1. In the Malaysian context, private medical schools (PMS) are largely divided into few catagories based on the ownerships, niche curricula and diverse experiences (including internationalization). These categories are far from complete but as Daniel Levitin rightly mentioned in The Organized Mind, catagorization such as the above is necessary in order to conquer information overload and hence simplify understanding.
2. I believe the time when private medical schools work in silos has passed. The new slogan should be: to avoid competition and to work together toward collaboration. A win-win situation as notified by Stephen Covey in the 7- Habit of Highly Effective People, must be to emphasize on the genuine agendas with some form of mutual respect and common understanding to achieve beneficial academic goal.
3. Association of Private Medical Schools is at the founding stage. It is my hope that this association can discuss issues related to private medical education and collaborate resources for the benefit of its members. In the same note, University of similar niche medical curricula should be encouraged to form a committee which resulted in fair sharing of resources as well as experiences. Not to be forgotten, the fact that public universities have already had Dean Council and Council for the Public teaching Hospitals to discuss issues, address their common problems and chart future direction.
4. MOE must have a clear vision to align private medical institutions; in order to push medicine as the national agenda for the next decade. Academy of Medicine should work hand-in-hand with the Academy of Science to draft clear vision, mission and objective to be targetted at, for the next decade. The Ministry of Health as guardian of health in this country is expected to think strategically into the future needs and demands of the rakyat and formulate strategies into the next decade. If this is not being done, Malaysia will be losing in term of strategic health leadership and priorities.
5. As goverment is pushing internationalization agenda in higher education, ways and means have to be developed so that equal chances are given to players irrespective of who and where they are. It simply means that some birocratic processes have to be simplified and made available for direct accessibility. Coaching similar to enterpreneural assistance can be provided from time to time for new universities to grow faster without repeating the same mistakes made by the predecessors. Though I acknowledge that mistakes are necessary for learning, in the end, time wasted can be avoided as long the desire for learning is kept alive and kicking.
1. Those who live under great academic leader like Ungku Aziz can imagine the difficulties in running a university based on demand from the generation that dominated sociopolitical pursuits at that time.
2. Though the era of student revival like in the 70s had become the past, demand from the new generation of iGen (or Gen Z) in the era of 2020s is real and urgent. Even if we pay close observation on the event that lead to governmental change during the last 14th general election, the voting result suggests that the role of this generation is significant and indisputable.
3. Running smart institution like medical school is challanging in many ways:
(a) Having vision is important for future planning of the medical school. As vision help leaders to see possibilities of tomorrow within the realities of today and motivates them to do what need to be done.
(b) Getting good team members provide good team work as the world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
4. We do see many schools of similar orientation offer similar courses. That means competition is stiff when each and every medical school has to create niche area and identifying unique character.
5. These uniqueness has to be made known to potential costomers through proper sale and marketing practices. At the end of the day, market force will determine the survivor of the race tribes.
6. Designing marketable curriculum to meet everchanging demands in medical sector like aging in the population, urbanization and related occupational hazard, life style changes and non-communicable related diseases must always be the priority for lifelong survival.
7. Finally, research and innovation strategies have to produce impactful results to the students, faculty and community at large.
1. When I take student for clinical exam, I have to be a stranger to them. I have to get rid of bias and jaundice view of the candidate ability. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty to be impartial.
2. These conflicting roles are difficult to deal with. One as a teacher who is supposed to guide students and another as examiner who is supposed to gauge how much knowledge acquired by the students.
3. I had humbly confessed to a person who later turn out to be a colleague that I had forgotten when did I last examined him as clinical student. It is not that I’d suffered from selective amnesia but my mind wasn’t focussing on his face when I examined him but rather focusing on his thought and the substance that he presented.
4. Bias is the term that needs to be avoided in any clinical examination. Suggestion is a form of bias. Cues and clues subtly help students to pick up the answer that examiners expect.
5. Playing dual role is obviously hard. I hope I could keep acting well into my 60s.