Mahathir Mohamad was born in 1925 in Alor Star, Kedah. He entered the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore in 1947 and graduated in 1953. His years in the medical school equipped young Mahathir with the training necessary to assess and diagnose a problem, before dispensing the appropriate treatment. Throughout his later years in the political limelight, Dr Mahathir recognised the very important role the medical college had in laying the strong foundation for his successful career. He joined UMNO in 1945, already interested in politics at the tender age of 20; he was first elected into Parliament in 1964. The vigorous expression of his candid views did not go down well during the troubled days following the 13 May 1969 racial riots and he was expelled from UMNO, his writings were banned, and he was considered a racial extremist. Nevertheless, his intellectual and political influence could not be ignored for long; he returned to Parliament in 1974, and became the fourth, and longest serving, Prime Minister of Malaysia in 1981. Dr Mahathir has found fame as a Malay statesman, and an important Asian leader of the twentieth century with much written, locally and internationally, debating his policies. This article, using Dr Mahathir's own writings, starts with his description of his early life, proceeds to look at his medical career, then touches on his diagnosis of the problems plaguing the Malays, before concluding with his views on the need to stand up to the prejudices and pressures of the Western world. Throughout his life, Dr Mahathir behaved as the ever-diligent medical doctor, constantly studying the symptoms to diagnose the cause of the ills in his community and country, before proceeding to prescribe the correct treatment to restore good health. It is a measure of his integrity and intellectual capability that he did not seek to hide his failures, or cite unfinished work in an attempt to cling to political power.
Historical perspective of terminations of unwanted pregnancies in the UK. Moral and ethical considerations imposed by established church's teachings becoming increasingly in conflict with the wishes and expectations of a more secular society. Recognition that illegal abortion was, as a matter of fact available, at great risk to vulnerable girls and women. Eventually public demand and a radical and reforming government led to the current Statutory Framework. Statutory provisions: Offences against the Person Act 1861, Sections 58 and 59; Infant Life Preservation Act 1929 Section 1. Recognition of the limited flexibility allowed by the law in the original restrictive statutory framework. The direction to the jury in July 1938 by Macnaghten J in the case of R. v. Bourne  1 KB 687, where an eminent obstetrician was acquitted after carrying out an abortion on a young rape victim. Then the modern statutory provisions: Abortion Act 1967, amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. The statutory framework provides for healthcare professionals not to have to take part in terminations if they have a conscientious objection to doing so. While there are still fierce challenges from moral pressure groups when any changes in the detail of the law are proposed--such as reducing the maximum gestation period for a lawful termination--as a whole society seems to have accepted the current law. Issues affecting doctors who consider and provide terminations; current medico-legal problems relating to wanted pregnancies that have been lost by reason of clinical negligence, and unwanted children that have been born by reason of clinical negligence.
Education in oral health is important to prepare future medical professionals for collaborative roles in maintaining patients' oral health, an important component of general health and well-being. The aims of this study were to determine the perceptions of medical students in Malaysia and Australia of the quality of their training in oral health care and their perceptions of their professional role in maintaining the oral health of their patients. A survey was administered in the classroom with final-year Malaysian (n=527; response rate=79.3%) and Australian (n=455; response rate: 60%) medical students at selected institutions in those countries. In the results, most of these medical students reported encountering patients with oral health conditions including ulcers, halitosis, and edentulism. A majority in both countries reported believing they should advise patients to obtain regular dental check-ups and eat a healthy diet, although they reported feeling less than comfortable in managing emergency dental cases. A high percentage reported they received a good education in smoking cessation but not in managing dental trauma, detecting cancerous lesions, or providing dietary advice in oral disease prevention. They expressed support for inclusion of oral health education in medical curricula. These students' experience with and perceptions of oral health care provide valuable information for medical curriculum development in these two countries as well as increasing understanding of this aspect of interprofessional education and practice now in development around the world.
This paper discusses the ethical issues of patient autonomy based on a case of a patient who refused medication during Ramadhan fasting period. Issues on patient autonomy include the right of a patient to refuse medication, informed decision making, the importance of effective communication and the physician roles and responsibilities are discussed. In conclusion, patient autonomy must be respected and valued. However, the need of effective communication in facilitating informed decision making to improve doctor-patient relationship, should not be overlooked and compromised.
Dengue fever is a major public health threat in Malaysia, especially in the highly urbanized states of Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. It is believed that many seek treatment at the primary care clinics and are not admitted. This study aims at establishing the fact that primary care practitioners, as the first point of patient contacts, play a crucial role in advising patients suspected of having dengue to take early preventive measures to break the chain of dengue transmission. A total of 236 patients admitted to two government hospitals for suspected dengue fever were interviewed using a structured questionnaire over a one week period in December 2008. It was found that 83.9% of the patients had sought treatment at a Primary Care (PC) facility before admission to the hospital, with 68.7% of them seeking treatment on two or more occasions. The mean time period for seeking treatment at primary care clinic was one and a half (1.4) days of fever, compared to almost five (4.9) days for admission. The majority of patients (96-98%) reported that primary care practitioners had not given them any advice on preventive measures to be taken even though 51.9% of the patients had been told they could be having dengue fever. This study showed the need for primary care providers to be more involved in the control and prevention of dengue in the community, as these patients were seen very early in their illness compared to when they were admitted.
This study was undertaken to evaluate physician counselling practices and resuscitation decisions for extremely preterm infants in countries of the Pacific Rim. We sought to determine the degree to which physician beliefs, parents' opinion and medical resources influence decision-making for infants at the margin of viability.
The medical practitioner has always had to juggle several roles. First and foremost, the doctor is a healer, a provider of curative services. Second, he is an examiner, an assessor of the patient's health status. Third, he is a researcher, always trying to push the boundaries of medical knowledge. Fourth, he is a rationer of services, he decides how best to apportion the limited resources at his disposal. Traditionally, the patient-doctor relationship has been largely exclusive in nature and the doctor would quite comfortably slip in and out of these roles, his focus centred on his patient's interests. In this era of large corporate health care providers, multi-billion-biotechnology industry, mammoth pharmaceutical companies, medical insurance schemes and international trade instruments, it has become increasingly difficult for the doctor to juggle these four roles. He is constantly subjected to conflicting demands. Patients' interests do not always come first anymore and patients are beginning to realise this. They no longer trust the medical profession unreservedly. There has been steady erosion of the patient-doctor relationship most clearly evidenced by the rising tide of litigation against doctors. There needs to be a reappraisal of these roles that the doctor plays. The conflicts must be recognised and addressed. Patients need to be informed and their interests must be protected if the doctor-patient relationship is to be restored. Medical malpractice suits are on the increase. The tort system as it exists is failing both doctors and patients. The question we must ask is what are patients looking for when they sue doctors? Most of the time they need compensation for the injuries suffered. Sometimes they are looking for accountability, they want the doctor to be punished in some way. Sometimes they merely want to air their grievances and know that they are heard. The current system more often than not takes too long to compensate, the process is a gamble and doctors who are clearly negligent quietly settle and are rarely censured. We need to revamp the existing system to allow for speedy and equitable compensation; true accountability; and articulation and auditing of standards of practice.
A rapidly aging population along with the increasing burden of patients with chronic conditions in Asia requires efficient health systems with integrated care. Although some efforts to integrate primary care and hospital care in Asia are underway, overall care delivery remains fragmented and diverse, eg, in terms of medical electronic record sharing and availability, patient registries, and empowerment of primary health care providers to handle chronic illnesses. The primary care sector requires more robust and effective initiatives targeted at specific diseases, particularly chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, depression, and dementia. This can be achieved through integrated care - a health care model of collaborative care provision. For successful implementation of integrated care policy, key stakeholders need a thorough understanding of the high-risk patient population and relevant resources to tackle the imminent population demographic shift due to the extremely rapid rate of increase in the aging population in Asia.
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to compare students' performance in the different clinical skills (CSs) assessed in the objective structured clinical examination.
METHODS: Data for this study were obtained from final year medical students' exit examination (n=185). Retrospective analysis of data was conducted using SPSS. Means for the six CSs assessed across the 16 stations were computed and compared.
RESULTS: Means for history taking, physical examination, communication skills, clinical reasoning skills (CRSs), procedural skills (PSs), and professionalism were 6.25±1.29, 6.39±1.36, 6.34±0.98, 5.86±0.99, 6.59±1.08, and 6.28±1.02, respectively. Repeated measures ANOVA showed there was a significant difference in the means of the six CSs assessed [F(2.980, 548.332)=20.253, p<0.001]. Pairwise multiple comparisons revealed significant differences between the means of the eight pairs of CSs assessed, at p<0.05.
CONCLUSIONS: CRSs appeared to be the weakest while PSs were the strongest, among the six CSs assessed. Students' unsatisfactory performance in CRS needs to be addressed as CRS is one of the core competencies in medical education and a critical skill to be acquired by medical students before entering the workplace. Despite its challenges, students must learn the skills of clinical reasoning, while clinical teachers should facilitate the clinical reasoning process and guide students' clinical reasoning development.
KEYWORDS: OSCE; clinical skills; student performance
On the basis of a questionnaire on smoking behaviour, knowledge and attitudes administered to medical students in the University of Malaya in July 1987, the prevalence of smoking was found to be low (10%) among medical students. Smokers and non-smokers were equally well informed about common smoking complications. Most students, irrespective of smoking status, felt that they would as future doctors, often advise sick smokers against smoking. In contrast, less than half would do so for healthy smokers who do not themselves raise the question of smoking. The students' personal smoking behaviour also influenced their view of their professional role. Appropriate values, attitudes and a preventive approach towards smoking need to be further developed in the medical students' thinking and behaviour.
Malaysia like many other countries worldwide uses spontaneous reporting systems as a mean of collecting data on suspected adverse drug reaction (ADR). However, compared to other countries, which use the system, the reporting rate in Malaysia is very low. Why some physicians do not report ADRs is not well understood.
Physicians should play a leading role in combatting smoking; information on attitudes of future physicians towards tobacco control measures in a middle-income developing country is limited. Of 310 future physicians surveyed in a medical school in Malaysia, 50% disagreed that it was a doctor's duty to advise smokers to stop smoking; 76.8% agreed that physicians should not smoke before advising others not to smoke; and 75% agreed to the ideas of restricting the sale of cigarettes to minors, making all public places smoke-free and banning advertising of tobacco-related merchandise. Future physicians had positive attitudes towards tobacco regulations but had not grasped their responsibilities in tobacco control measures.
From February 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, 13,289 insulin-injecting patients from 423 centers in 42 countries participated in one of the largest surveys ever performed in diabetes. The first results of this survey are published elsewhere in this issue. Herein we report that the most common complication of injecting insulin is lipohypertrophy (LH), which was self-reported by 29.0% of patients and found by physical examination in 30.8% by health care professionals (HCPs). Patients with LH consumed a mean of 10.1 IU more insulin daily than patients without LH. Glycated hemoglobin levels averaged 0.55% higher in patients with vs without LH. Lipohypertrophy was associated with higher rates of unexplained hypoglycemia and glycemic variability as well as more frequent diabetic ketoacidosis, incorrect rotation of injection sites, use of smaller injection zones, longer duration of insulin use, and reuse of pen needles (each P
Climate change and nuclear war are currently the most dangerous challenges to human civilisation and survival. The effects of climate change are now sufficient to persuade many governments to take effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today there are about 27,000 nuclear warheads, many at least ten times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, and a meaningful medical response to a nuclear attack is impossible. Nevertheless, the threat of nuclear war does not raise public concern, and indeed the nuclear-weapon states are upgrading their capability. The only effective preventive measure is the abolition of nuclear weapons. Steps towards this include: a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, for the nuclear weapon states to observe their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to enter into force. The ultimate need is for a Nuclear Weapons Convention; International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have launched an International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) to promote a NWC.
Dengue fever is endemic in Malaysia with frequent epidemics especially in urban areas. This infection can present in a wide range of severity, from a nonspecific febrile illness to life threatening dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. It is worth noting that dengue haemorrhagic fever comprised 11.2% of all reported cases in Malaysia in 1991.Patients tend to consult their primary care physicians early. It is the duty of the primary care physicians to make an accurate diagnosis and to detect the complications. However, there has not been any known reliable predictor for the occurrence of complications during the early stage of the illness. Hence, primary care physicians often face the problem of having to deal with this uncertainty. Referring all these patients to the hospitals for admission is obviously not practical but managing them at home may involve high risks. In order to assist primary care physicians, the Primary Care Unit in the University Hospital uses a set of guidelines for the outpatient management of the infection. These guidelines and their assessment will be discussed.
Study site: Primary Care clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia