Building a foundation in science

HAVING established the MBBS and BDS courses on its wheel of success, Melaka-Manipal Medical College (MMMC) has commenced the Foundation in Science (FIS) programme in January 2012. The programme was launched with the objective of delivering better prepared students into the medicine and dental studies.

The one-year programme that was developed in-house and geared towards making sure students were effectively streamed into MMMC's own degrees, boasts a wide array of subjects such as Pharmacology, Forensic Science, Oral Biology, Physiology and Anatomy, all of which go with the more traditional science subjects like Biology and Chemistry.

Due to being exposed to such a solid foundation, the climb and steep learning curve that will come when the students begin their MBBS and BDS undertaking will not seem like a monumental task. Forming a core, vital part of the FIS programme is the aforementioned POSMED.

A compulsory assignment and a competition that showcases posters that contain the research of medical devices by students that incorporates aspects of Biology, Physics, Mathematics, and Clinical Correlation, POSMED debuted the same year as the programme that houses it. Under the direction of and constant feedback by MMMC's Chief Executive, Prof Dr Jaspal Singh Sahota, POSMED quickly became an important platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience between the faculty and students.

Through the years, POSMED has gone through multiple positive transformations and face-lifts, from the inclusion of PowerPoint to role-playing, the assignment has a consistent track record as a well-rounded provider of learning opportunities due to the fervent guidance of FIS' Programme Head, Dr Rashmirekha Sahoo, and the dedicated, unyielding organis ing committee.

As the 14th batch of FIS took on POSMED, the old format was shaken up in an attempt to inject not only innovation, but to elevate POSMED beyond its usual intellectual experience. Functioning as the inaugural attempt for students to complete their posters with something new, POSMED required them to produce a prototype construction that demanded creativity under the constraints of a tight budget.

Unfazed by the latter, the students excavated the mineshafts of their imagination, salvaging plastic bottles, paper boxes, water hoses, clay, ropes, and other scrap materials as they adapted to the monetary handicap.

Offsetting their mettle being tested by building a prototype and gathering materials, students would also find their wits tested in tense Q&A sessions, as the atmosphere during POSMED is always at its most thrilling, even if the FIS faculty is ever available to lend a helping hand or to share their insight should students seek out help.

Despite their struggles, POSMED has consistently shown that students often give it their all in an attempt to emerge victorious, while the Organising Committee is always keen on rewarding champions and participants in any way possible, and in the case of the 14th POSMED, a Posters and Prototype Exhibition was held, allowing students to view a recap of the event day, as the entire endeavour proving to be as worthwhile intellectually as it was fun.

The insistence on continuously improving the quality of its services as an institution of higher learning has led to Melaka-Manipal Medical College earning a reputation as a premier medical school that is spoken of with respect in education circles.

A homegrown institute of acclaimed repute, MMMC is the branch campus of India's renowned Manipal University, a 64-year-old icon of quality in the professional education and healthcare fields of India.

As such, it is only reasonable that those who wish to get a head-start and enrol their children in an institution that would pave the latter's path into becoming a medical professional should do so with the Foundation in Science at Melaka-Manipal.