the CEO of RCSI, and the current President of the Irish Medical Council. The alumni network is an invaluable source of guidance, support and assistance for the PMC graduate.

As a graduate of PMC you are benefitting from a status and qualification which has global recognition, giving you countless career opportunities.

An unrivalled curriculum

The PMC curriculum is patient focused and case oriented reflecting 6 core themes:

(1) Health Promotion and Diseases Prevention

The PMC curriculum uses every opportunity and patient contact to promote good health and prevent a variety of diseases, including common infections, malignancies and degenerative diseases where prevention has been shown to be effective. This includes the identification of known risk factors at an individual, family and population level and the active promotion of risk reduction practices and policies. The aim is to maximise health and minimise the development of disease.

(2) Personal and Professional Development

Our curriculum recognises that it is essential for every graduating student to be fully aware of his or her duty to commit to the Code of Conduct expected of a Medical Practitioner. This includes not only learning the clinical responsibilities required for patient care but also key personal and professional responsibilities. These responsibilities are required to become a life-long learner, teacher, resource manager, team member and researcher. As a graduate of PMC you will be reflective and capable of evaluating your own competencies and limitations. You will also be open to receiving constructive feedback on your performance and will know when to seek the Counsel and advice of seniors and peers, as appropriate.

(3) Communication Skills

Effective communication contributes over 80% of the information required to define patients’ problems and negotiate appropriate solutions. Our curriculum will equip you with a style of patient communication needed to achieve this. The communication skills you will learn encompass more than traditional “bed-side manner”. This means expanding on the traditional model of history-taking, which focused on the ‘disease’ or ‘doctor’s agenda’. At PMC you will learn the key skills of high-quality listening and explanation which underpin the ‘illness’ or ‘patient’s agenda’. Over 90% of medico-legal claims against doctors can be traced back to poor doctor-patient communication. The emphasis on the importance of communication skills during will enhance your clinical performance and reduce the risk of ever being sued.

(4) Ethics and Law

PMC graduates gain an acute awareness of ethical principles and practices. This includes their legal obligation to always practice medicine according to the Codes and Laws of the country in which they work. PMC graduates will be keenly aware of and sensitive to the cultural beliefs and practices which impact on patients’ lives even if these fundamentally differ from a doctor’s own beliefs and cultural norms.

(5) Clinical Skills

PMC graduates gain a deep knowledge and understanding of the range of clinical skills, including the communication skills required from a competent doctor. PMC graduates will be proficient in the range of procedures expected of an Intern. This  includes competencies that will enable you as a young doctor to define patients’ problems, carry out investigations where appropriate and initiate first-line management subject to agreed protocols and quality standards.

(6) Decision Making

All PMC graduates must be competent in sound clinical reasoning and decision-making appropriate to their junior grade in their first Intern/House Officer post. As a PMC student you will adopt an inquisitive, questioning attitude during your undergraduate years. This will enable you to become competent and confident to sift through and analyze key information. Once you achieve this competency you will be able to reach sound judgments about the clinical problems you encounter and how these problems should be managed. This will be preferably in partnership with, rather than on behalf of, patients. The theme fosters an evidence-based approach to clinical practice amongst both teachers and students which recognises that many clinical decisions still lack sound evidence for their effectiveness. Additionally, on a personal level it is important to learn that uncertainty abounds in clinical decision-making and that you will need to develop coping mechanisms to deal with this. This  includes how and when to consult more experienced colleagues, rather than being reluctant or afraid to do so.