Poor English Led To More Than 1,000 Malaysia’s Trainee Doctors Give Up Their Medical Career

Malaysia’s Medical Trainees Give Up Becoming Doctors Due to Poor English

Published by Samantha Khor — 09 Nov 2015, 03:26 PM

A report from The Star on 9 November, 2015 revealed that about 1,000 medical graduates have decided to quit pursuing a career in medicine, despite having completed 2 years of housemanship in the past year

The main reason? The trainee doctors could not cope with the pressure of being a full-fledged doctor due to their poor grasp of English.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Malacca chapter president Prof. Dr. M. Nachiappan said other contributing factors were lack of interest in basic medical training, poor relationship skills with patients and frustration due to working condition.

According to Dr. Nachiappan, Malaysian medical students came up short when compared to peers from other countries because of their inadequacy in the English language

“This is not good for the medical fraternity and does not augur well for the nation if stakeholders do not execute some plans to improve the standard of English,” Dr. Nachiappan, said.

“There must be an urgency to improve the grasp of the language at the primary level. Otherwise, the quality of doctors will go downhill,” he added.

Dr. Nachiappan also pointed out that medical schools are also finding it difficult to churn out quality medical graduates, adding that their inability to communicate in English tend to produce poor results when pursuing their studies in universities and medical colleges

“The quality of our students are compromised due to their inabilities to communicate in English,” he said, adding that most reference books on medicine and lectures were delivered in English.

Poor proficiency in English does not only plague the local medical industry, a survey from the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) also found that 60% of employers identified poor command of the English languages as the main problem with young recruits

The Malaysian Insider had reported in June last year that employers were becoming increasingly dismayed by Malaysia’s “generation Y” job seekers, due to their poor command of the English language and communication skills.

A similar survey conducted in September 2013 by online recruitment agency JobStreet.com found that 55% of participating senior managers and companies said poor command of the English language was the main reason for unemployment among undergraduates.

School leavers might have SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) English grades of A and B, but could not even hold a conversation in English, MEF executive director Datuk Shamsudin Bardan had told The Malaysian Insider.

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