Long wait for housemanship


THE issue of insufficient positions for housemen in Malaysian public hospitals has been a hot topic at medical faculties, the Health Ministry and especially among students graduating from medical schools this year.

It was recently reported in The Star that Malaysia was struggling to accommodate thousands of its medical graduates for housemanship every year.

Currently, medical graduates wait three to six months for housemanship as there were only about 5,000 slots a year.

MetroPerak spoke to several graduating medical students to get their views on the longer waiting period for housemanship placements, which is a direct result of the large number of medical students graduating each year.

Although worried, the students say they are trying to keep calm as they believe the placement will come eventually.

In the meantime, they are looking for alternatives to cushion the impact of the wait.

A final year medical student who wished to be known only as Amy, 24, said everyone in her school has been talking about the issue, particularly since the wait for her batch’s houseman placement will be longer compared to her seniors.

“Two years ago, it was a two-month wait. Last year, my seniors had to wait about three months.

“For us, the authorities couldn’t give us a specific answer about the wait time when asked – everything is pretty much up in the air now,” she said.

On the issue of housemen forgetting what they learned in school because of the long waiting period, Amy said it is important for graduates to read relevant material constantly to retain the information.

“I don’t mind reading up every now and then, just to add to what I know,” she said.

But ultimately, Amy said the long wait could mean unemployment for an indefinite number of months.

“My dad is a businessman and he can still support my mother and I, so they told me that the long wait was still acceptable.

“Anyway, medicine isn’t everything and I’m considering alternatives.

“Looking on the bright side, this means that I get to spend more time with my family, travel and perhaps, pursue my hobbies,” she said, adding that she has a passion for the arts.

Amy said she chose to become a doctor because she was interested in the field of medicine and not the possibility of earning lots of money.

“Actually, when you divide your basic salary with the number of hours you work a week, it’s lower than what you get at working in fast food outlets.

“You may be getting about RM4,000 for four weeks, but you are working a minimum of 72 hours a week.

“Earning a lot of money may be possible only 18 years later if you manage to work in private hospitals,” she said.

For medical graduate Laura Lau, 24, who was told her wait for housemanship was at least six months, said she was embracing the break between the hectic final year at university and more hectic housemanship period.

“If you want the popular hospitals in big cities, it could be a longer wait.

“But if you want to work in East Malaysia at smaller hospitals such as in Tawau and Miri, then it could be a shorter wait,” she said.

Lau also said the concern about housemen forgetting what they learned in school was justified because of the lengthy wait.

However, Lau said she did not see the long wait as a cause for worry as this has always been a chronic problem.

“I’m not that worried because I’m bonded with the government, so I don’t think I’ll be jobless at the end of the day.

“But pursuing postgraduate studies will be even more competitive in the future since more people are fighting for places,” she said.

First year medical student Kirenpreet Kaur, 18, said she was not worried about the long wait.

“I believe the situation is only temporary. I’m sure by the time I graduate, the government would have it all figured out,” she said.

Kirenpreet said she was not discouraged from becoming a doctor by the issue.

“I really want to save lives because I’m very interested in the subject too.

“I also think it’s the safest course to take, I don’t think I’ll ever be jobless,” she said.

The situation, however, is different for Public Service Department (JPA) scholars pursuing their studies overseas.

Lee Ji Ching, 25, who is studying medicine in the United Kingdom, said she was definitely worried about the medical graduate glut problem even though she still has a year left before graduation.

Lee said her main concern was being jobless for at least six months, right after graduation.

“There should have been better regulations in terms of entry into medical schools at the beginning,” she said, adding that it should not be a case of quantity over quality.

“I am still unsure of my plans for the future when I come back to wait for my housemanship placement, but finding a part-time job is certainly better than being jobless,” she said.

Lee said her parents are fine with her waiting for at least half a year without a stable source of income.

“But I imagine it will be different for those whose parents are dependent on their children’s salaries,” she said.


Originally published in thestar.com.my


Go Back


Date: 25 Nov 2017
Insight Into Clinical Radiology


Date: 8 Oct 2017
Doctors' Day Celebration 2017


Date: 16 & 17 Sep 2017
1st FPMPAM/IPH Annual Scientific Convention
Announcement || Souvenir Programme


Date: 24 - 26 Aug 2017
Kuala Lumpur International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare 2017


Date: 8 & 9 Sep 2017
Nursing Conference 7.0 / Training Course for Clinic Personnel 9.0
Full details || Report



16 Aug 2016
REPORT: 6th Nursing Conference
Read >>

21 Sep 2015

3 Ways to Let Your Doctor Know, You Care
Read >>

8 Sep 2015

Flyer >>

28 Aug 2015

REPORT: 5th Nursing Conference
Read >>

20 Aug 2015

5 Things You Did Not Know About Doctors’ Day
Read >>

2 April 2015

List of zero-rated drugs under GST
Download >>

3 March 2015

Draft Letter for Pengecualian dari pendaftaran GST
Download >>

12 Feb 2015

In Memory - Tuan Guru Dato' Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat
More >>

Recent Events

Date: 21-23 July 2017
10th ASEAN & 7th Perak Health Conference on Primary Health Care


Date: 7 May 2017
Management of UTI in Primary Care Setting

Date: 4 Dec 2016
PMPS Day Trip


Date: 9 Oct 2016
Doctors' Day 2016
Registration Form | Sponsorship Form

Date: 5-7 Aug 2016
9th NatCAM and AGM of the Addiction Medicine Association Malaysia
Flyer | Registration Form | Souvenir Programme


10-12 Nov 2016
2nd FPMPAM Sabah Medical Camp
Venue: Sabah
More >>


9-10 Jan 2016
PMPS Family Day
Venue: Pangkor Island
More >>

24 Oct 2015
Psoriasis - Skin & Beyond
Venue: Fraser Hotel & Residences
More >>

8 Nov 2015
Resolution In Medico-Legal Disputes
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA)
More >>


10 Oct 2015
Doctors' Day
Venue: Bayview Beach Hotel, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
More >>


30 July 2015
Mediation of Medico-Legal Disputes: Is It A Viable Alternative?
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA)
More >>

24-26 April 2015
9th ASEAN Conference on Primary Health Care
Theme: Primary Care for all Ages
Venue: Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
More >>

18-19 April 2015
Theme: Clinics in Primary Care
Venue: Dorsett Grand Subang, Subang Jaya, Selangor.
More >>

10 Oct 2014
Doctor's Day
Details >>.

16-18 May 2014
8th NatCAM 2014
The 8th NatCAM 2014 from 16 to 18 May 2014 was organized by the Addition Medicine Association of Malaysia and co-hosted by the FPMPAM at the Pullman Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Continue >>.

9 & 10 May 2014
The 2nd Menarini Primary Care Symposium, 2014
The 2nd Menarini Primary Care Symposium 2014 was attended by 70 participants on 9 & 10 May 2014 and held at the Lexis Hotel at Port Dickson, Malaysia. Continue >>

8 May 2014
Citizen’s Action in Response to Emergencies (CARE) Interview with RTM
On 8 May, Dr Steven Chow and CARE trainers from our partner St John’s Ambulance, Malaysia (SJAM) presented to RTM on the importance of AEDs for saving lives in the event of a cardiac arrest. Continue >>

19 & 20 April 2014
PMPASKL Annual Scientific Meeting, 2014
The Private Medical Practitioners’ Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur (PMPASKL), the KL and Selangor member society of the Federation, convened its 54th AGM and Scientific Conference on 19 & 20 April 2014 at Holiday Inn, Kuala Lumpur. Continue >>


Latest Newsletter

go to newsletter section


Latest newsletter of Perak Medical Practitioners' Society
Click here >>



Resources / Links

Joint Integrated Healthcare Committee (JIHC) Term Sheet
Click here >>


Joint Integrated Healthcare Committee (JIHC) Terms of Reference
Click here >>


National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency
Click here >>


NPRA: Reporting medicinal problems
Click here >>


Makluman Kontraindikasi Penggunaan Ubat Yang Mengandungi Codeine Untuk Kanak-Kanak Beumur Bawah 12 Tahun Dan Ibu Yang Menyusu Susulan Risiko Respiratory Depression
Click here >>


Peringatan: Langkah-Langkah Pengurangan Risiko Bagi Kesan Advers Kulit Tang Serius Susulan Penggunaan Allopurinol
Click here >>


Guide for HCP >>
Patient Information >>
Sodium Valproate (Guide for HCP) >>


NDST REport 2011
Click here >>


Garis Panduan Pemantauan Keselamatan Produk ESAs dan Pelaporan Kesan Advers PRCA
Click here >>


Report On Suspected Adverse Drug Reactions
Click here >>


MADRAC KE 146 - Traditional Medicine found Adulterated
Read >>

BPFK website: Cancellation of Registered Traditional Products / Notified Cosmetics
Read >>

Pharmacy Services Division: List of Adulterated Products
Read >>


Pharmacy Services Division: Press Releases
Read >>