About Me

hi..  my name is Simon Sim..

i’m from the beautiful island of Borneo.. 

i live in a simple way..

can speak, can read, and can sneeze..

and of course would like you to be part of my life..  🙂

previously i was working as a waiter and dish washer in a fast food restaurant..

now i’m washing the brain most of the time..  :p

i like wushu..

i love cultural performance..

i like to make new friends..

i love Sarawak korong mee..

and i love pet too..

emmm.. but not this one..

that’s all about me..

feel free to contact me by just dropping a comment..  🙂


79 Responses to “About Me”

  1. drjoe December 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    nice blog..
    keep it up dr simon..!
    i always like to read a doctors blog and they inspire me to write one..
    despite their busy life they still have time to spare in blogging…

    • simon December 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

      hi dr joe.. nice to meet u.. and thanks for visiting.. 🙂

  2. zaza June 20, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    hi there..zaza here..really likes ur blog..especially ur entries regarding present HO…looking forward for ur next issues on HO…=)

    • Simon Sim June 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

      hi Zaza.. nice to know you.. and thanks for visiting.. 🙂

  3. Zarrah June 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Hye simon. Are u a grad frm shedfield twinning wif perak med coll? Cz u look very similar like my super senior 🙂

    • Simon Sim June 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      hi Zarrah.. ya, i’m a grad from RCMP, the UM program..
      nice to hear from u.. 🙂

  4. amilia August 9, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    hello, i stumbled across your comments on Dr pagavalan’s blog, and i noticed that you mention you’re a flying doctor. i am a medical student thinking of doing an elective in sarawak and perhaps, join any flying doctors on their mission… if you can assist or provide any information, it will be much appreciated.

    Amilia (4th yr medical student)

    • Simon Sim August 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      hi Amilia.. nice to know u.. 🙂 my dream is to become a flying doctor, but i’m not a flying doctor yet.. glad to hear that u r planning to do ur elective posting in Sarawak.. as far as i know, it is unlikely for a medical student to follow the flying doctors during their mission.. in Sarawak, the flying doctors are mainly to visit the deep loacated villagers on a regular basis or when neccessary to provide them the health services. these are normally the medical officers working in the district hospitals.. they also accompany the sick patients during air transportation from the rural area to the general hospital for further medical treatment.. this is a very challenging job.. 🙂 wishing u all the best in ur study.. 🙂

  5. Syida Man August 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    hi Dr Simon… nice to read ur blog.. still remember me? ur junior… long time not see u when u went bak to kuching…
    thank a lot for ur help during my studies…..
    where are u now?….

    • Simon Sim August 30, 2011 at 6:38 am #

      hi Syida.. of coz i remember u.. 🙂 i’m now in JB.. wishing u all the best in ur career.. and selamat hari raya.. 🙂

  6. KT Song October 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi Dr. Simon. Sincerely would say this is one interesting blog. I will surely going to get my students to read it. You have always been an ispiration to others even since in the university. Wish your inspiration will enspire more people. Do continue to write.

    • Simon Sim October 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      hi Song.. nice to hear from u.. 🙂 thanks for visiting and sharing.. 🙂

      • CH Teoh November 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

        Not to forget me too. Wah, Dr Sim, long time didn’t hear from you. Thought you are leading a comfortable life in Ipoh but phew … you are in JB. How long there already?

      • Simon Sim November 25, 2011 at 2:15 am #

        hi CH.. nice to hear from you.. 🙂
        i’m in JB since last June 2011..
        for surgical training.. ^_^

  7. Hazman December 14, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Hello Doctor Sim,

    I first came across your blog when I read your post entitled So, U Wanna Be A Doctor..?? I can just say that I was truly inspired by the article and it just made me to appreciate more of my opportunity to be in a medical school. Thanks a lot.

    I have a question actually. I was wondering why did you sit for the MRCS exam? As far as I know, the MRCS is not recognised by the MMC. Hope you can answer this. Thanks a lot

    4th Year Medic

    • Simon Sim December 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      hi Hazman.. 🙂

      thanks for visiting 🙂

      the MMC is only taking care of undergraduate medical programmes.. means, the basic medical degree (MBBS, MD, MBChB or equivalent) must be recognised by MMC before one can start his/her housemanship in Malaysia..

      the MRCS is the UK/Ireland surgical postgraduate examination.. just like other UK examinations (i.e. MRCP, MRCPCH, etc..), all of these are nothing to do with the MMC..

      to be gazetted as a specialist in Malaysia, your postgraduate qualification must be acceptable by KKM (National Specialist Register), but not the MMC.. 🙂 (but not sure if there will be any change in the future..)

      MRCS and MRCP are both UK/Ireland examinations for postgraduate training.. in the UK/Ireland, MRCP holder = physician-in-training, and MRCS holder = surgeon-in-training.. and there are some other compulsory tests and higher training / courses that need to be taken before one can successfully registered as a full qualified physician or surgeon in UK/Ireland..

      in Malaysia, to be gazetted as a surgeon, one must hold a Master degree in surgery from either UM, USM or UKM.. these are the only 3 universities that provide the full surgical postgraduate training which lead you to become a qualified surgeon in Malaysia..

      there are few reasons why i took the MRCS exam..

      1. MRCS is important for doctor who wishes to become a surgeon in Malaysia.. the numbers of candidate taken by these 3 universities each year are so limited.. so if you hold a MRCS qualification, your chance to get into the Master program will be higher..
      2. the syllabus of MRCS covers all the essential knowledge in your surgical training (from basic sciences, principles of surgery, surgical tools and sutures, peri-operatives care, complications of surgery, etc).. thus, you will be more confident when you enter the Master program.. 🙂 (remark: when you are in the Master program, most of the time you need to work independently under minimal supervision from your supervisors.. one will be considered “incompetent” or “incapable” if you do not know how to manage the patients in the right way, and one may be extended in their training just because lacking of this essential surgical knowledge..
      3. MRCS is granted by the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in UK/Ireland.. this qualification is well-recognised worldwide.. a very simple example: you can work as a registrar in Singapore with your MRCS, but you may not get any job in Singapore although you are a qualified surgeon with a Master degree from Malaysia.. :p
      4. as a doctor, life-long learning is very very important.. i take any opportunity to learn anything that will improve my knowledge and to benefit my patients (regardless the course is recognised by KKM or not, as long as the course provider is a well-established institution with world reputation).. i learned Chinese Medicines and Acupuncture as well.. the more you learn, the more you can help your patients.. 🙂

      hope the information helps you.. wishing you all the best in your study and success in your future career.. 🙂

      • deeba July 17, 2013 at 12:03 am #

        Hai dr.simon!! im a malaysian and a final year mbbs student studying in india.. will be done soon here, and will be heading back to msia by year end. Im very much interested in doing surgery. i hv been browsing through many websites dat would clear my doubts and finally found yours. i was thinking of doing mrcs as well, for the same reason you mentioned above. however im still a little lost… Sir, my first ques is , after your mrcs, would you be pursuing frcs? if yes how are you going to do that? and if no what will be your next step? all this while i was in the mindset of that, if i do MRCS, the only way of me practicing surgery in msia or anywhere else would be through getting a fellowship.. and, what i understood from all the websites i have been reading previously was that there is no center in msia that conduct FRCS programme.. i really wish im wrong dr.simon , i will be very much delighted to know that there is. Thank you very much Sir !!! Im very glad that i found your blog. Thank you once again.

      • Simon Sim July 19, 2013 at 12:54 am #

        hi Deeba.. 🙂

        nice to know you and great to hear that you are interested in doing surgery.. ^_^

        the main path to become a surgeon in Malaysia is by taking the Master program at UM, UKM, or USM..
        MRCS is an UK / Ireland exam.. with the qualification one is considered as trainee surgeon in UK / Ireland..
        however, there are a lot of surgeons / trainee surgeons from other countries taking this MRCS exam as well mainly for self-improvement and self achievement.. it is a benchmark of quality in surgical training..
        in Malaysia, MRCS may give you a little advantage when you are applying for the local Master program (but not always true.. the Master program is very competitive now).. research experience will be another advantage..
        you can sit for the MRCS exam in KL (British Council) and Penang (PMC) for the theory part, and in Penang (PMC) and Kuching (UNIMAS) for the clinical part (including viva, communications skill and OSCE)..
        FRCS, another UK / Ireland exam, is for the higher surgical training (in general surgery, cardiothoracic, urology, neurosurgery, orthopaedic, etc).. this exam at the moment is only conducted in UK / Ireland, and mainly for the trainee surgeons (including foreign doctors) that are registered and working in UK / Ireland..
        But in future, the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in UK / Ireland are going to offer the intercollegiate FRCS exam (only in General Surgery, but not other disciplines yet) to international candidates.. the exam venues are likely to be in Dubai and Sri Langka.. final confirmation is not sure yet..

        hope the above info helps you..
        good luck to you and welcome home to serve the peoples here.. ^_^

      • deeba July 25, 2013 at 12:26 am #

        thank you very much dr.simon, it did help me a lot.. now im much clearer on how to go about later during my postgraduate days.. thank you again sir. i cant wait to be back home and start my career..

      • deeba September 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

        hai again dr.simon.. soon i will be done with mbbs n will be applying for job.. im in dilemma as to wer to choose for housemanship.. since im interested in surgery, is der such a thing that if i do housemanship in this hospital i stand a better chance to get into surgery because of the amount of exposure? if yes, where would that be ? im from KL, previously i had considerations for penang hospital, sabah or sarawak.. but lately im getting no signs frm my mum as to not work that far.. sir, my priority as of now is to put myself in da most advantageous position so that application for my PG would be at least a little in ease.. and i considered penang because they have a MRCS centre there.. i need your opinion sir? if the answer to the first ques otherwise no sir i would consider seremban just like what my mum wants.. thank you very much dr.simon..

      • Simon Sim September 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

        hi Deeba 🙂
        nice to hear from you again..
        the place where you did your housemanship will not affect your application into the master program later..
        after completed your houseman training, you can request to join the surgical department as a medical officer and start your surgical training..
        you can apply for master program after you have fulfilled all the prerequisite requirements..
        wish you all the best.. 🙂

  8. Amanda January 29, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Hi Dr Sim! My mum likes reading blogs and she sent me a link to your blog talking about your aspirations to become a flying doctor. That is awesome. I’d like to do something similar some day. But really, I just wanted to say you’re really funny (washing the brain vs washing plates. LOL!) and your posts (or what I have read so far) are thoughtful… and omg, nasi goreng kambing and pau in the shape of chu chu!

    • Simon Sim January 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      hi Amanda.. 🙂
      nice to meet you here..
      thanks for visiting and hope you enjoy reading my posts..
      also special thanks to your mum for supporting my blog.. 🙂
      wishing you all the best and may all your dreams come true.. ^_^

  9. siti nabilah ibrahim April 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    cutenye masa kecik…hehehehe

    • Simon Sim April 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      hi Nabilah.. 🙂
      ni dah besor pun cute jugak bah.. :p

  10. somebody July 29, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    hi dr sim,you have been my inspiration,i really hope that i can be a doctor like you,but i dont know What can i study after spm to become a doctor ?

    • Simon Sim July 29, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

      hi.. 🙂
      after spm, u can proceed with matriculation or stpm, and then apply for medical program in any of the public university.. 🙂
      wish u all the best.. 🙂

  11. Ezz August 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi Dr.Sim…i’m a medical student currently in my 5th year graduating soon…i’m wondering about the policy of transferring the HO’s after completion?? And how long after u completed ur HO that you got a placement in the master’s programme??

    • Simon Sim August 10, 2012 at 1:50 am #

      hi Ezz 🙂
      after housemanship, usually one will be sent to district hospital or klinik kesihatan for posting.. and the same thing still going on now.. 🙂
      in general, one will need about 2-3 years averagely (after completion of housemanship) before eligible to apply for master program.. 🙂
      this also depends on which program/specialty one is applying to.. for hot program (e.g. surgery, O&G..) some may have to wait until 4 years after housemanship to get into the master program..
      wish you all the best.. 🙂

  12. Ezz August 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Which hospitals did u serve before this since you houseman years till now?? thankss..Sorry for the multiple questions…really curious

    • Simon Sim August 10, 2012 at 1:53 am #

      hospital ipoh, sarawak general hospital, HSA johor bahru, husm kelantan.. 🙂

      • Ezz August 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

        Thanks Dr.Simon..

  13. vijayanagan September 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    hello DR Simon….i m HO currently….doing 3rd posting….i m so interested into neurosurgery since medical school….i m planning to take mrcs exam to brush up my basic surgical knowledge….i really need ur advice the ways to become neurosurgeon in malaysia….thank you very much for ur advice

    • Simon Sim September 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

      hi Vijayanagan..
      nice to hear that you are interested in neurosurgery.. 🙂
      try to learn and master the basic skills during your housemanship training, e.g. interpret ECG, ABG, CXR, fluid management, electrolytes correction, common emergency situations, intubation, CPR.. all these basic stuff are very important in neurosurgery..
      then go to district hospital as a MO (in any field, prefer surgical based) to sharpen your medical knowledge, and to train you to become more independent as well..
      after that, you can apply to any KKM hospital with neurosurgical service for attachment.. you need to do your general surgery posting as well to fulfill the entry requirement into the neurosugical training program..
      ya, if you are interested in surgical field then just go for MRCS exam.. it helps you to strengthen your surgical foundation..
      in average, houseman 2 years + district MO 1-2 years + general surgery MO 1 year + neurosurgical MO 1-2 years + neurosurgical master program 4 years
      this is the only route in our country at the moment to become a neurosurgeon..
      hope these info help you..
      wishing you all the best.. ^_^

      • vijayanagan November 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

        thank you MR simon….for your clear explaination….i wish to wash brains one day same as u…me too dish washer during school time…

      • Simon Sim November 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

        hi Vijayanagan..
        wish u success in ur future career.. 🙂

  14. Ezmeer Emiral September 21, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    Dear Dr Simon.
    I’m fourth year medical student in University Malaya.This is my first time writing on your blog.I was introduced by a friend to your blog.It was a post entitle ‘So do you want to be a doctor?” that really attract my attention.I just want you to know how amazed and surprised I am on your determination to achieved your ambition.I’m not good at describing ,( hence my weakness is in Surgery) but your tough experience to become a doctor is unimaginable and I salute you for that.Not only that ,everything that you have been through,It was priceless experience and I could never imagine what will happen to me if I were in your shoes.I hope one day if I ever met you I want to talk and learn from you.One day I hope you dont mind teaching your junior 😉
    Before I ended,I just wonder if you are on Facebook ? If you do, I hope to keep in touch with you via Facebook..Thank you so much.

    Ezmeer Emiral

    • Simon Sim September 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      hi Ezmeer.. 🙂
      nice to know you and thanks for reading my post..
      i hav just added you in FB..
      wishing you all the best in your study.. 🙂

  15. HP September 21, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    Dear Dr. Simon,
    I saw the link of your blog in one of the Facebook groups for medical students. I sincerely respect you for your determination in achieving your ambition as a doctor. I am quite sure that I would not be as strong as you are if I were facing the same obstacle.
    I’m currently a second year medical student, still young and lots to learn, don’t get excellent result, might be lazy and lose drive to study a certain times. However, I feel so driven and motivated as I read your blog and feel so happy that doctors in our country excel greatly too due to the. fact that most of the people including medical students think that going to partner medical schools in western countries is the best route to be a bright doctor.
    Therefore, I am really thankful to study medicine locally and would graduate as a doctor and work in a local setting.
    I have many thoughts and a lot to say after reading the posts but I guess it is not very good to express them all here.
    Dr. Simon, you are some one that I really want to learn from, to achieve things like how you have done it.

    • Simon Sim September 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      hi HP.. 🙂
      thanks for visiting my blog..
      wish you all the best and have a passionate journey throughout your medical study.. ^_^
      feel free to contact me if you need any advice in your study..

  16. michelle October 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    hey dr sim.. looking at all ur post made me felt that i shall continue to pursue my dreams in MBBS after i grad with my nursing studies! hahaha i suddenly felt that there’s hope! and of course the post in ur blog is so attractive! i am sure i will be back and ask for more of ur posts! Happy a great week ahead! Cheerios!

    • Simon Sim October 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

      hi Michelle.. 🙂
      good luck in ur study, and may all ur dreams come true.. 🙂

  17. SL October 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Cool blog, just found ur blog by chance…;)

    • Simon Sim October 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      hi SL.. thanks for visiting.. 🙂

      • SL November 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

        Mind adding in fb?

      • Simon Sim November 5, 2012 at 2:09 am #

        hi SL.. added.. ^_^

  18. yolanda lim January 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I love cats too …I have two cats. One male and the other female. Female is really a nuisance coz always on heat every two weeks and expect me to touch her all the time especially the lower abdomen area. The male continues to ‘muay thai’ the female and being mischievious with stealing my food all the time. But the male are more ‘manja’. Sometimes almost ‘terpijak’ the male coz kept sticking to my legs when needed love.

    • Simon Sim January 16, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      hi Yolanda..
      ya, it’s fun to hav cats.. 🙂

  19. Shazan June 10, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    Hi dr Simon

    I recently came across your blog when looking for info on brifrontal crainoplasty
    My wife ( peyara ) who’s 22 years old had ITP her platelets went down to 3000
    Which wasn’t caught and she ended up bleeding in her head … The doctors performed a bifrontal crainectomy on april 12 she took a week to kind of wake up and as of now she’s walking talking eating normaly just a few physical difficulties next week either on the 17 or 18 she will be having the crainoplasty just like the one you posted up and anymore info you might have will be greatly appreciated

    Thank you

    • Simon Sim June 11, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      hi Shazan 🙂
      thanks for sharing.
      in your wife situation, it is good to do the cranioplasty with her own bone.
      the one shown in my blog is a titanium mesh, it is use when the patient’s original bone has broken (due to trauma) or infected..
      one of the complications that may follow the cranioplasty is seizure (only small risk, due to change in the pressure inside the brain after the procedure).. so some neurosurgeons may give the patient a short period of anti-epileptic medication to prevent that..
      hope the surgery going well and a good recovery to your wife.. 🙂

      • Shazan June 12, 2013 at 2:30 am #

        Hi thanks for the info the surgery is set for Monday and they discarded her bone they will be doing titanium mesh just like in your blog . Also she has been on the anti epileptic meds since the 1st surgery. Anymore info about the mesh will be great thank you again.

      • Simon Sim June 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

        hi Shazan..
        may i know why they discarded the bone flap?
        titanium mesh got 2 types, the pre-molded mesh (as in my blog) which is more expensive but the reconstruct effect will be much more better.. the other type is just flat mesh, which the surgeon will bend it according to the shape of skull defect during the surgery, and for this the reconstruct outcome will vary depends on the surgeon’s experience and skill..
        try to ask your wife’s doctor in charge because different surgeons will have different preference in the surgery..
        hope this help.. 🙂

      • Shazan June 13, 2013 at 6:19 am #

        Thanks I will make sure to ask them which mesh they are going to use .
        They discarded the bone due to they didn’t want to store it in her because they didn’t want to make anymore incisions also they didn’t freeze it because the risk of infection when they put it back. I think they might use flat mesh because the doctor said he has worked with this many times and he is also having a plastic surgeon there also, but again I will make sure to ask.

      • Simon Sim June 21, 2013 at 11:54 am #

        hope your wife get well soon.. 🙂

  20. Deen July 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Hello sir.
    Im currently pursuing mrcs conducted by PMC-RSCI. I do have some questns for u sir.
    1. Ist true that if one pass the mrcs part A, then he will be exempted from taking the Part 1 exam in any master of surgery in malaysia?
    2. If my question above is true, then does it also applies in master of otorhinolaryngology? Because im interested in becoming ent surgeon.
    3. I heard KPJUC offers post graduate studies in otorhinolaryngology. Is it good programme sir?
    I hope u can enlighten me regarding above questions. Thank u sir.

    • Simon Sim July 10, 2013 at 12:49 am #

      hi Deen.. 🙂

      here are the answers for your questions:

      1. Passing MRCS (both part A and B) may help u during the application for Master program in UM/USM/UKM. However, there is no exemption for Master program Part 1 exam for MRCS holder. The applicants for Master program are increasing every year and become more and more competitive, thus the candidate with MRCS qualification PLUS research background (i.e. presented papers in conference) will have a higher chance to be accepted into the Master program.

      2. With MRCS, You still have to sit for the part 1 exam when you are in the ENT Master program later.

      3. I’m not sure about the KPJUC postgraduate program, and not very clear if the program has been started. Also, whether the successful graduate can get into the National Specialist Registry later still a big question. In my opinion, you will have better training in UM/USM/UKM. KPJUC is a private institution. The number of patients may not be as many as in government hospitals, so the exposure of cases will be lesser in private hospital (you will be lack of experience later).

      Hope these help you. Good luck in your MRCS exam.. 🙂

  21. nurain September 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Hello dr Simon, im a Ho currently in my 2nd posting. Ever since i started my hoship, im not satisfied with my case presentation, i always wanted to present like how the mo present the case. i cant really remember all the patients in and out, but always try my best to at least know their issue first. then i found that i need to polish my presentation skills. do u have any tips for that? thank you. It wud be much better if u cud reply me thru email, im afraid i might miss ur reply here.

    • Simon Sim September 7, 2013 at 12:02 am #

      hi Nurain.. 🙂

      just present the case like telling a story to your friends.. 🙂
      not to memorize, but try to understand the patient’s story..

      try to come earlier before your shift start, and go around your ward to look for new admissions, ask your colleagues whom have clerked the patients to know more about the patients, ask the patients for further history to make you understand better and do a quick clinical examinations..
      then tell the story to the specialists in a short and simple way with medical terms..

      for patients who are already in the ward, then the story telling will be more easier.. just start with the diagnosis, then the current problems (the reasons why the patients still in the ward) and the progress (latest investigations, respond with medications, or if surgery is indicated) and the future plan..

      for important or ill cases, the latest blood results or the x-ray / scan findings you have to know.. always have a quick review of your patients before you go back from work, and do the same thing before you start your work..

      avoid saying “that is not my patient, but belongs to Dr. XYZ”.. this statement will make your specialists / MO to have bad impressions on you, seems like you are not interested or don’t care for other people’s patients.. if you are on leave / off day, try to update yourself with the patients progress by asking / discussing with your colleagues..

      hope these info help you.. cheers.. ^_^

  22. Khoo Shu Jiun November 11, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Hi, Dr. Sim, I’m a medical student from University of Malaya, studying in year two now. I’ve always heard about the perceptions of the society comparing medical graduates from private and public U. So in my recent research, I’ve decided to compare medical doctors graduated from private medical U and public medical U. Can I ask for your kind attention to reply a few questions regarding my research? I’ve been reading your blog about your medical career since I’m 18 and Ido think that the Q&A session with you will benefit a lot. If you are free, please reply to my email shown. =)))) thankyou so much!

    • Simon Sim November 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      hi Shu Jiun.. 🙂
      nice to know you, and great to hear that you are now study medicine..
      and thanks for reading my blog with such a long support.. 🙂
      i have sent you an email..
      hope you will do well with your research.. ^_^

      • deivind November 21, 2013 at 4:46 am #

        Hi sir. Deivind here….i was always interested to become a orthopaedic surgeon.. i came to kuching for my housemanship training which will be completing in 2 weeks time.. in consideration to stay in kuching i wanted to apply for a place in orthopaedic department.. but at the same time i am from kajang.. parents need me there. Just in dilemma whether is there enough training in peninsular to make my way to masters?

      • Simon Sim November 29, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

        hi Deivind.. 🙂

        nice to hear that you are interested in doing orthopaedic surgery..
        yup, training shouldn’t be a problem in penisular.. if too many MO there, can try to request for more oncall so you can get more chances to do surgery..
        too many peoples are doing orthopaedic now.. for you to get a place in the Master program, i would like to suggest you to sit for the Basic Sciences Exam for Orthopaedic organised by Academy of Medicine Malaysia, and involve in research (if possible go for presentation or publish paper) before you apply for the Master program.. this will help you a lot..
        wishing you all the best..
        cheers.. ^_^

  23. Jake Tan December 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Dear Simon ,
    I read a post on ur blog abt how u struggle to become a doctor and I am really impressed with ur determination in becoming a doctor.I am a sarawakian and I am also from Kuching .
    I am also interested in doing medicine and none of my parents can support me .Your story really encouraged me .I am 21 this year and yet I only finished my A level programme .

    I am not sure is this the path that I should take since it is highly competitive .
    Is it possible for u to answer a few of my question to clarify my doubts ?
    1 How many years (minimum ) for you to be a doctor ?
    Let say 5 years of uni ,then 2 years of horsemanship then 2 years of working in hospital then u will be qualified as a general practitioner right ?

    2 how about becoming a specialist .What is the route that you need to take ?and how long does it take ?

    3 How much is the salary for a general practitioner in government hospital ?

    4 the medical education in local private colleges cost an arm and a leg ,,some of my relatives encourage me to pursue medicine in other country that is cheaper for ex china .
    However,when i checked the JPA website they did not even recognize any university from china but ironically our health minister said that the health ministry recognize MBBS programme from two of the china university.
    So if let say I studied at one of the JPA non-recognize MBBS programme ,am i still applicable in practicing medicine in Malaysia ?Will the route be the same ?Have you met any colleagues that studied at a non-recognize MBBS UNI then practice medicine in malaysia ? how does it work ?I know u have to take an exam by the MMA board and sth like that .


    Dear Sim ,please please help me !thanks !

    • Simon Sim December 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      Dear Jake,

      Here is your answer:

      1. 5 years for medical education, then temporary registration with MMC (Malaysian Medical Council) and 2 years housemanship, if successfully completed then you can apply for full registration with MMC. Full registration means you are a fully qualified doctor. After that you need to complete another 2 years compulsory service with government as medical officer before you can resign and open your own clinic. You call yourself general practitioner (GP) if you are doing your own practice (own clinic), but if you are still working in government hospital (or government health clinic) you call yourself medical officer.

      2. To become a specialist you need to apply for Master program, which is another 4 years program. You need to complete your compulsory service and still working in government hospital/clinic only you can apply. If you already resigned from government post and open up your own clinic (i.e. GP) you cannot apply for it.

      3. Average 5-6K (including allowance) depends on how many years you are in service.

      4. If you studied in an unrecognized medical school (also called as unscheduled medical institution), you need to take another qualifying exam (usually sit together with the final year students in UM, UKM, USM) before you can proceed for your housemanship. But the failure rate is very high, 2 reasons, first is different syllabus, second is bias from the local examiners. I have seen the exam, and some of the examiners would purposely gave the candidates a tough time and failed them. If not mistaken, the passing rate for the students from unrecognized universities was about 20% only every year. Some have repeated the qualifying exam few times but still fail. I do not have friends who are graduated from unrecognized university. Don’t take the risk, it is wasting time, wasting money.

      Hope this info helps you.. 🙂

  24. ipohHRPB May 16, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    Dear dr. Simon,

    Love ur blog. i am currently a “floating ” mo in the surgical department in HRPB. my MO placement wIl be in HKL. I would like to inquire more information on neurosurgery. i was merely exposed to neurosurg (a rotation of 2 weeks )during my HOship. Nevertheless. I find it fasicnating and i am considering to persure a career in this field. i have cleared my mrcs part A and ATLS. I, however, find difficulties in getting information regarding neurosurg (books to study on , how to get it started, case reports , information on additional neuro course to add on points for master programe application )it possbile for you to guide me further on the pathway. hope that it will not bother you. Many thanks

    • Simon Sim May 23, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

      Hi ipohHRPB,

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Nice to know that you are interested in doing neurosurgery, and you have completed your MRCS Part A and ATLS. You may register for ACLS as well when it is available.

      You can apply to the following MOH hospitals with neurosurgical service to start your posting:

      Sabah Queens Elizabeth
      Sarawak General Hospital
      Hospital Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru
      Hospital Sungai Buloh
      Hospital Kuala Lumpur
      Hospital Pulau Pinang
      Hospital Alor Setar
      Hospital Kuantan
      Hospital Kuala Terengganu

      I would like to suggest you to go for District Hospital Posting at least for 6 months before you join neurosurgery. You will be more confident in handling emergency cases and able to recognize emergency situations immediately. There are a lot of differences between MOs who have undergone district posting compared to those who haven’t in my department. The MOs came from District Hospital can work independently and safely.

      For you to join the Master program in Neurosurgery (USM), you need to fulfill the followings:

      At least 6 months posting in General Surgery (with surgical log book)
      At least 1 year posting in Neurosurgery (with surgical log book)
      Have been confirmed in your position (pengesahan jawatan)
      And passed the Entry Exam (theory and viva)

      The followings would be additional advantages:

      Passed MRCS
      Done research with publications (or at least ongoing research with data available)

      The followings are the recommended books. Please choose the “Beginner” to start with so you can grab the fundamental firmly. Only choose “Trainee” after you have started your neurosurgical training at least for 3 months. Otherwise you will find it difficult to understand and lose your interest easily and subsequently drop-out.


      Essential Neurosurgery (Andre Kaye)
      Neurosurgery Explained (Willem Adriaan Liebenberg)
      Neurology and Neurosurgery Illustrated (Kenneth Lindsay and Ian Bone)
      (The above three just choose either one)
      Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculous Simple (Stephen Goldberg)


      Handbook of Neurosurgery (Greenberg)
      Neurosurgery Case Review (Questions and Answers) (Remi Nader and Abdulrahman J Sabbagh)
      Fundamentals of Operative Techniques in Neurosurgery (E. Sander Connolly and Guy McKhann II)

      There are still a lot of good neurosurgical books available but more suitable for those already in the Master program.

      You can find upcoming neurosurgical courses / seminars from the Neurosurgical Association of Malaysia website at http://www.nam.org.my

      Hope this information helps you. Best wishes.

  25. ysh1989 July 29, 2015 at 12:01 am #

    Hello, Dr Simon.
    Im going to finish my final pro exam soon. Our HO posting intake should be around end of NOV and also planned to go back my hometown sibu for HO.
    Im interesting on neurosurgery and I have done some surveys on it.
    Besides, I planned to take MRCS first……

    I want to clarify some things…
    1st question, So far, I have checked, MRCS got Intercollegiate MRCS Examinations, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. So, what are the differences between them? which one I should take it? When i can take the MRCS part A? I planned to study it by myself while waiting for HO posting…..

    2nd question, As u have mentioned before, to be a neurosurgeon, “in average, houseman 2 years + district MO 1-2 years + general surgery MO 1 year + neurosurgical MO 1-2 years + neurosurgical master program 4 years”
    So far I only got information from USM, master of neurosurgery.

    ADMISSION CRITERIA (Malaysian Candidates) :
    • Possess basic medical qualification (MD, MBBS, MBChB or equivalent).
    • Successfully completed housemanship/internship training followed by minimum 6 months experience in general surgery(12 months is recommended) and 18 months in other speciality of which one year in Neurosurgery.
    • Credit in Bahasa Malaysia (SPM) for Malaysian or equivalent.SPM or GCE ‘O’ levels must be Grade One with credits in Biology,Physics and Chemistry.
    • Mentally and physically fit.
    • M.R.C.S or equivalent qualification with 24 months of experiences in General Surgery is not an exemption to enter the course.
    • F.R.C.S or Master in General Surgery or equivalent from a recognised institution or with covering letter (if an overseas institution) from the respective medical council or equivalent of the country.
    • The course duration is minimum 4 years and maximum 7 years. The 2 year posting outside of the program prior to entrance is counted. The training is managed by the Department of Neurosciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia the Ministry of Health of Malaysia.
    • The degree, Masters of Surgery (Neurosurgery) will be awarded by the “Universiti Sains Malaysia” to the successful candidate

    But here, they had mentioned FRCS. Meaning to say…we hv to take FRCS first before entering neurosurgery in USM. So, am I right? How about the master programme from UM or UKM as I could not find further information?

    • Simon Sim July 29, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

      hi ysh1989,

      nice to meet u here.

      there are 4 Royal College of Surgeons in UK and Ireland. the MRCS is now an intercollegiate exam, means the exam has been standardized and your results will be recognised by all these 4 colleges. u can sit your part A and part B exams with any of these colleges, and the college for part A exam can be different from the college for part B exam. it is the college where u sit for the part B exam will award u the MRCS diploma. Malaysia is one of the oversea exam centers for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Edinburgh, thus u can sit the part B exam here, and u will be awarded the MRCS diploma either from Ireland or Edinburgh depends which college u have chosen. if u wish to get the diploma from Glasgow or England then u have to travel to UK or other oversea centers to sit for the part B exam.

      u can sit for part A exam at any time after u obtained ur medical degree, however, it is advisable to take the exam after u have done your surgical posting (or during ur surgical posting) so u will understand and appreciate the principles of surgery better.

      regarding the admission criteria of USM, it means that any candidate who already passed the FRCS exam can apply for the program as well. but FRCS is not compulsory for the local candidates to apply for the program.

      UKM and UM have not started their programs yet at the moment.

      hope this information helps u.

      good luck 🙂

      • ysh1989 July 30, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

        Yup.Nice to meet to u too.
        Thanks for replying me…
        Wanna to some more qs…
        1) Do u any website or e-book that u can recommend to me for MRCS preparation?
        2) Would u recommend for studying neurosurgery in USM? Hw about the neurosurgery course in oversea?

      • Simon Sim July 31, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

        hi ysh1989,

        u can check the PasTest Online Revision website for MRCS preparation.
        u must have at least these 2 books: Applied Basic Science for Basic Surgical Training, and Churchill’s Pocketbook of Surgery (both by Andrew Raftery).
        yes, i will recommend neurosurgical training in USM.
        it is not easy to get into training post in oversea due to limited places.
        in fact, it is not easy to enter the USM neurosurgical program as well. some candidates have to apply multiple times and still cannot get into the program.

      • ysh1989 August 2, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

        Ok, no problems…
        Thanks a lot for giving a lot of precious opinions 😛
        Really hv to gv a BIG BIG thanks to u….

      • ysh1989 August 15, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

        Hello, sry to disturb u again.
        So far, i got Applied Basic Science for Basic Surgical Training this book already.
        Wanna to ask to u tat i have been using The Washington Manual of Surgery – 6th Ed since my med school, do u recommend to use this book for MRCS instead of Churchill’s Pocketbook of Surgery?

      • Simon Sim August 15, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

        personally i prefer Churchill’s Pocketbook of Surgery than the other books.
        u can take a look on those books and compare.
        choose the one which u think is easier to read and understand.

  26. Eddie September 2, 2016 at 12:42 am #

    Dear Dr,

    Really enjoy reading your blog. May i know is there any blogs written by dentist in Malaysia?
    Thanks in advance:)

    • Simon Sim September 2, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

      hi Eddie.
      thanks for visiting 🙂
      i am not sure if there is any blog written by dentist. sorry.

  27. mazlan June 15, 2017 at 1:06 am #


    You have an amazing blog.I would like to ask,how long do we have to wait after graduation before we can sit for MRCS part 1?

    Please do get back to me at your nearest convinence .


    best regards,
    Mazlan Mohamed

    • Simon Sim June 16, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

      Dear Mazlan,
      Thanks for visiting 🙂
      For your question, you can sit for the MRCS exam anytime during your housemanship.
      Good luck ^_^

  28. Yee Yen Bee August 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    Dear Dr Simon, thanks for sharing information about MRCS. Wonder if you know about MRCS in Singapore? Can I take part A MRCS in Malaysia and then Part B in Singapore? I note that they have part 3 as well in Singapore.

    • Simon Sim August 14, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

      hi Yen Bee..
      yes, you can take Part A MRCS in Malaysia and Part B MRCS in other MRCS overseas exam centres..
      MRCS exam now has Part A and Part B (replacing the old format Part 1, 2 and 3)..
      you can find more about the overseas exam centres in the MRCS official page..
      good luck 🙂

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