My name is Amiera binti Mat Aziz and I am an IMU Chinese Medicine (CM) programme alumna. I have always been interested in the back to the origins concept where we use natural products and minimal surgical invasion as our treatment method. Then, I found that CM fits this concept very well. I started to do my research about CM. I collected information regarding the CM market in Malaysia, universities that offers CM programme, as well as learning modules that need to be taken.
|After careful considerations weighing the pros and cons, I consequently chose IMU because of the following reasons:
|The teaching medium is in English
|MARA education loan for CM only covers IMU (back in 2014)
|The interactions and connections with other healthcare courses will make the integration between Eastern and Western medicine possible
At first, I was overwhelmed with the workload and language barrier/ translation. There were a lot of CM terms, acupoints and herbs that I need to remember in hanyu pinyin and sometimes even in Chinese characters. It was challenging yet encouraging and exciting for me. I knew I had to put in more effort than my peers, and I knew it will be very tiring.
Later on, I fell in love with acupuncture and Chinese herbs because there are many interesting new facts that I can learn and do hands-on practices. Through learning, I realized that there are many combinations and possibilities of acupuncture prescriptions and herbal formula that can be used to treat various conditions. From there onwards, I become keener in conquering CM. I knew this is the pathway that I have chosen. No matter how hard and taxing it will be, I need to keep moving forward.
I was blessed with resourceful and patient lecturers that are willing to invest their time in me. All those discussions during and after classes as well as extra time that lecturers spent had helped me understand TCM better. Furthermore, I was also blessed with caring and loving classmates, seniors and juniors who were always there to support and help me whenever I was struggling with my studies. Finally, I always love IMU for the importance of professionalism, patient safety and hygiene are being emphasised throughout our studies. IMU also equipped us with sufficient knowledge and guidance to work in healthcare sector.
Clinical Attachment Year
During my final semester in IMU, we are required to complete our clinical training at IMU Chinese Medicine Clinic, Tung Shin Hospital as well as Chi Hui Tang (Charity Center). We are required to treat patients under the supervision of our clinical supervisors. This was a bittersweet memory in my journey to become a Malay CM practitioner. It started with rejection. I have forgotten the number of times that I was questioned by my patient and that made me doubt whether CM was the right pathway for me. With the support and protection from my lecturers, classmates, family and friends, I slowly adapt to this harsh environment. The silver lining of this experience is it made me a stronger and flexible practitioner.
In addition, we also encountered COVID-19 pandemic that shuffles our clinic schedule and clinic regulation. Luckily, with guidelines from our lecturers and IMU management, it did not take a lot of time for us to adapt to the new norm. My internship year has laid the foundation for me in becoming a better practitioner.
After graduation, I decided to start working as a general CM practitioner to gain more experience as well as broaden my views. Later on, I decided to go for specialisation in pregnancy wellness and women’s health. Currently, I work at the Xi Fertility TCM Center. Being an independent CM practitioner, language barrier will always be an intangible part when communicating with patients from different backgrounds. But it never dampens my spirit to do the best for each and every patient that I have. My work revolves more on the pregnancy wellness area, but occasionally we do face patients with general health issues where my experience from previous work had become helpful.
Main Areas of Interest
Currently, my main focus is on pregnancy wellness and women’s health issues. It is a blessing in disguise to be able to help couples in expanding their families. The joy, excitement and miracle in a successful case and the challenge my patient and I faced to achieve and secure the pregnancy made me appreciate life even more.
I am also very much keen in teaching. Since young, I always love teaching my friend during group study and felt that it fits my soul. Fast forward to this day, that interest never fades away. My goal is to first gain more experience, sharpen my skill and increase my knowledge. With a broadened view, I may one day pursue my dream in teaching.
As a healthcare practitioner, I believe we constantly need to update our knowledge to keep up with the current technologies and emergence of new diseases. We also need to have an open mind and respect other professions because at the end, our aim is just one– to help and do our best for the patient. I am grateful for the integrative IMU environment where it lays a strong foundation for my career as CM practitioner.