I believe every child’s dream is to be a professional when they grow up. Yes, how good it would be to be a doctor, teacher, lawyer, accountant and many more other professions. Thinking back two decades ago, nobody has ever heard of the profession ‘Chiropractor’ and the same goes to me. Medicine was initially my first and only choice since I started learning about Science until I was introduced to Chiropractic at the International Medical University. What really caught my attention was chiropractors can help the public to reduce their pain without medicine and surgery. Following that decision, I then enrolled myself into IMU’s chiropractic programme in 2012 and completed the whole programme in 2016 with First Class Honours.
Throughout the four years in IMU, I really enjoyed myself and even today, I really missed the time back in IMU. I must say IMU is one of the best university that provides a variety of co-curricular activities that help students to reduce stress and had the opportunity to network with one another. Additionally, I was also given numerous opportunities to be involved in many community projects both locally and internationally.
Honestly, being in a healthcare field comes with a certain expectation to work harder on average than most of other students. There were generally lots of practicals and lectures that will be taking up a great deal of time. And of course, not just 8am- 5pm but there will be lots of lectures notes to be read over, essays to be written, practicals to be prepared for and most importantly keeping on top of it can be a challenge too. Therefore, I must really thank my groups of friends and all IMU lecturers for guiding me and supporting me throughout the entire course.
After graduation, I got numerous job offers as a chiropractor in several private chiropractic clinics, but I decided to reject the offers and continue my MSc in Public Health in the RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus for 9 months and completed in 2017 with a First-Class Honours. Upon completion of my master’s degree, I got a job offer in Singapore and worked there for 7 months before continuing my PhD in Universiti Malaya. Not forgetting my initial interest was to help the public to ease their pain and reduce their burden, I have decided to continue working as a chiropractor while pursuing my PhD. I really enjoy what I am doing now both in University Malaya and Chiropractic First. I had opportunities to attend conferences nationally and internationally and when I am at the clinic I get to see a lot of interesting cases. What really satisfies me is when I see my patients felt better and they have a better quality of life. In the future after completing my PhD, I intend to be a clinical lecturer to teach and shape the future generation. Additionally, being a clinical lecturer also provides me opportunity to be an active researcher too. Although it may be challenging to fit in both aspects of the job, working on research and publications will help enhance my knowledge to provide the most updated evidence-based practice to the future chiropractic students in Malaysia. I remember an advice told by a friend of mine where being a clinician you could only save someone individually at a time but by discovering new treatments from research you could save millions of life at the same time. Frankly, I did not regret pursuing Chiropractic rather than Medicine as I think it is quite easy to find a job right after graduation. Comparing with the new contract system for the new medical graduates, I could somehow say I felt relieved that I would not have the insecurities in thinking that I might lose my job someday.
Last but not least, just a piece of advice for all juniors and future healthcare students, studying in a healthcare field regardless of what course is very much like a marathon. Besides just the 4 or 5-year course, you should always stay actively involved and keep up to date with all the latest advances and studies in your area. Remember that being a student is not an end but is just the beginning of life.
Written by Melissa Kioh Sheng Hui