Hi! My name is Daniel Lim Jhao Jian. Here is where I share my experience, knowledge and ideas. You are welcome to leave comments and follow my blog. You are free to copy anything from this blog. Please recommend this blog to your friends.

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

My application for the F2 Stand-alone Programme 2023

I have been offered a place for the Foundation Year 2 (F2) Stand-alone Programme 2023!

Unlike the standard 2-year UK Foundation Programme where almost all eligible applicants are offered a place each year, the F2 Stand-alone Programme is much more competitive. In the recent years, there are 1000+ applicants but only about 100 places each year. This means just around 10% of the applicants can get a place, making it about as competitive as getting the Merit award at NUMed or getting a permanent Medical Officer post in Malaysia.

Never in my wildest dreams had I thought that I would get a place for the F2 Stand-alone Programme with such extreme competition. Still, I applied for it because I wanted to see how far I could go. I also knew that there were some useful things I could learn through the application process even if it wasn't successful.

I was off to a good start after I got a very high score of 368/431 for the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) in March 2023. My experience of taking the SJT for the 2-year Foundation Programme twice in 2021 and 2022 certainly helped in achieving this. Then, I managed to perform quite well in the interview held in April 2023, getting a score of 71%. This was thanks to my teaching and research experience which helped build a strong curriculum vitae, as well as my good English language and communication and my good response in the ethical scenario.

Now that I am successful in the F2 Stand-alone Programme application, it has shown that with the right efforts and opportunities and a bit of luck, I too can achieve what seems to be beyond my reach. I am now hopeful of my future, that I will successfully achieve my career goal.

Saturday, 29 April 2023

Why I chose the Google Pixel 6A over the iPhone?

In April 2023, I got my new phone, the Google Pixel 6A. I can say that I am very impressed with this phone. It has a Google Tensor processor, 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. It runs very fast and it's battery lasts quite long, and the quality of its camera is very good.

Google Pixel phones have never been officially sold in Malaysia. I had to buy the Google Pixel 6A online through Lazada. It costs a total of RM1400 including delivery, mobile protection service, screen protector, phone case and some free gifts, and the phone is a brand new set. I certainly think it's a very good value for money. Just like the latest iPhones and Samsung phones, it doesn't come with a charger, but I can use my old phone's charger.

My previous phone was the Google Pixel 2. I had used it for more than 5 years since December 2017, and it had been functioning well. However, its camera stopped working in April 2023. Since the camera is an important feature which I use a lot, I had to get a new phone.

In 2021, someone hacked my Google account and used it to create several Google Ads accounts, trying to make me pay for that. When I seeked help from Google, they were extremely unhelpful. They stated that they could only help me after I provided them with the IDs of those Google Ads accounts, but when I gave them the IDs, they insisted those IDs were invalid and refused to proceed with helping me resolve the issue. I was really upset with Google over that.

Google Pixel phones didn't support VoLTE in Malaysia, as they are not officially sold here. Worse still, 3G networks in Malaysia were shut down in late 2021. Consequently, Google Pixel phones could only use 2G for making and receiving phone calls. If I received a phone call while browsing the internet, the phone would automatically switch the network to 2G, and the low speed of 2G would interrupt the internet connection. The aging infrastructure of 2G networks also resulted in a subpar call quality.

Consequently, I decided in 2021 that I would never get another Google Pixel phone again and my next phone would be an iPhone. However, the circumstances changed over the course of 2022 and 2023.

Apple introduced iPadOS 13 in 2019. It introduced a lot of new features which brought the iPad much closer to being a laptop replacement. That contributed heavily to my decision to buy the iPad Air 3 in August 2019. I was hopeful that future versions of iPadOS would make the iPad even more useful, eventually becoming a true laptop replacement. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. iPadOS 14 didn't bring any significant new features apart from Universal Search which is just a glorified Spotlight search. iPadOS 15 introduced a much needed new multitasking interface, but didn't go far enough.

iPadOS 16 in 2022 finally introduced Stage Manager which gives a multi-window interface similar to those in desktop operating systems. Unfortunately though, Stage Manager was only available for the iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 3 and later. My iPad Air 3 will never get the Stage Manager, neither will the iPad Air 4 or iPad Mini 6. I was deeply disappointed with Apple about that. It wasn't even the first time something like this happened. Previously in 2015, Apple introduced the Split View feature with iOS 9, but only made it available for the iPad Air 2, leaving out my iPad Air 1.

In August 2022, the power button of my iPad Air 3 stopped functioning, while issues with its Lightning connector port made changing more and more difficult. This was despite the fact that I always took good care of my iPad. Knowing that an official Apple service centre would charge a hefty price for repairing due to my iPad being out of warranty, I got my iPad Air 3 repaired at a third-party repair shop.

While the repair went well, just a few months later in April 2023, my iPad Air 3 started having another major issue. Every few minutes, it will display a purple screen and then restart on its own. I had tried resetting the iPad, upgrading to the latest iPadOS version and even erasing all data on the iPad, but the issue persisted. My iPad Air 3 is less than 4 years old and it's already having so much issues. In contrast, my Google Pixel 2 lasted more than 5 years without significant issues. This indicates that the quality of Apple products is going down the drain. How can I be confident that an iPhone will last long if I buy one?

Apple has insisted on using the Lightning connector port on iPhones, even though iPads, Macbooks and most Android phones have switched to USB-C ports. The Lightning connector port is an outdated technology. It only supplies a very small amount of power to connected accessories which is often insufficient for them to function properly. The data transfer speed of Lightning cables is also significantly lower compared to USB-C cables.

iPhones are very expensive. Even the most basic iPhone 14 costs RM4200. I bought my Google Pixel 2 phone for RM4000, which was very expensive as well. However, Google later introduced the cheaper A series of Pixel phones, starting with the Google Pixel 3A in 2019. The A series of Pixel phones are often available for sale on Lazada at a price less than RM2000.

I have considered Android phones other than Google Pixel. Samsung is the most popular brand of Android phones. However, I don't like the fact that Samsung heavily modifies the interface of Android and adds a lot of bloatware in its phones. I used a HTC phone before and I really liked it, but HTC hasn't produced a flagship phone in quite a while. While Huawei phones are great, they are banned from Google apps and services which are essential for me. Nokia was initially doing well after it started producing Android phones, but it has been struggling to keep up with Android updates for some time. Meanwhile, I have little interest in Asus, LG, Lenovo, Motorola, Sony, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi.

There are 3 things I have always liked about Google Pixel phones. First, Pixel phones, including the cheaper A series, have excellent hardware specifications. Second, they receive Android version updates and security updates as soon as they are available. Third, they offer the pure Android experience, without any user interface modifications or addition of bloatwares. 

In late 2022, in response to popular demand, Google finally released an update which added support for VoLTE for Pixel 6, Pixel 6A and Pixel 7 in Malaysia. However, older Pixel phones including the Pixel 2 aren't supported. With that, I was once again interested in getting a new Google Pixel phone for my next phone. This eventually culminated in my decision to buy a Google Pixel 6A in April 2023.

Friday, 20 January 2023

International Recognition of MUET

The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) is an English language proficiency test in Malaysia, mainly used for university admissions. All public universities and vast majority of private universities in Malaysia accept the MUET.

Starting from 2021, there is a significant change in format of the MUET, and the band scores of the MUET are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

It is widely believed that the MUET is only recognised in Malaysia. In reality, the MUET does have international recognition as well, though that is quite limited for now. Here is a list of foreign universities that recognise and accept the MUET.

Branch of foreign universities in Malaysia:

Singapore Management University

Hong Kong:
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

United Kingdom:
University of East London
Manchester Metropolitan University


United States of America:



Saturday, 10 December 2022

My GMC Full Registration

On 6 December 2022, I have finally completed Orthopaedics which is the 3rd posting of my House Officer training at Kluang hospital. This is after I got extended by 1 month in the Orthopaedics posting.

I am now eligible to apply for full registration with the UK General Medical Council (GMC), through the programme for NUMed graduates who undergo House Officer training at one of the approved hospitals in Malaysia. In the coming months, I will complete the procedure for gaining GMC full registration.

With GMC full registration, I can apply for the Foundation Year 2 (F2) Stand-alone and the Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) programmes in UK. If I complete my 2nd year of House Officer training in Malaysia after gaining GMC full registration, I can also apply for specialty training programmes in UK.

This marks the end of the critical phase of my House Officer training. From now on, I will always have a backup option available if something goes wrong. I have the confidence that I will be able to achieve my career goal.

For now, I have no plans to go to the UK, as I intend to complete my House Officer training in Malaysia.

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Instagram Close Friends list

Instagram has a Close Friends feature in which you can choose to share your Instagram stories only to those of your followers that you have added to your Close Friends list. Now, I use the Close Friends feature a lot, where vast majority of my Instagram stories are only shared to my Close Friends list.

When Instagram first introduced the Close Friends feature in 2018, I wasn't interested in the feature at all, as I wanted as many people as possible to see my Instagram stories. I always shared my stories to all of my Instagram followers. At that time, majority of my Instagram followers were my friends from the 2014-2019 batch of NUMed and my Taylor's College friends. I only shared Instagram stories occasionally, when I had interesting events.

In February and March 2019, I went through a crisis with my group mates in 5th year of MBBS. While I undeniably made mistakes in that crisis, the fact was that my group mates had their mistakes as well. However, they refused to acknowledge any of their mistakes, instead they kept exaggerating my mistakes and sabotaging me. Many others in the 2014-2019 batch simply believed the narratives of my group mates without bothering to get my side of the story, and they disliked and looked down on me. It made me realise I had many fake friends in the 2014-2019 batch, and I no longer valued them.

The crisis contributed to my failure in 5th year of MBBS, which required me to repeat the year by joining the 2015-2020 batch. In my repeat year, I wanted to move on from the crisis and the 2014-2019 batch. I started making many new friends in the 2015-2020 batch. While I didn't know them well in the beginning, I got closer and closer to them as time went on. They gave me a great experience for my repeat year and I liked and valued them a lot.

In December 2019, a guy TL, who was originally from the 2014-2019 batch and was repeating the year as well, started becoming a real annoyance to me. As I was quite nice to him, he kept taking advantage of me. I didn't like being close to him as he didn't have any sincerity in friendship. I preferred mixing with my new friends in the 2015-2020 batch so much more compared to him. I tried to stay away from TL, but he kept trying to stick to me.

In January 2020, TL developed a new habit. Whenever I shared an Instagram story, he would open it using his phone right in front of me and my friends and mock it. He also often spammed my Instagram stories with irrelevant reactions and replies. Those were his desperate attempts to seek my attention as I increasingly avoided him, and I really hated that. To put a stop to that, I could just remove him from my Instagram followers list or even block him from my Instagram, but I didn't want to go to that extent.

At that time, I realised that the Instagram Close Friends feature would be the solution. By sharing my Instagram stories to my Close Friends list, which most definitely wouldn’t include TL, he wouldn't be able to see my stories anymore. I added all my new friends from the 2015-2020 batch and those few of my true friends from the 2014-2019 batch to my Close Friends list. Initially, I shared some of my Instagram stories to my Close Friends list and some to all of my Instagram followers. As time went on, I increasingly used the Close Friends feature, as I felt more comfortable to be in control of who could see my stories.

In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic started and the Movement Control Order (MCO) was soon implemented. NUMed had to suspend all face-to-face classes and clinical placements. Consequently, I couldn't meet my friends in the 2015-2020 batch. I was very sad about that and at that point, I realised they were the ones that mattered most to me among all my friends. My fake friends in the 2014-2019 batch as well as TL were absolutely of no match to them. 

The Covid-19 pandemic brought huge disruptions to our daily lives, giving everyone a difficult time. Almost everything posted on the social media was about the Covid-19, and seeing them just made us feel even more stressful. Whenever we came across rare posts and stories that weren't talking about the Covid-19, we would feel better.

To keep in touch with my friends, I decided to update my Instagram story every day. My stories were mostly about my daily life, such as the food I ate, how I kept myself entertained when I was bored and my preparation for the final exams, as well as interesting things I came across on the Internet. I never mentioned anything about the Covid-19 in my stories. I was hoping that my stories would give a sense of normalcy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which would make my friends feel a bit better.

I also decided that moving forwards, vast majority of my stories would only be shared to my Close Friends list. Having known who are my most valuable friends, I felt that only they should see my stories. I always had the habit of checking who has seen my Instagram stories after I shared them. I would love to see the viewer list comprising entirely of those friends that matter a lot to me. It's the quality that matters, not quantity.

Sharing to my Close Friends list would also make my Instagram stories look more special, as they would show up with a distinctive green circle instead of the usual red circle. Since not many people use the Instagram Close Friends feature, my friends would notice my Instagram stories better. When they see that they are in my Close Friends list, they would know that I value them a lot.

Due to the MCO, the MBBS final exams originally scheduled for May 2020 had to be postponed. A few students from the 2015-2020 batch together with a few who were repeating the year came up with a proposal to have the final exams online, so that there wouldn't be delays to the exams and thus our graduation. However, I strongly believed that having the exams online would bring more harm than good, due to unfamiliarity with online exams and the strong possibility of internet connection issues, so I voiced out against their proposal.

A highly questionable poll showed that majority of the batch supported online exams. Unfazed by that, I continued opposing online exams by giving compelling arguments against it, and a few students criticised me for that. I got a bit worried that it might lead to me getting disliked by the 2015-2020 batch, much like what the 2014-2019 batch did to me in the previous year. However, I was confident that I was fighting for the best outcome for the 2015-2020 batch.

One of my close friends then messaged me to state that she and her friends appreciated my efforts in opposing online exams. Some others in the 2015-2020 batch also felt that my opinions were valid. Soon, many in the 2015-2020 batch realised that having online exams was a bad idea and they too were against it. My courage in speaking up against online exams earned their respect. Eventually, NUMed maintained its decision to postpone the final exams rather than having it online.

This incident made it obvious that the 2015-2020 batch is different from the 2014-2019 batch. Most of the 2015-2020 batch are capable of thinking rationally rather than simply making baseless conclusions and disliking someone. It made me love the 2015-2020 batch even more, and I decided to expand my Instagram Close Friends list by adding in all of my followers from the 2015-2020 batch.

The MCO gradually eased starting from June 2020. NUMed was able to resume face-to-face teaching and conduct the final exams in July 2020. I could meet my friends in the 2015-2020 batch once again and I was overjoyed about that. At that time, it had become a habit for me to share Instagram stories to my Close Friends list almost every day, so I continued doing so.

After I completed my MBBS degree, I started working as a Teaching Fellow at NUMed in October 2020. While I didn't know my Teaching Fellow colleagues well in the beginning, I soon became very close to them. Of course, I added them to my Instagram Close Friends list. They were from the 2015-2020 batch as well.

In March 2021, many of my students in NUMed started following me on Instagram. I then decided to add all of them to my Instagram Close Friends list. I really enjoyed my Teaching Fellow job and I had a lot of great memories with my students, so they surely deserved to be in my Close Friends list. That greatly expanded my Close Friends list.

In August 2021, I started working as a House Officer. In the beginning, I struggled to adapt to the House Officer job and I had very few friends in the hospital. Later, as I gained more skills and experience, the situation improved a lot. I became good friends with many of my House Officer colleagues and I added them to my Instagram Close Friends list.

Basically, I only add those of my friends who have meaningful good memories with me or have contributed positively to my personal development to my Instagram Close Friends list. Some may think that I simply add a lot of people to my Close Friends list without second thoughts, but that's not the case in reality.

For the foreseeable future, I will keep sharing vast majority of my Instagram stories only to my Close Friends list.

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

The Dvorak keyboard layout

Anyone who has ever borrowed my phone would have noticed something strange: The touch screen keyboard of my phone appears to be all jumbled up!

Everyone who had used my phone had found it very difficult to type using the keyboard, and what I would do every time is to change the keyboard to the standard QWERTY layout so that they could type normally.

So, why does my phone have such a jumbled up keyboard? You may think that it's due to some kind of a software error. In reality though, I intentionally set up my phone's keyboard like that, and that's what I use every day.

It's known as the Dvorak keyboard layout. The arrangement of the keys in this layout is very different from the standard QWERTY layout which everyone is familiar with. While far less popular than the QWERTY layout, the Dvorak layout is actually better.

Have you ever wondered why the keys on a keyboard are not arranged in alphabetical order from A to Z?

Before computers were invented, keyboards were first used on typewriters. In the beginning, the keys on keyboards were indeed arranged from A to Z, and such a layout enabled users to type very fast. While that might seem to be a good thing, the issue was that back in those days, the keys on typewriters would easily get jammed when typing was done too fast. Jammed keys was a huge annoyance as it would disrupt typing.

To help prevent the keys from getting jammed, the typing speed had to be reduced. To achieve that, the QWERTY keyboard layout was invented. In the QWERTY layout, commonly used letters are placed away from the centre of the keyboard and common combinations of letters are placed further apart from each other. That made typing significantly slower.

The QWERTY layout increased the efficiency of typing on typewriters, because although the typing speed was reduced, the occurrence of jammed keys was also greatly decreased. The QWERTY layout quickly gained popularity across the world, and nearly all typewriters adopted it.

When computers were later invented, the manufacturers simply used the QWERTY keyboard layout because of its popularity. However, unlike typewriters, jammed keys doesn't occur on computer keyboards. On computers, the faster the typing, the better it is. Therefore, the QWERTY layout actually confers no advantage on computers.

Because of that, the Dvorak keyboard layout was invented. In the Dvorak layout, most commonly used letters are placed in the middle row and all vowels are placed on the left side of the keyboard. This layout aims to reduce the movement of fingers and maximise the successive use of both hands when typing.

The end result is that the Dvorak layout not only speeds up typing, but also makes it less tiring for the fingers. Studies have shown that for someone who is new to typing, it's easier to train typing with the Dvorak layout.

While the Dvorak keyboard layout has advantages over the QWERTY layout, the Dvorak layout failed to gain widespread adoption. As a matter of fact, most people have gotten used to the QWERTY layout and are not keen on changing. Consequently, computer manufacturers continue to make keyboards with the QWERTY layout.

Very few people use the Dvorak layout nowadays. However, most computer operating systems do support the Dvorak keyboard layout.

I first came to know about the Dvorak keyboard layout in 2009. Since then, I have been interested to use it. It doesn't matter to me that the Dvorak layout has very few users. Instead, the most important thing is the fact that the Dvorak layout makes typing faster and less tiring. Although I could type very well using the QWERTY layout, I still wanted something better.

However, I didn't have a keyboard with Dvorak layout and it's very difficult to get one. There were suggestions on the Internet to manually remove the keys on a keyboard and rearrange them in the Dvorak layout. However, the keys on my laptop's keyboard are not designed to be removable, attempts to remove them would damage the keyboard.

It's possible to use stickers to relabel the keys on a keyboard. However, I didn't want to do that as it would make my keyboard look really weird. Another alternative would be to memorise the Dvorak layout, but that was too challenging for me. Consequently, I gave up on the idea of using the Dvorak layout.

Many years later in 2016, I discovered by chance that the touch screen keyboard powered by Gboard on my Android phone does support the Dvorak keyboard layout. That rekindled my interest in the Dvorak layout. I started using the Dvorak layout on my phone at that time.

Using the Dvorak layout was quite challenging for me initially. Being used to the QWERTY layout, I had to relearn the Dvorak layout from scratch. I struggled to find the locations of each key and that slowed down my typing a lot. I also made typing errors quite often. Sometimes, I had to switch back to the QWERTY layout when I needed to type fast.

Apart from my phone, I wanted to use the Dvorak keyboard layout on my iPad as well. Unfortunately, the touch screen keyboard in iOS and iPadOS didn't natively support the Dvorak layout. Still, it's possible to install a 3rd party keyboard app that supports the Dvorak layout on an iPad.

However, all the 3rd party keyboard apps I found had poor design where the keys were either too big or too small and they were quite laggy, which made typing quite inconvenient. None of them could offer the intuitive typing experience of my iPad's default keyboard. Therefore, I soon gave up on using the Dvorak layout on my iPad.

I had use the QWERTY layout on my iPad and on my laptop. Therefore, I had to master both the QWERTY and Dvorak layouts. Despite the challenges, I persevered with using the Dvorak layout on my phone. As time went on, I became more familiar with the layout and I got better at typing with it.

By 2018, I could type using the Dvorak layout at almost the same speed as I could with the QWERTY layout, although I still made typing errors occasionally. That year, Gboard added support for the Dvorak layout on iPhones and iPads. While Gboard on iPad had a much better design compared to other 3rd party keyboard apps, it's still awkward to use compared to the iPad's default keyboard, so I didn't want to use it.

By 2020, I have mastered the Dvorak keyboard layout on my phone. I use it all the time and I prefer it over the QWERTY layout. Meanwhile, I still maintained my proficiency at typing with the QWERTY layout. I was a bit disappointed about not being able to use the Dvorak layout without compromises on my iPad. I always hoped that Apple will add native support for the Dvorak layout on iPhones and iPads.

Now, my wish has finally been granted. The newly released iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 have added native support for the Dvorak keyboard layout. I can now type using the Dvorak layout with the great default keyboard on my iPad. This is surely one of my most favourite features in iPadOS 16.

Monday, 19 September 2022

24 reasons why Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder are the same movie

1. MCU Phase 4 movie after Avengers: Endgame

2. Got banned in several countries

3. The protagonist has superpowers but isn't happy in his life

4. The protagonist's girlfriend left him many years ago but he still misses her every moment

5. The protagonist's girlfriend is now a scientist

6. The villain lost their children and wants to get them back at all costs

7. The villain's mind got corrupted by an object that gives them dark powers

8. The villain attacks the good guy's headquarters

9. Many heroes join forces at the headquarters, but the villain still defeated them

10. The protagonist and his ex-girlfriend fight the villain together

11. The villain managed to kidnap children with superpowers

12. The good guys pursue the villain across different worlds

13. The good guys try to seek help from a council of powerful people, but the council refuses to believe or help them

14. The council arrests the good guys, but the good guys successfully break free

15. The good guys realise that the villain seems too powerful for them and got really scared as the villain approaches

16. The final fight occurs at the place where the villain is the most powerful

17. A good fight took place, but in the end the good guys are unable to defeat the villain

18. The good guys admit defeat and allow the villain to have what they want

19. The villain realises their mistake and does the right thing in the end

20. The protagonist finally gets to confess his feelings to his ex-girlfriend, and she accepts it

21. The protagonist still doesn't get to be with his ex-girlfriend in the end, but he accepts the reality

22. The villain got the reassurance that their children will be loved

23. The villain dies in the end

24. The protagonist eventually goes on a new adventure with a new girl

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

The critical phase

I have just entered the critical phase of my housemanship.

Since the first day of my housemanship, I had UK Foundation Programme (UKFP) 2022 as a backup option in case something goes wrong.

After I complete the 3rd posting of my housemanship, I will gain full registration with the UK General Medical Council (GMC). That will enable me to apply for the Foundation Year 2 (F2) Stand-alone and Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) programmes in UK, which will be my backup options in case something goes wrong.

However, my UKFP 2022 job offer only remained valid until July 2022, after which it expired, and I will only complete the 3rd posting of my housemanship in November 2022 at the earliest. During the 4 month gap between July and November, I have neither a UKFP job offer nor GMC full registration.

The 4 months is the critical phase of my housemanship, as I don't have any backup options if something bad happens that makes it untenable for me to continue with my housemanship. In such a situation, I will have to say goodbye to my career goal forever.

Almost the entirety of my 3rd posting of housemanship is within the critical phase. I definitely need to be extra careful and to put in real efforts in gaining skills and experience so that I can maximise my chances of getting through the critical phase.

Once I pass this hurdle, I won't have much to worry again, as I will always have a backup option available.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

My most bizarre night shift

Throughout my housemanship so far, my most bizarre night shift has to be on 16 June 2022. It was during my Obstetrics and Gynaecology posting.

On that night, I was supposed to be in charge of the labour room & patient assessment centre (PAC), while one of my colleague was in charge of the ward. However, my colleague took an emergency leave just before the shift started at 7PM. As a result, I alone had to look after both the ward and the labour room & PAC. That was a very tough challenge, considering the large amount of work in both places.

At 8:30PM after clerking a new patient and doing a postnatal review, there was no pending work at the labour room & PAC, so I quickly went up to the ward. There were 13 postnatal discharges and I started writing them. I expected that before long, there would be new patients at the PAC and I would have to go back down to clerk them.

As it turned out, no patients came to the PAC at all from 8PM until the morning shift House Officers arrived at 7AM on the next day. This is a very rare occurrence. Throughout the night, there was only one patient in the labour room, who was sent down from the ward by me.

I managed to complete all the 13 postnatal discharges and take all of the morning bloods by 6AM. I then proceeded with doing the postnatal examinations and baby updates. In the end, I completed all my work and went home at 9:45AM.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

第一站 The First Stop

Moving forward along the track,
Bergerak ke hadapan atas landasan ini,
moving, moving,
bergerak, bergerak,
where am I going to?
ke mana akan kupergi?
I am a heavy train,
Aku keretapi berat,
moving forward carrying my dream?
bergerak ke hadapan dengan misiku?

Nobody knows the contents of this dream,
Tiada sesiapapun yang tahu kandungan misi ini,
除非是 头上的青天和湖里的水。 
apart from, the sky above me and the water in the lake.
kecuali, langit atasku dan air dalam tasik.
I know, the end of this track is the sea,
Kutahu, penghujung landasan ini ialah lautan,
but how about the end of the sea?
bagaimana pula dengan penghujung lautan?

Moving forward along the track,
Bergerak ke hadapan atas landasan ini,
moving, moving,
bergerak, bergerak,
where am I going to?
ke mana akan kupergi?
The sea is the home to all rivers,
Lautan ialah rumah segala sungai,
let it be the first stop of this train.
biarkanlahnya menjadi perhentian pertama keretapi ini.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

ARCP House Officer programme for NUMed graduates

Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) runs a programme that enables its graduates to gain full registration with the UK General Medical Council (GMC) after completing a year of House Officer training at one of the 8 approved hospitals in Malaysia. This programme recognises the House Officer training as being equivalent to Foundation Year 1 (F1) in UK.

Currently, I am working as a House Officer at Hospital Enche' Besar Hajjah Khalsom, Kluang and I am joining the programme. Here, I would like to share some guidance for the programme.

The requirements for gaining GMC full registration through the programme:

- You must be a graduate of the NUMed MBBS course.
- You must undergo House Officer training at one of the 8 hospitals approved by GMC:
(i) University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur
(ii) Hospital Enche' Besar Hajjah Khalsom (HEBHK), Kluang
(iii) Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI), Johor Bahru
(iv) Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA), Johor Bahru
(v) Penang General Hospital
(vi) Hospital Sibu
(vii) Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching
(viii) Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu
- You must have provisional registration with the GMC by the time you start working as a House Officer.
- You must complete 3 postings in your House Officer training successfully and keep the complete logbooks for the 3 postings.
- You must complete the Additional Procedures Form.
- You must complete the Your School Your Say (YSYS) survey and the Equality and Diversity (E&D) module.
- You must complete 3 pieces of reflective accounts.
- You must keep in contact with NUMed and update NUMed regarding your progress in House Officer training when necessary.

The procedure for joining the programme:

1. After you get a place for House Officer training at one of the approved hospitals, apply for provisional registration with the GMC as soon as possible. You have to apply through GMC Online and pay GBP52 to GMC.
2. Email NUMed to inform that you would like to register for the programme. NUMed will send you the application form, Additional Procedures Form and Template for Reflections.
3. Complete the application form and pay RM2000 to NUMed. This should be done within 3 months of starting your House Officer training.
4. Within the first year of your House Officer training, complete the Additional Procedures Form and ensure that it is properly signed and stamped. You also have to write 3 pieces of reflective accounts based on the Template for Reflections.
5. At some point during your House Officer training, NUMed will send you the links for Your School Your Say (YSYS) survey and Equality and Diversity (E&D) module. Complete them accordingly.
6. If you have any extensions or unanticipated absence in your House Officer training, you need to inform NUMed about that promptly. It will not prevent you from getting GMC full registration.
7. You have to complete 3 postings in House Officer training successfully. Ensure that you have complete logbooks that are properly signed and stamped for the 3 postings.
8. After you have completed all of the above, you will undergo the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP). NUMed will inform you about the date of the ARCP.
9. Once you are successful in the ARCP, you will be given a Certificate of Experience which you can use to apply for full registration with the GMC.

The benefits of GMC full registration:

- Right after you gained GMC full registration, you are eligible to apply for the Foundation Year 2 (F2) Stand-alone programme and the Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) programme in UK.
- If you choose to complete the 2nd year of House Officer training in Malaysia after gaining GMC full registration, you may apply for specialty training in UK directly.
- There are also various locum posts in UK you can apply for with GMC full registration.
- Some other countries recognise GMC full registration, so you may be able to practise Medicine in those countries.
- Unlike GMC provisional registration, GMC full registration doesn't expire and is valid indefinitely.

Other information:

- In addition to this programme, NUMed graduates have the option of joining the 2-year UK Foundation Programme (UKFP).
- NUMed graduates are exempted from taking the PLAB, IELTS and OET when applying for provisional registration or full registration with the GMC.
- House Officer training in Malaysia is only open to Malaysian citizens. Therefore, non-Malaysian citizens are unable to join the programme.
- If you do not fulfill every single one of the requirements for the programme (e.g. you are not a NUMed graduate or you are doing House Officer training at a hospital not approved by GMC), you are not eligible to join it.
- If you are not eligible for the programme, it may still be possible for you to apply for GMC full registration provided that you have completed a year of House Officer training at any hospital. In that case, you need to apply to GMC directly and they can take into consideration your work experience as a House Officer. However, the process is quite complicated and there is no guarantee of success.
- Other hospitals may be added to the list of hospitals approved by GMC in the future, but no information on that is available currently.

For more information on this programme, go to these pages:

Friday, 25 March 2022

22 September 2021: An extremely stressful day

22 September 2021 has to be my most stressful day in 2021 and my most stressful day throughout my housemanship so far. It was during the 3rd week after I started working as a House Officer (HO).

A day earlier on 21 September, I had failed the off-tag assessment which made me very upset. Not only was that quite embarrassing for me, it also meant I had to continue working the tagging hours from 7AM to 10PM every day, which is significantly longer than the normal work hours.

On 22 September, I was in charge of the acute cubicle in the Medical ward. Patients in that cubicle were generally very ill and they required morning, afternoon and evening reviews every day. At that time, I was still really bad at blood taking, where more than 80% of my blood taking attempts failed. A specialist ordered a blood culture for a patient whose blood was very difficult to get, even though another specialist had decided that it wasn't necessary earlier.

Taking a blood culture is a complicated procedure as it requires a large amount of blood and has to be done in a sterile manner. I couldn't even get a single drop of blood from that patient, how could I possibly get the large amount of blood needed? My colleagues and the MOs couldn't help me as they were so busy, so I gave up on the blood culture entirely. Shortly afterwards, the patient had to be admitted to the ICU. As he was intubated, I was required to accompany him there.

After arriving the ICU, an MO there asked me several questions regarding the patient's history and I couldn't answer at all. The patient's notes was several hundreds of pages long and I didn't know how I should read them. The MO was very nice and didn't scold me, but he emphasised the need for me to know the full history of a patient before accompanying them to the ICU in the future. Right after that, I had to accompany another intubated patient for a CT scan. Accompanying the 2 patients used up 2 hours of my time, while I still had a lot of pending work in the ward.

When I returned to the ward, an MO was doing the afternoon review of my patients and I had to join her. Although the MO is very nice, she was really thorough in her reviews which took a very long time. Later, a nurse was chasing me to complete the domiciliary care form for a patient who had been discharged a few days ago. The form had to be filled up in 3 copies. Then, one of the patients had a fever and I had to review him. After that, I could finally start doing the work which had been pending for a long time. Before I was done with all the work, it was time for me to do the evening review of my patients.

Suddenly, an MO came and scolded me for not arranging a Covid RTK-Ag test for a patient's wife who would be coming to learn nursing care. I had no idea that the RTK-Ag test was required. Then, a nurse told me that a patient required an IV cannula. Soon afterwards, I had to join the evening ward rounds by the specialist which lasted more than an hour. Much to my dismay, the specialist ordered a blood culture for a patient. The night-shift HO had arrived at that time, but blood cultures cannot be passed over to night-shift HOs which meant that I had to take it.

Seeing that I was so stressed, a senior HO helped me prepare all the equipment for taking the blood culture. I tried taking the blood culture but I wasn't successful. Then, I tried inserting the IV cannula for the patient who required it but I failed in that as well. The senior HO agreed to help me take the blood culture and insert the IV cannula, while emphasising that I needed to practice more and improve. I still had quite some work pending and my colleagues gave me some help.

I managed to finish all the work only at 10:45PM. That was the first time where I had to work overtime and I was truly exhausted. Combined with my failure in the off-tag assessment just a day earlier, I surely was having a very difficult time. At that time, the only thoughts in my mind was that I wanted to quit housemanship. I had applied for UK Foundation Programme 2022 as a backup option, and I felt that I really should go for it.

On the next day 23 September, I travelled to Johor Bahru to receive my 2nd dose of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. I used that opportunity to go to EcoBotanic to taste some of the food there which I missed so much. At EcoBotanic, I kept reminiscing the good times in the past when I was working as a Teaching Fellow, where I truly enjoyed work and had so little stress. I really wished I could just keep working as a Teaching Fellow for the rest of my life.

On that night after returning to Kluang, I started feeling very tired which was a side effect of the vaccine. I had to take 2 days of sick leave, which gave me a much needed break from work. Thankfully, on 26 September I was allowed to off-tag and start working the normal work hours, which was 2 days of 7AM to 5PM shifts, 2 days of 7AM to 9PM shifts and 1 day of night shift every week.

After working my first night shift, my blood taking skills improved by a lot. Since then, I have been coping well with my housemanship. I am glad that I persevered and didn't actually quit housemanship.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

A weird dream (Feb 2022)

On 25 February 2022, I had a really weird and bizarre dream.

In my dream, I was with my parents when we saw some weird-looking clouds just above the surface of the ground. I thought, could it be a wormhole that can bring me back to the past? Hoping to get back to my 2 great years between August 2019 and July 2021, I tried walking into those clouds. My father who had read about wormholes wanted to give it a try as well.

After we walked into those clouds, we noted a sudden change in the surrounding environment, especially the buildings. It was an obvious sign that we had gone back many years into the past. I was disappointed that I didn't return to the 2 great years as wished, but much further back. Suddenly, the thought that we might have returned to the World War 2 era made me feel quite scared.

Later, I and my father found out that we were actually in the year 1950 which was after World War 2 ended, giving me a sigh of relief. Then, I realised that my mother had also followed us through those clouds. We walked around and spoke to some of the people we met. Many of them were talking about a movie newly released at that time, titled Interstellar (1950).

We decided to go to a nearby cinema to watch Interstellar (1950). Its plot turned out to be quite similar to that of the real Interstellar movie, but they weren't the same movie. At the climax of Interstellar (1950), the main character jumped into a black hole to save humanity. Right at that time, the clouds that brought us to 1950 appeared in front of us.

Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to return to the present, we reluctantly left the movie before finishing it. I was really curious about whether the main character succeeded in saving humanity. As it turned out, the clouds didn't bring us back to the present, but to some point in the future after September 2023.

I had already completed my housemanship at that time and was attending an important job interview. I was wearing formal wear for the interview, but I realised that I didn't have a tie. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to get a tie as the interview was starting very soon. It was actually the 2nd day of a 2-day interview.

Strangely, the interviewer wanted to show me a short documentary and ask me questions about it. However, just as the documentary was starting, it got cut off by an emergency broadcast. The broadcast was from someone filming live on a helicopter above the sea, who claimed that he wanted to give a commentary about the movie Interstellar (1950).

He showed a clip of the movie's ending, where the main character succeeded in saving humanity but was sacrificed in the black hole. Coincidentally, that was the part I missed out earlier. He stated that he felt very emotional about the ending and that he too wanted to sacrifice himself for humanity. He then jumped out of the helicopter into the sea, filming it live.

While falling down, he suddenly revealed his actual intentions. He wanted to wipe out half of the world's population to save humanity from overpopulation, much like Thanos. He had armed nuclear weapons in the sea which would activate when his body hits the sea. He claimed that unlike Thanos, he isn't evil as he made sure that he himself would be sacrificed in the process.

As soon as he hit the surface of the sea, those nuclear weapons started firing everywhere, unleashing a global catastrophe. I was so scared that I woke up from my dream!


In reality, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine just a day earlier on 24 February 2022. The fear that it could lead to a wider global war was probably the reason I dreamt about the global catastrophe caused by nuclear weapons. My worries about having returned to the World War 2 era in the dream could also be a representation of the fear.

My current job as a House Officer is very stressful. I can't wait to finish my housemanship, which might be why I dreamt about having completed housemanship. I really miss the good days when I was in 6th year of MBBS and when I was a Teaching Fellow, which was the reason I tried to return to the period of time between August 2019 and July 2021 in the dream.

I enjoy watching movies a lot. Interstellar and Avengers: Infinity War are among my favourite movies, which was probably why there were references to these 2 movies in my dream. I dreamt about the cloud-like wormhole probably because I once read a comic about it.

If you liked this story, you may want to read this too:

Monday, 10 January 2022

Why I chose to do housemanship at Kluang hospital?

Since 23 August 2021, I have been working as a House Officer at Kluang hospital. So, why did I choose to do housemanship at Kluang hospital?

The UK General Medical Council (GMC) recognises 8 hospitals in Malaysia, which are University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kluang hospital, Penang hospital, Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI), Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA), Queen Elizabeth hospital, Kuching hospital and Sibu hospital. NUMed graduates who complete their housemanship at one of those hospitals will be able to gain full registration with the GMC. For a long time, I viewed GMC full registration as something nice to have, but I didn't think it's very important for me.

When I first started my MBBS course in 2014, Kulim hospital was my top choice for housemanship. While I was born in Subang Jaya, I grew up in Kulim and stayed there for 17 years. Kulim is a nice place and I had the feeling of attachment to it. I also heard that the work environment at Kulim hospital is rather relaxed. However, the issue was that none of my friends at NUMed were interested in doing their housemanship at Kulim hospital, which meant that I would be alone if I go there. Kulim hospital also doesn't have GMC recognition.

After I entered Stage 3 of MBBS, I became interested in doing housemanship at Batu Pahat hospital and Kluang hospital. When I was posted to Batu Pahat hospital and Kluang hospital, I could observe that the House Officers there seemed quite relaxed. Batu Pahat and Kluang are nice towns just like Kulim, although Kluang is a bit underdeveloped. I initially had the misconception that Batu Pahat hospital is recognised by GMC, but I later realised it's actually Kluang hospital that has GMC recognition. A few of my friends at NUMed were interested to do their housemanship in Batu Pahat or Kluang, which is a plus point over Kulim.

During Stage 4 of MBBS, I did my Student Selected Component in UK. From my observation, Foundation training in UK is well structured and Foundation doctors have a good work-life balance as there are safeguards against excessive workload, unlike housemanship in Malaysia. At that time, the UK Foundation Programme (UKFP) was open for NUMed graduates for the first time and I was interested in it. However, joining UKFP isn't an option for me for personal reasons.

During my initial year of Stage 5, I thought of doing my housemanship at Seremban hospital. One of my friend at that time was planning to go there and I wanted to be with her. I also briefly considered Queen Elizabeth hospital. It's a popular choice among the 2014-2019 batch for some reason, so I thought that I would have more friends with me by going there. However, a crisis with my group mates later put an end to my desires to go to Seremban hospital or Queen Elizabeth hospital.

During my repeat year of Stage 5, I became interested in Penang hospital as some of my friends in the 2015-2020 batch were considering it. I had previously heard that Penang hospital has a very stressful work environment, but one of my seniors working there told me that it isn't too bad. Later, my friend EL chose to do his housemanship at Penang hospital.

After having stayed in Johor Bahru for many years, I certainly like the place a lot and I have become quite attached to it. I wished I could have done my housemanship in Johor Bahru. However, HSA and HSI are the only hospitals available for housemanship in Johor Bahru. The work environment at HSA and HSI is very stressful, which I knew would be unbearable for me.

In November 2020, I heard from a senior lecturer about UMMC. According to him, the housemanship programme at UMMC is similar to UKFP, being well structured which ensures good work-life balance for House Officers. The uniqueness is due to UMMC being under the Ministry of Higher Education. I quickly became interested in UMMC. However, it's difficult to get a place at UMMC due to it being a very popular choice for housemanship.

In March 2021, the hospital selection for housemanship through e-Housemen was open for NUMed 2020 graduates. I chose to defer the start of my housemanship for 6 months as I was working as a Teaching Fellow at NUMed and I wanted to complete the post first. A few of my friends decided to do their housemanship at Penang hospital. My love towards the 2015-2020 batch made me want to go to Penang hospital as well. EL advised me against that, giving the reason that the work environment at Penang hospital is very stressful. However, I had also been hearing that housemanship is going to be stressful regardless of the hospital, so I thought I might as well go to Penang hospital and be with my friends.

However in early May 2021, I made a firm decision on my choice of specialty. With a long-term goal in mind, I felt that it's important to maximise my chances of completing housemanship successfully. Therefore, I decided that I must not go to hospitals with stressful work environment such as Penang hospital, instead I would choose UMMC or Kulim hospital.

In early June 2021, I met up with a senior lecturer for career advice. However, instead of getting good news from him, he told me some very bad news:

  • The Malaysian Medical Council has decided such that starting from 2023, only doctors who are on the National Specialist Register (NSR) can practise as medical specialists or medical lecturers.
  • Having the full MRCP(UK) or equivalent qualifications isn't sufficient for a doctor to be on the NSR. The doctor will still have to complete gazettement process which would take years.
  • Only permanent MOs will be able to complete the gazettement process. Contract MOs don't get the opportunity.
  • Only about 10% of House Officers will eventually be offered permanent MO posts. The remaining will only get contract MO posts.

By implication, this means I would have no more than 10% chance of achieving my career goal! The news definitely came as a bombshell to me and I was devastated. Worse still, that was right after I rejected my UKFP 2021 offer.

After giving some thoughts about it, I decided that I must do housemanship at a hospital that is recognised by GMC. This is so that in the very likely event where I don't get a permanent MO post, I will be able to do my specialty training in UK. I will eventually return to Malaysia as a specialist where I will get to enter the NSR. GMC full registration is no longer just something nice to have, but an absolute necessity for me, without which I will have a bleak future ahead.

Among the 8 hospitals recognised by GMC, I felt that I won't be able to survive housemanship at HSI, HSA, Penang hospital, Queen Elizabeth hospital, Kuching hospital and Sibu hospital due to their very stressful work environment. Therefore, UMMC and Kluang hospital are the only viable options for me.

However, Kluang hospital had been designated a Covid-19 hospital since March 2020, so it probably hadn't been taking in new House Officers. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 situation in Klang Valley was getting very bad at that time, so it was quite likely that UMMC wouldn't be recruiting new House Officers either. I was clueless on what my next steps should be and I felt quite depressed.

Then one day, my friend and Teaching Fellow colleague LG told me that he intended to do his housemanship at Kluang hospital. He clarified that Kluang hospital was actually still taking in new House Officers despite it being a Covid-19 hospital. I gave Kluang hospital a serious consideration and concluded that there would be many advantages doing my housemanship there:

  • Kluang hospital is recognised by the UK GMC.
  • The work environment at Kluang hospital is relatively relaxing.
  • Kluang hospital looks quite nice and I am rather familiar with it, having been posted there previously.
  • I will have LG and possibly other friends from NUMed as company.
  • Kluang has a lot of nice people.
  • The living cost in Kluang is quite low.
  • Unlike Klang Valley, Kluang doesn't have major water supply issues and the Covid-19 situation in Kluang isn't too bad.
  • Kluang isn't too far away from Johor Bahru so I can return to Johor Bahru regularly. 
  • As Kluang hospital is a teaching hospital for NUMed and IMU, I will have the opportunity to deliver some teaching, enabling me to gain further teaching experience.

The drawback of doing housemanship at Kluang hospital is that Kluang is quite far away from my hometown. Being a bit underdeveloped, it may also be a bit difficult for me to adapt to living in Kluang, after living in Johor Bahru for 7 years. I felt that the pros of choosing Kluang hospital greatly outweigh the cons.

In mid July 2021, e-Housemen hospital selection was open for LG and he chose Kluang hospital as planned. According to him, there were no vacancies at any of the Klang Valley hospitals including UMMC due to the Covid-19 situation. I expected that it would be the same for the next e-Housemen as well, so Kluang hospital would be the one and only option for me. 

The e-Housemen hospital selection was supposed to be open for me in late September 2021. However, it unexpectedly got brought forward to 5 August 2021. As I had already deferred once, there was no option to defer once more if I fail to get a place at Kluang hospital, making me really nervous. I nearly got a panic attack when I saw that there were only 5 vacancies at Kluang hospital. Thankfully though, I successfully chose Kluang hospital.

After that, I found out from one of my friend that there were actually more than 140 vacancies at UMMC, which was totally unexpected. I hadn't bothered to check if UMMC had vacancies available as I didn't expect there to be any. Despite that, I didn't regret choosing Kluang hospital, as it still has certain advantages over UMMC.

Now, I can say that I made the right decision to choose Kluang hospital. While I had to face quite a lot of challenges especially in the beginning, the situation has become much better as I gain more clinical experience and skills over time. I hope that I will successfully complete 2 years of housemanship at Kluang hospital.

Friday, 10 December 2021

AFHEA & FHEA Submission Samples

While working as a teaching fellow at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), I gained the Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) qualification in June 2021 and the Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) qualification in December 2021.

Here, I am sharing my AFHEA and FHEA submissions. You may use them as a guide if you are applying for the AFHEA or FHEA. However, please note that plagiarism is strictly prohibited.

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

Account of Professional Practice:
Summary of Evidence:

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Saturday, 27 November 2021

My FHEA qualification

I just received my Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) postgraduate qualification. When I was working as a Teaching Fellow at NUMed, I had the opportunity to apply for Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). FHEA is of higher level than AFHEA, but the requirements for getting FHEA are more difficult to fulfil. Initially, I decided to just go for AFHEA as I didn't want to risk failing my FHEA application and getting nothing. But after I applied for AFHEA in April 2021, I was thinking, why not give FHEA a try? I submitted my FHEA application in July 2021 just before my Teaching Fellow post ended. And now, I have finally succeeded.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Why didn't I continue working as a Teaching Fellow?

I worked as a Teaching Fellow at NUMed from October 2020 to June 2021. Subsequently, I started working as a House Officer in August 2021. You may be wondering, why didn't I just keep working as a Teaching Fellow instead of becoming a House Officer?

Actually, I too wish that I could continue working as a Teaching Fellow at NUMed. After all, the Teaching Fellow job is so much easier and more interesting and it's monthly salary is just slightly lower compared to that of a House Officer. However, there are several reasons why that's not a viable option for me.

The main reason is that my Teaching Fellow contract ended in June 2021. There was no provision for an extension of the contract as NUMed offers Teaching Fellow contracts on a one-off basis only. One of the Teaching Fellows in the previous year tried to get a long-term contract after his contact ended, but he was unsuccessful in that. One of my Teaching Fellow colleagues on the 3-month contract also tried to extend his contract without success. Therefore, I didn't attempt to seek an extension of my Teaching Fellow contract.

An alternative to extending the contract would be to reapply for the Teaching Fellow post for the 2021/2022 academic year. With the teaching experience and the AFHEA qualification I gained through working as a Teaching Fellow, I would have an advantage in the application. However, the post is mainly meant for graduates from the 2016-2021 batch. The 2016-2021 batch had been quite unfortunate and I really sympathise with them.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they missed out on the opportunity to do their Student Selected Components and Electives in UK and there were a lot of disruptions and uncertainties during their Stage 5 of MBBS. I definitely want them to have the opportunity to be a Teaching Fellow. If I reapplied for the Teaching Fellow post, I would be denying someone from that batch the opportunity. Considering how competitive the application is, every single place counts. Therefore, I decided not to reapply.

Even if I could somehow get an extension of my Teaching Fellow contract, there's the fact that Teaching Fellows aren't full-fledged lecturers. NUMed Teaching Fellows are mostly involved in teaching parts of the Year 1 and 2 curriculum, with limited opportunities to teach Year 3 to 5. While the Teaching Fellow job had been very interesting and rewarding for me, it's not my plan to be a Teaching Fellow permanently. Instead, I view it as a stepping stone to gain valuable teaching experience in order to achieve greater heights in my teaching career.

My aim is to become a full-fledged lecturer who will have more teaching responsibilities. Unfortunately, there's no direct upgrade path from a Teaching Fellow to a full-fledged lecturer. To become a full-fledged medical lecturer in Malaysia, one must have full registration with the Malaysian Medical Council, which requires the completion of 2 years of housemanship. Like it or not, I have to work as a House Officer for now.

My transition from being a Teaching Fellow to being a House Officer is like going from heaven to hell. The House Officer job is really stressful with long working hours. However, my Medical Education dream motivates me to persevere with my housemanship. I must survive the hell before I can get to the higher levels of heaven.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

My Covid-19 vaccination

The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Malaysia on 21 February 2021. Soon afterwards, the Malaysian government opened the registration for Covid-19 vaccination to the public. I registered through MySejahtera on 23 February 2021. In the following months, I was waiting for a vaccination appointment. At that time, I was working as a Teaching Fellow at NUMed in Johor Bahru.

In April 2021, following reports of rare thromboembolic events caused by the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, the Malaysian government decided to offer it only on an opt-in basis. Data shows that thromboembolic events occur in around 1 out of 100,000 cases. I consider that to be a very low risk and I decided that I would take the AstraZeneca vaccine if given the opportunity.

The 1st round of opt-in registration for the AstraZeneca vaccine was open on 2 May 2021 for those living in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. I couldn't register as I was in Johor Bahru. Subsequently on 26 May 2021, the 2nd round of the opt-in registration was open to those staying in Johor, Penang and Sarawak in addition to Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. I surely wanted to take that opportunity to register.

The registration was supposed to open at 12 noon, but it got delayed until 12:15PM. Then, there were major issues with the registration website due to a large number of people wanting to register. I was able to key in my personal information, but I couldn't select the state no matter how many times I clicked on it. I refreshed the page a countless number of times and I tried using my laptop, tablet and phone, but the same issue persisted.

There were a few times where I managed to select the state, but when I proceed to selecting a vaccination centre and date, a message appeared stating that the slot was full, even though it was still available in reality. I tried registering for about an hour, without success. After that, the website announced that the opt-in registration had closed as all slots had been taken up. I felt quite upset and disappointed.

However on 29 May 2021, I received an SMS which stated that my registration for the AstraZeneca vaccine was being processed. On the next day, I got my 1st dose appointment through MySejahtera, which would be at Persada Johor Bahru International Convention Centre on 22 July. While I was glad to get the appointment, the issue was that my Teaching Fellow job would end on 30 June and I would be returning to my hometown after that.

After giving some thoughts, I decided to stay in Johor Bahru until the end of July so that I could receive the 1st dose of the vaccine. I didn't want to decline the appointment as that would lead to further delays in getting the 1st dose. However, I wouldn't be in Johor Bahru for the 2nd dose. As the interval between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is 9 weeks, it wouldn't be feasible for me to continue staying in Johor Bahru till then.

On 22 July 2021, I received my 1st dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Persada Johor Bahru as planned. I arrived a bit late as the main road leading to Persada Johor Bahru was closed which required me to take a detour, but that wasn't an issue. The process was quite smooth and well organised, although I had to wait for a while as there were a lot of people. As a matter of fact, I had been to Persada Johor Bahru in July 2019 to attend the NUMed Congregation.

In the morning on 23 July 2021, I started feeling quite lethargic which likely was an adverse effect of the vaccine. I didn't experience any other side effects. On that night, I was feeling a bit better and I could watch the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics online. By 24 July 2021, I had recovered from the lethargy.

I soon received my 2nd dose appointment which would be at Persada Johor Bahru on 23 September. Based on my plans at that time, I would be in Kulim in late September so it would be quite troublesome for me to travel to Johor Bahru. Therefore, I declined the 2nd dose appointment and changed my address on MySejahtera to Kulim, in hopes of getting an appointment in Kulim.

I returned to Subang Jaya on 1 August 2021. On 4 August 2021, I unexpectedly got the news that the start date of my housemanship would be brought forward from October to late August. I decided to do my housemanship at Kluang hospital. Once again, I had to change my address on MySejahtera to Kluang. However, I never got another 2nd dose appointment on MySejahtera.

During the orientation for housemanship, I was told that house officers who hadn't completed their Covid-19 vaccination could get the vaccine at Kluang hospital. However, the AstraZeneca vaccine isn't available in Kluang and the only vaccination centre in Johor with the AstraZeneca vaccine is Persada Johor Bahru. I regretted declining the 2nd dose appointment at Persada Johor Bahru, but I couldn't reinstate it. Consequently, my 2nd dose of vaccine was in limbo.

I contacted MySejahtera helpdesk and the Johor state health department to seek help regarding the issue, and they both told me that I could just walk in to Persada Johor Bahru for my 2nd dose of AstraZeneca vaccine on my original appointment date. Despite that, I was still a little worried as I didn't have an active appointment on MySejahtera. 

On 23 September 2021, I went to Persada Johor Bahru to get my 2nd dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Johor Bahru is about 1 hour and 20 minutes drive from Kluang. As it turned out, the staffs at Persada Johor Bahru are very helpful and friendly. They allowed me to walk in after I explained my situation, and the process completed smoothly. I was happy to go back to Johor Bahru, as I had the opportunity to taste some of the food there which I miss so much.

With that, I have finally completed 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccination, 7 months after I first registered for it. On the following day, I once again felt quite lethargic. The lethargy lasted until 25 September 2021, requiring me to take 2 days of sick leave. Still, that was a relatively minor adverse effect which is totally worth it considering the protection against Covid-19 given by the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In late 2021, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 emerged. Its symptoms are significantly less severe, but it spreads significantly faster. 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccine is no longer sufficient to protect against it, a booster dose is needed. The Malaysian government started offering booster doses of Covid-19 vaccination to the public. Initially, the booster dose was given at 6 months after the 2nd dose, which meant that I would be getting my booster dose in March 2022.

Later, the policy was changed such that the booster dose can be given at least 3 months after the 2nd dose. Many vaccination centres in Malaysia were also allowing walk-ins for the booster dose. Despite that, I wanted to wait until March 2022 before getting my booster dose, as I had read that the efficacy of the booster dose is greatest if given at 6 months after the 2nd dose.

In late January, the number of new Covid-19 cases daily in Malaysia was increasing very rapidly due to the spread of the Omicron variant. Therefore, I considered getting my booster dose earlier. After some reading on the internet, I concluded that getting the booster dose at 3 to 6 months after the 2nd dose will not significantly decrease its effectiveness. I decided to get my booster dose as soon as possible.

At that time, Kluang hospital asked all staff members who would like to receive the booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine to fill up a registration form, and I promptly did so. On 7 February 2022, I received my booster dose at Kluang hospital. This time, I was given the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Once again, I experienced lethargy after getting the vaccine, which required me to take 1 day of sick leave.

In June 2022, Kluang hospital opened the registration for the 2nd booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine to all staff members. I promptly submitted the registration. The 2nd booster dose was to be given at least 6 months after the 1st booster dose, which meant that I would be getting it after 7 August 2022. However on 2 August 2022, I unexpectedly got called for my 2nd booster dose.

As it was just a few days short of 6 months after my 1st booster dose, the effectiveness will not be significantly affected. Therefore, I went ahead with receiving my 2nd booster dose on that day. Once again, I got the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. After the vaccination, I experienced lethargy which was worse compared to the last 2 doses, so I had to take 1 day of sick leave.

I am glad to have completed 4 doses of Covid-19 vaccination. The AstraZeneca + AstraZeneca + Pfizer + Pfizer combination provides good protection against Covid-19, including the Omicron variant. While the number of new Covid-19 cases daily in Malaysia is still high, vaccinations have greatly reduced the severity of Covid-19 infections and allowed us to return to our normal lives just like before the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope everyone will receive their booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

My teaching fellowship at NUMed

I worked as a teaching fellow at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) for 9 months from 1 October 2020 to 30 June 2021. During my teaching fellowship, I lived at EcoNest which is located quite close to NUMed. Here, I am sharing my experience working as a NUMed teaching fellow. In this post, I will be using a two-letter pseudonym to refer to each particular person.

September 2020:

I received the offer for the teaching fellow post on 25 September. There were 7 teaching fellows for the 2020/2021 academic year, me, LG, GC, NR, TM, AL and KT. TM was on the 3-month contract while the rest of us were on the 9-month contract. Unlike the previous years, the teaching fellows this year wouldn't be offered the Postgraduate Certificate of Medical Education (PGCertMedEd) as the programme was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 30 September, I met a lecturer for Year 3 EoCP induction.

October 2020:

I started the teaching fellow job officially on 1 October. The 1st week was mainly induction sessions. On 2 October, I went to Hospital Sultan Ismail to help coordinate the first hospital visit of the Year 3 students. I began delivering teaching on 5 October. At that time, I was adapting well to my teaching fellow post. From 5 to 22 October, I delivered only 2 sessions, spirometry skills session and orthopaedics skills session. Both were Year 3 EoCP sessions taught in small groups at the NUMed campus. Every day, I delivered the same session 3 times to different groups of students.

At that time, I wasn't close to my colleagues as I didn't know them well. Still, I would talk to them whenever we met on campus, and occasionally we would have lunch together at the NUMed Garden Café. On 14 October, my NUMed staff email was activated. The delay was due to a cyber attack that Newcastle University was suffering from at that time. On 16 October, the office for teaching fellows was ready. I was in the same office room as LG, GC, NR and TM. I didn't quite like the office as it's a bit old. Instead, I preferred to go to the NUMed library.

On 19 October, NUMed informed that teaching fellows could apply for Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) or Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I and my colleagues were interested to apply, as it would be a good alternative to the PGCertMedEd which we couldn't get. To get the AFHEA or FHEA, we had to complete a written assignment. The FHEA is of higher level than the AFHEA, but is significantly more difficult.

On 22 October, I submitted my UK Foundation Programme (UKFP) application. On 25 October, my friend IL passed me my MBBS certificate which she helped me to collect previously. From 26 to 28 October, I delivered the EoCP acute care simulation session and orthopaedics skills session. During a session on 28 October, one of the students kept laughing while the other students weren't engaging well, which made me feel a bit annoyed.

I received my first salary from NUMed on 28 October, which felt so good. On 29 October, I submitted my application for Foundation Priority Programme (FPP) of UKFP. On 30 October, I, LG, GC, NR and TM filmed a tutorial video for an upcoming Year 1 session. After we were done, they invited me to join them for lunch at The Tribus @ Puteri Harbour and I agreed. That was my first time going out with my colleagues, and it brought me closer to them. 

November 2020:

The start of November marked some significant changes to my teaching fellowship experience. Year 3 EoCP had just ended, which would be followed by MACS. Only LG, GC, NR and TM were involved in the teaching for MACS, while I would be teaching Year 1 and Year 2 moving forward. The Year 1 and Year 2 sessions were supposed to be a mix of online and face-to-face sessions. However, Johor Bahru became a Covid-19 red zone at that time. As a result, face-to-face sessions at NUMed were no longer allowed and all sessions had to be moved online.

For the first 2 days, I delivered the virtual hospital visit debriefing sessions. The sessions were quite boring and I didn't have much to talk about. From 4 to 10 November, I delivered several sessions on hearing loss. Although those sessions were interesting, I very much preferred to deliver them face-to-face. I and my colleagues had planned to deliver Written Skills Examination (WriSkE) practice sessions for the Year 3 and Year 4 students, but we had to scrap the plan due to suspension of face-to-face teaching. Instead, I shared a compilation of WriSkE resources with the students.

I chose to deliver many of the online sessions from my office as the internet connection there is very stable. At that time, I began to like my office a lot and I went there quite often. There was a focus group discussion on 6 November where I and my colleagues gave our feedback about the NUMed MBBS programme based on our experiences. On 7 November, I and colleagues had a dinner with a senior lecturer at Alam Seafood Restaurant. SF, a teaching fellow from the previous year, joined us as well. 

On 8 November, Johor Bahru ceased to be a red zone. However, the government had decided to implement the Conditional MCO (CMCO) in Johor. Under CMCO, no face-to-face sessions were allowed and students also weren't allowed to use the NUMed library, but staff members could still enter the NUMed campus. On 11 November, I delivered a Malay language support session for the international students. On the week from 16 to 20 November, I had no sessions at all. I felt quite bored and I really wished I could teach Year 3 MACS.

On 21 November, the CMCO in Johor ended and the number of active Covid-19 cases in Johor Bahru was close to 0. With that, face-to-face sessions at NUMed could resume on 23 November and I was so delighted. Unfortunately, the number of new Covid-19 cases in Johor Bahru increased rapidly right after that. Just a few days later, Johor Bahru was a red zone again and face-to-face sessions once again had to stop. I didn't have the opportunity to deliver any face-to-face sessions during that period of time, as I was only involved in 2 online sessions on 23 and 24 November.

Around that time, several clinical teaching fellows (CTFs) from UK started working at NUMed. Between November and December, I delivered 2 online revision sessions for the Year 3 students. On 26 November, I attended a support session for AFHEA and FHEA. I decided to apply for AFHEA during the April 2021 submission period. Starting from 30 November, I was quite busy again as I had online teaching sessions on several days every week. As a teaching fellow, I like being busy. I had become quite close to my colleagues at that time and we often went out for lunch or dinner together.

December 2020:

As the number of new Covid-19 cases in Johor Bahru kept increasing, I had to accept the reality that face-to-face sessions at NUMed wouldn't be allowed anytime soon. I decided to embrace online sessions and I aimed to deliver them as best as I could. On 7 December, the CMCO was reimplemented in Johor Bahru. Unlike the previous CMCO, both students and staff members were allowed to enter the NUMed campus to use the facilities. Strangely enough, interstate travel was allowed for the whole country except for areas under Enhanced MCO. 

On 5 December, I and my colleagues had a dinner with the CTFs at The Spice Kitchen. Despite being in Johor Bahru for more than 6 years, that was my first time going to The Spice Kitchen. Throughout November and December, most of the sessions I delivered were history taking and clinical reasoning sessions for Year 1 and Year 2. I also delivered a few advanced communication sessions for Stage 5 P4P. I really enjoyed delivering all those sessions. Based on the teaching evaluation I received, most of my students liked my teaching as well.

On 11 December, AL missed out on a session he was scheduled to deliver due to some issues with the timetable. As I was delivering the same session with another group of students, I told his group of students to join my session. On that afternoon, there was a support session for teaching fellows on Teaching and Learning in Classroom. I and KT voted to have the session face-to-face, GC and NR voted to have it online, while LG, TM and AL didn't vote, resulting in a 2 vs 2 tie. Later, KT defected and voted for online instead, breaking the tie. In the end, the session was carried out online.

On 17 December, I took the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) for UKFP. The SJT was held online through remote proctoring and I used a computer at the NUMed campus. On 18 December, I marked the online Year 1 oral presentation. That was the last day of the 1st semester and TM's teaching fellow post came to an end. There was 2 weeks of winter break from 19 December to 3 January, during which the NUMed campus was closed. I returned to my hometown for the break.

January 2021:

The 2nd semester of my teaching fellowship began on 4 January. In January, the Year 1 and Year 2 students were having exams so there weren't any teaching sessions for them. On the 1st week, I delivered 2 Prescribing Safety Assessment sessions for Stage 5. On the 2nd week, I conducted online interviews for a few students who were applying to study MBBS at NUMed. On 15 January, I helped perform a test run of the online surgical bad-day-on-call session planned by the CTFs for Stage 5. The CTFs gave me valuable feedback on my performance during the session.

The MCO 2.0 was implemented on 13 January due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in Malaysia. Under MCO 2.0, face-to-face sessions were allowed for medical students undergoing clinical training. Students were also allowed to use the NUMed library, but staff members had to request for permission in order to enter campus. NUMed allowed me to deliver online sessions from my office after I explained that the internet connection at EcoNest wasn't very stable.

On 19 and 20 January, I was involved in the Stage 5 surgery acute care simulation session as a simulated patient. That was my first face-to-face session since 28 October. On 21 January, I delivered an online session on History of Medicine for the Foundation students. On the following week, I marked the Year 1 and Year 2 Short Answer Paper (SAP) exams. The exams and the marking were both done online.

February 2021:

On 2 February, I started delivering teaching sessions for Year 1 and Year 2. Clinical skills sessions were conducted face-to-face while clinical reasoning and history taking sessions were conducted online. There were several replacement sessions for the clinical skills sessions that couldn't be held face-to-face in the previous semester. I was so glad to meet my Year 1 and Year 2 students in person for the first time after having taught them entirely online in the previous semester. On 4 February, I marked the online oral presentation for the Foundation students.

The Chinese New Year was on 12 February. I couldn't return to my hometown as interstate travel wasn't allowed under the MCO 2.0 . Dining in at restaurants was allowed at that time, so I celebrated the Chinese New Year by going to several restaurants for my lunch and dinner. As I didn't have any red shirts, I went to AEON Bukit Indah to buy one. I bought Chinese New Year cards and gave them to my colleagues. On 15 February, I attended the OSCE examiner training session.

A few of my batch mates created the Come Together (CT) programme to help the Stage 5 students in their preparation for final exams and I decided to join it. Under the CT programme, I would be mentoring 2 students. Around that time, replacement sessions for Year 3 MACS were scheduled. I and my colleagues were supposed to deliver those sessions, but NUMed later decided to let the CTFs take over the sessions. As a result, we were no longer involved in teaching Year 3.

On 19 February, I marked the online Year 2 oral presentation. On 23 February, I, LG and GC had lunch together for the first time since December and we had a long chat. On 27 February, I and my colleagues had dinner at Rosmarino Italian Restaurant. At that time, we had become very close. Between February and March, I delivered a total of 5 online lectures for Year 1, which were Understanding Asthma, Drugs Used in the Respiratory System, Treatment of Asthma & COPD, Antibiotic Resistance and Skin & Systemic Diseases.

March 2021:

I took over the eye examination session from NR on 4 March as I really wished to teach eye examination. On 5 March, the MCO 2.0 ended and was replaced with the CMCO. With that, staff members were no longer required to seek permission to enter the NUMed campus, while face-to-face sessions were still allowed at NUMed. Around that time, I, LG, GC and NR chose to participate in a research project led by our senior lecturer. Our role would be to perform data analysis. I, LG and GC went for lunch at 安记酿豆腐 in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah on 11 March.

On 11 March, the UKFP allocation was out. I got allocated to Northern Foundation School which was my 1st choice. However, my application for the FPP was unsuccessful. My SJT score was 35.5 out of 50. Coincidentally, I was told to do the hospital selection for the Malaysian house officer programme through the e-Housemen system on the next day. As I wanted to complete my teaching fellowship first, I chose to defer the start of my house officer training by 6 months.

On 13 March, I and my colleagues jointly conducted an online MOSLER practice session for our mentees in the CT programme. On that night, we had dinner at Carabao Restaurant, where we jointly celebrated me, LG and AL's birthdays. GC offered to let me take over her mental health seminar on 18 March as she would be delivering a webinar on Orthopaedics for the NUMed Medical Education Society, which I gladly accepted.

On 21 March, I, LG and GC went to Mount Austin to meet up with our friend NB and we had dinner together. I had not seen NB for quite some time and I was happy to meet her. On 22 March, I and my colleagues filmed several tutorial videos for the upcoming Year 2 sessions. My birthday is on 23 March. Many of my friends wished me, including all of my colleagues, several of my 2015-2020 batch mates and several of my students. On 24 March, I met a few Year 1 students to do the sign-offs for their clinical skills.

On 26 March, LG was having dinner with a few Year 2 students at a restaurant near EcoNest and he invited me to join them. I had a great conversation with my students, enabling me to know them better. When walking back to EcoNest, we coincidentally met a few Year 1 students and they said hi to us. After that, I started getting a lot of followers on Instagram from my Year 1 and Year 2 students and I followed all of them back. There were 2 weeks of Easter break from 27 March to 11 April. I didn't return to my hometown as interstate travel was still not allowed. 

April 2021:

On 28 March and 3 April, I delivered online sessions on IV Fluid Management and Acute Red Eye for Stage 5 students under the CT programme. The NUMed library remained open throughout the break and I went there almost every day. I was busy writing my AFHEA assignment. I also did the statistical analysis for the research project I and my colleagues participated in, using R software which I learnt during my SSC1 in Stage 4. I let NR take over my Increased Intracranial Pressure and Brain Death lecture on 14 April as she was really interested in delivering it.

I delivered the Basic First Aid session for Year 1 on 14 and 15 April. On 16 April, I and my colleagues had a very long conversation at our office and we skipped lunch. I, LG and GC then went for a heavy dinner at Spiced Mala Hotpot on that evening. The AMSA Medical Myth Quiz was held on 17 April for the Year 1 and Year 2 students. I and LG contributed many questions for the quiz. After the quiz, we provided the explanation for each question to the participants. On 18 April, I finally completed and submitted my AFHEA assignment.

On 20 April, I and my colleagues jointly conducted the 2nd online MOSLER practice session for our mentees. On 22 April, I delivered a session on knee and foot examination. As foot examination wasn't actually in the Year 2 learning outcomes, the students were only required to feel for the bony structures in the feet. However, I felt there was no point in just learning that, so I decided to teach my students the foot examination in full. While they acknowledged that it's difficult, they still performed it quite well.

At that time, I decided to apply for FHEA during the next submission period. One of the CTFs had strongly encouraged me to go for it. Although I knew it's difficult, I wanted to give it a try. On 23 April, I delivered a session on sensory and motor examination. The session was supposed to last 2 hours, but as the examination is really long, it took me 2 hours 30 minutes to finish. Right after that, I had another online session which I had to delay the start by 30 minutes. Thankfully, it didn't clash with the students' timetables.

For the next sensory and motor examination session on 26 April, I tried to save time by telling my students to watch the tutorial video beforehand, but the session still went overtime by 15 minutes and the lab technician got quite annoyed about that. There was one more sensory and motor examination session on 27 April. This time, I used a different strategy and managed to finish the session within 2 hours. AL still hadn't finish the session when the 2 hours was up, so I took one of his students to help save time.

Around that time, my colleagues remarked that one of the shirts I wore had a few holes on it. They advised me to stop wearing it, but I told them that I really liked the shirt. They then decided to give me a makeover by getting me a new shirt. On 25 April, I and my colleagues went to Oriental Kopi in Johor Jaya for breakfast followed by JWC for lunch. We then went to Mid Valley Southkey where my colleagues chose 2 really nice shirts for me. On that evening, we had dinner at 豪享痴卤肉饭. It was a really interesting outing.

During the abdominal examination and cardiovascular examination sessions on 28 and 29 April, my students requested to take photos with me and I gladly agreed. On 28 April, I and LG conducted an acute care simulation practice session for our CT programme mentees. On 29 April, I took over the clinical reasoning in bowel disease session from AL and KT. On that night, I and my colleagues had dinner with a senior lecturer at Carabao Restaurant. I love my teaching fellow job so much and at that time, I made the firm decision to pursue Medical Education in the future.

May 2021:

I delivered an online lecture on Nutrition in Elderly for Year 2 on 4 May. I played badminton with LG, KT, AL and the CTFs at the EduCity Sports Complex on 5 May. On 6 May, I, LG and GC had dinner together at Oven & Fried Chicken. That was our last outing before the MCO 3.0 was implemented on 7 May. Under the MCO 3.0, dining in at restaurants wasn't allowed. Face-to-face sessions were still allowed for medical students undergoing clinical training, while staff members had to request for permission to enter the NUMed campus.

On 7 May, there was a face-to-face session on Falls in the Elderly, which I and my colleagues had been planning for weeks. The session provided the Year 2 students with MOSLER style practice. I chose to take over the clinical reasoning in genetic disorders session on 10 May, as I really liked genetics. I was an examiner for the Year 2 OSCE on 11 and 12 May. On 15 May, I, LG and GC conducted an online Q&A session for Stage 5 students under the CT programme, as they would be having their final exams soon. On 17 May, I was informed that my AFHEA application had been successful.

My last ever face-to-face session was on 18 May. Around that time, I received teaching evaluation from the Year 1, Year 2 and Stage 5 students, who gave me very positive feedback. On 20 May, I marked the Year 2 SAP exam. The exam was paper-based but the marking was done online. GC bought some pastries for me and LG on that day and it was really good. From 24 to 27 May, I delivered online sessions on Urine Dipstick for Year 2 TCBL. On 27 May, I marked the Year 1 SAP exam. Throughout May, I regularly conducted online MOSLER practice sessions for my CT programme mentees. 

June 2021:

On 1 June, the Full MCO was implemented. Under the Full MCO, entry into the NUMed campus by students and staff members was only allowed for exam purposes. Since then, I didn't have the opportunity to meet GC and NR in person again. On 2 June, I withdrew from the UKFP. I took over the online TCBL Mock Round session on 4 June from one of the CTFs. During the session, I conducted a case-based discussion on heart failure with my students. That was my last ever teaching session.

On 8 June, it was the Year 3 Exemption OSCE and I volunteered to be a simulated patient. On 16 June, I marked the online oral presentation for the Foundation students. That was my 4th time marking oral presentations. During the Year 4 MOSLER on 22 and 23 June, I once again was one of the simulated patients. That was officially my last session as a teaching fellow. Between June and July, I and my colleagues had several meetings through Zoom.

The final exam results for Stage 5 was released on 23 June. Both my CT programme mentees passed Stage 5 and I was so happy about that. However, before they could graduate, they had to replace the hospital assistantships they missed out previously due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I went to my office on that day and left a message for the future teaching fellows.

Around that time, I started writing my FHEA assignment. It turned out to be not as difficult as I had expected. On 25 June, I finally received my AFHEA certificate. On 26 June, I had an online discussion session with my CT programme mentees about the teaching fellowship application. My teaching fellowship contract ended on 30 June. I got the permission to enter the NUMed campus on that day to take out my personal belongings from my office. I definitely felt very emotional about that.

July 2021:

I continued staying at EcoNest until the end of July. On 6 July, the teaching fellowship application for the next academic year opened. Both my CT programme mentees were applying and I wrote a reference for them. On 13 July, I completed and submitted my FHEA assignment. The outcome of my FHEA application would only be known in November. On 22 July, I went to Persada Johor International Convention Centre to receive my first dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The only adverse effect I experienced was feeling lethargic.

August 2021:

On 1 August, I moved out of EcoNest and returned to my hometown. After staying at EcoNest for 3 years, I finally had to leave permanently, which made me feel very emotional. My NUMed staff email was disabled on 2 August, which marked the end of my teaching fellowship at NUMed. On 9 August, both my CT programme mentees were offered the teaching fellow post for the 2021/2022 academic year and I was so glad to know that. They started their teaching fellow job on 16 August.


I definitely had a very great experience working as a teaching fellow at NUMed. It surely is my most favourite year out of my 7 years at NUMed. I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions I delivered as a teaching fellow, as I love interacting and sharing my knowledge with my students. My teaching fellow colleagues are truly sincere in friendship, and we spent a lot of good time together. I am extremely grateful to NUMed for giving me the opportunity to be a teaching fellow. The imperfection of my teaching fellowship was the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to face-to-face teaching. However, the online sessions I delivered were still quite fun. I will always remember all the memories I had throughout my teaching fellowship. I hope that not too far in the future, I will be able to return to NUMed as a lecturer.

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For more information about the MBBS course at NUMed, go to this link: