A step closer to healing the sick

Half way there: Ecstatic PMC students having a group photo after the ceremony at the Penang Hospital.

INSPIRED by those in the medical profession who gave their all to save lives during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, a young girl decided to become a doctor.

Now 22, Caryn Lim is one step closer to her dream as she and 149 other students of the Penang Medical College (PMC) have been presented with their white coats.

“I chose medicine because it was my childhood dream since young. I remember we had a season of SARS cases and I was inspired to be a doctor,” she said at the recent third PMC White Coat ceremony (Class of 2017) in Jalan Residensi, Penang.

Lim said she would like to become a cardiologist if given the opportunity when she graduates from her clinical training and finishes her housemanship.

All 150 students underwent two-and-a-half years of pre-clinical education in Dublin, Ireland, at the University College Dublin or the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

They will spend over two years of clinical training at the Penang Hospital, Seberang Jaya Hospital, Bukit Mertajam Hospital or Taiping Hospital.

State Health Department director Datuk Dr Zailan Adnan said the Ministry of Health and medical schools had a common goal in training future doctors.

“We have to ensure that the doctors produced in the country meet the standards that have been set and are able to discharge their duties effectively.

“The ministry has allowed most of its facilities to be used as training grounds for medical students to learn and sharpen their skills,” she said.

Students receiving the white coat not only managed to balance an intensive study schedule but also came back with exceptional achievements among their diverse classmates in Dublin.

Among the awards received by the students were a first-place Kane Medallist for Neurobiology, a second-place Stoney Memorial Medallist in Year 3, Junior Cycle Gold Medallist in Year One, a competitive shooter, an Irish scout, as well as a videographer and fine art artist who participat-ed in the Dublin Christian Art Festival.

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