Medicine

Course Duration

Foundation: 1 - 2 years
Degree in Medicine: 5 years
Housemanship: 2 years
Postgraduate: 4 - 5 years

Total Average Fee

Private Institutions in Malaysia: RM 250 000 - RM 800 000
Local Institutions: RM 8000 - RM 15000

Prospects

Average Salary: RM 88 275 per year

What is Medicine about?

Medicine is the science and practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. It involves utilising of healthcare practices to maintain and restore person’s well-being.  Studying medicine equips you with the knowledge and skills to become a medical doctor and serves as a foundation to later specialisation.

What are the subjects covered by the course?

In most institutions, the course will be at least 5 years long and generally divided into two parts: pre-clinical (2 years) and clinical years (3 years).

The pre-clinical years encompass theoretical knowledge of the human body, its physiology of various systems and its complex anatomy. Together, you will learn normal and abnormal structure, function, and behaviour with regards to the body systems. These include, in general, the following (not exhaustive):

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Human Physiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Clinical Examination Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Ethical Principles
  • and etc

Deep understanding of these topics is essential for clinical years, where you will apply the knowledge of pre-clinical years when you meet real life patients. During the clinical years, you will enhance your knowledge on wide range of common as well as complex diseases and their treatments by undertaking clinical placement in the hospitals and clinics. Normally, you will be rotated into various placements such as general medicine, surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and psychiatry. As the course goes on, you will be prepared to transition from a medical student to a competent houseman. You will be taught advanced skills such as advanced communication, prescribing and working under pressure.

Additionally, some medical schools offer their students early clinical opportunities i.e. they may see real patients as early as Year 1. Depending on the institutions, you might also get a chance to spend some time of your medical studies at other places locally or internationally, either by twinning programme or doing electives etc.

What are the requirements to study the course?

General entry requirements, as set by Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) are as follows:

  • STPM/A-Level: Minimum of BBB / ABC / AAC in: Biology + Chemistry + Physics or Mathematics
  • Australian Matriculation: You will need EITHER: (1) Average of 80% (or the equivalent of B) in: Biology + Chemistry + Physics or Mathematics, OR (2) ATAR of 80.0 including Biology +Chemistry + Physics or Mathematics

You will also need to have at least 5Bs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths / Add Maths and one additional subject at SPM, O-Level or equivalent.

For university-specific entry requirements, please visit the website of individual university. As a note, a medical degree is very competitive and as such you may need to obtain high grade in your pre-university examination before being called for interview.

What does the education pathway look like?

SPM/O-Level > Pre-University/Foundation > Degree in Medicine (MBBS/MD) Housemanship (2 years) Medical Officer Postgraduate Study for Specialisation Specialist Consultant

Upon completion of medical degree, you will have to undergo two-year compulsory internship (housemanship) in the government hospitals. Upon completion of housemanship, you will be a medical officer. Medical officers work for several years before furthering studies (optional) to become specialists.

What are the career prospects for this course?

The main outcome of graduating with a medical degree is to be a practicing doctor whether in the hospitals or in general practices. However, if you wish to strive in non-clinical fields, here are some alternatives:

  • Hospital Administration
  • Pharmaceutical Medicine
  • Medical Research
  • Medical Journalism
  • Medical Education (e.g. teaching at universities)

What skills do you need for this course?

  • Good Communication Skills
    As doctors, it is very important to effectively communicate not just with patients, but also with other healthcare practitioners. It is vital in history taking to reach the correct diagnosis and explaining the diagnoses and treatment plans to the patients in a way that they understand, leads to adherence to treatment. Additionally, good communication is required for various situations ranging from the simplest thing such as advising patients to take healthy diet, to complex situation such as breaking bad news to patients. And as such, you have to be comfortable with people especially strangers and be ready to talk to them.
  • Critical Thinking Skills
    Doctors are expected to diagnose patients based on the symptoms, signs, with or without investigation results. Diagnosing involves understanding the symptoms and putting them together to understand the main reason for the patient’s illness. For this reason, doctors must have strong knowledge of medical science and knowledge of wide range of diseases. With strong knowledge, doctors must equip this with critical thinking to rule in and rule out potential diseases especially life-threatening conditions, as most conditions present with overlapping symptoms. And for obvious reason, doctors need to be meticulous and have strong attention to details.
  • Empathy and Caring
    It is said that the good doctor treats the disease, while a great doctor treats the patient. You will need to have genuine concern for patients and be able to empathise with them to show that you care, not just meeting them for the sake of learning and treating their conditions. Again, you have to be comfortable with people to develop this skill.
  • Tenacity and Determination
    Studying medicine may be tough and rigorous, with a whole lot of information to be covered in relatively short amount of time and later in the course, frequent long hours in the hospitals and clinics. Time management is key and always remind yourself of the main reason of why you choose to become a doctor in the first place.

Note: Most of the skills mentioned above will be taught during the course so do not worry too much if you find yourself lacking. As a start, be passionate and be ready to talk to people! 

Where can you study this course?

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