Students@SPM 2024: MPH Orientation Programme for Semester 2 2023/2024

“MPH Orientation Day”

A way to warmly welcome,
A day to delve into dreams,
A slot to share success stories,
A moment to make memories,
A chance to create connections,
A time to teach techniques to triumph!

All set to begin a new chapter of life on their first day on campus was a group of Master of Public Health (MPH) students who have registered for the programme which will commence in March 2024. This latest cohort of 20 students – equally comprised of local and international candidates hailing from six different countries attended a one-day orientation organized by the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM) on 26th February 2024. The passionate students from various fields with a wide range of public health experience include full-time and part-time learners alike.

The event started with a Welcome Address and Introduction to SPM by the acting Head of the Department, Associate Professor Dr Farizah Mohd Hairi. Students were also given a general overview of Public Health Postgraduate Programmes offered by the department, followed by a series of talks that gave an overview of the programme which the students would embark upon – especially in terms of modules offered and techniques of choosing them based on credit hours, pre-requisites, and field of interest. The new MPH cohort was also exposed to possible challenges that lie ahead of them and tips and tricks to ace it through in the sharing session provided by their seniors.

Later on, after a group photo session, Dr Rama Krishna Supramanian, one of the MPH coordinators briefed the students on the Rules and Regulations of the university. The next session was led by the head of each discipline which makes up the department – namely Epidemiology, Family Health, Health Policy and Management, Diet and Public Health Nutrition, Occupational and Environmental Health and Statistics. Apart from providing an overview of the modules offered, the academic staff of each discipline belonging to the SPM family were also introduced during this session. 

Professor Dr Nirmala Bhoo Pathy as the MPH coordinator then took the stage for “Selection of Modules” – providing the students some guidance in choosing the courses offered based on the credit hours, pre-requisites, and field of interest. The day then continued with an “Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Public Health Department (JKA)” session by Associate Professor Dr Mas Ayu Said who gave an outline of JKA services – how the students can be part of them and gain first-hand public health experience. As the Centre for Population Health (CePH) celebrates its 15th anniversary, its excellent research works and community intervention projects were shared by Dr Kwong Soke Chee

After the lunch break, students were given a breather for ice-breaking sessions with some fun quizzes conducted by Dr Catherine, followed by sharing sessions by the senior MPH and DrPH students. The MPH orientation day marks the start of an exciting journey for these enthusiastic students to become future public health changemakers – and the SPM family look forward to learning, growing, and supporting each other throughout their remarkable ride!

This write-up was written by the MPH team coordinators, Dr Catherine Thamarai Arumugam, Professor Dr Nirmala Bhoo Pathy, Dr Rama Krishna Supramanian, and Madam Norlissa Gani, from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.

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