Fostering relations among students

IN 2010, Melaka Manipal Medical College’s (MMMC) Peer Learning committee decided to improve peer bonding and learning among students. They envisioned a quiz contest to serve the purpose of intellectual growth and personal bonding, and this year, the fourth consecutive Neurobytes 2017: International Medical Quiz Contest was recently held for medical students at MMMC’s Malacca campus.

Encouraged by its initial success between 2011 and 2013, teams from Malaysia and overseas were invited to compete. In 2014, Neurobytes went international
when teams from Indonesia and India responded, and in 2015, the committee incorporated an Anatomy Illustration contest where cash prizes in US dollars were introduced.

The number of participating teams has averaged between 20 and 23 over the preceding three years, and last year, SYNAPSE, the Neurobytes magazine, was dedicated to publishing information on teams, quiz format and general information on Malacca and MMMC.

Organised by the Quiz Club Core Committee (QC3) consisting largely of students who are guided by faculty, 20 teams including six from Indonesia and India participated. In the evening, before the preliminary rounds, an ice-breaking session introduced the various teams to each other, and a 50-question written preliminary round was held, followed by dinner.

To wind up the evening, the participants were taken to the Unesco heritage area around Jonker Street.

The quiz continued the following morning starting with a buzzer-style knock-out round where eight teams were chosen to clash in the semi-finals. The top four teams then faced each other in the grand finale, which was conducted by four quiz masters in a “celebrity box” style where each team could choose the quiz master to ask them the questions. This style eliminated bias and levelled the playing field.

JIPMER, Pondicherry emerged as the overall champion followed by MMMC (first runner-up) and Monash University (second runner-up). While the competition was tough, the event served its purpose of bringing students from diverse backgrounds and places closer together.

The Anatomy Illustration contest was open for participation as well. Three anatomical diagrams from Netter’s Atlas were projected and contestants were allotted 40 minutes to copy one anatomical diagram of their choice. This event was judged by faculty chosen from surgical disciplines and awarded independently from the quiz results.

The QC3 congratulated the winners and thanked all the participants for making it a grand success. It said it looked forward to inviting more teams to Malacca, one of the two Unesco Heritage Cities in Malaysia, and to more peer interaction amid competition.