Passion to Serve – The driving force behind Melissa’s journey in Medicine



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    It was a moment filled with significant milestones for RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC), as the institution held its 21st Conferring Ceremony on May 30, 2021 (Sunday). A total of 111 medical students were conferred with the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB BCh BAO) degree which is internationally recognised by the National University of Ireland (NUI).

    With this conferring ceremony, RUMC celebrated its 2000th graduate while also marking its 25th year of delivering high-quality medical education this year.

    “Not only is this a special conferring because you have completed your medical degree studies and  are about to officially become doctors, but this conferring ceremony is a double landmark in the history of RUMC. This is our 21st year of conferring medical degrees in our 25th or Silver Anniversary year since RUMC was established as Penang Medical College,” highlighted Professor David Whitford,
    President & CEO of RUMC in his welcome address during the ceremony.

    Graduating along with RUMC’s Class of 2021 is valedictorian, Melissa Mae Gabriel, who personally enjoyed how Medicine was both Science and Art.

    Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo by Aidan McGloin/Unsplash

    Growing up in Kuala Lumpur and residing in an area surrounded by lush greenery, Melissa has always enjoyed getting the best of both worlds – the fast-paced city life and the wonders of nature, from the very beginning. Little did she know that she’s about to embark on a life-long journey to her dream career with a similar fortune.

    Having a strong interest in a career that involves serving people and being unsure between choosing Medicine and Law, Melissa decided to first build a solid foundation by doing her A-Levels in Pure Science at Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL). She received the Merit scholarship which covered her full tuition fees. It was during her time in MCKL, Melissa was introduced to RUMC – an avenue for her to further explore her passion in pursuing Medicine.

    “Looking back, I am eternally grateful for having done my A-Levels at MCKL and the good friends I have gained during my time in MCKL. For if not for them, I would probably had missed the opportunity of studying Medicine,” expressed Melissa.

    Speaking on Melissa’s success, Ms Angela Pok, CEO of MCKL said “Is it an honour to receive this news. We also learned that three (3) other students from MCKL were conferred during the ceremony. MCKL has always been proud to learn about our alumni’s continuous accomplishments locally and abroad as they portray a great example to all our students, the community and beyond. On behalf of MCKL, I would like to wish our alumni, Melissa Gabriel, Melvin Hoo (Dean’s List and 1st place in Family Medicine & Public Health), Eunice Lim (1st place in Forensics and Legal Medicine) and Jason Pereira a heartfelt congratulations. Their dedication and determination have led them to great success. Wishing them the best in all their future undertakings.”

    RUMC’s medical degree entails 2.5 pre-clinical years in Dublin and 2.5 clinical years in Penang. This provides an incredible exposure to understanding teaching in the western world, being on the cutting edge in research, and experiencing the various types of cases in the tropical setting of Malaysia, as the students return to Penang.

    “Besides academics, the opportunity to study in Dublin is also one that moulds students to be more independent, hone skills, and build friendships from different cultures,” said Melissa when asked about her inspiration to pursue Medicine at RUMC.

    Throughout her journey in Dublin and Penang, Melissa showed great dedication, not only in her academics, but also in extracurricular activities, where she was part of various clubs and societies, such as the Women Association in Surgery, RCSI Student Medical Journal, Climbing Club, and Surgical Society – to name a few.

    Another one of Melissa’s greatest learning experiences was her involvement in research in Dublin.

    “Through my time in research, I published a research paper, won the “Harry O’ Flanagan Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research medal” and was honoured to be in the Irish Medical Times for “Undergraduate Researcher” of the Year,” shared Melissa.

    Are you one of those aspiring doctors wondering if Medicine is right for you? Here are some tips from
    Melissa.

    “I think the first step is to really find out if you (not your parents, not society) want to do medicine. This includes speaking to many people in Medicine and also other careers.”

    “There will be trial and ‘tribulations’, there will be sweat and tears. Medicine is a very challenging journey and I am only at the beginning but it has certainly been very rewarding. As my best friend once told me, there are no bad days, only character-building days,” Melissa added.

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    About Methodist College Kuala Lumpur

    Since its inception in 1983, the Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL) was founded by the Methodist Council of Education. Our campus is strategically established in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

    MCKL’s guiding philosophy is focused on delivering excellent and quality education, which ultimately serves its purposes as an institution for society. As educators we strive for a caring and nurturing environment through transformative learning and teaching practices, along with
    upskilling extra-curricular activities.

    Our mission is to nurture a community where excellence, in all is forms is celebrated and where individuals will make extraordinary differences in the world with strong moral character and academic achievement. The College’s seeks to produce quality students who will transform into respectable role models for generations to come, contributing to the advancement of their community in line with MCKL’s vision of being “The Institution of Excellence for Life”.

    Source: Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (Press release)