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Becoming a Doctor: A Medical Student’s Journey

25 May 2022

I am Wee Sze Shian, a 2022 graduate from the IMU School of Medicine, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, batch of ME1/17. Since the University is reputable for their name in healthcare education and my sister being an alumna of the University, I knew IMU was the right fit for me. I entered the IMU local programme in February 2017 and the rest was history. Memories of my pre-clinical years have left an everlasting footprint in my life. While being a rather introverted and reserved person, the years in Bukit Jalil will forever change my life for the better. I found a circle of peers that blossomed to friendships that I will cosset for a lifetime. Having been involved in extracurricular activities such as the orientation programme, IMU Cup as well as clubs and societies helped push me out of my comfort zone and provided me with the confidence to achieve various leadership roles through these activities.

Having a game of volleyball at the IMU Bukit Jalil campus 

Academically, I have always regarded myself as an average student, scoring grades along the lines of the mean of the class. The countless hours of reading and committing the content to heart was an uphill battle to say the least. However, as learning transitioned to be more clinically oriented throughout the semesters, I eventually found my footing and knowledge retention became second nature with an active application of learnt theory into clinical practice.

Sze Shian at the IMU Clinical Campus in Kluang

The transition into clinical school was challenging but rewarding. As the challenges and expectations were increasing, so did my interest and passion in the field. I am eternally grateful to my mentors for pushing me beyond what I deemed I was capable of. There was definitely a considerable number of hurdles encountered, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our clinical exposure, playing catch-up with the numerous assignment deadlines and the sheer fatigue from the long-days, to name a few. What I ultimately realise was that these hurdles did not only passively improve my knowledge, but also imparted the values, work etiquettes and mental fortitude required for our future as doctors.

At the end, to my surprise, my hard work paid off when I was shortlisted in the Dean’s List for my final professional paper. While the completion of this degree will forever be one of the biggest achievements in my life, this is only the beginning.

My imparting note would be to always be compassionate and humble. Knowledge gained is to be shared and there is always room for growth. While medicine may be your calling, it’s vital to balance your commitments such as health, lasting relations with friends and family, as well as the constant strive for improvement as these are the keys to success.

As this chapter of my journey at IMU has come to a close, I am excited to see what the future holds and what new doors may open for me in time to come. Throughout my journey, I found an interest in internal medicine and teaching, which has potentially broadened my point of view to perhaps one day pursue a career in medical education. As of now, while I am waiting to start my service under the Ministry of Health, I am working on publishing several case reports and articles. Simultaneously, I have enrolled into the Peer Tutor Programme at IMU in view of my interest in teaching while per tradition, guiding the junior students in their journey as how my seniors have guided me along my peregrination at IMU.

Written by Wee Sze Shian

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