Academy for Silent Mentor (AFSM) is a non-profitable organisation which provides a platform for the public to voluntarily donate their bodies after their passing, for the sake of medical education. After signing a MoU with AFSM in October 2019, IMU Chinese Medicine Department have made use of the services provided by AFSM for acupoint anatomy workshops and other teaching needs.
On the night of 22 June 2022, fourth year IMU Chinese Medicine students from CM1/18 and CM2/18 visited and interviewed the family member of Silent Mentor, Madam See Lai Har, virtually via Zoom to learn about her life history. “I was able to learn more about our silent mentor and the reason behind why she chose to do so. I felt really grateful for her decision to donate her body to help students learn as I know it was not an easy decision to make,” said student Dawn Lim Xiao Tong.
On 26 June 2022, the students contributed in a ceremony held in AFSM to pay respect and initiate the Silent Mentor for the first time. Other than the IMU lecturers and students, there were also attendees from UTAR, UKM and KL Academy of Chinese Medicine. Dahlya Qasryna binti Zulkifi and Lee Chun Yang were the emcee of the ceremony. Later, the students presented the life history of Madam See, using the information collected during the home visit. All students also performed a song, “Feng Xian (Dedication)”, to pay tribute for the Silent Mentors’ selfless dedication. A compilation of thank you notes and a fruit basket were also prepared by the students and given to the family member as tokens of gratitude. Then, all attendees entered the theatre for a short religious ceremony and moment of silence.
After this, the students attended the acupoint anatomy workshop in AFSM under guidance of lecturers, Dr Nur Atiqah binti Sahari and Freya Tang from IMU Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CCAM) on 27 June 2022. The students studied the anatomy for a number of dangerous and commonly used acupoints, with hands-on practice in needling these acupoints on the Silent Mentor. This helped to increase their confidence and skill in performing acupuncture in these acupoints.
“This workshop has helped me feel more confident whenever I perform acupuncture on my patients during my clinical sessions in IMU Chinese Medicine Center,” said one of the students, Tan Weng Yee. “For instance, I’ve always been hesitant to needle points like GB20 Feng Chi and GB21 Jian Jing since we learnt that poor needling skills can have negative consequences like respiratory failure and pneumothorax. But thanks to the guidance of our silent mentor, I have a better understanding of the human anatomy and locations of acupoints, resulting in better therapeutic effects for my patients.”
The series of events ended smoothly, and the students appreciated the opportunity and priceless experience. In general, the students gained not only knowledge and skill, but also compassion and empathy.
“It is important for our students to develop these qualities, to become a good healthcare provider in future,” mentioned by Freya Tang. “We often remind the students of the Hippocratic Oath and Da Yi Jing Cheng of Sun Simiao throughout the programme, so that they would not forget their main goal which is to contribute to patients and the community. We look forward in having these events again in future.”
All the photos have been authorised for use by Academy for Silent Mentor