Another New Intake for Pathology Master: Lab Based instead of Clinical.

The season has just begun. Master of Pathology intake in Malaysia will be held soon, this can be seen evidently when there are more people picking up their dusty old Robin's Pathology book out from the bookshelf. I can see Pathology MO has started reading in preparation for the entrance exam.

The exam will be held next January on 17th and 18th, 2019 at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). It follows the trend, the last location for final exam will be the location for the next entrance exam. Next Part 1 pathology exam will be held in UITM though, for the first time in history.

Rest assure, there will be a preparation course and mock Exam this November 12th. This is a must go course for all candidates trying to pass the entrance exam. This course will be held in Institut Kanser Negara (IKN).

Date and venue are subject to change depending on their meeting decision in KKM and among other universities, but I am pretty sure this information is close enough to the real one. There could be changes, or perhaps wrong information from my part so please consult your Head of Pathology Department if any doubt.

Exam, date, course....., these happen every year. What fascinate me this time is when they started to change the entrance exam question from more on clinical based to Laboratory based questions. I may have highlighted this issue before, unintentionally, but this year I received an information that they will be more serious on this.

In my opinion, testing all the candidates on their clinical knowledge is crucial in Pathology. Pathology is equal to medicine. So everyone must have good medical knowledge. It will be such a waste if a medical microbiologist knew everything about Neisseria meningitidis but did not know what are the sign to look for in patient with meningococcal meningitis, for example. What we practice everyday is correlating all the lab results with clinical presentation of patient. I think clinical based exam should be used instead of laboratory based exam.

When I did my entrance exam, everything is clinical. No question asking about lab result interpretation, but every question is  a clinical scenario where there will be 5 true and false question that will follows. Which electrolyte will be increased? Is there a rash or not in this disease? Something like that.

So I guess I am pro clinical based questions in entrance exam. However, I also received an information that when clinical based question were used last time, many candidates that enter pathology does not have basic in pathology. I have to agree on this because a lot of candidates during my batch, came from non-laboratory field. Many from Health clinic, anaesthetic, even paediatric.

Now, they want to give more chance to Pathology MO, or those who has work in pathology or forensic to have better advantages to enter Pathology master program.

This one, I could not denied. It was heartbreaking to see your colleagues in Pathology department failed to secure a seat in the program while an MO who came from medical department or health clinic who just want to get out from the busy lifestyle of their previous working places, secure a place in the program. I am not saying they should not join, it is their choice and their effort to pass the exam. However, if the questions were set more to laboratory based question, than it is much fair because what you are getting into is basically is lab based medicine.

In the end, I am also pro lab based questions in entrance exam.

Good luck to everyone attempting to enter next year pathology master program. Read Robins back to back and now you also have to learn all the test principle used in the lab. Learn from MLT and SO.

Do not ask for past year question as everything has been revised now. I remember my wife said when she attempted last year entrance (which she passed and now already doing her master course study), " All the questions in the entrance were not repeated question. Everything is new, it was difficult". She said that because during her years (last year) was when they started to implement lab based questions in entrance exam.

Good luck, see you all on the other side...

P/S: Take microbiology, its fun. Microbiology still need a lot of people. Still need more microbiologist in Sabah.

Working in Microbiology. 


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