Use those who left their studies early

  • Letters
  • Monday, 25 Nov 2019

I WOULD like to offer some advice to the Prime Minister and the Health and Education ministers as well. One in every five doctors undergoing training as housemen in Malaysia quit each year – 1,000 of the 5,000 housemen employed each year do not complete the two-year training stint.

In one report, 3,800 medical graduates quit just in the last three years. Considering the high cost of studying medicine, from RM500,000 to RM1mil, it is a huge loss for Malaysia’s resources (“Housemen do not complete training stint for various reasons”, The Star, March 30,2015; online at

I have seen some of those who dropped out working as e-hailing drivers and in fast food outlets. Those who got jobs in pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are in slightly better positions than others.

I hereby propose that we consider appointing them as demonstrators or tutors in pre-clinical subjects like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, biomedical science, parasitology, blood banks, medical research, etc, in the Education Ministry’s medical universities.

They do not need an annual practicing certificate and, of course, should not be allowed to check or treat patients in the hospitals and would be strictly forbidden from moonlighting outside in a general practice.

When I was studying at Universiti Malaya and working at University Hospital Kuala Lumpur, I saw numerous pre-clinical specialists, lecturers, professors and even some heads of departments who were not medical graduates but had PhDs in pure sciences like Biology, Zoology, etc. I also came across a dental surgeon with a PhD who was a professor/head of department.

Depending on their academic performance, these students should be allowed to do Masters, PhDs and be promoted accordingly as lecturers and professors, etc.

Because of the broader medical knowledge they have, I believe such they could be better lecturers than the average pure Science graduate.


Kuala Lumpur

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