19 July 2014 – Held at Wondermama, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, alumni members from the BI/04 cohort got together to catch up with each other and reminisce about times gone by. This cohort is the first cohort of the IMU Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) programme which started ten years ago in 2004. Many of them are working as a pharmacist either in the public or private sector. We caught up with a few of them at the reunion to find out what has been going on in their lives.
One of the alumni members is Magdalene Teoh, who is currently a Community Pharmacist in Sydney, Australia. Presently, she is in charge of two different community pharmacies in Sydney. Recalling the process she had to go through to be at where she is now. Magdalene said, “After completing my IMU degree in 2008, I did my internship in Hospital Melaka. After that, I went through the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC)’s pathway for overseas pharmacy graduates as I wanted to work in Australia. This involved sitting for an exam, followed by the completion of a stipulated number of internship hours in an Australian pharmacy.” Magdalene also had two years working experience in a pharmaceutical company.
Another alumnus in the same cohort who have managed to obtain employment overseas (in the UK) is Jennifer Kua, who had to do a postgraduate diploma programme known as the Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP) in order to work there. Also working as a community pharmacist is Choo Chi Fei, who is currently managing a retail pharmacy. He completed his pre-registration training in Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang and then continued with his 3-year compulsory service with the government at a hospital in Kota Bahru. He also has two years working experience in retail pharmacy. Chi Fei was the top student of this cohort when he graduated in 2008. Jivanti Murugaiyan, on the other hand, decided to continue working with the government. She is currently working in a government hospital which specially caters to Orang Asli (Indigenous people). This is the only such hospital in the world. She started working in this hospital after working in Kuching for three years and in Hospital Kuala Lumpur for a year. During her free time, she pursues her passion in photography, writing and yoga. Cathy Chuo has also continued working with the government. She did her pre-registration in Hospital Sibu, Sarawak and then went on to three-year compulsory service at Sarikei Hospital. She was then transferred to Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah (PKD) Gombak, where she had to manage the outpatient pharmacy. She is currently working at Selayang Hospital, managing the Neonatal ICU pharmacy after 2 years of being the pharmacist-in-charge at the Emergency Department. She plans to specialise in neonatology and working at her current work place makes it ideal logistically for her to do so.
Working with the government does not necessarily involve working in the hospitals. In the case of Prasad, he is working at the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau (NPCB). At this Bureau, he is in charge of veterinary products. In the future, he intends to complete his postgraduate studies and continue working in the government sector. Lai Han Ping, on the other hand, is self-employed. He is involved in the importing and distribution of health supplements in Malaysia and Singapore and brought with him experiences from both hospital and retail pharmacy. In the future, he plans to expand his business to the South East Asia region and start a consultancy business focussing on pharmacy services.