My Doctor of Public Health journey

“Ruben is on his way to making the world a better place, one community at a time.”

Being an MPH student and later a Doctoral candidate at the Department of Social & Preventive Medicine (SPM), University of Malaya (UM) was blissful. Just like anyone else, I was not spared from the different emotional phase experiences which begins with excitement during a honeymoon period that transitions later to ignorance, struggling, self-lifting, and finally self-assurance when you are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The organizational & academic structure at SPM department has facilitated all the requirements for me to successfully complete my program. Besides providing the necessary knowledge & trainings, competency, and required skills for my future carrier, the doctoral experience has certainly cultivated complex problem solving, critical thinking, judgement, and decision-making skills in me.

I am now better in identifying problems and in being selective and more precise in addressing any challenges.

Personally, for me having an open, supportive, and frequent communication with my supervisors has been key factors in completing my program. Keeping track and updating progress to supervisors are essential during the program. Hereby, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to both my supervisors for all their guidance and assistance.

In a nutshell, the Doctor of Public Health program is an academic journey as learning never ends. There were times where we felt that even our supervisors were learning with us too. There is much more (experiential) learning that occurs beneath the ‘Iceberg’ as compared to the visible Doctoral degree certificate, publications, and academic conference presentations.

The Doctor in Public Health (DrPH) program at UM has indeed widen my carrier perspective. It has also equipped me well with all the fundamental skills requisite in the field of Public Health.

Prepared by Dr Ruben Ramakrishnan.

Dr Ruben Ramakrishnan successfully completed his DrPH viva on 9 December 2020 at University of Malaya. His thesis was titled “Association of gender and changes in body adiposity and Metabolic Syndrome among adolescents in Peninsular Malaysia”. He was supervised by Assoc Prof Hazreen Majid and Prof Dr Sanjay Rampal.

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