International Medical University (IMU) Malaysia route into Medicine
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of talking to Eric Fung, a 5th Year medical student at Edinburgh Medical School. Eric is originally from Malaysia and has joined the Medicine programme at Edinburgh through the IMU route. Through the article below he will attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this route.
If you have any further questions drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Eric will be in touch. Enjoy!
When and why did you decide to come to the UK?
It has always been my dream to study in the UK. I decided to come here for university education after my A-level. I wanted to study in the UK because the universities here have high academic reputation and are recognised worldwide. There are also work opportunities after graduation, especially in the medical field. Studying in the UK also allows me to explore the European countries fairly easily.
How did you choose the Medical School you are at now?
I am currently studying at The University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh medical school is renowned for its world leading medical education and excellence in research- that’s the biggest reason I’m here today! Like most of the UK medical schools, Edinburgh is ranked very highly for medicine at both national and international level. Moreover, Edinburgh graduates’ excellent performance at post graduate exams is also an appealing factor. Can you imagine your clinical tutor is the author of Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine?
Do you have any tips regarding any steps of the process such as the interview or any other preparation needed for entry to IMU?
Application process & documentation
Your pre-university transcripts (A-level, Australian matriculation, IB, etc), IELTS (overall band 7.0), school leaving certificate, identification card or passport, etc. You may apply to IMU through their website. Kindly refer to their website for more information: http://www.imu.edu.my/imu/programmes/undergraduate/medicine/
IMU adopts traditional interview for applicants where you will be sitting in a room with a panel of interviewers (usually two). There are two parts in the interview. For the first part, you will be asked questions such as “why do you want to study medicine?” “why do you choose IMU?” “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” etc. For the second part, you will be given a scenario and you are required to justify your answers.
The scenario I received was “There is a sinking ship with 30 passengers. However, only one life boat is available and it has a capacity of maximum 7 people. You are the ship captain. Who would you choose to save?” I guess this scenario was to assess your leadership skill and your ability to justify your answer.
My tips are: practise your communication and interview skill, learn to justify your answer, and stay calm!
What are the steps that IMU students have to take to successfully transfer to the UK Partner Medical School (PMS)?
Key dates and timeline
The matching exercise is usually done in Year 2. You will be informed the matching result by the end of Year 2.
Application process & documentation
You will be required to submit several forms and documents prior to the matching exercise. There will be forms for ranking the PMS, extracurricular activities, personal attributes, and a short personal statement. Also, you have to meet the English requirement prior to the matching process- IELTS overall band 7.0 and above and no individual component less than band 7.0. The reason is that the IELTS score is only valid for 2 years. Some PMS require higher band score. You may not be able to transfer if you fail to meet the requirement.
Most PMS rank students based on their academic performance in IMU. They may look at your extracurricular performance, attributes and personal statement. Different PMS have got different ranking criteria. You are able to rank the PMS based on your preference. The matching exercise is computerised and it gives 5 times greater weighting to the students’ preference over the PMS ranking. More information regarding ranking in matching exercise will be provided when you reach year 2.
Interviews/ entrance exams
No interview or entrance exams are required for matching to UK PMS. UKCAT and BMAT are not required.
Partner Medical School choice
Currently there are 12 UK medical schools on the list. The list varies slightly each semester. You may refer to the official website for updated information. http://www.imu.edu.my/imu/programmes/undergraduate/medicine/
Are you happy with your choice? Is your medical school the right choice and what tips do you have for future applicants?
Yes, I am very happy with my choice. I am really glad that I was matched to my first choice- The University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh medical school certainly provides great research and presentation opportunities to students. There are many medical-related societies as well. I would, once in a while, attend the conferences organised by the Royal Colleges because they are free for students and, most importantly, the colleges are very accessible.
How do you feel studying in the UK? Did you find it hard to adapt?
I struggled with the Scottish accent when I first arrived. Unlike us, the transfer students, the non-IMU international and home students are so much more confident in whatever they are doing. They speak really well and communicate pretty effectively with peers and patients too. It took me few months to understand their accent and the way they speak.
UK weather is definitely not the best weather in the world. I fell sick quite often when I first came here, especially during winter time. Do enjoy the sun as much as you can before you come here!
Academic wise, I would say IMU had prepared us pretty well. Most of the things I learnt in my Year 3 (Edinburgh) had already been covered by IMU. This is mainly because IMU provides clinical training at very early stage. I learnt history taking and general examination when I was in semester 1 and system-specific examination when I reached higher semester. However, communication is the biggest problem for me when I came here as English is not my first language. The locals speak very differently from the people back home.
What would be the best tips for future applicants?
Be it IMU or direct entry route, do stay well informed regarding your university choice; practise your interview skill; and BE ENTHUSIATIC about medicine!
If you were to start again and do anything different, what would that be?
If I were to choose again, I would still choose to have my pre-clinical study at IMU prior to transfer to the UK. Edinburgh would still be my first choice.
What are the differences between IMU route and direct entry?
Duration of obtaining a medical degree- It may take longer time to get through your medical training if you take the IMU route as there may be a 8-9 months window period prior to transfer (to most UK PMS) depending on your intake. [February- 2-3 months, August- 8-9 months]
Academic– As I mentioned earlier, I felt more prepared, in terms of knowledge and clinical skills, after going through my pre-clinical years at IMU. It may be a disadvantage if you want to do an intercalating degree in the UK. IMU does provide a graduate-PMS entry by doing an extra year for a Bsc degree but this is not a popular option.
Tuition fees– It is cheaper to study pre-clinical years in IMU. Hence it makes the total tuition fees for medicine cheaper than that of direct entry.
EricEdinburgh Medical School