By Chris Teh
Hailing from Bagan Utara, Tanjung Piandang, Perak, Tan Sing Ying graduated from Quest International University Perak (QIU) obtaining a medical degree with distinction in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme.
The youngest of five siblings, the 26-year-old recipient of the Best Medical Student Award by the Malaysian Medical Association Perak, Tan is the second in her family to undergo tertiary education despite her modest background.
Tan received her primary education at SRJK (C) Nam Hua, Tanjung Piandang and her secondary education at SMJK Krian, Parit Buntar. She did her Form Six at Institut Bukit Mertajam, Penang, and her foundation at Allianze University College Medical Sciences, Penang before joining QIU for her degree course.
“When on her study breaks, Tan helped out selling fish at the local market. As a family, we’ve experienced plenty of hardships. I’m glad that despite the challenges, she found the motivation to excel in her studies,” said her father, Tan Kok Choon, a fisherman. “I knew very early that my daughter could excel academically, thus I hoped she would get a good education and graduate from a good university.”
During her five-year course at QIU, Tan recorded the highest overall aggregate marks for the MBBS programme. She underwent an elective posting at the prestigious National Heart Institute (IJN) and did joint-collaborative research with the Department of Medicine at Hospital Taiping.
“The contact with patients I received during the practical sessions and the emphasis on putting theoretical knowledge into practice was what excited me the most. In medicine, you have to literally marry theory and practice as not many courses give you that human contact,” Tan said.
Being the pride of her family, hometown and the fishing community where she grew up, her achievements at QIU in academic and other aspects have inspired other youths from her hometown.
“I thank my lecturers at QIU for their support. They were simply fantastic and reminded us to keep our feet firmly on the ground, as a physician’s life is not easy. It’s serious and hard work – always try to treat each one as your own regardless of race, creed, colour or position,” Tan said. She too won the Outstanding Oral Presenter Award at AIMST International Conference on 21st Century Trends in Medical Education and Sciences.
One of the papers which Tan co-authored was accepted for oral presentation at the 4th International Conference on Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases held in April 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. The abstract for the paper was also published in the Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology.
Another paper co-authored by her was accepted for oral presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Fostering Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences 2019 held at AIMST University in September.
Speaking on her future plans, Tan, who is currently waiting for her housemanship posting, will attend the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) workshop to obtain the GCP certificate. “I’ll continue involving myself in research and participating in conferences to keep myself updated with the latest medical information while gaining additional knowledge and applying it in my medical practice. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sit for the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (MRCP) examination, as I wish to specialise in internal medicine.”
This is indeed a proud moment for Perakeans.
For details regarding QIU’s courses and programmes, call Martin Soosay 012 637 5029 or Loghun Kumaran 010 399 1776.