Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia –Since its establishment in 1974, the Faculty of Medicine at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of medical education and healthcare in Malaysia. Over nearly five decades, the faculty has evolved from its humble beginnings to become a leading institution in medical education, marked by ambition, innovation, and a deep commitment to community health. The journey towards excellence saw a significant milestone in 1993 with the establishing of UKM’s teaching hospital, HUKM (Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia). Situated on a 23-hectare site at Jalan Yaakob Latiff, Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, the hospital began operations in 1997 and received its official inauguration by Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 1998. A pivotal moment in the history of UKM’s Faculty of Medicine occurred in 2008 when it merged with HUKM to form the UKM Medical Centre. This integration marked a significant leap in enhancing learning efficiency, research, and healthcare delivery.
UKM has recently opened applications for its highly sought-after elective postings in various departments in its continued pursuit of excellence. These postings, primarily designed for fourth-year students, aim to provide a comprehensive learning experience encompassing a wide range of humanitarian projects and practical experiences spanning 2 to 4 weeks. The elective program allows students to step beyond the classroom confines and immerse themselves in real-world medical practices. This initiative is particularly influential in fields like Pediatrics and Family Medicine, where students gain first-hand experience in diverse medical scenarios.
One student’s journey through the Elective Program at UKM’s Medical Center (UKMMC) in Kuala Lumpur exemplifies the transformative power of this experience. The student’s engagement in the Department of Pediatrics at Hospital Pakar Kanak-Kanak UKM and the Department of Family Medicine at Klinik Primer PPUKM Cheras provided an unparalleled opportunity to deal with severe and rare conditions. This exposure deepened the student’s understanding of complex pediatric cases and broadened their perspective on family medicine, caring for elderly patients with common illnesses. The hands-on experience in performing ECGs and other basic medical skills was pivotal in preparing for a future in holistic patient care and embracing the biopsychosocial model of modern medicine. This comprehensive exposure altered the student’s initial ambition of being a traditional hospital-based doctor, shifting their focus towards comprehensive patient care.
The experience at UKMMC expanded the students’ medical perspective, equipping them with the understanding necessary to manage healthcare across various age groups and complexities. Furthermore, the program ignited a strong desire to pursue further studies abroad and highlighted the value of cross-cultural collaboration and international academia. Reflecting on their journey, the students expressed profound gratitude towards the lecturers and mentors at UKMMC who have significantly shaped their medical careers. The program instilled a passion for becoming a dynamic medical professional skilled in direct service and interdisciplinary collaboration. Looking towards the future with renewed passion and dedication to excellence, the student is confident in their ability to make significant contributions to medicine locally and globally.
Students participating in these elective postings are responsible for managing all aspects of their experience, from choosing and communicating with the institution to handling the associated costs. UKM emphasizes the importance of professionalism throughout the elective period. Interested students must download and submit specific forms, including an application form, a student evaluation form, and an elective posting report, available on the UKM website. Deadlines are set for submission, and students are encouraged to maintain close contact with the Elective Coordinator for any necessary updates or changes to their original proposals. This program is a beacon of UKM’s unwavering commitment to fostering comprehensive medical education and shaping well-rounded healthcare professionals.