| Penang, Malaysia | 20 June 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Kiranpreet Kaur has done her family and her community proud. The active volunteer at a Penang-based gurdwara received a medical award at her recent graduation from Penang Medical College Malaysia (PMC).
Kiranpreet, 25, received the MMA Penang Branch Award for Best in Otolaryngology.
“It’s just an award for being top in that subject. In the undergraduate programme, we have to learn a bit about each speciality,” she said.
Otolaryngology is the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck.
So, why medicine? “I enjoy interacting with humans, more than machinery and paper work,” she tells Asia Samachar when asked why she chose the medical programme.
Kiranpreet and her family are active volunteers in Sikh activities in Penang. Her father, Prof Rabindarjeet Singh, currently heads the gurdwara management committee (GMC) of the Gurdwara Sahib Bayan Baru. The gurdwara moved into its new complex in Bayan Lepas, Penang, on 9 June 2016.
How did the medical degree come about?
Kiranpreet received a Malaysian government scholarship from the Public Service Department, popularly known by its Malay acronym of JPA, after the SPM examinations.
The first two and a half years of the programme were at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI) in Dublin, Ireland.
“I chose RCSI because it is a very well established university with extensive international recognition,” she said.
The next phase of two and a half years, which entailed the clinical training, were completed at PMC.
“PMC’s strength is in its clinical teaching as it is the only university using the whole of Penang General Hospital. It has local and Irish senior specialists teaching us,” she said.
The graduation was held at the E&O Hotel in Penang. After the graduation, the family took some photographs by the sea.
“I like nature, hence the sea as the background,” she tells Asia Samachar.
ASIA SAMACHAR HAD REQUESTED KIRANPREET TO SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ON HER STUDIES, ETC. SHE HAD GRACIOUSLY OBLIGED. HER TAKE:
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Five years of medical school…it has been a long and challenging but yet memorable and enriching journey. It entails dedication, preservation, team work, passion, humility and respect. Of course there was a lot of hard work and studying involved, which required time, effort and at times sacrificing certain events. But as long as there is passion, there will always to be a drive to keep striving. A little advice, avoid procrastination…because there is just so much to learn and never enough of time for your mighty brain to remember everything!
Medicine is definitely not a one man’s show. For me, the countless practice sessions with my friends to brush up our examination/practical skills helped us get through this ‘adventure’. Doctors love to say ‘patients are your textbooks’. They indeed are a treasure. They are not in their best of health but yet they are willing to unfold their personal stories for us as medical students to learn; and they allow themselves to be examined multiple times by us students to improve. They understand that it is for the greater good for the future. In return, they deserve every bit of respect, kindness and empathy.
Nevertheless, studying is not everything as there is always more to life but there needs to be a balance. For me, spending time with my Guru and being part of a Sanggat (congregation) was something that I always needed to keep on going, to keep my sanity. My weekly Sunday nights were always kept aside for satsangs (Sikh congregations).
There is a fun side of life too! Participating in university events such performing during International Night back when I was in Dublin, trying out wall climbing, keeping my fitness in-check, learning the Irish culture, traveling throughout Europe, participating in the Penang bridge half marathon — these are some of my little non-academic adventures.
No one said you can’t have fun in medical school, but you just need to know how much you yourself can handle and juggle with the time you have as each individual is different. And remember you CAN succeed as long as you continue to try your level best, as stated in Jap Ji Sahib (a Sikh prayer) ‘Aapey Beej Aapey Hee Khao‘.
Last but not least, find a source of support that can pull you up and help you walk again, as there will be some rough waves along the journey… For me it was my Guru, my family and my friends. Without them, I would not be where I am today.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
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