UiTM inks MoU on health communication with College Physicians of Malaysia

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Recognising the need and space for aligned and curated communication across fields and stakeholders, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) signed an MoU with the College Physicians of Malaysia to signify their collaborative effort in knowledge and expertise sharing between the institutions.

The MoU’s signing formally acknowledges an ongoing, strategic, and long-term relationship between the institutions. Activities will focus on academic research collaboration, joint activities and programs, student and staff exchange, and academic knowledge exchange.

Present during the virtual signing ceremony was, the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, Associate Professor Dr Massila Hamzah, and Dr Letchuman Ramanathan, the President of the College of Physicians Malaysia. The signing was witnessed by representatives from both parties, through which the ‘War on Cancer’ was initiated.

Historically, the signing marked the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies and the Faculty of Medicine, UiTM’s first partnership with the College of Physicians Malaysia. This MoU aspires to ensure field expertise and knowledge-sharing are accessible to all, from developing improvements in teaching and learning to close the gap between the entities involved through research and expertise exchange.

Additionally, a series of activities and assignments are already in the pipeline, with some nearing completion. From cross-field research to proposed media training and publicity, invested parties look forward to this collaboration that will enrich their stakeholders and witness the exponential growth in technical know-how between UiTM and the College of Physicians Malaysia, respectively.

Communications and medical sciences have always been in each other’s presence since the dawn of civilisation. The role of physicians is no longer restricted to bedside manners but has evolved intrinsically since then. More than ever before, doctors are considered actors in their field. Apart from manning the wards and providing medical advice, they also wear many hats to address issues, convey empathy, and attend to patients with Google as a second opinion.

In this age of digital sharing and fake news, the time is ripe to use proper communication tools and techniques to avoid misinterpretation, misrepresentation, and misinformation to the stakeholders. Today’s signing can be seen as a bridge built to address these issues, bearing huge potential to be a repository of data, case studies and a point of reference for many to denote.

According to Associate Professor Dr Massila Hamzah in her opening remark, “in regard to the idea in achieving the “Third Degree Separation” status as mentioned by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ts. Dr Hajah Roziah Mohd Janor’s recent address, Mass Comm, the Faculty of Medicine, and the College of Physician Malaysia have successfully materialised the first and second degree of separation. We are steadily making our way to the third degree via the activities running concurrently in the form of training, academic and industrial research collaborations, and external consultation and ePublication”.

In addition, “such integral collaboration effort will create more initiatives that could lead to greater conversations and meaningful practices on academic values, culture as well as cross-field sharing sessions and best practices between the three entities; Faculties and the College of Physicians Malaysia”, said Dr Letchuman respectively. UiTM’s Faculty of Medicine has been active in spearheading a health-awareness campaign and this collaboration will effectively see more visibility of such canvass in Malaysia.

The signing was also dedicated in memory of the late academician Allahyarham (the Late) Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Khalid Yusoff. This project was his brainchild, and it was his vision and aspiration to see this collaborative effort and change materialise.

This partnership will lead to many more mutually beneficial initiatives that are hoped to produce new synergies and add educational value for UiTM and College of Physicians Malaysia in the years ahead.