SELECTING your next step after high school is always daunting.
As you move from the safe, structured school confines to a more independent, grown-up environment, you are expected to manage your time and self, even away from your family. Furthermore, deciding a course to study could prove difficult thanks to the many education options available.
If the healthcare profession is your choice, there are many pre-university choices, ranging from university-specific Foundation in Science (FIS) to STPM and A-Levels.
FIS programmes however can offer a necessary groundwork for healthcare students to build towards a degree in Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine, Bachelor’s Degree in Surgery (MBBS).
Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM, formerly Melaka-Manipal Medical College) launched its one-year FIS programme in 2012 to start students off in their chosen field in Health Sciences.
By carefully blending relevant subjects, FIS equips students with fundamental knowledge and provides smooth academic passage towards undergraduate studies.
Focused and specialised
What makes the FIS at MUCM unique is its inclusion of pre-clinical study subjects in its Health Science degree, such as Basic Human Anatomy and Basic Human Physiology.
Early exposure to human anatomy helps students learn core definitions and terminology that can be used in Medicine, as well as the various facts, concepts and principles.
According to FIS Batch 20 student Ajairam Sivananainda Perumal: “The medical-orientated subjects gave me a rough idea on what’s to come, allowing me to prepare to take on MBBS.
“Although the lecturers conducted classes online, they give their best to ensure maximal learning.
“Face-to-face lessons on campus are exciting, especially during laboratory classes, with well-equipped labs and friendly lab assistants.”
The curriculum is constantly reviewed by medical and dental faculty members, with the alumni’s feedback, to ensure it remains consistent with the profession’s changing landscape and the degree.
The Centre of Foundation and General Studies is led by Dr Rashmirekha Sahoo, who oversees students in a hands-on manner and personally seeks to ensure her wards grow and prosper, with the resilience to take on challenges.
“My aim is to build a stronger foundation for them to move forward and be comprehensively prepared to conduct undergraduate studies,” Dr Rashmirekha said.
“I aim to elevate their minds despite ever-changing circumstances and allow them to embrace obstacles.”
School to uni
To prepare fresh students for university life, MUCM’s Foundation Department organises a mentor-mentee event in each intake.
It fosters friendship among students and familiarises them with the university environment in a fun way. New students can learn the successful ways of navigating the same programme from seniors.
It also allows the faculty to extend pastoral care as they coach their mentees in goal setting, time management, conflict resolutions, skill development, the appreciation of lifelong learning, and the sense of having a purpose in life.
MUCM’s FIS also heads the Posmed competition, where students unleash their creativity by designing posters featuring their research on medical devices in biology, physics, mathematics and clinical correlation.
Students are also required to produce a prototype to complement their posters using scrap materials. This Semester 1 assessment integrates foundation-level learning with medical and dental technologies.
Stepping stone to MUCM’s degrees
Since its inception, MUCM has successfully nurtured over 6,000 medical and over 400 dental surgeons, through both the Malaysian and international health systems.
Many of its alumni have progressed successfully into their own specialist careers.
Through FIS, MUCM hopes to empower young students to become agents of change and gear them towards personal and professional success in healthcare.
■ For more information on MUCM’s FIS programme, call 1700 811 662 or log on to www.manipal.edu.my