The Public Health Medicine conjoint committee is a committee formed under the Medical Dean’s Council of Malaysian Public Universities to oversee and coordinate public health medicine education, and training in Malaysia. The committee consisted of representatives from universities offering the Public Health Medicine training programmes, Ministry of Health and the College of Public Health Medicine, Academy of Medicine Malaysia (AMM).
The committee organised the first workshop to discuss on the Student Learning Time (SLT) for public health medicine field postings and training on 15&16 January 2024 at the National Institute of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Setia Alam, Selangor. There was similar development in other medical specialist in the country. The aim is to standardise the definition of SLT for the public health training for Doctor of Public Health programmes from the seven universities; Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Univrsiti Malaysia Sarawak (UniMAS), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universiti Institute Technology MARA (UiTM).
The workshop started off with the presentation by Professor Dr Sanjay Rampal Lekhraj Rampal the Chair for the Public Health Medicine, Specialty Education Subcommittee (SEC) of the Medical Education Committee (MEC), Malaysian Medical Council. The SEC is responsible for setting the standards for medical specialist training in the country. Prof Dr Sanjay presented the newly established Speciality-Specific Requirements (Public Health Medicine) which was approved by the Medical Medical Council on the 22 August 2023.
The standards divided the training of Public Health Medicine specialist to two parts:
The Part 1 training is at least 12 months of training. This training must be delivered via coursework mode.
Part 1 training must include a minimum learning time equivalent to a total of 40 credit hours. The training must include the following compulsory core discipline areas of public health credited in a single academic transcript:
- Environmental Health Science (Environmental and/or Occupational Health)
- Family (Population) Health and/or Social Behavioural Sciences
- Health Policy and Health Services Management
The training in each core discipline area must include courses that cumulatively equals to a three credit hours module. (MQF equivalent*)
Part 2: includes 36 months of training and covers the following public health domains:
- Applied Clinical Practice In Public Health
- Monitoring and assessing population’s health
- Public Health Policy Consultation
- Investigating and Mitigating Immediate risk to human health
- Policy, Advocacy, Planning and Program Development
- Communication, Collaboration and Advocacy for Public Health
- Professional Practice
*The total maximum duration of training for Part 1 and Part 2 is 10 years.
Part 2 also included the component of professional practice or experiential learning and provide the definition for an Experiential Learning Centre (ELC).
After the presentation, the committee proceeded to discuss on the SLT requirements for the professional training in the ELC. Professor Dr Victor Hoe presented the Universiti Malaya experience on setting up the SLT for the Public Health Attachment course in the Doctor of Public Health Programme. Dr Rahmat Dapari share the SLT methods and criteria that are being practiced in Universiti Putra Malaysia.