Public Health in the MBBS Programme

The University of Malaya’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme have gone through a few major changes since it started in the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in 1964. The latest major revision to the curriculum, the University of Malaya Medical Programme (UMMP) started in 2012. The UMMP is more integrated compared to the previous MBBS NIC programme. Instead of having individual departmental teaching slots, the programme has instead transformed to themes and block teaching based on systems.

The Department is responsible to deliver one of the four themes (curriculum content) in the programme, i.e., the Population Medicine Theme (Pop Med) over the three Stages (time-related). This is achieved through teaching and field training.

Public health continues to form an important part of the UMMP-MBBS programme, however, instead of focusing on rural areas the focus is now on urban health. The change in focus was due the to urbanisation process. Instead of having around 70% of the population in the rural areas, the composition has changed to having 70% of the population in urban areas. The department contributes to the UMMP-MBBS programmes consists of academic and field programmes

Academic Programmes

The teaching component is mainly delivered during Stage 1 and Stage 2. The stages are further divided into blocks;

Stage 1

  • Language in Medicine
  • Foundation Block
  • Musculoskeletal Science Block
  • Cardiovascular Science Block
  • Respiratory Science Block

Stage 2

  • Hematology Block
  • Neuroscience, Vision and Behaviour Block
  • Endocrinology, Nutrition and Reproductive Health
  • Renal and Urology Block
  • Gastroenterology and Nutrition
  • Oncology and Palliative Care

During each of the blocks, the department will be contributing to problem-based learning, lectures, seminars, and essentials reading topics.

Field Programmes

The in-house course conducted by the department serve to provide theoretical basis for the knowledge in the field of Public Health which is to be acquired by the student. However Public Health is a very real subject and involves work in the community. It is not possible to illustrate these practical aspects during classroom teaching although simulations can be attempted. it is felt that there is no better way than for the student to experience the real problems in the community itself.

To supplement and complement its in-house teaching program, the SPM Department conducts the 8-week Community Posting programme during Stage 3 of the UMMP-MBBS programme.