“Never stop learning” is a positive attitude that propels a person to excel in career and life. As suggested by Benjamin Franklin, the founding Fathers of the United States, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. Indeed, in an era where strong emphasis is given on certification, academic upgrading provides a better edge for career advancement and the door to open to new job options that was previous prohibited. In line with this, several weekend graduate programmes are currently being offered by the International Medical University (IMU). These programmes aim to provide a platform for working adults to keep abreast with the latest development in scientific knowledge and to enhance their skills obtained through their daily routines via scientifically sound research project.
MSc in Molecular Medicine is one of the weekend graduate programmes which focuses on the role of simple molecules and complex molecular-genetical interactions in human diseases and the applications of systems biology, computational biology and chemical genetics in disease diagnostics and treatments.
Since its inaugural cohort in 2013, the programme has attracted healthcare professionals such as medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists and nurses. Among them include Dr Norafifah Musa, a medical officer currently practicing her trade at Shah Alam. According to Dr Afifah, ‘Molecular Medicine’ is the current and future of medicine. She is eager to conduct a research project in the related area and gain experience that is applicable as a clinician. Her passion for learning is shared by other medical doctors in the programme including Dr Davie Viyezgo Mhango from Malawi and Dr Safa Abdel Gadir Mohamed Elhassan from Sudan. Dr Davie opined that as a clinician, molecular medicine is pivotal to the understanding of how personalised medicine (as opposed to the conventional approach of “one size fit all” treatment) can be implemented in disease management. Dr Safa further pointed out that there are still a number of genetic diseases without definitive treatment which will ultimately rely on the continuous research in Molecular Medicine. Being both international students, they felt that the support given by the faculty and fellow course mates are particularly commendable. For Dr Lalli Dharmarajan, a dentist from India, IMU’s reputation and clear focus in healthcare related programmes is her main reason to enrol into MSc in Molecular Medicine. In addition, the opportunity to conduct research at IMU Partner Universities spreading across Australia, UK, Canada, and New Zealand is a huge attraction to study at IMU. Dave Ling, a strong believer in lifelong learning who also happened to be one of the IMU alumni from the Bachelor of Pharmacy programme added that his past experience in IMU had strengthened his faith in IMU’s quality of teaching. He hopes his study in IMU will improve his knowledge in cancer genetics, allowing him to go the extra mile in his career. In addition, by learning from classmates with diverse working background, he is now more appreciative of the integrative healthcare systems and is able to tackle problems through different perspectives. Currently, IMU is offering various taught master programmes, catering to the different needs of students from diverse backgrounds. To cater for working adults, some of the programmes are conducted during weekends, supplemented with interactive online delivery. The extensive network of IMU partner universities from US, UK, Australia and New Zealand further ensures a strong research focussed learning experience, and the establishment of professional links that are beneficial for future career development.