“Isn’t it difficult to study medicine in Malaysia?” Aside from being highly technical (and theoretical), this advanced field can be challenging to the body and soul. Even so, the medical healthcare system is one of the most crucial systems we have in our society.
With health being an essential part of life, healthcare professionals are always in demand as they are responsible for maintaining the physical well-being of society. This fact becomes even more evident whenever a health crisis, like SARS and COVID-19, strikes the community
So, if you have always been passionate about practical work and dealing with human anatomy, a future career in the medical industry might be for you!
In this article, you will learn more about what it is, where to study medicine in Malaysia, and what to expect in your future career as a medical practitioner.
Table of Contents
What is Medicine?
Medicine is related to diagnosing, treating, and preventing illnesses, diseases, or injuries. As such, the main objective of medical experts is to ensure a person suffering from symptoms is relieved from their ailment and en route to recovery.
Practitioners, such as doctors and nurses, are vital in providing patients with the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, the study of medicine is a field that promotes healthcare and maintains the community’s well-being.
Now, this field heavily focuses on the various aspects of human anatomy and how you can diagnose and treat illnesses. From treating symptoms of the common cold to treating complex diseases such as cancer, these are topics you will learn as you delve into your study of medicine.
Why Should You Study Medicine In Malaysia?
You like to learn
This field requires its practitioners to be lifelong learners. Advancement in technology and research means that there is always an alternative treatment to an existing condition, especially when the world around us is constantly changing.
Moreover, breakthroughs in research also could result in changes to how illnesses are treated and the quality of life in patients after treatment. From critical ailments that happen suddenly to genetic diseases, the amount of things to learn about them is endless.
As such, you will explore something new everyday.
You want an in-demand career
Whether you continue to pursue a career as a medical practitioner, your medical degree can also open doors for you in other fields.
There are over 60 medical fields to specialise from, which provides you with further opportunities elsewhere. Graduates who study medicine in Malaysia may look into teaching in a university, or becoming a teacher in high school.
You may also aspire to be a part of a medical research team, venture into health journalism, become a medical consultant, or join the medical business administration and become an executive. The possibilities are endless!
You can make a difference in people’s lives
Most importantly, a career in medicine means you get to actively take part in making a difference in people’s lives. The public relies on the competency and compassion of the healthcare system to relieve them of their pain.
When you get to work with different patients and be a part of their road to recovery, you are directly creating a positive impact on their lives. It is an incredibly humbling work to be able to alleviate the sufferings of another person, and not to mention, a self-rewarding career.
What are the Study Fields of Medicine?
The medical field offers various specialisations you can choose from. Here are some of more popular fields you can venture into when you study medicine in Malaysia.
This medical branch is concerned with providing patients a relief for their pain.
Anaesthesiologists are involved with giving patients total care of the surgical patient before, during, and after the surgery.
This branch of medicine has to do with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the internal organs. It deals with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.
As paediatricians, you will often deal with the development, care, and diseases of infants, children, and adolescents. The role of paediatrics is particularly important as children require different dosage and types of medicines from adults.
The overall field is focused on using operative tools to investigate and treat medical conditions caused by diseases.
Surgeries are particularly helpful when it comes to improve bodily functions, repair damaged areas, or even enhance physical appearances.
How to be a Doctor in Malaysia?
Now that you are set to study medicine in Malaysia, you can start taking steps to turn passion into an occupation. Let us explore the popular medicine pathways.
At ground zero, all students will start by completing their secondary education (SPM, O-levles, etcetera). Before you study medicine in Malaysia, you will need to complete a pre-university course, like A-levels, Foundation In Science or STPM, to qualify.
After graduating from a pre-u programme, you are set to dive deeper in your medical journey! As a medical seedling, it will take another 9 years from here to be a fully qualified healthcare staff. But, don’t worry. We can go through each stage together.
Read this too: Must Know Before Choosing A Pre-U, Diploma or Degree.
After completing your SPM or O-Level, you may choose to apply to a pre-university programme like Foundation in Science, A-Levels, AUSMAT, SACE, STPM, or equivalent.
This phase may typically take you 1 – 2 years to complete and costs from RM 18,000 before you can really study medicine in Malaysia. Thus, you will need to have 5 credits in your SPM or equivalent qualification, including B in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics (or Additional Mathematics).
Once you have completed your pre-university, you are now eligible to enrol in a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine.
To be eligible for this course you will need to fulfil the SPM or equivalent qualification and any of the following pre-university courses:
- A-Level: BBB, ABC or AAC in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics or Mathematics
- STPM: BBB, ABC or AAC in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics or Mathematics
- AUSMAT/SACE: Average of B in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics or Mathematics; and 5Bs in SPM including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics or Additional Mathematics
- Foundation in Science or Matrikulasi: Minimum CGPA of 3.00 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Mathematics; and 5Bs in SPM including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics or Additional Mathematics
Before you continue to study medicine in Malaysia, be sure that the course you’ve chosen is recognised by the Malaysian Medical Council. By following through with this step, you can secure the qualifications to practice medicine in the future!
This course will take you 5 years to complete during which you will learn the fundamentals of medicine and undergo clinical training. An MBBS course will cost from RM 102,000.
When you have finished your Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine, you will be required to undergo a 2-year housemanship at a government hospital. Your housemanship allows you to learn from medical experts on a day-to-day basis. This phase will arm you with practical skills, experience and knowledge to get you ready for any unexpected real-life situations.
Completing a housemanship does not mean that your journey ends there. In your final posting, you can apply to register as a medical officer with the MMC.
Once you have applied to become a registered medical officer, you need to complete another 2 years of compulsory service with the government. Upon completing your housemanship, you are now a qualified general practitioner!
After that, you are ready to begin working as a doctor or continue to study medicine in Malaysia.
Should you wish to specialise in a specific area of medicine, you can continue with postgraduate studies. At this stage, you can work towards a more advanced profession, including an anaesthesiologist, a gynaecologist, or a paediatrician. Do note that this may add 4 -5 years of studies to your calendar, after which you will undergo 2-4 years of supervised training to be a specialist.
What are the Skills Required to Study Medicine In Malaysia?
As a healthcare practitioner, there are a few skills you need to have to thrive in the medical field. While it is vital to be skilful in your hands-on abilities, here are a few qualities you must pay attention to.
Communication Skills: To be clear and concise with your words is an important attribute to learn. This skill will heavily affect how you communicate important information with other medical practitioners, your patients, and their family members.
Teamwork: Being in healthcare means constantly working as a team to provide the best care for your patients. Therefore, unity is heavily stressed even during your housemanship days.
Good sense of empathy: As you study medicine in Malaysia, you may also be able to nurture an empathetic heart. You can build a good rapport with them just by showing them empathy. A compassionate heart will increase their trust in you and the treatment, giving them a smoother recovery.
Inquisitive: In the medical field, being inquisitive will motivate you to read copious amounts of medical research papers and ask your patient and their family members multiple questions. Your curiosity helps you to step closer towards a more accurate diagnosis.
Top Universities To Study Medicine in Malaysia
When you study medicine in Malaysia, IMU offers students incremental clinical experiential learning from year 1 sem 1 onwards.
They also have an intensive 6-month Senior Clerkship at Hospital Batu Pahat / Hospital Kluang for the final semester. Here, you can work in wards as shadow house officers under the supervision of senior clinician to help students better prepare for patient care and housemanship training.
Among the courses offered to study medicine in Malaysia are:
- Foundation in Science (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy)
- MBBS (IMU) with Partner Medical Schools in the United Kingdom (2.5+3)
- MBBS (IMU) with Partner Medical Schools in Ireland (2.5+3)
- MBBS (IMU) with Partner Medical Schools in New Zealand (2.5+3)
- MBBS (IMU) with Partner Medical Schools in Australia (2.5+3)
- MBBS (IMU) with Partner Medical Schools in Canada (2.5+3)
- MBBS (IMU)
MAHSA University takes pride in the strong academic and research background behind the MBBS programme. Its advanced facilities – clinical skills centre, anatomy suite, anatomage, dissection table, operation theatre and many more, are of approved clinical-setting standard.
Among the courses offered to study medicine in Malaysia are:
- Foundation in Science (MBBS, Dentistry, Pharmacy)
- Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS
As a leading private higher education in Malaysia since 1969, Taylor’s School of Medicine is well equipped to help students become a centre of excellence for research and comprehensive medical healthcare education.
It collaborates with Hospital Sungai Buloh in the areas of learning & teaching, practice and research. As such, students who aspire to study medicine in Malaysia can calmly pursue the following courses:
- Foundation in Science
- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Things You Need to Know About a Medical Career
Based on the Malaysian government’s target of having 1 doctor for every 400 citizens, we need about 80,000 doctors versus the current total of 50,000. In addition, there is still an overall lack of specialists. Recent reports showed that only 30% out of 150 hospitals in Malaysia have sufficient specialists.
GPs, obstetrics and gynaecology, anaesthesiology, and general surgery are some of the popular choices among students who study medicine in Malaysia. Meanwhile, many hospitals are recruiting people who specialise in these areas, such as
- geriatric medicine
- paediatric rheumatology
- intensive care medicine
- urogynaecology, and
- forensic psychiatry
Popular Medical Jobs
When you have completed your compulsory 2-year service with the government, you may choose to continue working for a public hospital or move on to a private institution.
According to JobStreet, here are some of the career opportunities available for medical graduates:
- Medical Officer
- General Practitioner/Doctor
- Medical Laboratory Technologist
The work of a medical practitioner starts at a humble salary. Payscale has observed that the average base salary you can expect to earn yearly as a medical officer can start from RM 79,000.
We hope you found this article a motivational start for you to study medicine in Malaysia. If you have any further enquiries, do not hesitate to reach out to us on WhatsApp, or message us on our social media.