24 to 25 October 2014 – International Medical University (IMU) medical student, Yew Sheng Qian, had the opportunity to present his research project at International Conference for Medical and Healthcare Students 2014 (ICHAMS ‘14) organised by Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland (RCSI) and held in Dublin, Ireland. Here, he relates his experience at the conference. “If someone ask me to describe my experience of presenting a poster in an international conference with a few words, I would definitely say: “Dream Comes True!” Being a local MBBS student who can happily graduate to becoming a doctor in 5 years (provided I passed all the major exams in one go), taking an additional year for research (BMed Sci research year) seems to be an “unwise” and “unnecessary” move. In fact, taking an extra year for research really sounds insane at first, when I was still in my first year of study. However, after much encouragement and sincere advice from Prof Stephen Ambu, the coordinator of Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMed Sci) programme, I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone and achieve my dream as a clinical researcher. “As scientists, we shall never be selfish and should always be ready to share our knowledge that we gained through our research project. Don’t you want to present in a conference and tell the whole world what great work you have accomplished after days and nights of hard work in the laboratory?” This encouragement and support by Prof Chu Wan Loy, Dean of Postgraduate Studies had led to my decision to present my project, entitled “Preparing Kaempferol Nanosuspension (KNS) using High Pressure Homogenization Technique” in an international conference in Ireland. ICHAMS, now in its fourth consecutive year, is a conference for undergraduate medical students to present their research to peers in the biomedical field. In addition to the oral and poster presentations from delegates at the conference, there were numerous workshops and talks, which were offered on a variety of topics, aimed to promote interactions among medical students from different countries and exchange of research knowledge and experiences. At this conference, I feel honoured to be offered an opportunity to present my research findings through a poster presentation. Through this presentation, not only did I gained skills to communicate and discuss my research findings verbally, but also learned to share my research work visually in a reasonably structured way (in a poster format). During various plenary talks and workshops, I was able to gain a lot of advanced knowledge and experience in physiotherapy, clinical and surgical skills, which I believe will be beneficial in my clinical years in Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital, Seremban. For instance, I was able to broaden my knowledge in musculoskeletal system, especially in detecting musculoskeletal disorders using new technologies, after attending a plenary lecture with the title of “Computerised Three Dimensional Gait Analysis”, offered by the RCSI Human Movement Laboratory.
I really gained a worthwhile and great experience at this conference, not only with the knowledge on drug pharmacokinetics, but also the ability to build a wonderful network and make new acquaintances from various countries, including United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia and Singapore. I must say, this conference was really an eye-opener for me, besides further encouraging my passion in biomedical research.
I would never ever regret spending an extra year in the BMed Sci research year. In fact, I would definitely recommend my juniors to join this very exciting programme or even to sign up a postgraduate study in the future too!”