M’sia gets global recognition

PASSION is important but without a “modicum of talent and a truckload of hard work, success will be hard to come by”.

That was Prof Dr April Camilla Roslani’s (pic) advice for students.

Dr April Camilla, who was awarded the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Honorary Fellowship last year, recently became the first Malaysian to be conferred the Honorary Fellowship of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS).

The ASCRS Honorary Fellowship recognises individuals who have made outstanding achievements and contributions to fields related to colon and rectal surgery, said Universiti Malaya (UM) in a Facebook post on April 30 congratulating its medicine faculty dean and professor of surgery. Dr April Camilla hopes the award will open up more opportunities for collaboration that will take the fraternity to greater heights.

Speaking to StarEdu, she shared that academic surgery has not been an easy path as it demands many sacrifices, mentally, physically and socioeconomically.“In a personal capacity, I feel that my career choice, which has at times been questioned by others, has been vindicated.

“Professionally, I am proud that colorectal surgery in Malaysia has gained international recognition.

“It is a relatively young specialty here, with a very small number of specialists, particularly in the public sector, ” she said.

Despite limited capacity within the field, she added that they are still able to deliver quality care, conduct research and train the next generation.

“Imagine what we could do with more resources!”

Malaysia has come a long way in establishing structured surgical training, she said, adding that there is, however, much to do. Engagement needs to happen much earlier rather than at the pre-university level, as most of the groundwork for developing cognitive, motor and affective skills need to happen in schools.

“With regard to formal surgical training programmes, training of trainers needs to be professionalised, workplace-based assessments strengthened, the effectiveness and efficiency of training increased, and the delivery of quality assured examinations improved.

“While virtual learning opportunities cannot completely replace hands-on training, we need to integrate its beneficial elements to reduce the gaps that decentralised training can be subjected to.

“The research component in training needs to be recognised as a valuable skill, and not a burden, ” she said.It is also imperative to focus more attention on the well-being of trainees and their trainers in order to mitigate the constant attrition in numbers she said,

Dr April Camilla hopes students will spend some time understanding themselves – their strengths and weaknesses, what brings them joy, and what they want out of life.

“Then, go for it – whatever ‘it’ is. Be ambitious, but be prepared. Start early, be humble, get help. Embrace hard work, but don’t forget to have joy.”

She reminded students to not forget to give back and be the mentor they would have liked to have.

“Support your colleagues, your alma mater, your country – there are so many ways to do so, be it contributing your time, expertise or financial support, and it will go a long way to relieving their burdens.”

A University of Wales graduate, Dr April Camilla has produced about 80 academic research publications. She is also the president of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia College of Surgeons and the Asia Pacific Federation of Coloproctology.Public varsity researchers highly cited TIME and again, Malaysian researchers have shown their strengths in research.

In the recent Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list, Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) were listed as funders of highly cited papers.

Some 21% of the papers came from UM, followed by 12% from UKM and 7% from UTM, according to Clarivate.

The researchers, it said, have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.“Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index.

“According to Clarivate statistics, HCRs in Malaysia have published more than 3,422 papers from 2009 to 2019.

“A large part of the research done by these HCRs are closely linked to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages; ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; and ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, ” it said during a ceremony held virtually on April 29 by Clarivate and the Higher Education Ministry.

During the event, it was also announced that six researchers from UM are on Malaysia’s Clarivate HCR list.

They are Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Abdul Raman, Prof Md. Abul Kalam, Prof Kazi Md. Salim Newaz and Prof Wan Mohd Ashri Wan Daud of the varsity’s Faculty of Engineering; Prof Abdullah Gani from the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology; and Prof Nasrudin Abd Rahim from the UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced Centre, UM said in a press release.

Prof Dr Abdul Aziz, who is also the varsity’s deputy vice-chancellor (development), said his research focuses on developing advanced wastewater treatment that is not only cheaper but generates lower carbon footprints.

Prof Nasrudin is developing technologies that are dedicated to improving and maximising the generated energy and efficiencies to be deployed. Through collaborations with Kyoto University in Japan, he is working to provide practical rural electrification in South-East Asia.

Prof Md. Abul, a mechanical engineer, said his research field is related to thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, solid mechanics, and materials characteristics.

“The study on alternative fuels has a significant impact on society.

“It creates a lot of jobs and reduces foreign petroleum energy, ” he said.

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