As far as I can recall, I have always wanted to study medicine. As a primary school girl, I was totally in awe with the doctors working in the hospital. Whenever I went there to visit my sick relatives, my gaze would be fixed on them who will be busy attending to the needs of those who were under their care. I too, felt comfortable in this environment and could visualise my future self doing the exact same thing. On top of that, I found it amazing that the power of knowledge can be used to provide comfort and whenever possible, a cure to the patients. Somehow, it has stirred a desire in me to master this knowledge myself hence I made up my mind to pursue medicine. As I grew up, this desire continued to burn even stronger and I talked about this to some people including my parents as well as those who were already in the medical field to gain some insight. The answers that I have received were pretty much similar, to be in this field for the right reason because it will be a tough and bumpy road ahead. The reason that would make you stand back up to fight when you are knocked down hard. The reason that would make you keep going when you feel like giving up. The reason that make you believe that all the sacrifices you will make are worth it. That advice has left me with something to think long and hard about. What is the right reason, for me? It was then that I found the mantra that I would live by forever. “It is He (Allah) Who has created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed. And He is the All Mighty, the All Forgiving” Al Mulk, Chapter 67, Verse 2. I was also inspired by a famous motivational speaker who is an opthalmologist herself, Prof Muhaya. I first met her when I was in my secondary school during a leadership camp and I always look up to her since then, especially about her journey and the impact she made to the society with the knowledge that she have. I wished to be someone like her in the future, making my own mark in this world. Hence, with the love for the knowledge of medicine and burning desire to be someone who is best in deed to gain His blessing, I was more firm than ever when I choose to do MBBS after receiving my SPM results.
Completing one after another semester at IMU, I have had many chances to be mentored by those whom I looked up to very much. They have taught me not only the science, but the beautiful art of medicine as well. My love for the subject grew even more. For me, studying for the sole purpose of scoring good marks in exam was meaningless as the motivation for me to study was to be the best possible attending physician for my future patients. However, it was not only once that I felt drained and depressed by the intensity of the training but I took some time off and recalled my reason to keep fighting back. All of us have 24 hours per day but how we use the time determines who we will be. By participating in other activities such as student body and community work, I have gained a different set of skills which I could not have by studying alone. I believe that it took more than just reading textbooks to make an all-rounder. Hence, I decided to be a part of Student Representative Council, holding the position of a treasurer where I have learned a lot about managing people and resources. Hopefully, these will be of use in my future undertakings. Apart from that, I was also an active member of the organising committee of Kg Sebir Mobile Clinic project under the guidance of Dr Wong. For this project, we make monthly visits to Kg Sebir and attended to the health needs of the aborigines there. Dr Wong inspired me to be actively involved in community work and I admired his leadership throughout my time as a committee. Clinical years were the best part of medical school. It was more dynamic and the subjects seem to be more challenging, yet alive and fresh. Through many patient encounters, I learned that each of them were very unique hence textbook alone is not enough. Therefore, we were taught to adopt experiential learning and our lecturers were good at showing us the way to do so. This was especially so in Obstetrics & Gynaecology posting and one of the parts that I love was going on ward rounds with Prof Nazimah. These experiences were enhanced in my last semester at Hospital Batu Pahat. Here, we even integrate ourselves into the system which provided more learning opportunities. The other best memory of clinical years were the companions especially from Group B as well as my SRC comrades. Even though we came from different backgrounds, we bonded and grew together through mutual respect and care. They are amazing people and I looked forward to see them as an expert in their respective fields in the future. Receiving the award of John Bosco Gold Medalist was a great end to my medical school journey. I was truly touched when the news came to me through a phone call from the Dean’s Office. It humbles me when I realize that I was blessed with amazing and supportive family, friends, lecturers and IMU staff who have pushed me to be the best. However, as I move on to the next chapter of my life, I understand that there are still room for self-improvement. If asked for an advice, I would pass to you the same advice given to me which is to be in this field for a right reason. When you have a good reason, you will always have something to bounce at whenever you struggle or face difficult times in this journey. There is no one right reason, but keep asking yourself whether the reason you want to pursue medical field is a right one for you.”
This article is written by IMU medical alumnus, Nurliyana Mardhiah binti Mohd Fauzi, who is the top student of her graduating class.
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