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Golden Learning Opportunity in Disaster Management for IMU Medical Student

21 Dec 2018

16-21 July 2018 marked an important occasion as I attended the 4th International Table Top Exercise and Communication in Disaster Medicine (TOPCOM), organised by the Emergency and Trauma Department of Hospital Selayang. The conference focused on relevant topics in disaster preparedness and management including Critical Care, Pre-hospital Care and Trauma, Wilderness Medicine, CBRNE, and hands on Bedside Ultrasound.

The honorable Minister of Health of Malaysia, Dr Dzukefly Bin Ahmad officiated the conference which had 17 international speakers and a number of local experts presenting and sharing their experiences and knowledge. TOPCOM attracted around 300 participants including emergency physicians, medical officers, house officers and medical students. Besides participating as medical student, I was selected as IMU’s representative for poster presentation. My poster was about – Disaster Preparedness – “IT’s NOT A JOB, IT’s A CALLING”. The poster was a summary of my experience along with 35 other IMU students on a Disaster Preparedness Course (HOPED) we attended a month earlier, organised by the Emergency Department of Hospital Selayang. Three other IMU students, Sam Chi Xuan, Tan Zhen Chou and Nicole Ann Mathews were also involved in the production of this poster. The Poster presentation at TOPCOM Conference was a great experience for me. Under the guidance of Dr Rosdara, I learnt how to prepare a poster, as well as to present and answer questions during assessment. I am grateful to have been able to convey and share the experience gained from the HOPED Course and present my ideas and conclusion about the course effectively within the 5 minutes of presentation.

During the TOPCOM Conference, there were many interesting and mind blowing discussion and workshops.The topics selected were well presented and stimulated positive discussion among the participants. In the process of brainstorming, exchange and sharing of information, I noted the existence of different perspectives of knowledge in solving a clinical problem. There is no absolute right or wrong in managing patients thus varying views were shared among medical practitioners based on their experiences and knowledge of evidence based medicine. As a conclusion, improved clinical practices are aimed at increasing the standard of care for patients.

I would like express my gratitude to IMU for giving me this opportunity to participate in both, the conference as well as the course. The opportunity has surely widen my perspective in learning as an undergraduate student in many aspects. I hope that more students will take the opportunity to attend such conferences in the future as IMU is very supportive in giving students the chance to learn and grow in enhancing their own self development. Written by IMU medical student, Tan Chen Liang (ME 1/15)

House Officer Preparedness in Emergency and Disaster (HOPED) 
During HOPED, we were accompanied by IMU Emrgency Medicine Lecturer Dr Rosdara Masayuni. HOPED comprised of theoretical as well as practical sessions. Topics included Introduction of Disaster and Mass Casualty Incident by Datuk Dr Mohamed Alwi (Consultant Emergency Physician), Level of Disaster, Disaster Scene Hierarchy and Importance of Zoning in Disaster. Field Triaging using SALT and START principles, Decontamination Process and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – were some of the other interesting topics taught.

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