IMU & Becker To Collaborate To Further Boost Med Grads StandardSeptember 1, 2017 | Campus News
Kuala Lumpur, 28 August 2017 – International Medical University (IMU) once again turns the tide and contributes to the elevating of medical education in Malaysia through the integration of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) preparation courses as part of its curriculum. The university officially signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Becker Professional Education (Becker) today, making it the first to offer this fundamental key to qualify medical graduates for a residency position and potentially practice professionally and legally in the USA. At the forefront and always thinking ahead, IMU recognises the need to offer a structured and well-established course to prepare future medical graduates for overseas studies and opportunities where they were previously unavailable.
The USMLE is known to be grueling. It assesses a medical graduate’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts and principles in addition to demonstrating fundamental patient-centred skills. The examinations comprise a three-step process entailing Preparation as Step 1, Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills as Step 2 followed by Licensing as Step 3. Passing the examinations in Step 1 & Step 2 renders the graduates eligible for Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification, and qualifies them to pursue licensure.
Amidst concerns that the collaboration may lead to further brain drain, the leaders at IMU are not fazed. “We cannot control the number of doctors leaving the country,” acknowledged YBhg Prof Dato’ Dr (Mrs) Kew Siang Tong, Dean of IMU School of Medicine. “…but we can certainly contribute to ensuring the quality of our graduates to meet international standards.” she added, while sharing of the university’s plan to modify its syllabus to integrate USMLE standards within. “USMLE is considered a benchmark of one of the world’s best medical standards,” shared Dr Kew while speaking to the media after the signing ceremony. “Even if the students choose not to embark on the exams, they would have been groomed and equipped with the highest standard possible.”
Presently, there are no well-established courses in Malaysian medical schools to prepare students for Step 1 and 2 of the USMLE. Most students attempt preparation on their own, whilst a minority receive guidance from ad hoc workshops. However, these approaches have not proven to be helpful and with the difference that structured guidance can provide to the grades of the students, IMU took the lead to incorporate USMLE preparation into its curriculum to prepare future medical graduates from day one. The university is confident that this link with Becker as a provider of quality education with a wealth of experience in USMLE preparation would serve IMU students well and gird them with a strong foundation in the fundamentals.
The most valuable aspect of the partnership lies in the 36-month access to Becker USMLE Step 1 Preparatory Materials such as GuideMD and QuestionMD via an online portal that is impressive, technology driven and highly comprehensive. Students will also benefit from tailored mock tests, self-assessments and live virtual interactive sessions with USMLE experts from Becker. This access and integration is offered to ME217 cohorts commencing August 2017 at no additional cost.
“Becker’s courses (both live and online) are recognised by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), a national accrediting agency recognised by the U.S. Department of Education,” shared Dr Steve Daugherty, Director of Faculty and Curriculum at Becker. “I have aided students in preparing for the USMLE and other similar exams for the past 26 years and am privy to the difference that structured and guided preparation provides to these students,” he added while sharing that Becker chose to collaborate with IMU in view of the latter’s commitment to excellence in the field of medical studies. In addition to his role at Becker, Dr. Daugherty is the author/co-author of over 70 published papers and numerous book chapters. He obtained his PhD in Psychology from the University of Chicago and has been on the faculty of Rush Medical College in Chicago for more than 30 years.
For more information, please visit www.imu.edu.my.