Qualifying exams for new docs

by AZK

“You don’t have to blow out anybody else’s candles…
to make yours shine brighter…”

I read with interest the Health Minister’s proposal to have common qualifying examinations for all foreign-qualified doctors. The Health Minister appears to have discovered that all these frequent visits to assess and continually evaluate new medical schools are a costly affair.

In fact, in the age of the internet, it is nothing more then a scam by our free-loading MMC council members to claim allowances and fly business class to various, sometimes exotic destinations just to see if these schools produce bona-fide doctors, all courtesy of the tax-payer when much of the information can be gathered via the net.

More importantly though, now that Chua has proposed a qualifying examination in line possibly similar to Britain’s PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) or the USA’s USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) it boggles the mind if our lot of council members are really up to it in conducting examinations of this complexity.

Needless to say the current Unscheduled Universities Examination under Section 12(1) (aa), Medical Act 1971 is so hopelessly biased especially in the clinical sections, that, like the legal profession’s CLP where there is an incredibly high failure rate, it gives rise to suspicions that the examination is yet another tool to discriminate and meet political agendas to right racial imbalances in the profession.

More alarming is its selective application on foreign graduates but not on local graduates who today are mainly responsible for our notorious healthcare deliver systems.

Chua’s frustration could be real. The Malaysian Medical Council is a discredited body. Among others, it currently consists of a member who graduated after 40 years of age, another who is being sued [deleted], yet another who chairs meetings and doesn’t operate anymore [deleted].

Many are involved in businesses such as housing development, private medical schools, nursing schools, etc therefore bringing to the body a conflict of interest that will eventually skew any decision they try to make.

A significant number of these members are downright academically uninclined including deans with dubious qualifications.

All of them are led by a chairman, the current DG, who is now noted more for leading a health service comprising of crumbling hospitals, ambulances without petrol and a skyrocketing incidence of HIV, dengue, heart disease, diabetes and hypentension.

The MMC in its current form and especially after the CSMU affair cannot be relied upon to effect the changes needed to maintain and elevate the quality of health-care in this country. Despite its “independence”, it has not only demonstrated its lack of political impartiality but may have also outlived its usefulness.

Like many other institutions in this country, it is hopelessly corrupted in its methods. In the local context, recognition of universities may be best left to a select committee in the Education Ministry which has shown more professionalism.

There may be a more cost-effective way in ascertaining if the new apprentice can indeed stand on his own feet. It is the time-tested system of continuous appraisal.

The medical profession is after all an apprenticeship and many new graduates look-up to mentors which unfortunately in today’s service are known more for their bullying ways as a result of their own insecurity rather then lending a helping hand in teaching.

Every new medical graduate needs to undergo housemanship. But this period can easily be extended to 3 to 5 years if the candidate irrespective of which medical school he or she graduates from is found to be lacking in certain areas. Anyone can be taught, but sometimes, some require a longer period.

To exclude doctors and label them as “unscheduled” in a country that lacks doctors and using the term “standards” as a shield to keep the club intact is a failure of the mentor system which for centuries the medical fraternity thrived on. Continuous appraisal by the various consultants at work is the way forward.

However, for the system to work, mentors (read specialists) need to be of respectable caliber and this is where unfortunately the country is lacking.

Ever since Malaysia came up with its local specialist programs due to a variety of reasons especially economic, we have had specialists who can’t even string a proper sentence in English.

Worse still there have been reports of cheating in examinations especially in specialties that are not conducted conjointly. Examiners both local and foreign have noted in horror how some candidates appearing for these specialist examinations appear to know what examination questions are going to appear or which clinical case is coming up.

To borrow Mahathir’s phrase, if we are going to churn out half-past six specialists, then we will have half-past six mentors in which case an appraisal system which formed the hallmark in the advancement of medicine since time immemorial cannot be applied to the Malaysian scene.

It is here that the system has failed us. We should be able to take in any graduate from any university and still turn him into a good doctor if we had the proper mentors/specialists, obviating the need for any qualifying examination. The fault does not lie in all those medical schools scattered in this country and around the far corners of this world. The fault lies here in Malaysia where we just don’t have enough of those quality specialists anymore.

Medical teaching is a hopelessly neglected profession in this country and its ill effects may come to roost our healthcare system sooner rather then later.

In this day and age, General Hospitals should have been turned over to medical schools so that teaching and services are upgraded.

But the unending politically tiresome adversarial battles between the Health and Education ministry has contributed to the attrition of medical standards and detriment patient care.

Medicine entails lifelong learning. It does not matter when you start, but never forget that the learning can never stop.

  1. #1 by Jamesy on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 3:12 pm

    Well, this is another attempt by the government to limit medical aspirants other than from MARA, UM, IIU, USM and etc to practice in Malaysia, just like the CLP for aspirant lawyers. Rest assure, there’s going to be a lot of failures for the medical students candidates sitting for this new exam. Maybe 5% allocated for these candidates to pass on the yearly basis, and then blame on 95% candidates who have falied on lack quality and knowledge while at those foreign universities including Oxford and Cambridge.

    Only in Bolehland.

  2. #2 by palmdoc on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 3:18 pm

    This article seems to me like a tirade without suggesting anything constructive. At least the Minister has brought up an alternative solution regarding the recognition of medical schools, whether or not it is the correct one is another matter. Who knows? At least he seems genuinely concerned about standards.
    One of the things I have suggested in my blogpost is perhaps there should be a
    Common qualifying exam for all
    I have put up an Opinion Poll aif you would care to check which alternative you think is reasible/realistic

  3. #3 by greenacre on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 4:38 pm

    A year ago I was outside the courtroom of a high court. I was a little desperate as a litigant I was going no where.. thus I was directed to a storeroom where they were aka legal aid. I asked three lady lawyers whether I could get some amicus curiae help. Well this is what I got “what is that ” and among them exclaimed ‘how come our universities never taught us this?
    Superior beings without CLP they are so good the English degree holders are sub standard…now they want to move into medical..

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 5:18 pm

    I don’t think we should dismiss the letter’s contents summarily as “just a tirade” by its writer, AZK.

    Consider the following questions and points.

    The proposed qualifying examination is upposed to resolve the question of whether standards at the 344 medical colleges recognised by the MMC were adequate.

    The first question is, what makes MMC think the standards of local medical colleges may be assumed to be adequate and not needing the qualifying examination unlike the rest of the foreign graduates; and the second question is why does the MMC recognise 344 medical colleges and yet doubt their standards?

    Is it true or not true that:

    · Medical students in our local universities are sometimes allowed to answer examination papers in Bahasa Malaysia? If so, does it not reflect on their level of competency in English among these medical students in public universities? If it does reflect, does it not also cast doubts whether their lack of competency in english may undermine their comprehension of journal reports and continuance to up date knowledge in the medical field published in English?

    This is the same point raised by Greeacre above in the parallel circumstances of legal profession where he asked three lady lawyers (in Legal Aid) “whether I could get some amicus curiae help. Well this is what I got “what is that ” and among them exclaimed ‘how come our universities never taught us this?” [Amicus curiae (plural amici curiae) is a legal Latin phrase, literally translated as “friend of the court”, that refers to someone, not a direct party to a case, but who has perhaps a tangential interest in the outcome of the case or who volunteers to offer information on a point of law or some other aspect of the case to assist the court in deciding a matter before it for which reasons the Amicus curiae is allowed to sit in the court in thaty capacity]. One must understand that English is already difficult to keep up let alone Latin!]

    · the NEP policies have caused many top physicians to emigrate, and if so, are there many capable physicians, surgeons and specialists left to be lecturers and mentors to train and guide local students? I read somewhere that many of these teaching places are filled by young, naive and inexperienced individuals pursuing the trainee lecturer positions usually through the SLAB(Skim Latihan Akedemik untuk Bumiputra) program – is this true?

    If standards of local medical colleges are also questionable, shouldn’t there be a common qualifying exam for ALL Malaysian medical students – whether from local or overseas medical schools?

    The writer AZK further said, “Needless to say the current Unscheduled Universities Examination under Section 12(1) (aa), Medical Act 1971 is so hopelessly biased especially in the clinical sections, that, like the legal profession’s CLP where there is an incredibly high failure rate, it gives rise to suspicions that the examination is yet another tool to discriminate and meet political agendas to right racial imbalances in the profession”.

    Do you think “political agendas to right racial imbalances in the profession” is mere figment of the writer’s imagination?

    Isn’t this one of the common criticisms leveled by detractors against the legal profession’s CLP when one analyses its passing marks and who fails?

    Have people forgotten about the recent attempts by two major banks to impose a requirement of 50% bumi quota for lawyers to be or remain emplaced on their panel of solicitors?

    Under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (“PHFSA”), the Ministry of Health would implement zoning of private medical centers. Ostensibly the rationale of zoning is that certain towns have far too many private medical centres resulting in saturation of specialists and the income of newer private specialists thereby being insufficient to make ends meet. Once local officials get into the act of delineating the zones and designating who may open clinic where, suspicions arise whether ethnic considerations and political agenda play a large part in decisions.

    The crux of the problem is that every aspect of the country’s national life is delineated along ethnic lines in which political agenda of the ruling government plays a pivotal part in displacement of Meritocracy. We see elements of ethnicity at play not only in politics but also in the educational field, in the bank’s panelship of lawyers, civil service, quotas in corporate equity, sale of houses, court decisions etc – so is it so unreasonable to think in the field of health, it too has a part to play (when regulatory mechanisms, whether licensing of private practitioners and zoning of their practice under PHFSA or qualifying examinations, all of which officials have a hand in determining, come into effect)?

    Can Malaysian Medical Council resist political pressures to uphold standards? I don’t know how far what the writer said is true that – “it currently consists of a member who graduated after 40 years of age, another who is being sued [deleted], yet another who chairs meetings and doesn’t operate anymore [deleted]”. If true, there is cause for legitimate concerns (especially in the wake of so much disquiet amongst sections of the Medical Profession (members of MMC) expressed in relation to the PHFSA, which has been bulldozed through as law, supported by MMC.

  5. #5 by mantaray on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 5:29 pm

    The idea of raising the standards is noble. But how should a common qualifying examination be conducted? If it applies to the local grads too then read below:

    1. This will make a mockery of the local examination board. If one passes a local university exam but failed the qualifying exams then what? University examiners are to lenient/incompetent? Slap on the face to the university.

    2. Who will be assessing the qualifying exams? The same examiners as the local universities?( sounds redundant ) How many qualified examiners do we have ?

    Perhaps the idea is to abolish all local examinations in public universities and have a centralized examination board? Hey these are the same examiners from the local universities again….pointless again. Or maybe just select a few “excellent well qualified examiners” from a selected body/university . But then it brings the point of why are “non excellent” examiners/lecturers are employed in the other universities in the first place?

    Or perhaps just employ foreign examiners for the qualifying exam…hehehe again this would be a slap on the face for local examiners. And now our standards are bound to the standards of the foreign examiner…wherever he is from. How do we ensure he is an examiner with the highest standards? Who assesses if he is a qualified examiner of the highest standards?

    I’m not bias towards the local candidates, after all if one is competent one has nothing to fear. I’m also not saying foreign candidates are inferior or we should discriminate them. As I see it, nowadays all newly graduated doctor local or foreign grads are more or less the same standard. Maybe just the language they use or the slang…

    Certainly efforts to improve standards are way overdue.

    So how to ensure the standards of graduates, local or foreign? The solution should be tied to the question of why are the standards dropping?(I think this is an irrefutable fact)

    Why are the standards dropping?

    1. Poor student selection ( What happened to the aptitute test ? …is it still on ? Maybe I’m outdated…)
    2. Unqualified students gaining entry to medical schools ( local or foreign )
    3. Poor quality lecturers ( associated with the brain drain )
    4. Disillusioned House Officers? Why? ( I’m sure there will be a long list of reason )

    It sounds to me that having another layer of “qualifying examination” is just another symptomatic relief for the time being…And HOW TO MAINTAIN THE STANDARD OF THIS QUALIFYING EXAM? Since this it implies the local public university exam standards are dropping…thus the question of whether the local grads should take another qualifying exam.

    To improve the standards, the cause should be addressed.

    Some possible solution to ponder :

    1)All aspiring medical student whether they intend to pursue their course locally or overseas should take a common pre university examination. Only qualified ones are allowed to continue their careers in medicine. Thus this assures qualified students going in.

    2)An aptitute test and an interview/counselling? Difficult to be entirely accurate…but hey better than nothing. At least the student knows what they are getting into.

    3)Recognition of medical schools perhaps can be “affiliated” to the GMC? Saves a lot of work and money if you ask me. Tying our standards to GMC doesn’t sound like a bad idea. After all, our system is a legacy from theirs. ( Only problem is our standards are not recognized by the GMC hahahaha…how ironic )

    Another thing….it is difficult to ensure standards once a student passes out. Can anyone tell me how many house officers have been barred from their full registration? ( compared to the number of students passing out ) At the end of the day, after “retaining” a house officer many times, he would eventually “passed” out too. Humans are kind….many don’t want to jeapordize their future career and livelihood. Just sign it and forget it. Think about it.

    Just some rumblings on a sunday afternoon.

  6. #6 by kurakura on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 8:52 pm

    NEP is the root of all these problems…..everthing else is the symptom.

  7. #7 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 9:19 pm

    “..like the legal profession’s CLP where there is an incredibly high failure rate, it gives rise to suspicions that the examination is yet another tool to discriminate and meet political agendas to right racial imbalances in the profession.” AZK

    This constant references to the CLP “as a tool to discriminate” and “meet political agendas” where there is an “incredibly high failure rate” is a lot of nonsense.

    The failure rate is due to the fact that students who sit for the CLP are under qualified and many just do not have what it takes to be a practicing attorney. They are mostly students who pass their LL.B exams but without the ability to master basic skills needed to practice law.

    I know of one first class law graduate from Cambridge University who kept failing his London Bar Finals. Make no mistake he is good in his area of study. But this is a professional exam and not all with degrees in their area of study have the ability to turn professional.

    The CLP was started in the mid 80s to give another chance to third class honours students in law a second bite at the apple when U.K. closed its doors to them. At home, allowing the CLP to continue benefits especially LL.B London External graduates who never set foot in U.K.

    “The incredibly high failure rate” in the CLP exam is a reflection of how difficult it is to meet the demands of the profession – and not a “tool to discriminate” as claimed. The failure rate in the London Bar Finals was a consistent 33% year to year. Only 1 out of 3 second class honours candidates from all over the world who sit for it would pass. That is how difficult it is.

    So why should the CLP be different? In fact the pass rate should be much lower than 30% as many of the candidates who sit for it are not as good as their counterparts who sit for a similar exam in the U.K.

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:00 am

    The Qualifying Examination is only as good as those running it.

  9. #9 by NewYorky on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:47 am

    Another Topic regarding Exams…are we not fearless of exams anymore??

    Time consuming and health spamming for medical students.
    Exams fees going to where ? to the pocket of medical officer or staff MMC?

    Our hard earn money and parents money just end up in exams.

    Please, Right now the statement or news is off. No one re-on The statement since last week in newspaper. Just keep on studying and concentration!!!

    Professional and world class advised in-need.

  10. #10 by NewYorky on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 1:02 am

    HELO-Exam..exams! Exams again la!! Bolehland always got non-stop exams !! :)

  11. #11 by DiaperHead on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 1:11 am

    WHy?? You think this is a slogan contest: don’t blame the architect, blame the builders?

  12. #12 by DiaperHead on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 1:13 am

    “3. Poor quality lecturers ( associated with the brain drain )” mantaray

    Could this be the result of the “hole in the head”, PM referred to?

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 7:45 am

    My personal view is that there is a lot of bullshit and hogwash in the matter of the CLP intended to ensure professional standards in the legal profession.

    When any group is small, and there is much to share around, the rules of entry are comparatively relaxed. Examiners from the profession view new entrants as future collaborators and professional colleagues and tend to conduct the examination perfunctorily passing many but the most hopeless. When the profession is saturated, the reverse applies, you get only 20% pass rate because new entrants are viewed as future competitors of a shrinking pie!

    If a person were a first class law graduate from Cambridge University, he would, in my books, have evinced essential lawyering skills of being analytical with the requisite language facility – and the potential of meeting professional demands.

    True, any graduate with first class honour from Cambridge University does not necessarily imply that he would make an outstanding lawyer (David Marshal qualified third class) but even if he would not turn out outstanding, it does not mean that he could not meet demands of the profession by the average.

    Any graduate is only at the peripheral – the door – of his chosen profession : who is any one to play God to predict that he couldn’t walk the mile if allowed through? It is trite that one can only learn and develop himself in course of carrying out a trade or a profession and only over time a measure can be taken as to how he fares and whether he has flare and talent.

    When you stop him at the door, you are closing that chance!

    People use the excuse of maintaining professional standards as an excuse to protect vested interests. One should be able to see through this. ‘Professional standards’ always sound more legitimate than our vested interest”. Heard of the saying the Devil will cite scripture for his own Cause?

    It has often been said that the CLP pass rates are low because the foreign students – even those awarded law degrees from prestigious foreign universities which are internationally acknowledged to be of high standard (University of London, Bristol, Sheffield, Melbourne, Monash, etc – don’t come up to professional mark.

    Is it reasonable to suppose that meeting professional standards is the real intent of CLP when passing rates among local public university (UM, IIU, etc) law graduates (exempted from CLP) are much higher than the CLP, and local law graduates (exempted from CLP) came out to practise without being able to string a proper sentence in English without error to grammar and syntax – when mastery of language, English in particular is an essential tool of the profession – let alone grasp Latin expressions used in Law such as Amicus curiae or (say) res ipsa loquitor ?

    I am addressing this post to graduates from overseas universities aspiring to be lawyers but barred by CLP and their parents who have invested much money in their children legal education only to be told by CLP that they don’t meet professional mark : don’t let your self esteem be dented, it is all a big bull shit and a dog in the manger attitude affected in no little way by the NEP policies, that you have to find a way to fight back and circumvent the obstacle of the system.

    Life is never fair, and it gets harder (and more hypocritical) by the day as those (already passed the door) finding it hard to ‘cari makan’ collaborate with those conferred constitutional privileges waiting to come in to exclude you from also entering through the door in competition for the scare dwindling pool resources available for distribution by high sounding justification of “professional standards”.

    On similar grounds, I am skeptical of any suggestion to require qualifying examinations for foreign medical graduates!

  14. #14 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 8:56 am

    With all this thing to-ing and fro-ing about the standards of our locally produced doctors, what do you think the average patient will do?

    Well…I recently chose not to put my life on the line and opted to pay the stiff fees of a private hospital rather than go under the by-now-famous ‘iffy’ standards of the government hospital. I’d have gladly admitted myself to a government hospital; yes, even put up with the inconvenience and less than efficient service – but, if and only if I could be sure that no doctor was going to screw me up on the operating table. The fact that I don’t think I can sleep in peace, even under anaesthesia, because of the serious doubts I harbour on the quality of our medical experts, caused me to empty my piggy bank for the private hospital. I am pooorer but at least I am breathing.

    To me, the chronic debates on our medical standards and this bit about the qualifying exam is only one bit of the spectrum. The entire spectrum must be examined – admission standards, teaching staff, integrity of exams, parity with the best foreign universities etc. etc…

    At the end of the day, I ask, why does PM AAB have to go to Australia for some common cold treatment or whatever? Why do so many Malaysians routinely cross over to Singapore for specialist medical treatment? Why do so many of our students prefer to pay hard currency and go overseas for their medical education rather than stay and learn under our local university ‘professors’?

    I suppose we aren’t an ant population, that’s why!

  15. #15 by Godfather on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 9:14 am

    You can tilt the playing field at the admissions stage. You can also tilt the playing field at the learning stage and the examinations stage. You can even tilt the playing field at the qualifying stage.

    But you can never tilt the playing field at the reality stage – when lives are at risk – and then what are you going to do next ?

  16. #16 by Godamn Singh on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 9:34 am

    More tilting??

  17. #17 by megaman on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 10:02 am

    the more the playing field is tilted, the more ppl will fall off …

    at first the ppl at the lower end will leave … leaving the field even more tilted …

    sooner or later, the field would be so tilted that even the ppl that benefited would no longer be able to stand on it …

  18. #18 by Godfather on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 10:18 am

    How can you tilt the playing field anymore when people have the choice to see the specialist that they want, that they have confidence in ? The only way to tilt this is to “force” people to see specialists that they don’t know e.g. all GLCs and government departments can only see specialist clinics “approved” by the government, similar to the recent Maybank fiasco regarding legal service.

  19. #19 by Winston on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:32 pm

    To have really good doctors/specialists, all checks and balances on standards must be uniformly enforced.
    As far as the medical profession is concerned, the practitioners are playing with the life of their patients. So, the standards must be proportionately higher. Much higher than any other professions.
    Whether these doctors/specialists are trained locally or overseas, they must have reached an absolute minimum before they are allowed to practice. Therefor, the more stringent the requirements, the better.
    I’m quite sure that some of those who posted their opinions here have encountered incompetent doctors themselves or have heard about them.
    I have know of patients who, in spite of having complained to a doctor about the bad side effects of a medication, have the same doctor admonishing them and insisting that they carry on with the medication.
    In surgery, it’s even worse! Just imagine having an operation that’s botched! Not only will the patient suffer, he has to find and pay someone else to undo the mess and even then, if only the mess can be undone!
    So, I would say that the more stringent the requirements imposed by the Health Ministry, the better.

  20. #20 by huyping on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:58 pm

    What makes them think that local medical graduates do not need to sit for this so-called ‘qualifying exam’ while those overseas medical graduates have to in order to practice here? What kind of ‘standard’ we have with our public universities to exempt these local graduates from sitting for the qualifying exam?ah….may be the ranking of our universities….ranked highest among all?that’s why all the local graduates are considered ‘qualified’ before they can pass the ‘qualifying exam’.By the way,can anyone tell me,how is the ranking like???

  21. #21 by observer996 on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 4:39 pm

    A friend of mine in UNSW now studying medicine had a chat with me about the implication of this exam on the government sponsored student. We thought they would deliberately fail the exam just to remain in Australia and get further training here. I think the MoH need to take into consideration of the students they r currently sponsoring. Will this new implementation work into the government scholars favour as they they now have an excuse not to go home and repay tax payer’s money by serving the rakyat.

    On another matter, someone has also mentioned about having a unifying exam for not only overseas graduates but also local graduates. So far, the only advanced country I know who does that is USA where every med student (local/foreign) needs to sit for USMLE (United states medical licensing exam). I don’t think UK has a unifying exam for its local graduates , but PLAB instead for oversea graduate. In Australia where I m now studying, we have the AMC exam (Australian Medical Council) for all oversea graduates (India or UK) with the exemption of New Zealand graduates. We don’t have the so called USMLE style exam here, but medical schools in Oz undergo rigorous assessment by the AMC board from time to time for ongoing accreditation of respective medical degrees(MBBS).

    The issue of whether local uni med grads in msia also need another qualifying exam is quite controversial. Cuz I believe the exam panel on the board will be largely comprised of academicians heavily involved in the local government uni assessment panel already. To me, it looks like they r doing a duplicated work by assessing their own students again after passing individual uni final exam. I think time will be more wisely spent for them to visit foreign medical schools in UK or US or Oz to gain some teaching experience and be a visiting professor or sth similar.

    All of us know that local government uni have been in msia for much longer time than the so called mushrooming new medical institution that some use only a few shoplots to conduct teachings. So, what about the idea of subjecting all private medical university grads and oversea trained grads to sit for the qualifying exam? The panel of examiner should be comprised of overseas academician and local academician from government uni. This way, there will be a balance and also will be fairer to students who qualify from overseas. Start with private uni and foreign uni and if that exam yields high quality grads, then maybe do that to local government uni as well. In that way, we can also send a strong message to the government uni , do sth about your graduates!! Honestly speaking, i would really love to see how they fare in that exam as well !

    Again, I really still cant understand why MoH could recognize medical degrees from over 300 medical unis, have a look at the list if u guys have time, some of the unis we really have not heard of them before at all !!!! Imagine us being treated by grads from Universiy of ABC in a developing country is kinda scary, wouldn’t that be? Moh , do sth about the long list !!!! are u really confident their degrees are up to mark ?

  22. #22 by Sino Malay on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 6:58 pm

    The poor quality of our doctors is mostly because the Malaysian government employs “poorly” qualified doctors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Middle East, Burma and Indonesia to overcome the doctor shortage in Malaysia. The qualifying exam for new doctors will only aggravate the doctor shortage in Malaysia. Can you imagine a graduate doctor from any university in the UK, USA, etc., returning to Malaysia to sit the the qualifying exam in order to practise in Malaysia for a meagre salary? Even now, new Malaysian medical graduates are immediately offered jobs by British hospitals because there is a shortage of doctors in Britain as in anywhere else in the world.

  23. #23 by Sino Malay on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 9:19 pm

    Jeffrey says: It has often been said that the CLP pass rates are low because the foreign students – even those awarded law degrees from prestigious foreign universities which are internationally acknowledged to be of high standard (University of London, Bristol, Sheffield, Melbourne, Monash, etc – don’t come up to professional mark.
    Dear Jeffrey, if any law graduate of British University has to return to Malaysia to sit for the CLP, then it means that he is really not qualified to practise as a lawyer. If he has a second class honours LLB or BA in Law, he can do his Bar at any of the four Inns of Courts. These days, universities like Cardiff make it easy for graduates to do their Bar at their universities. The other reason for someone with an LLB or BA in Law from a British university to return to Malaysia to sit for the CLP is that he failed in his bar final. If that’s the case, then it is not surprising that he can’t pass the CLP. I can’t think of any other reason why someone with a second class honours LLB or BA in Law would not want to do his Bar at the Inns and return to Malaysia to do the CLP. Of course, there is the rare exception. Please also note that not all British law degrees are recognised for the CLP.

  24. #24 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 5 June 2007 - 6:23 am

    “The other reason for someone with an LLB or BA in Law from a British university to return to Malaysia to sit for the CLP is that he failed in his bar final.” Sino Malay

    Don’t know where you’re getting the information – but there are many London LL.B externals who never left Malaysia and could not afford it whose only way to qualify would be to sit for the local CLP.

    Then there are also law graduates from U.K. who hold a third class honours and pass degree who are not qualified to sit for the London Bar Finals.

    To them the CLP provides the only opportunity to qualify for practice locally.

    Associate degrees from U.K.are today not recognized.

    Jeffrey QC,

    You’re mistaken.

    The Board responsible for the CLP wants to be in step with the CLE or Council of Legal Education in U.K. which consistently fails every two of three candidates sitting for the London Bar Finals – giving a pass rate of 33% be it in the Trinity sitting or for the Michaelmas. Remember these are candidates from all over the world who come to the U.K. to study law – Hong Kong, India, Nigeria, Bahamas, Singapore and Malaysia just to name a few. About 90% of those who pass obtain third class honours. Only a mere 10% would get second class honours.

    If the Board in Malaysia really wants to follow the high standards imposed by the CLE in U.K., they would have to fail some 95% of the local candidates sitting for the CLP. The remaining 5-8% are mostly U.K. graduates with second class honours in law who could not afford the additional expenses of another year of study in the U.K.

    By having CLP standards are allowed to drop.

    Politicians as usual politicized the issue in the 80s. The DAP wants London Externals who pass their law exams without setting foot on U.K. soil, who could not afford the cost of tertiary education anywhere, to be able to qualify and become lawyers. The UMNO run government wants to give Malays with third class honours from U.K. a chance to qualify for practice.

    I think there are too many third rate lawyers and it is better to stop the CLP.

  25. #25 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 5 June 2007 - 7:45 am

    “If a person were a first class law graduate from Cambridge University, he would, in my books, have evinced essential lawyering skills of being analytical with the requisite language facility – and the potential of meeting professional demands.” Jeffrey

    A candidate with a first class degree often finds himself or herself at a disadvantage than a candidate with a second class honours. A first class degree candidate would make a good research student and should go into teaching. He should continue to LLM and then PhD perhaps.

    I have seen one from Cambridge struggling to pass his third try. Make no mistake he is very good at the academic level. He has the mind of a good researcher. Good grasp of the law etc. But the Bar exam is not about how well you know the law but about how you use the law to get to where you want.

  26. #26 by observer996 on Tuesday, 5 June 2007 - 12:55 pm

    Sino Malay Says:
    “Even now, new Malaysian medical graduates are immediately offered jobs by British hospitals because there is a shortage of doctors in Britain as in anywhere else in the world.”

    This is unfortunately not the case anymore. In Britain itself, they have already produced too many doctors from over 20 med unis locally. The British doctors themselves are already facing stiff competition when comes to employment.

    That was the reason I remember early last year MOH went to UK to lure msian medical graduates to come back to msia cuz training and job oppurtunities are largely reserved to applicants from European Union countries. An earlier report published by BMJ(british Medical Journal) showed an average of 400 applicants(doctors) applying for 1 single post in UK. This is how bad the situation now there. I couldn’t find the report, if not i will attach it here.

  27. #27 by maya on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 - 3:02 pm

    Dear Uncle Lim,
    I graduated from a recognised university in India, went on to do the Master’s programme in UKM and am now working as a consultant in Australia. Just wanted to share some highlights from this limited experience of mne. First, when i came back to do my housemanship in Malaysia, the locally trained doctors,including MOs and specialist,all seem to go around with a chip on their shoulder. Somehow, they had this grandiose notion that they were a better clinician then I just because they were locally trained. And yes, many had difficulty stringing a sentence in proper English. When i when on to do my Master’s after completing my 3 years of compulsory service, i had some of my houseman colleagues as seniors. Why you ask? Well, they got in through SLAB, so no questions asked. This time round, i was not made to feel very inferior as my knowledge of english was much sought after to get reports for court cases, etc, to be completed. I completed the course in the time period speculated. Even during the course, it was funny how we, of the secluded tribes, always sought professors of our own ethnicity to help, as that was how blatantly racial discrimination was practised. i applied to do my sub speciality after 3 years of working as a govt specialist, got the chance to do so after 2 years of trying. My locally trained colleagues are already head of depts in some hospitals.
    My question to the powers that be is, why do they have this grandiose notion that they training is superior to others? There are no evidence based documentation that the majority of foreign trained doctors are of poor quality just as there are no evidence that all locally trained doctors are A class material. Many of us were sent overseas by our parents who often had to beg and borrow, so that they children can make a difference to other peoples lives, as well as have a brighter future for themselves. Why cant people just live and let live, instead of making life more difficult than it already is, is beyond me.

  28. #28 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 - 9:41 pm

    “Somehow, they had this grandiose notion that they were a better clinician then I just because they were locally trained.”

    Do you know how ‘inferiority complex’ works?

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