My two cents on the Physiotherapy Profession
Being trained both locally (MAL) and overseas (UK), I see the difference between the physiotherapist/ hospitals in MAL and in UK. Our syllabus are quite similar; classroom based learning, practical classes, written exams, assignments, OSCEs and clinical placements (1000 hours) but MAL lacks good criterion and entry requirements .
Entry requirements is implemented to recruit students of good calibre. A good grade for any one sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) is a necessary prerequisite to physiotherapy (PT) school because it is a measure to confirm your capabilities. Sadly, the common entry requirements for a diploma in PT in MAL is 5 C’s (SPM) including a science subject and the entry requirement for a bachelor’s isn’t that good either. Some might say that grade's not everything but it is part of the recruitment process. You have to prove yourself to the institution that you have what it takes to become a Physiotherapist so the least you could offer is to show you have decent grades. A personal statement and an interview to enter PT school would be a great addition to screen potential PT students.
Criterion is important to grade students and it helps to maintain quality and standard. It also provides markers with a reference for fairness and consistency. On top of that, it would enable students to have a point of reference when preparing for their exams or assignments. The criterion in MAL is almost non-existent or it is poorly complied to. Our lecturers or clinical educators are not trained well or they have received minimum training on grading students. In my experience, you will achieve a good grade as long as you did all the work, have good manners, have good relationship with the team during clinical placements. Grades given were often subjective as there was no need to adhere to the criterion.
Our system is not good enough to test and to bring the best out of all our students. There is no regulations in starting a PT school and apart from the Malaysian Qualification Agency, there is no other body to monitor the quality of PT schools. Our Malaysian Physiotherapy Association has been there for 50 years it seems but what have they done to for our profession?
I think I have mentioned enough on the issues regarding PT. Hopefully, I will be able to come up with some ideas to counter the issues in the coming weeks. Cheers.