‘The most unforgettable moment when you have bunch of friends working together in clinical attachment, managed to get good experiences and exposure which were very useful for practice in future.’ Absolutely this was one of the best memories Dr.Yow Hui Yin mostly treasured. After graduated from National University of Malaysia’s Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree in year 2009, Dr.Yow took her Provisonally Registered Pharmacist (PRP) training at Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Bahru, followed by 3 years working in Hospital Segamat, Johor. After that, she quitted her job and studied for PhD program, graduated in year 2016 and now becoming a lecturer in Taylor’s University.
One of the biggest challenges she encountered in university was writing the thesis in Malay during their times. She said that the information findings were all in English. She had to really take initiative to search, analyze and translate into Malay language. However after graduation, she found that Malay language is such important especially in government settings. The process was not easy but in the end, she learned a lot of useful things and helpful knowledge. Not only that, she told me PRP training was very challenging as well with all those packed schedules. “Just imagine you learned 4 years of things and had to apply all knowledge being learned within 1 year practice.” This was what she said. Of course, there will be rotation of department to work on every month. For sure we could learn new things much better in every department.
For the three years working in Hospital Segamat, Dr.Yow worked in general ward first, then switched to Intensive Care Unit (ICU). According to Dr.Yow, she said that there were huge differences between these two units. The patients in ICU were critically ill, thus everything had to go by details. Drug interaction was the most crucial as the patients took more than 10 medications concurrently. Therefore, time spent for each patient was longer as the patients’ conditions had to be checked always. Unlike the patients in general ward, their conditions were mostly stable. Most importantly, they could able to communicate with others. Thus, medication compliance had to be highlighted, counseling would be given to make sure the patients know how to take medication, when to take and how many tablets per time.
‘Life depends on what you want’. Dr.Yow preferred continuous learning and this made her to pursue the PhD program in pharmacology. She hoped to gain more knowledge, so she went for further study, instead of continued working in the hospital. Since she is now a lecturer in Taylor’s University, if there is opportunity, she wished to come back and become lecturer in UKM.
When Dr.Yow was asked for words to give pharmacy’s students who are still studying here, without any hesitation, she said,“ Study, study and study.” As a student, the only thing is to memorize the drugs name and all kinds of theories, so that it becomes easier when steps out of the university. She knew that the syllabus had already changed, which became more integrated. This could make us study more accordingly system by system and throughout the study, we may see clearer how the drugs work in entire systems, thus can relate more easily. It is important that we need to differentiate the drugs well, know clearly the drug interactions, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects and so on.
“ You claim yourself as a drug expert, what if patients ask you something that you don’t know how to explain, wouldn’t we become a laughter?” This was what she said and the words were so real to make us realize how crucial the role of being a pharmacist. Overall, the interview with Dr.Yow was helpful enough to give inspiration and motivation for us who are still studying in UKM. Therefore, being a student, we have to acquire as much knowledge as we can so that we are more prepared to accept the challenges in future.