Medic Footprints Malaysia aims to help doctors transition out of clinical medicine and shine a light on the diverse careers in healthcare

ON Saturday Aug 20, Medic Footprints Malaysia (MFM) had their Diverse Careers for Doctors Summit at the IDCC, Shah Alam which was officiated by Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Professor and Executive Director of Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, Sunway University and founder of Mercy Malaysia.

During her keynote address, Tan Sri Jemilah emphasised the transferable skills that medical students can offer: “I think medical education teaches us about not just the science of medicine, but also understanding the real situation of human beings, developing empathy, and having a greater understanding of the needs of people. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the medical training I had.”

$!Tan Sri Jemilah giving her opening address.

“MFM’s goal to help empower and support doctors at all levels and I believe that a compassionate and united community of doctors is key to a thriving and sustainable healthcare system in Malaysia.”

MFM’s Managing Director Dr. Selina Chew gave an honest and relatable anecdote of how she felt unhappy with her career when she worked long and tiring hours as a medical officer and knew that working in that manner was not sustainable for her. “I wanted to save lives, but I can’t kill myself trying to save someone else.”

“Now, as I matured, I realised that saving lives is not just one way. There are so many ways and I realised also clinical medicine is not healthcare. The moment I stepped out of clinical, I realised that we were just a small dot in this huge ocean called healthcare.”

“Try asking: ‘What can I do? How can I contribute? How can I impact healthcare? And how can I make a change?’ I think most of us became doctors because we want to make a change in patients’ lives. Maybe we were just shown a small subset of what impacting healthcare could look like, but it’s actually really huge. And that’s why we have the summit to show how every one of these doctors can impact healthcare can improve patients’ lives on their own terms in a way that is sustainable for them.”

After stumbling across Medic Footprints based in the United Kingdom, Dr. Chew found others who understood her plight, so she wanted to extend the same helping hand in her home country, Malaysia.

“Our mission is to build a community of doctors that have each other’s back whether in clinical medicine or outside of clinical medicine,” emphasised Dr. Chew.

Many sectors in industry including health tech, private hospitals, pharmaceuticals, education, and consulting management also came forward to support MFM’s mission to assist doctors in their career transition.

$!Dr Azhar emphasized networking for doctors transitioning into other careers.

Dr. Azhar Ahmad, Head of the Medical Department for Malaysia and Singapore for Boehringer Ingelheim gave an inspiring deliverance about how medical doctors can have a successful career outside clinical medicine.

He said: “Find something that fit your scale and then fit what you love to do because it will make it so much more fun when you’re doing something that you love.

“Make sure you don’t forget about networking as it opens so much more opportunity that you don’t even know exists before. And if you’re thinking about changing careers, be courageous and take the plunge.”

MFM’s objective is to connect doctors to diverse careers. The summit, which ran for the entire day had 11 talks by 11 incredible doctors who are now working in different fields outside of clinical medicine and also had 3 networking sessions where members who joined could talk to them.

Among the 11 talks, they included the topics of climbing the corporate ladder as a doctor, the aesthetic market, how to build your brand as a doctor, hospital management, lifestyle medicine, and how doctors who code can impact their work.

“Through this summit, I hope to show doctors that there are many other ways they can still contribute to healthcare and impact patients’ lives other than the traditional way of practising medicine. That there’s no shame in quitting medicine, and that leaving medicine doesn’t mean they are failures,” reminded Dr. Chew.