The Complete Guide to a Medical Degree (MBBS) in Malaysia
If you’ve always wanted to study MBBS (Medical Degree) in Malaysia, our guide will show you everything you need to know.
From revealing the best medical universities in Malaysia to letting you know the detailed steps on how to be a doctor in Malaysia, this guide has got you covered.
Read on for more insights on studying a Medical Degree and becoming a doctor!
#1. What Is Medicine?
Medicine relates to diagnosing, treating and preventing a sickness, disease or injury. It involves utilising healthcare practices to maintain and restore the health and wellbeing of a person.
From treating the common cold to performing complex surgeries, doctors play a significant role in keeping today’s society well and healthy. When you are sick or unwell, a doctor performs an examination to find out the cause of your illness (also known as a “diagnosis”). The doctor then suggests suitable treatments for you and prescribes the right medication to help you recover.
As part of your Medical Degree, you will gain extensive knowledge in medical sciences and the right clinical skills to provide effective patient care. This includes being able to accurately diagnose and treat patients, explain treatments to patients and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.
Medical Fields and Specialties
Medicine as a whole is broad and multidisciplinary. There are many departments within medicine and you will require years of training and experience before you are able to specialise in a particular field.
Here are some of the specialties within medicine in major hospitals.
|Field||What It Is All About|
|Anaesthesiology||Relates to providing pain relief to patients prior to, during and after surgery|
|Internal Medicine||Relates to the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, including cancer, infections and diseases affecting the heart, blood and kidneys, among others|
|Emergency Medicine||Involves providing immediate medical attention to patients with an acute illness or serious injuries to prevent death or disability|
|Obstetrics & Gynaecology||Relates to medical care for women, particularly care during childbirth, and diseases of the female reproductive system|
|Orthopaedics||Focuses on injuries and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves|
|Paediatrics||Deals with medical care of infants and children|
|Surgery||Deals with injuries and disorders that require surgical intervention|
As part of your clinical training during your Medical Degree and your 2-year housemanship, you will be exposed to many of these major departments. This allows you to gain a good understanding of them before deciding on your medical specialty.
For more medical specialisations, you can check out the National Specialist Register.
#2. Entry Requirements to Study Medicine
a) What subjects are needed to study medicine?
To study a Medical Degree, you must have studied these subjects for SPM or equivalent, based on the Malaysian Medical Council’s (MMC) requirements for medicine:
- Mathematics or Additional Mathematics
As for A-Level, STPM or equivalent, the required subjects are:
- Physics or Mathematics
In addition to that, you must also have a level of competency in English to be able to successfully complete a Degree in Medicine.
b) What are the requirements to study medicine?
These are the general entry requirements to pursue a Degree in Medicine:
- A-Level: BBB, ABC or AAC in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Mathematics
- STPM: BBB, ABC or AAC in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Mathematics
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum ATAR 80 including an average of 80% in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Mathematics
- Foundation in Science or Matrikulasi: Minimum CGPA of 3.00 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Mathematics; and 5Bs in SPM (or equivalent) including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics or Additional Mathematics
#3. Studying a Medicine Course
a) What subjects will you study in a Medical Degree?
Most Medical Degrees are split into 2 phases — Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Phase 1 (the first 2 years of your degree) focuses on pre-clinical training in an academic setting where you’ll learn the theoretical basics of medical science. Some of the subjects you’ll study are:
- Clinical Medicine
Phase 2, which consists of the remaining years of your degree, focuses on clinical training where you will undertake clinical rotations at hospitals and health clinics. You will gain hands-on experience with patients and get the chance to try out various clinical disciplines such as general medicine, surgery, paediatrics and internal medicine.
b) How long is an MBBS Degree?
A Medical Degree is 5 years long in Malaysia.
c) How much does it cost to study medicine in Malaysia?
The total estimated fees to pursue a Medicine Degree in Malaysia for 5 years can range from RM250,000 to RM650,000.
#4. How to Become a Doctor in Malaysia
This is the general pathway to become a doctor in Malaysia.
- Step 1: Complete a pre-medical course (e.g. A-Level, STPM, Foundation in Science) after SPM.
- Step 2: Enrol in a MBBS Degree that’s typically 5 years long.
- Step 3: Undergo 2 years of housemanship, which is a compulsory internship for all aspiring doctors. Once you’ve completed your housemanship, you will be a qualified medical officer.
- Step 4: If you want to be a specialist (e.g. anaesthesiologist, gynaecologist, paediatrician), you will first need to work for several years as a medical officer to gain experience.
- Step 5: Once you have accumulated some experience as a doctor, you can pursue your postgraduate studies, which takes about 4-5 years. You’ll also need to undergo 2-4 years of supervised training as a specialist.
- Step 6: Finally, once you’ve met the criteria to be a specialist, you can register yourself with MMC as a specialist.
To summarise, it generally takes a total of 8-9 years to become a fully registered doctor from completing SPM, and more than 10 years to become a specialist.
#5. Should You Study Medicine?
a) Is medicine the right course for you?
If you find yourself pursuing medicine for the money, prestige or due to pressure from your parents, we highly encourage you to consider your decision carefully. This is because medical school can be demanding, time consuming and expensive.
Here are some questions to ponder before deciding to be a doctor:
- Do you consider yourself analytical and investigative?
- Do you enjoy conducting science experiments?
- Do your friends say you’re a good listener?
- Do you have excellent grades in science and maths?
- Can you endure long hours and working night shifts?
- Are you prepared for a lifetime of study?
b) Skills required to be a doctor
Here are some key skills a good doctor should have:
- Compassion and a genuine concern for others
- Tenacity and determination
- Ability to think critically and solve problems
- Ability to work under pressure
- Strong listening and communication skills when dealing with patients
- Good judgement and strong decision-making skills
#6. Job Options with a Medical Degree
Upon graduating with a Medical Degree, most medical graduates will go on to fulfil the requirements to become a medical doctor.
If you would like to be a medical specialist, you will need to pursue the relevant postgraduate qualifications. Here are some medical specialist careers:
- Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Vascular Surgeon
If you prefer alternative career options in non-clinical fields, you can consider the following jobs:
- Hospital Administrator
- Medical Researcher
- Medical Journalist
- International Aid Worker
#7. Best Medical Universities in Malaysia
If medicine is right up your alley, then check out some of these Malaysian Medical Council recognised universities below. You can also use our university comparison tool to compare other medical schools in Malaysia.
Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Campus: Bukit Baru, Malacca
Intakes: Apr & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM349,000
Over 20 years of experience in nurturing Malaysia’s doctors and dentists
Pre-clinical training is at the world-renowned Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) India, ranked top 10 in India; clinical training is in Malacca
Exposure to South Asia’s largest pathology museum with over 3,000 specimens
Fully accredited and recognised by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)
View other colleges
Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery (MBBS)
Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM395,160
Early clinical exposure through outreach field trips to urban and rural communities
Faculty consists of a mix of local and international medical specialists
Taylor’s Clinical Elective Module allows you to experience hands-on patient care at hospitals in different countries
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Campus: Kota Damansara, Selangor
Intakes: Apr & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM344,850
Fully accredited by MQA and the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)
Fully equipped laboratories including an anatomy museum and dissection hall with real cadaveric specimens for practical classes
Early clinical exposure via introduction of clinical methodologies from Year 1 and formal clinical training from Year 3
Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Campus: Kuala Lumpur & Terengganu
Estimated Fees: RM273,250
Pre-clinical training is in Kuala Lumpur; clinical training is at UCSI’s clinical school in Terengganu
Early clinical exposure via hospital visits in Year 2 of the programme
Computer-assisted learning which includes a multi-purpose laboratory equipped with 3D cyber anatomy software for anatomy dissection sessions
RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus
Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery (MBChB (Hons))
Campus: Penang & Ireland
Estimated Fees: RM614,490
Graduate with an Irish medical degree from the National University of Ireland
Pre-clinical training is in Dublin, Ireland at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) or University College Dublin (UCD); clinical training is in Penang
High quality clinical training as RUMC students are the only medical students undertaking clinical training at the Penang Hospital and Seberang Jaya Hospital
#8. More Resources About Medicine
Want to learn more about studying medicine and being a doctor in Malaysia? Here are some useful articles that you may like:
- [QUIZ] Is Medicine a Good Fit for You?
- Doctors Reveal: 5 Pieces of Life Advice to Aspiring Doctors
- Doctors Reveal: 5 Life-Changing Questions to Ask Before Studying Medicine
- Medical Students Reveal the Dark Side of Medical School
- 5 Lies about Being a Doctor That No One Warns You About
- Doctors Reveal: The Worst Part of Being a Doctor
- Common Medical School Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer
- 10 Celebrities Who Went to Medical School [Infographic]