Assamualaikum wbt and greetings to all,

It is hoped that 2014 bring happiness, great achievements, long and healthy life for all of us at the faculty. Time flies and it is now close to mid year. In August 2013, the faculty celebrated its 10th Anniversary and by September the founding Dean, Professor Dato’ Dr Khalid Yusoff, had taken us through the accreditation process with determination, careful planning and strategic positioning to achieve the coveted 5 Year Accreditation fromthe Malaysian Qualifying Agency, MQA, which will last through 2013 – 2018. Now under the stewardship of new Dean, Professor Dr Nafeeza Mohd Ismail, we will have to carry on the legacyand escalate to greater heights.

The Medical Education Research and Development Unit (MERDU) has its share od contribution in the development of the faculty with its main focus in curriculum development and implementation. Through determination and hardwork, the faculty is now established with immense physical structure and a consolidated medical programme. However, there are areas of concern and opportunities for improvement which were highlighted by the MQA. Hence these issues need to be addressed by the next visit planned for May 2014.

MERDU was established as early as 2003 as a unit which is part of the Academic office under the administration of Deputy Dean, Student Affairs and Alumni. The original role is being continously upheld by MERDU which include curriculum consolidation and review, staff training and Development, medical education research, assessment and evaluation, students' development and enhancement programmes, as well as, providing staff support and facalities. However, the role of MERDU in development, implementation and consolidation of medical programme has grown through the years. The current staff strength is not able to meet the immense workload and expectations of the faculty and its regulators. The plan of MERDU expansion is now being considered by the faculty.

New Challenges
In this new era of globalization there is a definite change in community structure and demand, hence,faculty and academics will have to be geared to meet these new challenges, which include :-
i) Utilising information technology and multimedia in teaching and learning
ii) Consolidating curricular blue print
iii) Continuous mapping of examination questions and analysis
iv) Establishing question banking
v) Addressing new challenges in clinical teaching
vi) Enhancing research and publications
vii) Establishing the adolescence programme
viii) Establishing international linkages and collaboration in research and student supervision
ix) Establishing the interprofessional education programme
x) Participation in knowledge sharing through oraganizing conferences, seminars and workshops

Aspirationand Future Direction

MERDU will need to be expanded to meet new demands and it is hoped the current administration will bring about the change for MERDU. There is increasing need of support from staff and students in the course of pursuingthe challenges of a new era where competition, technology and innovation is a norm in academic activities.

Professor Dr Sabariah Abdul Rahman
Consultant Pathologist &Co-ordinator of MERDU
Faculty of Medicine, SgBuloh Campus
Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor, Malaysia.