Quiz on the human body

  • Education
  • Sunday, 07 Sep 2003

UNIVERSITI Malaya (UM) will hold its inaugural Human Physiology Quiz for second-year medical students on Sept 13. The quiz is aimed at generating interest in physiology, which is the study of human body functions.  

The physiological systems include musculo-skeletal, cardiovascular (heart, blood vessels), respiratory (lungs), renal (kidneys), gastrointestinal (digestion), endocrine (hormones) and nervous (nerves, brain) systems.  

''We also want to provide an opportunity for friendships to be established among the future medical community in Malaysia,'' says Dr Cheng Hwee Ming, from the university's Faculty of Medicine. 

The quiz will be held at the Faculty of Medicine from 8am to 5pm. The entrance fee is RM5, inclusive of door gifts. 

Out of 11 letters of invitation sent out, seven medical schools have responded, including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Perak Medical College, Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (Aimst) and the International Islamic University (IIU). 

Dr Cheng says the challenge trophy will be named in honour of the late Prof A. Raman, who was the first Malaysian physiology professor at UM. 

According to the Journal of the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Prof Raman was appointed head of the physiology department in 1971 until his death in 1998. The department, set up in 1963, was previously headed by Prof G. Barber-Reiley from Liverpool and Americans Dr Gordon Ring and Dr Arthur Brown. 

Born in India in 1936, Prof Raman settled in Malaysia with his parents and brother in 1948. He enrolled in Kajang High School and later Victoria Institution before commencing medical studies at the University of Malaya in Singapore in 1954. 

Upon his graduation in 1960, he served at the Kulim General Hospital in Kedah.  

His keen interest in physiology led him to relinquish his clinical career in 1963 to join the pioneering team of lecturers selected by the founder dean of the UM Medical Faculty under the late Tan Sri Emeritus Prof T.J. Danaraj. 

After receiving further training at Dundee University in Scotland, he returned to take up a position as lecturer in the Physiology Department in 1965.  

Prof Raman's initial research interest was in calcium metabolism, which became the topic of his dissertations for his Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, which he completed in 1969 and 1974 respectively. 

Under his leadership, the department conducted undergraduate and postgraduate courses for medical, dental and paramedical students. He also rose to the challenge of teaching physiology in Bahasa Malaysia by spearheading the authorship of a series of physiology texts in the national language. 

His dedication and devotion to duty led to his service being extended beyond the official retirement age and he was on his second three-year post retirement contract when he died. 

For more information on the quiz, call Dr Cheng at 03-7967 4920/4907. – BY KAREN CHAPMAN 

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