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Mentor-mentee program in private practice

  • This program is perceived as a boon to the local medical industry as it fills the void and better prepares participants for their future professional careers.

Sin Chew Daily

We have too many medical graduates, a lot more than vacancies for housemanship. As a result, many medical graduates may have to wait for six to twelve months to get placement.

While waiting for placement, these medical graduates are literally dislodged from their professional fields and may grow increasingly unfamiliar with the ever changing technology and knowhow besides wasting precious time and resources in the long wait.

Some 5,000 medical students graduate from public and private medical schools in the country annually, and places at hospitals offering housemanship opportunities are far overwhelmed.

To address this problem, in addition to tightening the admission criteria, allowing medical graduates to learn from private practitioners before their actual housemanship is a viable alternative.

The Federation of Private Medical Practitioners' Associations is introducing a mentor-mentee program that will allow medical graduates to learn under the guidance of private medical practitioners while waiting for their housemanship. This will mentally prepare them for general clinical skills and confidence levels. This program is slated for full implementation early next year.

In October, Universiti Malaya Medical Center introduced a pre-housemanship program for graduates from UM and other public or private medical schools, offering short to medium-term curricula as well as clinical training. Graduates from oversea universities may also take part in this program to familiarize themselves with the local work culture as well as medical environment.

Last week, deputy health minister announced a similar mentor-mentee program called "tagging". The ministry is currently in the process of drawing up relevant guidelines for the effective implementation of this program without affecting the existing housemanship system.

This program is perceived as a boon to the local medical industry. Firstly, it provides graduates an opportunity to practice under the guidance of experienced doctors before their housemanship, keeping them abreast of the latest techniques and skills, including how to deal with patients and be mentally prepared for their future career lives, instead of wasting their time on waiting or other non-professional fields. This will remarkably enhance the overall quality and professional standards of local doctors.

Secondly, there are plenty of experienced doctors in private clinics, polyclinics and private hospitals who can share their skills and knowledge with fresh graduates through such a program in fulfilling their CSR obligations.

It is hoped that the guidelines for such a positive program can be mapped out as soon as possible and be strictly adhered to by the participants.

 

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