Community Residency Programme (CRP)

The Community Residency Programme is the first part of the field training programme for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students as part of the New Integrated Curriculum (NIC). The second part of the field programme was the Organisation and Management of Health Services (OMHS) which is a 3-week programme. Both the CRP and OMHS programme was combined as the Community Programme when the NIC was replaced with the University of Malaya Medical Programme (UMMP) in 2012.

The CRP affords an opportunity for the medical student to interact with residents in rural areas and to attempt to understand their lifestyle and their health beliefs and problems. It also allows them to see various plants and facilities which have been described in the classroom and also makes use of knowledge gained to produce a report concerning rural people.

Clearance is obtained from the Ministry of Health Malaysia to utilise its facilities in the rural areas as bases for the CRP. Every year in the month of November and December, reconnaissance trips are then made by academic staff to secure assistance from the ground staff of the Ministry of Health. and also to select villages where the survey will be conducted.

The duration of the CRP is four weeks, which are divided in to three phases; the 1st Phase is the Preparatory Phase (1 week), 2nd Phase the Field Phase (2 weeks) and the final phase is the debreifing phase (1 week).

Phase 1: Preparatory Phase

The Introduction and preparation are held at the Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Campus in Klang, Selangor DE.The students are divided into five “stations” and are briefed about the CRP program. This is the period where the Introduction to the CRP module is held to prepare the students for the CRP.

The student will also prepare for the rural health survey and thematic projects that will be carried out during the field phase. The students are brief by the Department regarding latest information concerning the stations where they will be conducting the survey and thematic project.

Phase 2: Field Phase

The field phase begins after the students pack whatever equipment they need for the trip such as computers, stationery, camping equipment etc, and start on their journey to their respective stations, One or two lecturers from the department will be accompanying the students, to supervise and advice them during this phase. There are 3 component which needs to be completed during this phase; i.e.,

Health Survey

The process for rural health survey includes the following

  1. Planning of rural health Survey – the students learn how to prepare questionnaire for survey
  2. Conducting the survey in the villages – This is where the students will be conducting the survey and interviewing the villages in their village.
  3. Entering and analysis of the data collected – the students will learn how to enter and analyse data using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
  4. Report writing – the students will improve their writting skill in this process.

Beside that during the survey the student will also learn many aspect about the rural community; i.e.

  1. Social-demography;
  2. Income and expenditure;
  3. Housing, water supply, excreta and waste disposal;
  4. Vectors and pest controls;
  5. Working environment;
  6. Food, Nutrition and Health; and
  7. Health seeking behaviour of the villagers.
Thematic Project

The students will also conduct a short research project in the process they will learn about;

  1. Conceptualisation of project
  2. Proposal development
  3. Implementation of research
  4. Analysis of data
  5. Writing of Reports
  6. Poster presentation

The topics for the thematic project can come from the Medical Officer of Health of the district where the students are posted, it could be any questions or situation that the Medical Officer of Health may have in their district, or the topic may come from the supervisor or the students themself.

After the completion of the projects, the students will be required to present their results during the debriefing session in Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang. The format of the presentation is similar to a presentation at a scientific conference. There will also be a poster presentation of the results in front of the TJ Danaraj Medical Library in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.

The list of Thematic Projects:

  1. The Prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis Among the Orang Asli Children aged 6-years and below in Pos Gedong, Bidor, Tapah, Perak.
  2. A Study of Pattern of Injuries Among Villages in Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah District, Melaka.
  3. A Study on Prostatism Among the Rural Community of Batu Gajah, Perak.
  4. Assessment of the Level of Knowledge About Diabetes Mellitus Among Selected Rural Communities in Kuala Pilah, Kedah
  5. A Knowledge, Attitude and Practice study on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Among Selected Rural Communities
  6. Knowledge and Awareness Among Childbearing Age Women Regarding Pill Supplements during Pregnancy – Kuala Nerang, Kedah
  7. Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Family Planning Among Women in Balik Pulau, Penang.
  8. Attitudes Towards HIV/AIDS and Pre-marital HIV Screening in Four Villages in the District of Larut Matang and Selama, Perak.
  9. Preference of Modern Medicine Over Complimentary and Alternate Medicine – Seberang Perai, Penang.
  10. Smoking Habit Among Resident of Kuala Pilah, Kedah.
  11. Knowledge and Attitude of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus In Rural Population of Alor Gajah Malacca.
  12. Knowledge, Attitude And Practice of Smoking Among Residents of Rural Area In Kluang, Johor.
  13. A Study on Breastfeeding Practices of Women In Their Reproductive Age In Kubang Pasu, Kedah.
  14. A Study on the Knowledge and Awareness of Tuberculosis (TB) among the local rural community in Jasin, Malacca.
  15. Pattern Of Injuries Among Villagers In Padang Terap District, Kedah. 
  16. Falls and Injuries Among Elderly In Alor Gajah, Malacca.
  17. A Study of Road Traffic Accident Cases In Accident and Emergency Unit of Batu Gajah District Hospital, Perak from November 2005 To February 2006.
  18. Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Perception of Breastfeeding Among Reproductive Age Women In Kuala Neran, Kedah.
  19. Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs on Avian Influenza Among The Rural Community In Kubang Pasu, Kedah.
  20. The Prevalence of Male and Female Sexual Dysfunction and Its Associated Factors In Temerloh, Pahang 
  21. Women’s Health
  22. Prevalence, Awarness, Treatment and Control of Hypertension and Its Risk Factor
  23. Patterns of Injuries among the Villages in District of Malaysia
  24. Erectile Dysfunction in Rural Malaysia
  25. Health Status Among Elderly in Malaysia – Community Survey
Field Visits

The students will also visits places of public health interest; e.g.,

  1. Water treatment plants
  2. Sanitary Land Field
  3. Sewage Treatment Plant
  4. Graviry Feed Systems
  5. Vector Control Activity
  6. Factories

The first day on the station will be filled with briefings by the respective Medical Officers of Health, a “walk-through” tour of the nearby district hospital and health centre and a reception to meet the villagers. The survey begins the next day and information is collected on certain aspects. Compilation, analysis and presentation of the data are done on the station.

At the end of the survey period, the students will arrange for a small reception in order to disengage formally.

Phase 3: Debriefing

When all the station groups have returned, there will be two debriefing sessions.

The first will be for the Rural Health Survey and visits. These sessions serve to broaden the view of the students from their assigned village to the other villages in various parts of the country.
The second will be on the Thematic Projects. FInially the student will display the thematic project as a poster presentation at the foyer of the library.

Comment by one of the student during the CRP field phase in Taiping, Perak

Student’s Comment on CRP

Mom, I think I am putting Taiping as one of my houseman choices …

I am currently having a 5-week-program in my Social & Preventive Medicine curriculum – famously called the CRP by UM students. I chose to do it in Taiping which means that I will be surveying households in the villages around the District of Larut, Matang and Selama.

This program is turning out to be great. Here’s a few highlights:-

  1. The food! Oh yes, after the months of lacking good food in Klang, Taiping food is heavenly, and cheap too. I have been having popiah almost everyday since I come here.
  2. We visited the Gunung Semanggol Water treatment plant, a gravity-feed water pipe system in Bukit Kurau, and also a waste landfill site. Now, this is so much better than attending boring SPM lectures on environmental health and occupational health on hot afternoons in Klang.
  3. The village folks are all very nice people. We endlessly get offered drinks and food in several houses that we surveyed. There was this nice gentleman Pak Kamaruddin who gave us a hearty durian feast in Bukit Kurau. These are high-quality kampung durians that I am talking about!!! And just now, Dr. Victor has brought in 3 packs of durians for our consumption today.
  4. Working with other 32 people of different races and clicks is welcomed change to always sticking to people of my gang and my posting group. The Malay banglo that we are staying on is an excellent place, except for the leaking pipe…..
  5. The Lake Gardens!!! I should be ashamed for being an Ipoh boy and only coming here for the 2nd time. This place is beautiful, not to mention the interesting Taiping Zoo and Bukit Larut. We visited the zoo night time. They called it the Night Safari, but not really la… Some creatures are hiding or resting. It would be fun to go in the day. The climb up Bukit Larut was tiring,(13km) but was satisfying. The Burmese Pool needed some serious cleaning up by the Taiping Town Council though.
  6. The District Officer, the MOH and the health inspectors are giving us their full support. It is nice feeling welcomed.
  7. We are lucky to have Dr Myint and Dr Victor Hoe as our facilitators. Enough freedom, good advice, and caring attitude.

All in all, this CRP is a good opportunity to learn SPM properly, at the same time having some cuti-cuti Malaysia along the way. Alright, I have some reports and SPSS to play with…

Signing off from Bandar Taiping. You all should come here some day.