Category Archives: EZ 44 – Medical

Professor Stephen Doughty Announced as New President & CEO for Penang Medical College (PMC)

Professor Stephen Doughty, President & CEO of PMC (middle), flanked by Vice President (Academic Affairs) and Registrar, Professor Kevin B. Nolan (right) and Professor Dr Rashid Khan bin Md Jagar Din, Head of Department of Public Health, Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Affairs & International Relations, Director of RCSI Health Research and UCD Public Health (International) Programmes at PMC


Professor Stephen Doughty joins Penang Medical College (PMC) as its fourth president and CEO. He comes to us from the position of Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a post he has held since 2010.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be able to take over the leadership of PMC at this exciting time in its history with 20 years of strong and steady growth which have built PMC a solid reputation within Malaysia and beyond. I am excited at the opportunity to drive PMC forwards in the next chapter of its development and I look forward to working with PMC’s talented staff and students in that challenge.”

After a recent welcome lunch, Prof Stephen expressed his delight to be taking on the role of President and CEO at this exciting time, building on the excellent foundation laid by Prof Amir together with colleagues.

Professor Doughty takes over from Professor Amir Khir who has been with PMC since its early days.

Prof Stephen joined the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham in 2001 having previously worked at the University of Bradford, UK. He obtained a first-class degree in Chemistry from the University of Essex and a DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford University, UK. His research interests are focussed on molecular modelling and computer-aided drug design with a particular interest in modelling membrane-bound proteins for rational drug design.

In 2005, Prof Stephen moved to the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus (UNMC) to establish their School of Pharmacy. He became the Dean of the Faculty of Health & Biological Sciences at UNMC, later renamed to the Faculty of Science, UNMC. He introduced the first ever UK accredited pharmacy programme delivered in part overseas and as founding Dean grew the Faculty of Science to a strong six schools. Since 2005 he has sat on the Management Board at UNMC and has chaired the Campus Teaching Committee since 2007. In 2008 Stephen was awarded a Lord Dearing Award for Teaching and Learning. Stephen has had extensive experience helping to guide the strategic direction of UNMC and specifically to drive new teaching and learning initiatives in order to keep pace with developments in learning technologies and student expectations. He has had extensive experience of institutional quality assurance both in the UK and Malaysia, being an institutional auditor for both the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).

Professor Hannah McGee, Chair of the Board of Penang Medical College and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI commented:

“On behalf of UCD and RCSI, we are delighted to welcome Professor Stephen Doughty as our new president & CEO to PMC. His expertise in the international higher education arena, in Malaysia and beyond, is very impressive and particularly opportune as we celebrate 20 years of success for PMC – and plan the stepping stones for success over the next 20 years. Professor Doughty will have the enthusiastic support of staff in PMC, alongside staff and senior administration in UCD and RCSI to support him in this new role”.

Penang Medical College is owned by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Dublin (UCD). Students spend the first half of their medical training in Dublin and return to Penang to complete their medical training and receive a National University of Ireland medical degree. Together with postgraduate courses in Health Research and Public Health (International), PMC has almost 1,500 PMC medical graduates now working throughout Malaysia.

As PMC celebrates its 20th year anniversary this year, a series of events have been planned leading up to a final gala event to be held with UCD & RCSI here inPenang on the 4th of December 2016, Sunday. In commemorating achievements of the PMC community across the world, all alumni are requested to update their details for invitations via Facebook at /pmcpenang or the official PMC website.

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Realising Dreams & Building Confidence

Choi Hang Seok, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Founded in 1998 & helmed by its founder Dr. Joo Kwon, JK Plastic Surgery Center has grown to be one of the renowned & leading plastic surgery centres in Gangnam, South Korea.

Centring their values in improving their patients’ lives, JK Plastic Surgery Center seeks not only to improve their patients’ aesthetic features, but also the quality of life, personal confidence & overall well-being of every patient that walks through their door. Boasting their “Zero Accident” track record, the plastic surgery centre’s “Safety is non-Negotiable” policy has proven to be the commitment of every surgeon & staff in the centre.

Choosing a career in this field is no easy task but for Dr Choi Hang Seok, one of the surgeons in JK Plastic, he has breezed through it while creating a name for himself as one of the top plastic surgeons in the centre.

This Korean plastic surgeon has always wanted to be a plastic surgeon due to his fascination with the transformations performed by surgeons in this field. “It is very interesting to see how part of the skin from one body part can be used to heal another damaged body part. I find it almost miraculous and beyond any of my imagination,” he said.

He may not have liked to study much but the fascination with the miracle of plastic surgery spurred him on and today, he is one of the longest serving plastic surgeons in JK Plastic. “It is after joining JK that I develop a strong and firm vision to help people with my skills,” he said. Dr Choi became a certified surgeon in 1995 and has been with JK for 14 years.

Though the surgeon is 48 years old, his appearance was one that was unlined and smooth, in which he admitted was due to some of the treatments that he tried on himself. “I try most of the treatments on myself so that I will know the complications and side effects and be able to advise my clients appropriately,” he said.

This plastic surgery centre, which was the first medical institution to receive certification to accept foreign patients back in 2009, is the best in the medical tourism field in Korea. Dr Choi said they have been awarded the best medical institution for four years in a row. The centre sees more than 5,000 patients from all over the world each year and it currently has eight plastic surgeons including Dr Choi.

JK Plastic is also the first and only medical centre approved to use stem cell treatment and it is also the only hospital to use stem cell treatment for cosmetic use. “We are the only one to have developed a skill to use stem cell for cosmetic surgery and the first try was on a burn scar,” he said.

2014072317550931_hosImg.jpgUnder the banner of “New Face New Dream”, JK Plastic’s charity program was launched with the mission to better the lives of the deserving, underprivileged patients from around the world.

With most of the programme recipients being victims of domestic violence & poverty, the programme seeks not just to restore the victim’s appearance, but also to ensure the overall mental health & well-being of the victims.

One of the more well known patients under JK Plastic’s “New Face New Dream” programme is Penangite Tan Hui Linn whose face and upper torso was badly burnt during an acid attack in 2009. Tan underwent numerous treatments under Dr Choi and has now regained her confidence and a new face. The spunky girl is not only grateful to JK Plastic and Dr Choi but is also strongly touched by their personal and warm approach towards her. “They don’t treat me like a patient. They were so warm, nice and friendly that I felt like they are family and Dr Choi treats me like a sister,” she spoke of her experience with them. Her treatment is far from over as Dr Choi said she still needs to go back for more treatments.

As for now, Dr Choi is happy to continue building confidence in his customers with his skills so that he can establish schools for underprivileged children in poverty-stricken countries.

“It is very interesting to see how part of a skin from one part can be used to heal another part that was damaged. I find it almost miraculous and almost beyond my imagination.”

Under the banner of “New Face New Dream”, JK Plastic’s charity program was launched with the mission to better the lives of the deserving, underprivileged patients from around the world.

With most of the programme recipients being victims of domestic violence & poverty, the programme seeks not just to restore the victim’s appearance, but also to ensure the overall mental health & well-being of the victims.

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One of the more well known patients under JK Plastic’s “New Face New Dream” programme is Penangite Tan Hui Linn whose face and upper torso was badly burnt during an acid attack in 2009. Tan underwent numerous treatments under Dr Choi and has now regained her confidence and a new face. The spunky girl is not only grateful to JK Plastic and Dr Choi but is also strongly touched by their personal and warm approach towards her. “They don’t treat me like a patient. They were so warm, nice and friendly that I felt like they are family and Dr Choi treats me like a sister,” she spoke of her experience with them. Her treatment is far from over as Dr Choi said she still needs to go back for more treatments.

“We are the only one to have developed a skill to use stem cell for cosmetic surgery and the first try was on a burn scar.”

As for now, Dr Choi is happy to continue building confidence in his customers with his skills so that he can establish schools for underprivileged children in poverty-stricken countries. “It is a dream that I hope to be achieved soon. I may even hire Hui Linn, my ‘sister’, as a teacher in one of the schools,” he said with a laugh.


Contact us for consultation appointment & more information

+6 04-210 1188     jkplastic.com/en/    http://www.facebook.com/jk.malaysia/

87E, Leandros Lane, 10250, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

Be In The Breast of Health

Dr Teoh Mei Shi

Consultant Breast, Endocrine & General Surgeon
MBBS (India), MS (USM), Fellowship Breast Oncoplastic & Endocrine Surgery (M’sia & Germany)


Screening Recommendation for Breast Cancer
(According to MOH Guidelines, 2nd edition, 2010)

  • Mammography may be performed biennially from 50-75 years of age
  • Women aged 40 – 49 years old should not be denied mammography screening if they desire to do so.
  • Screening for women at high risk for breast cancer should start from age 30 with both
    MRI and mammography
  • Breast ultrasound can be used as an adjunct to mammogram for breast cancer detection in women of all ages but is not recommended asa stand-alone breast cancer screening modality.

Breast Cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women worldwide. It affects women mainly in the middle-aged group (age 50-60) but the disease is also seen on the rise amongst the younger generation (age 30-40). In Malaysia, one in 15 Malaysian women have a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer has also been detected in a 6-year-old girl in Malaysia, possibly one of the youngest in the world.

No one can avoid breast cancer but having an understanding on breast health can significantly make a difference to early detection of cancer. Being breast aware is one of the important aspects of preventing breast cancer. It involves knowing your breast cancer risk factors, understanding the genetic risk for breast cancer, going for screening mammography and being proactive when new changes are detected. For women, performing monthly breast self-examination (BSE) encourages you to know your breasts and how they change during your menstrual cycle and throughout the different stages of your life. Being knowledgeable and going for screening mammogram as recommended can help prevent or result in early detection of cancer.

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Breast Cancer Myths Debunked

Myth:  Wearing underwire bra increases the risk of breast cancer

Fact: Wearing underwire or tight bras does not impact the lymphatic system nor does it cause accumulation of toxins resulting in breast cancer. However, it’s best to wear a properly fitted bra to avoid discomfort.

Myth: Men cannot get breast cancer

Fact: Although women are at a much higher risk, men still do have a lower risk for breast cancer. Therefore they usually present in the later stage. As such, all chest wall lumps around the nipple should be investigated.

Myth: Breast cancer tumor markers are effective as a screening test to detect cancer activity

Fact: The breast cancer tumour markers are not sensitive enough to detect early stage breast cancer. The tumor markers are usually used by the doctors to monitor the progress of the disease during treatment.

Myth : Breast biopsy can cause the cancer cells to spread

Fact: Breast biopsies are important part of the triple assessment in breast lump investigation. They do not cause the cancer to spread.

Myth: Most breast lumps are cancerous.

Fact: Fear not, about 80% of breast lumps are NOT cancerous. The physiological development of breast changes over the course of a woman’s lifetime. Many of these breast changes are normal and are caused by hormones. Nevertheless, it is recommended that all lumps should be properly investigated by a health care professional.

Myth: Breast cancer is preventable.

Reality: Unfortunately, No. Although we can identify possible risk factors (family history or inherited gene mutations), a significant percentage of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors and the disease can occur unexpectedly. It is strongly advisable to make positive lifestyle changes to further lower your risk of getting breast cancer.

Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

  • Female: being a woman is one of the strongest risk factors
  • Age: risk of developing breast cancer significantly increases as women age but it also can happen at any age.
  • Increase estrogen exposure: seen in early menache, late menopause, women on oral contraceptive pills and hormonal replacement therapy.
  • Personal history: those with previous history of breast cancer requires surveillance follow up to detect recurrence.
  • Genetic & Hereditary breast cancer: family members diagnosed with breast cancer, especially before age 35, family members diagnosed with ovarian cancer at any age, male breast cancer in the family, family members with bilateral breast and ovarian cancer and presence of BRCA1 & BRCA2 genes.
  • Dense Breast: Having dense breast makes it more difficult to detect cancer by mammogram alone therefore it requires additional screening methods like ultrasound or MRI.
  • Breastfeeding & Pregnancy: Being pregnant and breastfeeding long term reduces the estrogen exposure to the breast tissue therefore could lower the risk of breast cancer.
  • Lifestyle: leading a positive and healthy lifestyle will benefit your breast health and improve your overall well-being.

Leading A Healthy Lifestyle

  • Diet:  Good nutrition and healthy eating habits are important part of a healthy lifestyle. Eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce sugar intake, avoid processed and preserved food. Drink plenty of clean water (at least 2L/day), avoid caffeine and canned drinks.
  • Sleep: Consistent sleep is critical for a healthy life. Have at least 6- 8 hours of restful sleep at night. Sleep early, as your body will start to detoxify and repair between 10pm and 2am.
  • Eliminate stress: Stress has a significant negative impact on our body’s immune system, which lowers our resistance to getting sick. Learning how to manage stress by mind-body relaxation is an important component to a better living.
  • Exercise: Physical activity provides immediate stress relief. Just a simple 10-20mins of brisk walking can help you break a sweat, improve your sleep and give you more energy. At least, try to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Spirituality: Change your mind-set and live your life with positive affirmations that will attract healing energy thus leading you to an overall happier and healthier lifestyle.

Health & Pillow

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Dr Chew Heng Hai

A General Practitioner to say the least. He has just gone beyond treating patients in an everyday life to becoming a medical device inventor and researcher to increase the well-being of patients. To date, he has five patented medical devices and is the winner of multiple local and international invention awards including the Malaysian Champion and world top five in Clean Tech Open 2010. Dr Chew is also a regular speaker at international conferences, universities and medical colleges around the world.


“Sleep is one of the most important factors determining our general health. Lack of quality sleep over a prolong duration will contribute to various health problems.”

There are multiple factors influencing quality of sleep. These include work stress, coffee intake, medication, pillow, mattress and bed.

Among all these, pillow probably is the most important factor among all. It is associated with a wide range of medical problems including headache, neck pain, snoring and asthma.

Conventional pillow is made from cotton or cotton-like synthetic material. These pillows have maximum height at the center, so while in use it supports the head most and cause forward flexion of the neck and airway narrowing that contribute to snoring. Compare to a scenario in medical practices: a patient’s neck is maintained in an extended position that supports the back of the neck to achieve maximum airway opening common for patient in coma or under general anesthesia.

Depending on severity of airway narrowing during sleep, a person may suffer from snoring or even obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is sound produced when breathing air forced through narrow airway. Sleep apnea refers to situation when breathing temporarily pauses during sleep.

Both of these situation restrict airflow and result in decrease oxygen supply to the affected person. As oxygen is an essential component to staying healthy, compromised oxygen supply would contribute to various medical problems ranging from hormone disturbance, depression, high blood pressure, stroke and sudden death in sleep. The problem happens more among obese people and incidences increase as age progress.

In side-sleeping positions when pillow support is too low or too high, there will be nonalignment of the spine which can cause pain for the shoulder, head and neck.

With improper selection of a pillow, a person can have negative health impact as early as the following day. If a person do not have a quality sleep, his or her blood pressure would be relatively higher than the days of a quality sleep. And if the problem is uncorrected, high blood pressure is a common problem that can gradually lead to more serious health risk in the future.

So an ideal pillow should be contoured and firm to provide the support needed. In back-sleeping position, the neck should be supported more than the head for optimum airway opening. In side position the support should be firm and high enough to maintain healthy alignment of the spine. At the same time it should be made from material soft enough for a comfortable sleep.

Latex foam meet the criteria as it can be molded to a desirable shape. Rubber latex possesses a natural anti-fungus and antibacterial properties. With the latest technology, the protein content a potential allergen-is removed makes the pillow hypoallergenic.

In short, a proper pillow selection plays an important role in our health. It deserves due attention in prevention and management of chronic health issues.

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睡眠对我们的健康来说至关重要,长期缺乏优质的睡眠将对自身的健康带来各种影响。

其中可能来自于工作压力、饮用过量的咖啡因、服食相关的药物、枕头、床单或床褥等因素。

而人一天有近三分之一的时间躺在枕头上,拥有一个质量好的枕头不但可以让你睡得舒适,缓解颈椎疼痛也可以改善睡眠。相反的,像是在市面上所看到的棉质枕头,因为过高的的容易导致打鼾,而不洁的枕头更容易引起哮喘等疾病。

市面上较为普通的棉质枕头大多数会重点支撑头部,躺下去頭很容易向後仰, 脖子和頭部自然的曲度發生,使喉部肌肉過度緊張,從而加重打鼾的程度。临床实验证实,昏迷中的病人颈部会被支撑而保持延伸的姿势,好让病人能呼吸顺畅。

当空气通过气道不畅或者气道内软组织或肌肉发生振动时,便会出现打鼾。当人呼吸时,下垂组织会使气道变得狭窄,并发生振动或颤动,便会发出打鼾声。不合理的枕頭,會造成大腦缺血,引發腦損傷,同時血壓升高、心率加快,使得心臟缺血、 缺氧,並加重疾病甚至誘發死亡。总而言之,過高和過低的枕頭都會對頸椎產生不良影響。

一个优质的枕头将拥有紧贴人体轮廓以及提供最佳的支撑力的功能,确保人体脊椎和颈部在任何睡眠姿势中维持正确位置以便防止呼吸道肿胀。除此之外,选择拥有一定弹性的枕头更可以加强舒适感同时也提供恰到好处的支撑力。

而乳胶棉具备了这些特质。除此之外,它的结构更能够抑制细菌及尘螨生长,适合敏感肌肤者使用。除此之外,它的结构更能够抑制细菌及尘螨生长,适合敏感肌肤者使用。

总而言之,选择一个适合自己的优质枕头是不容小看的,为了自身的健康着想自然应该精挑细选,寻找适合自己的好枕头!