The 2nd semester of Stage 4 of MBBS at NUMed consists of three Student Selected Components (SSC). For each SSC, we get to choose a topic to study based on our interests. There are two categories of SSC's, public SSC and private SSC.
For public SSC's, they are pre-arranged by NUMed and we choose them from a list provided by NUMed. Most public SSC's are based in Johor. For private SSC's, we have to arrange them ourselves by contacting the supervisors. Private SSC's can be done anywhere in Malaysia.
Many students in my batch chose to do private SSC's outside Johor for SSC1 and SSC2. My family also preferred that I do private SSC’s in my hometown. At one point, I did consider doing private SSC’s, but I eventually decided against that. There are several reasons why I think private SSC’s are not for me.
First, I find it too much of a hassle to arrange a private SSC. This is especially true for SSC2 where it has to contain a suitable audit or research project. Also, since private SSC's are not arranged by NUMed, the supervisors are not familiar with the NUMed assessments, so they won’t be able to provide much guidance for the Oral and Poster Presentations.
An advantage NUMed has over the other medical schools is that it is not too far away from the clinical sites, so we get to utilise the NUMed campus throughout all 5 years of MBBS, without the need for a separate "clinical campus". Doing private SSC’s outside Johor negates this advantage. In particular, we have to travel back to the NUMed campus for the Oral Presentation and Written Skills Examination.
I have always wanted to do a non-clinical SSC for either SSC1 or SSC2, as I think having non-clinical knowledge is important for medical students as well. However, it is very difficult to arrange a suitable private non-clinical SSC. If I did private for SSC1 and SSC2, I most probably wouldn’t get to do a non-clinical SSC.
Doing a private SSC also meant that I probably would be on my own for the SSC, as it was unlikely that any of my friends would do their SSC at the same location. I really don’t like doing an SSC alone, because I won't get to really enjoy it without any friends. Considering that the SSC's are relatively stress free, I wanted to have some fun.
The NUMed Ball 2018 was held at Holiday Villa Hotel in Johor Bahru on 9 March, which was during the SSC2 period. If I did private SSC2 outside Johor, I would have to miss out on the NUMed Ball, just like what happened in the previous year. I really wanted to attend the NUMed Ball this year.