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.,
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.