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Carl Jesudas Samuel

10-student

How do you feel today on your graduation?
I am overjoyed that I made it through the five years. It’s been a long five years but it’s been worth it. I know that my heart truly lies in medicine.

Looking back over the last five years, has there been a particular highlight or experience that you will remember for the rest of your life?
There are two experiences. One was the tour I took with the rugby team in RCSI to Paris which was great fun. Today though, I will remember until the day I die.

Could you describe your experiences as a Malaysian and an international student in Dublin?
Initially, it may be a little hard to get to know the others but if you take the extra effort to mingle you will find that they are curious about you and Malaysia. Initially there is that cultural difference where you don’t understand each other, but you adapt. That’s what the process is, adapting, learning and making new friends.

Now that you’re qualified, what are you most looking forward to in terms of
actually working as a qualified doctor?
To work as a doctor has been my dream since childhood, so now I’m going to have to think of new challenges. I believe I would like to move into academics at some stage. Besides medicine, teaching is also a passion of mine.

You’re joining a large community of graduates now. Would you recommend the experience of having gone to Penang Medical College?
I believe the experience of spending two and a half years in another country and then coming back to your own country gives you the best of both worlds. You go there, you learn from them, when you come back you apply your clinical knowledge, as you are going to work in a clinical base in Malaysia.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of studying medicine at Penang Medical College?
I would advise them never to give up. You might not be the brightest student but if you keep at it you will graduate and you will see it’s a damn good feeling.

Deenish Muniandy

08-studentWhat is your name and what are you studying in Penang Medical College?
My name is Deenish and I have just completed my studies in Penang Medical College. I will be conferred this week. I was very lucky to be awarded the best overall student here at the college.

What are the benefits of undertaking your pre-clinical training in Ireland?
I think that is a very difficult question to answer as there is so much to talk about. I would like to focus on why choosing UCD as a college was a very good choice. Aside from medicine, I have a wide variety of interests outside medicine. In UCD we are allowed to take one module every semester that is outside the scope of health sciences. I managed to pursue my interests in film studies, economics and politics throughout my two and half years there. In particular, it gave me a chance to pursue other interests apart from medicine, to interact with people that I wouldn’t have normally and allowed me to grow as a person. This was particularly important for us as Malaysian medical students.

Why did you choose to study medicine?
It was more of calling than a choice. As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a doctor. In Malaysian schools you get to write down what you want to be when you grow up, you get three choices but mine was only ever one, a doctor.

How did you find the teachers and academic staff in UCD?
It was an eye opener for me. There is a gap between students and teachers. We had much closer interactions between the students and the lecturers. There was a lot more self-study in Dublin which meant that you had to form a good bond between yourself and your lecturer. You could ask them anything at any time of the day. It was a very healthy learning environment.

Did you enjoy living in Dublin?
I still miss it every day so that should answer your question. After the initial acclimatisation to the weather and the food Dublin became a second home to all of use. The people are warm and friendly. It is a great literary city. I enjoyed Bloomsday. There is something for everyone. There was never a weekend in Dublin where I sat at home thinking what I should do. It was amazing.

What is the quality of the academic program like in Penang to Dublin?
I don’t think it would be fair to compare Penang to Dublin as we did our pre-clinical studies in Dublin and our clinical studies in Penang. I can only speak of the clinical course here in Penang and can say it is on a par with the best in the country. I can say this because of my involvement in other student associations with students from other colleges in Malaysia. I think the teaching here is excellent and has prepared us in the best way possibleto work as doctors.

If you were recommending Penang Medical College to prospective students, what would you stay to them?
I’d say you wouldn’t go wrong by coming here. It is small college and there is a very personal intimate feel to it. The teaching is unrivalled. We have some of the best teachers from around the country and around the world teaching here. There are batches of students who are very into what they are doing. It is set on a beautiful island. It is the whole package. Everyone from the administration top down is just so supportive. I would say go for it.

How do you feel that the qualification you receive here will be recognised internationally?
That is also a key factor for students who want to choose Penang Medical College. You get the best training here in Malaysia while getting a qualification that will be recognised internationally. In the competitive world of modern medicine, you have to be the best you can. I think getting a degree that is a recognised as one from the National University of Ireland is an incredible advantage.

Elaine Lai Yin Lyn

03-studentCould you tell me your name and where you are from?
My name is Elaine and I am from Malaysia.

On this day, the day of your conferring, can you tell me how you feel after finishing 5 years of study to be a doctor?
It’s a mixed bag of emotions. I feel relief, happiness and also sadness as I will not be able to see some of my friends again.

Looking back at your experience, how would you describe your journey from your first day in RCSI in Dublin in a new city right through to the completion of your clinical phase back in Penang, how would you describe the journey you have completed?
The journey has been definitely long. I think everybody will agree. It is a journey of a lot of learning and life lessons. Anything the world can throw at you, you will possibly have gone through it in medical school, perseverance and humility. I am very grateful that I have been given this opportunity to go through to medical school.

How would you describe your experience in Dublin?
I remember it very fondly. I remember the places I used to eat and shop, just the simple things. The people are very friendly too. I will remember Dublin for the rest of my life.

As you enter the internship phase of your career, what are you most looking forward to in terms of becoming a doctor?
I am definitely looking forward to putting my knowledge to practice. There is a great responsibility. I am looking forward to being able to care and take charge of patients.

If you were to recommend Penang Medical College or indeed studying medicine in general to prospective students, what would you say?
Approach it with an open mind. Be prepared to make many friends, learn a lot and travel a lot. Be prepared to enjoy them as much as you can as these will be the greatest five years of your life.

Evelyn Aun

14-studentWhat is your name and where are you studying?
My name is Evelyn Aun and I have just graduated from Penang Medical College.

How has your experience been since you have come back from Ireland?
I have found my experience here the last two and half years has been very colourful. I’ve experienced many things that I did not think possible, even though I’m a Malaysian. My friends here are now my new family. I have found life here
very fulfilling.

What is the quality of the academic teaching here at Penang Medical College?
I have found the quality of the teaching here of the highest standard. Many of the teachers are from RCSI and UCD so our curriculum would be about the same. I really appreciate how much effort they have put into the lectures and how they have taught us. They have used a lot of evidence based medicine to teach us. I think this is the highest standard of medicine that they could teach us together with their experience.

Can you tell me a bit about your clinical training here in Penang Medical Hospital?
It prepares us for future work here as we go on in our career. We are very well versed in how the system works here with the local diseases help us to understand and be better doctors when we go out into the world. Our clinical training takes place here in Penang Medical Hospital. We do a lot of bedside teaching. The lecturers are very approachable and the patients are fantastic.

Can you tell me a little bit about your experience in RCSI?
I was in RCSI for two and half years. I have so many good memories. We did mostly class and lecture lessons. We were prepared for clinical work from day one. We were taught how to take histories and perform examinations so coming back here was a very easy transition.

Were the lecturers and tutors helpful?
There were a lot of small groups which was helpful for learning. They are very easy to meet with individually as well.

Was it easy to meet in a multi-cultural environment?
Yes, we all come from different backgrounds so naturally we have different perspectives and views. This is what healthcare is all about. No one is absolutely right and no one is absolutely wrong. All of this contributes to the holistic care of the patient. Having people from different backgrounds and cultures helps us to think outside the box and to not be so fixed on what we have been taught for the last 25 years of our lives.

Have you made many lifelong friends at RCSI?
Yes, I have friends from Kenya, Yemen and Ireland. We still keep in touch on facebook and will be friends for life.

Can you tell me about the electives you did in Ireland?
I went back to do my electives as I missed my time there. I appreciated how I was made to be part of the team even though I was a foreign student. They made me feel like one of their own. I got a chance to do procedures and got a chance to take histories from the patients.

What was the social life like in Dublin?
It was my first time out of Malaysia and I was drawn to the Asian societies as we had a shared culture. The Irish societies had a lot of events on and we attended all of them.

How did you relax and unwind?
I did a lot of travelling. Europe is small and it is easy to get around. I visited Turkey, Greece, Rome and London. These are places that I would not have got to visit.

Are you satisfied that your qualifications have put you on the right track for a good career?
Yes, this is an internationally recognised qualification that has opened up a lot of doors for us. I feel it has put us ahead of other colleges. I feel that we have a lot of hope for the future.

What would you say to other students that are thinking about studying here at RCSI?
I would say don’t hesitate, just come. The care and love that you experience is unbeatable. You cannot go wrong.

Izzat Haffie Hazmi

17-studentWhat is your name and what are you studying at Penang Medical College?
I’m Izzat and I’m a final year medical student. I will be graduating this weekend. I was the winner of the Public Health Medicine, first place and one of the winners of the Overall Best All Round Student Awards.

Was it rewarding and challenging to do your research in Penang Medical College?
Yes, I did research in Penang Medical College when we did Public Health rotations and I was the head of the group and we carried out a survey of the Orang Asli settlement. It was the first survey of this settlement to be published in Malaysia.

What was your experience like in RCSI in Dublin?
It was amazing. I have wanted to go to RCSI since I was in secondary school. I used my time there to get involved with the college and its societies to my full potential.

Did you make many friends at RCSI that you will keep for life?
Yes, as there were so many students from other countries there. We all worked together as a group for our assignments and our projects.

What was the quality of the teachers and professors in RCSI?
I thought they were fantastic. They were really enthusiastic. They were very knowledgeable and gave us the desire to be better students.

Were the Irish people friendly?
They were so friendly that sometimes it feels like home. Only people that have gone there will know how friendly they are.

How has the programme been since you have come back to Penang?
Penang Hospital is the second largest hospital in Malaysia, so we get to experience teachers and professors that are very knowledgeable in their field.

What is the quality of the academic teaching like in Penang?
They are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They are working hard to make this one of the best medical schools in Malaysia.

Do you think your qualification has set you up for a good career internationally?
The NUI qualification that you receive is internationally recognised and this sets you up to have a good career internationally. This will help me later on when I need to do my research and fellowships.

If you were to recommend a student to RCSI what would you tell them?
I would welcome them to RCSI. Here you get two different sets of cultures and experiences that you would not get in any other medical school.

Janice Wee

04-studentWhat is your name and what year are you in?
My name is Janice and I am in my final year in Penang Medical College.

Why would you study medicine in Penang Medical College?
I was offered a scholarship and enjoyed how I was to spend half the time in Ireland and Malaysia.

What was the teaching like in UCD?
There was more freedom.We were not spoon fed like in college here. We are guided there on what to study but we are taught to think out of the box.

Were the lecturers and tutors approachable?
Yes they were, I had to go back to Malaysia for two weeks at one time and the lecturer helped me to catch up by recommending books to me.

What was the quality of the academic program like over there?
It’s a very prestigious university. It has a good quality of research.

Did you make many friends?
Yes I did, I had other electives such as French and Spanish. Some of our classes were quite big but most of my friends came from the electives.

What was student life like in Dublin?
It was very different. You get to enjoy it and be part of it. There are over 100 societies and clubs. I joined the Trampoline and Badminton Societies.

What was the best thing about Dublin?
I enjoyed the weather, the food and the people were very nice and friendly.

What did you do when classes were over?
I used to meet with my friends and cook. It was just like being at home.

How are things now for you back in Penang Medical College?
It is a lot of work but you achieve a lot in a very short time. The clinical program here is very well structured. It is targeted towards real life as a doctor. Penang Medical College is training us to be competent when we are working as doctors.

If you were recommending Penang Medical College to prospective students, what would you say?
I would say come and join us, be a part of us.

Was there any stand out moment in your memory from either UCD or Penang Medical College?
During the orientation program when I got to meet the juniors. I had to be somebody leading rather than somebody following. This helped me to be more independent. Having to teach and guide people helped me to learn as well.

Are the professors here approachable?
Yes, they are always available whenever you want to ask them anything.

Khoo Tee Tat

18-studentHow do you feel today after graduating?
I feel relieved. It has been five long years but I have a lot of good memories. I really feel happy and I’m going to have a nice holiday now.

You’re about to join a large group of graduates and alumni from Penang Medical College. What do you think is the best feature about the college?
I think the first two and half years in UCD were the best time of my life. I met so many wonderful people. The Irish people are very friendly.

What advice would you give to students who feel a little anxious about moving to another country having being through it yourself?
You have nothing to worry about. The people are very friendly and will help you feel at home. They are willing to help you with everything. They are willing to spend time with you if you have any problems.

If you were speaking to someone who is 15 or 16 and thinking about studying medicine, what advice would you give to that person having gone through the journey yourself?
You should definitely consider medicine. It is an unforgettable experience throughout the five years. You need a lot of passion and enthusiasm to get through these five years but if you are set on medicine, you should go for it.

Manvir Singh Gill

12-studentCongratulations, the first stage of your medical journey is over with conferral. How do you feel having been conferred today as a graduate of Penang Medical College?
It’s a huge sigh of relief. I’m very happy to be here.

Looking back over your five years, could you describe for us your journey taking in Dublin, then back to Penang and culminating in today?
I was lucky enough to do two and half years in UCD. I was one of the only Malaysians in UCD at that time so I was thrown into the deep end so to speak. It was actually a good thing as I was forced to mingle and ended up getting to know a lot more of my classmates that I would have. I always thought we had two educations, the first was an education on life, that we got from our time in Dublin and then our proper medical education back here in Malaysia. It was a good mix, we got to travel, and learn about different cultures and meet new people. It was simply amazing. I still miss the place.

Looking back at that period of your life back in Dublin, was there a particular highlight for you or something that you might remember for the rest of your life?
I was involved in a lot of societies and getting the presidents awards of UCD was such an honour for me and definitely the highlight of my stay there. The people as well were really fantastic and I consider them my family.

Having come to the end of the first portion of the end of your medical training, what are you most looking forward to about now being a practising doctor?
Being useful and trying to be of some help. I would like to go on and study more and hopefully reach some new heights.

If you were to recommend Penang Medical College to prospective students, what would you say?
Try to see could you go to the hospitals and shadow a doctor. See how it feels like to be a doctor around the wards, get a taste of how medicine is and how patient care is done. I think there is a lot of misconception from TV. It’s very different in real life. If you’re thinking about it, follow a doctor and see how it feels.

Melissa Binti Johari Chan

02-studentHow do you feel today after your conferring?
It is an honour and a privilege to have finished here today. It was a long journey. There were times when I thought that I might not make it but I got through it with the help of my friends and family.

Looking back over the five years, what do you think is the best feature of having being a student at Penang Medical College?
The staff are very helpful, they are there whenever you need them. Day or night you can call them for any advice. We have students from all over the country. You get to meet and interact with them. I think that all of this plays a part in medical school. It is not just the theory but the support that they provide for you.

You spent your first two and a half years at RCSI in Dublin. Could you describe what that experience was like?
I wanted to go there because of the rich history of the college. I wanted to be a part of that. When I was there it was daunting at first without my family but there was a very large Malaysian student association. They take you under their wing and as a consequence you never feel alone.

What are you most looking forward to about putting most of the training you have learned into practice?
I always wanted to be a paediatrician. Interacting with children makes me really happy in life.

Mohammad Irsyadiee Bin Mohd Saiful Segar

16-studentWhat is your name?
My name is Irsyadiee and I am a third year medical student. I am also president of the Penang Medical College Student Association.

Why did you choose to study medicine in Penang Medical College?
Penang Medical College is the sixth best medical college in Malaysia and is going to give me one of the best medical educations in Malaysia and is also going to give me great experience by letting me study in Dublin.

What are the benefits of the pre-clinical training in RCSI?
RCSI is one of the best medical schools in the world so studying with them will help me by giving me a strong medical education.

What was your experience studying in RCSI’s research and attendance environment?
In RCSI they are aware that the level of training with regard to research in Malaysia may be lacking so they teach you how to be the best researcher that you can so that when you return to Malaysia you can implement these skills.

What are the benefits of the clinical training here in Penang?
The clinical training here is fantastic as we have Penang General Hospital which is the referral hospital for the Northern Peninsula of Malaysia which will provide us with very good skills.

What was one of your best memories from Dublin?
I heard an expression there that if you want to be shown a place, the English will point the way, but the Irish will take you by the hand and show you the place.

If you were to recommend Penang Medical College to prospective students, what would you say?
You will get a great all round medical knowledge from your education at RCSI which will help your pre-clinical skills. Your training in Penang will help you as there are excellent doctors and specialists in Penang hospital.

Have you made any lifelong friends at RCSI?
I will never forget what Professor McGee told us on the first day of induction. RCSI is more international than Dublin airport. I met so many people and made so many good friends from all over the world that I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life.

Muhammad Yahya bin Ahmad Rushdan

What is your name?
My name is Muhammad Yahya ynd I am a Final Year medical student in Penang Medical College.

What did you know of UCD before you went to Dublin?
My knowledge of UCD was quite limited as I am from Malaysia but I did some research and found that the student life was more engaging due to having fewer hours than RCSI.

What societies were you in?
I was in the Drama Society and the Islamic Society. I enjoyed both greatly but found that in the Drama Society there were more Irish students whereas in the Islamic society there were more Arabs or Middle Eastern people. This enabled me to enjoy the best of both worlds.

From where do you have most of your friends from your time in UCD.
I have many friends from Ireland obviously and through the Islamic society I met many friends from a wide variety of countries such as Syria, Libya, the United States and Canada.

How did you find pre-clinical training in UCD?
In UCD the lecturers are practising doctors that have the experience is needed to clearly teach students, this practical information can then be easily applied by us. I found that Irish doctors are very friendly, but also that Irish patients are very friendly too compared to Malaysia.

What was the teaching like in UCD?
It is mostly done by doctors in lectures who have a lot of experience working as a doctor or a surgeon. Their teaching is then very clear and makes sense to us students who would not have much exposure to working in a clinical setting.

Did you have opportunities to work in research in UCD?
I did not have the opportunity myself but have many friends that have participated in this. They have found it very beneficial as they can practice what they have learned and also get to work with other people.

Were the lecturers approachable?
Yes, they are very approachable. One particular lecturer appeared grumpy in the lecture but when I had a question he was very welcoming and easy to talk to. He took as much time as I needed to explain the particular area that I did not understand.

If you were recommending UCD to a prospective student what would you say?
It is a great opportunity for you and one that you cannot miss. Penang Medical College is offering you the best of both worlds in that you do your pre-clinical in UCD where the teaching and exposure is broad and engaging and when you come back to Malaysia you can apply what you have learned.

Nur Izzah Binti Ibrahim Osman

IMG_1099

What is your name and what do you study in Penang Medical College?
Hi, my name is Nur Izzah Mohd Ibrahim and I will be the thousandth graduate of the college.

Did you enjoy your academic program in Penang Medical College?
It was a great experience having my clinical years here. Having your lectures and tutorials here and bedside teaching at Penang General Hospital which is the second largest hospital in Malaysia so in the hospital you can see a lot of cases and you can familiarise yourself with the Malaysian healthcare system. This is of great benefit to me as I am going to work here later.

What was it like studying in RCSI?
It was fantastic as I got to meet lots of people from all over the world. This was a great experience as you cannot get this experience from any other college. The teachers were very helpful. They give you help not just with your studies but also with any other personal problems you may have.

Were the teachers and tutors helpful?
In Penang Medical College our professors and lecturers are also consultants that work in private practice. This means that they have lots of experience that they share with the students.

Did you enjoy living in Dublin?
It was a wonderful experience. I was there for two and half years. I enjoyed the weather.

Did you feel safe and secure in Dublin?
Yes, Irish people are very friendly. Even at the bus stop they stop and talk to you. People were very friendly and would offer to help you with your bags.

What would you say to a prospective student who was interested in studying at Penang Medical College?
There is a unique training program that is offered by Penang Medical College in conjunction with UCD and RCSI. You can make friends from all over the world in Ireland. You will carry out your clinical education here in Penang General Hospital which is the second largest hospital in Malaysia. You will gain a great experience of the Malaysian medical system there.

Nur Syamin Binti Ismail

05-studentWhat is your name and what year are you in?
My name is Syamin and I am a Third Year medical student in Penang Medical College.

Why did you pick Penang Medical College?
Penang Medical College offers me a great curriculum and the best of both worlds in that I get to study in Dublin and Penang.

How did you enjoy your time at University College Dublin?
It offers the best of campus life due to its size. I can meet more people from different cultures and different ways of life. I can learn more about medicine but also can get more life experience.

What was student life like in Dublin?
It was very interesting. I met many different cultures and ways of life that I may never have met in Penang or in Malaysia.

How did you experience the pre-clinical training in Dublin?
It was wonderful. In UCD we have fewer lectures than in other countries, as we have more independent studies to undertake.

How did you find the Irish people?
They were very friendly. I cannot think of one hard time in two years in Dublin.

Since you’ve come back to Malaysia, how have you found the curriculum or the clinical training here?
It’s hectic but that is how studying medicine is. It is very satisfying when you see a patient and do some clinical examinations as you sum up all of your education in Ireland into one patient.

What is the quality of your academic tutors in Penang Medical College?
They are very friendly and approachable. You can email them a question and they will get back to you within 24 hours.

Would you recommend UCD to any prospective student?
Yes, I would as you get more than an academic education but also an all round education.

Were you able to travel outside Dublin?
It was like a getaway for me to travel to Europe. It was a great experience for me at 20 years old and I will treasure this experience the most.

Did you make many friends in UCD?
Yes I did, not just Irish students, but also from other countries such as Germany, Vietnam and Australia. In UCD you are able to take an elective from another non-medical subject. I chose French and was able to meet a great many other people through this.

Praveena Mahadevan

15-studentWhat is your name and what are you studying in Penang Medical College?
My name is Praveena Mahadevan and I am a Fourth Year medical student in Penang Medical College.

Why did you choose to study in Penang Medical College?
One of the reasons I choose to come here was that I wanted to go overseas but I also wanted to be close to home as well. Given the cost of having to go overseas for the entire time meant that it balanced out quite well.

What were the benefits of your undergraduate pre-clinical training at RCSI?
I actually really enjoyed my time there. If I had a choice I would definitely want to go back there again. The thing about RCSI is that when you go there and first join a class, you are not in a class with just Irish people. There is such an international mix there that you don’t feel like an outsider. The college has an excellent reputation for education. The class was quite large compared to here in Penang but a tutor was assigned to every 10 students in the year. Meeting with your tutor is mandatory. I found my tutor very attentive and met with her a lot. I got to know her quite well and consider her more of a friend than a lecturer.

Did you make any lifelong friends at RCSI?
That’s funny you should ask, I was just messaging some of them there. Some of my best friends are now from Ireland, Jordan, Kenya and other countries.

What was the social life like in Dubiln?
I am very into the arts and there was a lot of events on regularly. This includes comedy events and other shows. I really enjoyed the parks too. There is nothing better than having lunch in Stephen’s Green park on a summers day.

Were the people of Ireland friendly?
They were very friendly and you will meet some interesting characters.

How have you found the program since you’ve come back to Penang Medical College?
I definitely missed Ireland at the start. We have much smaller classes and there is an open door policy. I found that I definitely got to know a lot of my lecturers a lot better.

Would you recommend Penang Medical College to any prospective students?
If you want to get an education where you can go abroad I would come here. In this college our teachers and lecturers are fantastic. I would definitely recommend this college.

Priyaneka Baskaran

07-studentHow do you feel today after having being conferred?
After this conferring, I feel amazing. It’s been my ambition to be a doctor since I was five so this is a great feeling for me.

Looking back over the five years, what do you think is the best feature of having being a student at Penang Medical College?
The best would be my first two and half years from UCD. I would definitely recommend students to go there. I will never forget the friends that I have made.

What advice would you give to students who feel a little anxious about moving to another country having being through it yourself?
You have nothing to worry about. The people in Ireland are amazing. They make you feel like you are at home. At the same time you have great support from your Malaysian friends too. You will have an amazing time. It will be great there.

What are you most looking forward to about putting most of the training you have learned into practice?
I look forward to becoming more specialised and hopefully becoming someone famous in the future.

If you were speaking to someone who is 15 or 16 and thinking about studying medicine, what advice would you give to that person having gone through the journey yourself?
I think being a doctor is a great experience. It can be stressful at times but it is truly something that you have to experience yourself. It is an amazing journey and you will make great friends. If you really want to do it, then do it.

Rachel Nge Sing Wei

01-studentWhat is your name and where are you from?
My name is Rachel and I am from Kuala Lumpur.

How do you feel today after graduating from your studies?
After graduating I feel quite relieved. It has been a bittersweet journey to be honest and everything has been quite surreal to be honest. I feel happy that I am finally graduating but at the same time I feel quite sad as this is the last day of my medical school days. I am actually quite excited because this is the start of a whole new journey in the medical working world.

Could you describe for us your experience in RCSI?
My time in RCSI was very interesting. It was like a rollercoaster ride. There were ups and downs. Ups were the times with my friends and our time in Dublin and travelling in Europe. Downs would be exam times. Everybody hates exams, but when they are over you feel relieved. All your hard work pays off eventually. You learn to stay strong and focus on the end which is today.It can be quite daunting for an international student to think about moving from one country and go half way around the world and settle into a new country.

What would your advice to those students be and what was your experience like?
My advice to the students would be to keep an open mind. There are a lot of new things that you will be experiencing, new cultures, new friends and new family members. Everything will be wonderfully new. It might be a bit daunting, a bit scary, but personally for me I found it a wonderful experience. It was great to experience a whole new system where everything was out of my comfort zone. I really loved it and am really sure that everyone would too if they gave it a shot.

You are about to move into the next phase of your career as an intern and as a practicing qualified doctor. What are you most looking forward to about putting all of your education and training into practice?
As a doctor, I would be looking forward to utilising everything that my teachers, professors and consultants have taught me, to truly help the patients. We’ve only learned everything in books and have been under the wings of experienced ones and it’s been reallyexciting to know that we will finally be on our own and be able to help people and put everything into practice that we’ve learned so far.

Tung Kong Meng

Tung Kong Meng
What is your name and what are you studying in Penang Medical College?
My name is Tung Kong Meng and I’m doing the Fourth Year medical program in PMC.

Why did you choose to study medicine with Penang Medical College?
Initially it was a very difficult decision for me to choose the medical college that I want to go to but finally I decided to choose Penang Medical College because I believe it provides the best education for me. We have two and half years pre-clinical training back in Ireland, when I went to RCSI, and we have another two and a half year practical training in Malaysia, and as someone who will be working in Malaysia for the next 10 years, or 20 years, or perhaps for the rest of my life, I believe that the clinical training in Malaysia will provide the best teaching or the best education for me to enter into the working environment in Malaysia.

What are the benefits of undertaking pre-clinical training in RCSI?
Studying overseas is a whole different experience for someone like me, for someone who is from Malaysia like me. In RCSI, we have to follow the Western style of education where we have to go and research on certain topics that are being discussed by the lecturer. The lecturer will teach us, but he will give us a general overview of the particular topic, so the students have to go and do more research into that particular topic. I believe that that is one of the best ways to train our critical thinking and analytical skills. This is actually very different to the style of education in Malaysia where we were actually being spoon fed a lot.

Did you enjoy studying with students of many different nationalities in RCSI?
Yes definitely, in RCSI we have a multi-cultural society, back in UCD there are a lot of Irish people there but in RCSI there are a lot people there from all over the world. There are people from the Arab world, there are people from Canada, from the USA and Australia, so we have a very wide variety of people there. Every one of us has a unique personality, probably because of the different cultures we have and the different ways we are brought up, but all of us sit in the same lecture hall and we study the same thing, and get the same education.

In terms of your student life in Ireland, what would you say was the best thing for you?
It is very difficult to point out a single thing, but I believe that there are a lot of interesting things that I have experienced back in Ireland, like for example learning the culture of Ireland. Irish culture is very different to the culture of  Malaysia, they have their own heritage, they have their own culture, and their own lifestyle, about which I believe I have learned throughout my two and a half years in Dublin.

Do you think that having studied with students from so many different countries is valuable for you as a student and a future doctor?
Yes, when we study overseas and study in Dublin, we get to make a lot of new friends and the medical program is not just in Malaysia, it is world-wide. So if I am to continue my research or to do study outside of Malaysia, I may need data from other parts of the world and I believe that my friends who will be in other countries will be able to help me or assist me in particular research work. In this way I can obtain data from many different parts of the world and therefore come up with the best solution for the health of the patient.

Is Penang Medical College’s international curriculum important for you for training as a doctor?
Yes, definitely. Penang Medical College is a unique college in fact. It is one of the sixth style medical colleges in Malaysia. Nowadays we have seen that a medical degree is very hard to be approved in other countries, but in Penang Medical College we obtain a degree that is not only recognised in Malaysia, but worldwide. With the qualification from Penang Medical College, we will be able to go to other countries to work there and to gain more experience outside of Malaysia. I believe that this is very important for anyone who wishes to work overseas. Penang Medical College is definitely the best choice.

Have there been moments that stand out in your mind since you have come back to Penang Medical College?
I have been back about three months now. It is a very different study environment to Dublin as the hospitals here are a bit smaller than back in Dublin. I have had a good experience of the hospitals in Penang. For example, I was allowed to take blood which I believe is very difficult to be allowed to do back in Dublin, and I have gained a lot of hands-on experience which is vital for being a good doctor.

What was student life like in Dublin?
It is very different and very fun. When we are students in Dublin, we don’t have to worry about anything except for our studies and passing our exams. Other than that we get to enjoy ourselves. We get to do a lot of things that a young person would normally do. For example, I did a bungee jump back in Dublin and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have managed to visit a lot of countries in Europe and did a lot of Eurotrips. I believe it is something I will do only once in my life.

Were the Irish people welcoming and friendly?
Yes, I remember when I landed in Dublin airport, I landed on my own but I was shown to the correct bus stop and in the city itself they were very helpful and guided me around to all the best areas.