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IMU Medical Students Win Top Prizes at 7th National Medical Students Basic Surgical Skills Competition 2019

13 Mar 2019

The National Basic Skills Competition is an annual programme of the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (CSAMM). The competition is held for medical students in the country to showcase their surgical skills with the objective of exposing students to the surgical environment and initiating their interest in surgery. This competition is held annually and provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in theatre etiquette, instrument handling, knotting, suturing and laparoscopy. This year, at the 7th National Medical Students Basic Surgical Skills Competition 2019, 120 students took part in the competition which was held at the Advanced Surgical Skills Centre, Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. After the initial phase, 15 students were shortlisted to enter into the final competition. Of the 15 finalists chosen, 3 were from IMU; namely Nor Heidi Izzat Nor Azman, Toh Ee Syuen and Ahmad Kousaibati (Year 4 students). The layout of the finals is a series of stations with each station having a task to be completed by the student in 5 minutes. These stations test hand dexterity, hand-eye coordination, strategic thinking, mental strength; all the real-life skills that a surgeon will require. The top 5 participants in the finals were given complimentary registration along with sponsorship for travelling and accommodation to attend The College of Surgeons Academy of Medicine of Malaysia Annual Scientific Congress. This year, the Congress will be incorporated into the 22nd Asian Congress of Surgery, which will be held at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur from 2-4 August 2019. IMU’s Nor Heidi Izzat Nor Azman won the 1st prize and Toh Ee Syuen was declared first runner-up. Nor Heidi Izzat Nor Azman will receive the President’s Medal at the CSAMM Gala Dinner. The credit for the success of IMU students is due to activities of the IMU Surgical Society, the 1st student-led surgical society in the country. The objective of the society is to promote surgery among students. The society regularly conducts surgical skills training in Seremban and Bukit Jalil campuses. Previous student participants, Aravinthan Kadravello and Yuki Julius Ng, were also invited to guide the students on techniques and tips, and they were very gracious about sharing their experience. One of 3 IMU Students who were finalists at the 7th National Medical Students Basic Surgical Skills Competition 20193 IMU Students were finalists at the 7th National Medical Students Basic Surgical Skills Competition 2019One of 3 IMU Students who were finalists at the 7th National Medical Students Basic Surgical Skills Competition 2019 The winners share their experience:

Nor Heidi Izzat Nor Azman
First of all, It’s an honour for me to be able to participate in this competition and I am grateful to everyone especially family, lecturers and friends who have encouraged me and supported me all the way from preliminary round and up to the finals. Being able to participate in this competition really taught me valuable things and sharpened my skills as well as my knowledge. Personally, competitions like this provides a good opportunity for medical students to develop and showcase their skills and from there, they can set a benchmark for them and improve. IMU culture of peer tutoring also gives a lot of benefit to me and my colleagues where we are able to learn from each other and sometimes, to a certain extend, even conduct a workshop from initiative and interest from the students. Special thanks to our surgical faculty and School of Medicine in general who have given the students encouragement to partake workshops, symposiums and events that develop their confident and skills. Not forgetting the contribution of College of Surgeons Malaysia in giving this special opportunity for medical students with the aim to spark their interest in surgery and for them to plan for their future undertaking.

Toh Ee Syuen
After going through the competition, I am really grateful for all who have given me the support needed to push through. Right now, I can proudly say that I have the skills and experience to teach my peers. And that is the one thing I will say I learned from this competition. We learn these skills and knowledge for the purpose of 1) practising medicine safely, and 2) passing it on the next generation. By empowering all of us with these techniques, with motivation, with a support system; we ultimately advance as a society. Through the training sessions, I have witnessed first-hand the power of lifting people up on the ladder of success. It brings the group closer, it opens up an air of cooperation, and most importantly it instils the spirit of lifting each other up. “How does this benefit the degree?” one asks. Well, academics aside, it goes without saying these are attributes of a compassionate human being, who also happens to be the best doctors. I like to think that with the right attitude, anyone can learn the academic aspect of medicine. To conclude, I highly recommend students joining workshops or competitions such as these. However, the aim should be at attaining soft qualities and good techniques, prizes that follow are a bonus boost of confidence. With this mindset, it builds resilience, courage and humility into the soul.

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