Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dyslexia among undergraduate students in Malaysian universities

I want to share some of interesting research about Dyslexia among undergraduate students in Malaysian universities that I obtained from an International Conference on Teaching & Learning in Higher Education 2009.

Dyslexia is condition where individual having persistent difficulties in reading, spelling, writing and organizing thoughts on paper resulting in difficulties in reading and understanding examination questions, writing answers, completing examinations in time and completing assignments.

The study was conducted in 10 universities; government and private. A Total of 240 undergraduate students participated in this study (Medical, dental and pharmacy students were excluded from this study). They were screen by Adult Dyslexia Inventory. Researches found that the prevalence of dyslexia among undergraduates was 4.66%. They also found that dyslexia prevalence was higher in the private universities compared to government universities which were 5.23% and 4.22% respectively. Previous study have found that prevalence of dyslexia among undergraduate students range from 4% - 10% and even in certain studies found 15%.

The findings make me wondering whether some of undergraduate medical students having dyslexia? Perhaps similar study should be conducted on medical students to explore this matters. Why this is important? It is because there are different methods of assessment for the students with dyslexia. The special assessment methods was done and implemented by US and UK universities to their dyslexia students.

Perhaps we should appreciate and recognize dyslexia students therefore appropriate assessment methods can be administered to these students.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting along with people

No man is an island

In our daily life we need to interact with others. If we interact positively we can achieve good mental health which will enable us to live life to the fullest.

What will happen if you do not get along with people?

  • Misunderstandings
  • Accusations and resentment
  • Threatening environment and hostility
  • Deteriorating quality of life

Tips on getting along with people

Be respectful
  • To gain respect one must respect others.
  • Always address someone by his/her name.
  • Speak politely and ask for permission when you need someone’s help.

Be attentive and sincere
  • Learn to listen when somebody is talking.
  • Do not interrupt and give unwanted advice.
  • Try to maintain eye contact.

Be flexible and cooperative
  • Learn to cooperate and compromise with other people.
  • Be sensitive to what they need and disire.

Be accepting and forgiving
  • Learn to accept people’s strengths and weaknesses. It is important to be able to forgive other people’s mistakes, because by doing so, other people will also accept and treat us the same way.

Acknowledge and compliment
  • Learn to appreciate other people’s contributions by giving appropriate compliments and credits whenever it is called for.The key to a harmonious life is to get along with the people around you.

Source: A Public Health Education Information from the Ministry of Health Malaysia

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stressor Among Medical Students

Stressor among medical students can be grouped into 6 groups. The 6 groups are:

1) Academic related stressor

e.g. too many subject to be studied, not enough time to do revision, examinations and tests are too frequent, difficulty in understanding content of subject, and heavy workload.

2) Interpersonal and Intrapersonal related stressor

e.g. conflict with friends, teachers, and personnel, physical and verbal abuse from friends, teachers and personnel.

3) Teaching and Learning related stressor

e.g. teachers lack of teaching skills, educational environment was not condusive, and competitive learning environment.

4) Social related stressor

e.g. not enough time with family anf friends, frequent interuptions of work by friends, and long duration on working with computer.

5) Drive and Desire related stressor

e.g. unwilling to study medicine and family force to learn medicine.

6) Group Activity related stressor

e.g. participating in group discussion and presentation.

Those are the stressors perceived by medical students. Hopefully it makes us realise what are our stressor. By knowing our stressors, we can plan strategies and approaches to manage it effectively.


1. Muhamad SBY et al., (in press). The Development & Validity of Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire (MSSQ), ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What are the things medical students need?

One question came into my mind, "What are the things medical students need?" in order for them to go through medical training smoothly and successful as well as they are happy and satisfied with what they did during their training. Do they need extra time? do they need extra attention? do they need extra holiday? do they need extra programme? do they need extra motivation? do they need extra money? do they need extra class? do they need a class which teach them how to take care of their wellbeing? do they need seminar on stress-mangament? do they need mentor-mantee system? do they need special counselor to counsel them? do they need personal supervisor for extra support? do they need more patient? do they need extra authority that enable them to do extra procedures? do they need special hostel? and there are many more questions that came to my mind when i think about what medical students need in order for them to get through smoothly.

That were some questions in my mind which i myself not really sure what are the answers. I hope to get some response from medical students if there is any medical student read this article regardless of where they came from.

That's all for now, may be if i got free time and answers for those questions i will discuss more on this topic.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Can We Control What Goes In?

We are what we are because of what goes into our minds and hearts. (Zig Ziglar)

One of the reasons I displayed it prominently (above statement) is that it's the best statement I ever found about the significance of an education. We are not talking about just formal education, but all education. We truly are what we are because of what goes into our minds and hearts. Almost everyday we were being deluged from all sides with a torrent of words. The pictures those words represent get into our heads and have a strong effect on the way we think and the way we talk. Obviously, we can't control all the messages we are blitzed with, but we have more control than we think. We can do two things to make sure our hearts and minds full of good words:

1. Screen out the thrash: Would we let someone come into our home and dump a big bag of thrash all over our living room? If we wouldn't let someone dump thrash in our living room, they why do we let them dump thrash into our minds and hearts? Simply paying more attention to our input (what comes and goes in), we can easily screen out much of the negative. For example, we can change TV channels and radio stations, we can close offensive reading materials, and we can avoid, at least to some extent, being around people who drag us down with their glum conversation. In other words, we can eliminate a lot of negative input.

2. Start the day with positive input: Words always reveal what is going on inside our minds and hearts. Start our day by putting something good into our minds and hearts e.g. we get up ealier than we needed to, before doing anything, we sit down in the quiet of the morning with a cup of hot coffee and something uplifting to read. It has a positive effect on us for the remainder of the day. It affects not only our thinking but also our talking for the rest of the day. It's one of the best habit we can have, if we want to. We must remember that a man's words will always express what has been stored in his heart.

I believe that if we are practising such habit then we will improve our well being, thus will improve our resiliency. Healthy medical students will produce healthy future medical doctors. Healthy medical doctors will result in better treatment for patients, and eventually it will make healthier society. Think, think and think!


1. Hal Urban (2004). Positive Words, Powerful Results. Fireside Book, Simon & Schuster; New York.