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Extending My Education Beyond a Medical Degree with an IMU MBA in Healthcare Management

15 Mar 2021

A medical doctor who have accumulated many years of working experience in clinical settings, Dr Mohd Ab Hadi Bin Hairan @ Tohiar realized that there is a need for him to equip himself with relevant competencies and skills in management and leadership in healthcare. The MBA in Healthcare Management programme at IMU had exactly what he was looking for as it offers all those elements together with the brand name of IMU and a well-known Programme Director at that time (To’ Puan Dr Safurah Jaafar) which gave him the confidence to enrol into this programme. Dr Hadi tells us more about his MBA journey. “The journey had its ups and downs. I had to juggle time between working as a doctor, especially one in the Accident and Emergency (A & E) Unit and working in shifts even during the weekends. But I managed to attend the classes and completed all the assignments with the help and support from all the course mates and the lecturers. There was a time when I had to go to Indonesia for a health tourism programme by my hospital and I still managed to follow my classes through the online platform provided by IMU. I am thankful that this makes working and studying possible for me.

It is possible but it is full of challenges. As a medical officer who work in A&E and working in shifts, the challenges are definitely huge even though when I made a decision to enrol to this programme, I had already set my mind to commit as much time as I could to make sure everything goes smoothly. There were sleepless nights trying to catch up with the dateline for assignments but for me, this is part and parcel of trying to get what you want. To me, learning is a never-ending process. I still remember when I was a medical officer serving in a small-town hospital, during a ward round my consultant told me, the older you become – the wiser you should be. That quote inspires me until today.

The learning experience was truly priceless. The highlights of my time studying at IMU was the field trip / industrial trip with the most memorable ones being the ones when we visit Johor Bahru, Singapore and Sabah. The joy of being together with all the course mates and lecturers really gave me a sweet and memorable experience out of the usual working norm. This is even more memorable when everyone of my course mates is so fun, supporting each other with all coming from different professional backgrounds. On top of that, all the lecturers are supportive, fun to be with. We also had various guest lecturers from all different sectors who were able to really impart various knowledge to us.

For me, the main motivator to complete the management project and the MBA was the lecturers and supervisors. All of them were really supportive and gave me 100% motivation even when I feel like giving up. I am really fortunate to have supervisors who really understand me. This is especially true when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I was fortunate to be only left with my Management Project in order to complete the MBA but I was entirely involved as one of the Covid-19 task force committee members of my hospital and was unable to concentrate on my Management Project in the first half of 2020. As the end of 2020 approaches, I managed to complete the Management Project with the help and motivation from my dear supervisors and lectures.

For this, I would like to thank A/Prof Tan Kok Leong, Head of Community Medicine Department, IMU, Prof To’ Puan Dr Safurah Jaafar, former Programme Director for the MBA in Healthcare Management, IMU and A/Prof Azimatun Noor Aizuddin, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for being my supportive supervisors.

I feel that what I have learnt in the MBA Is useful for my work. I was given the chance to be the Medical Officer in Charge of my unit when I was still studying the programme. The knowledge and skills that I gained through this programme really help me a lot and with the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am able to practice what I have learned on the spot.

This pandemic really teaches us how to manage such a situation especially in a private healthcare entity where these hard times need strong leadership and business skills as well as wise decisions to ensure the survival of  the organization with the most important thing being its sustainability throughout this current battle.

My advice to the current students would be
 “To be committed to whatever that you already decided and plan for your future goals. Enjoy yourself during the programme and learn and collect as much knowledge and experience from the various lecturers and also from your course mates.”

My future plans are to become a hospital administrator whereby I am able to serve and provide excellent healthcare service to others. I also dream of becoming a good speaker, especially in the healthcare industry, so that I can share my thoughts and experience with others. My next passion is to be able to be involved in a research field area that is related with healthcare and business studies.”

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