Advice for Housemen-to-be (Medical graduates)

3:51 AM

After FIVE to SEVEN years of studying, you have finally graduated. 

You are eager to put all the knowledge and skills you have gathered to good use.
You have been told that studying medicine will GUARANTEE you a job after graduation.

But here you are, after EIGHT long months, without a job.

What CAN you do?


Take the time to ask yourself: 

"Why am I doing this?"
"Is this what I want to be? A doctor?"

Take this long break to ask yourself these questions. It may be a blessing in disguise. Only proceed if you are 100% CERTAIN that you truly, madly, deeply want to become a DOCTOR. You would want to stand with it on the highest mountain, want to bathe with it in the sea and live like this forever until the sky falls down on you. 

You will not only have to practice all your knowledge, but you will have to continue acquiring knowledge as well. Once you are on the job, you will begin to realize how small and inadequate your knowledge is compared to the whole medical field.

Once you start working, everything will pass by so fast leaving you with no time to reflect on your life and what you want to achieve in life. Whatever it is, make sure that the path you choose is of your own; not by your parents or your relatives.



Everyone wants to work in the city. There's good infrastructure, there's all sorts of events to go to. You can have good food and go to the movies to let off some steam. Family members are nearby and you can go back home to your bantal busuk all the time.

With the eHousemen system in place, you CAN determine where you want to be posted. I am sure most graduates requested for placements in large cities throughout the Peninsula. This MAYBE the reason why the waiting list for placement can take many months. I don't have the data, thus the big MAYBE. But I have heard people say that you CAN get faster placements if you apply for a post in hospitals in Sabah and Sarawak. It can be as fast as TWO MONTHS.

So, one way to get to work faster is by applying for hospitals that are located in small districts (thus, tak mengahabiskan beras kat rumah tu!).

Hospital Taiping (from Jhaz Kitaro)


Medical knowledge, if not practiced will just fade with time. Take the initiative to go to a hospital nearby and ask any Medical Officer or Specialist politely whether you can tag with them in the ward. If you have any seniors from your alma mater, follow them on their rounds. See cases with them. Try and attend the houseman teaching in pass overs. You can learn a lot from all this. It may be helpful once you get into the service later. Take points from the seniors;

1. How to manage time properly.
2. How to prioritize ward work and manage patients.
3. How to create a 'Good HO' impression when presenting cases to the specialist.
4. How to refer cases to other departments.


Take hold of the latest Clinical Practice Guidelines. Read on the latest management so that you can perform exceptionally well during housemanship. Try and look up the website of our Director General of Health for the latest updates on health matters in Malaysia. He has proven to be very tech savvy and very responsive to the latest issues.


Join any community programs that are focuses on the health of the community. Attend and become committee members to health talks organized by NGOs. This will help polish your skills in social interaction.

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  1. Dear Doctor MOFrust,
    Thank you so much for posting this! I've been feeling quite down with the idea of being unemployed for at least 8 months, looking at what is happening to my fellow colleagues back at home after graduation.

    Yours suggestions do give me a bit sense of relief, thank you.

    Just one quick question really, how difficult is it to do specialty training in malaysia? I would like to do anaesthesia, and would like to apply for anaesthesia training after housemanship. But as a jpa scholar, I would be tied up by the 10 year contract of service. Does specialty trainning a part of the 10 years of service as well?

    I would really appreciate it if you could let me know about this, or signpost me to the right persons.

    Thank you!

    - Final year medical student -

    1. In anaesthesia specialist training nowadays, those interested need to have some anaesthesia experience post HO. Then you sit through a screening anaes exam.. then if you get good marks, you may apply for the local masters program. Shortlisted candidates will sit through another screening exam out of whom only top 116 (this year) candidates will be approved. On top of that you get marks for being in the district or East Malaysia. That is roughly it. On top of that you need to be enthusiastic, conscientious and diligent..must also study a lot! Best of luck!

    2. Dear Ms Murniati,

      Thank you for taking your time to reply! When you said "some anaesthesia experince", does that mean I have to apply to do anaesthesia while working as a medical officer?

      I am doing elective in anaesthesia at the moment as a medical student, do you think it worths keeping some case logs on my portfolio, just to show that I do have some experiences in anaesthesia way before graduation?

      I apologise if I'm asking too much questions here, but it would be really helpful for me to understand how things work in Malaysia.

      Thanks again!


    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Thanx for the clarification Murniati :) let's help out our juniors. Don't become another MOfrust ye

  2. assalammualaikum
    Actually nadiah.. I'm gonna tell u something about th common pathway that most of he doctors will have to go thru..

    After 2years of housemenship (u might get into anesth posting then as well) you need to be in the district for a year at least.. This will include both semenanjung or sabah serawak..
    After a year outside the district u r eligible to request back to the hospital and request back to anesth (provided ade place kat anesth masa tu.. If not u need to go to other department and request back to anesth later)
    Then after u back from all those things and walk into your anesth department as an MO - then only your "some anesth experience" counts.. Which at least u need a year (at least) to seat for the exams.. Mostly who did get thru have 2 or more years of experience.

    Well.. That is how we all did it anyway.. I know now you must be very enthuastic of being in the master program.. It is really good hearing that. There is more of medicine than completing your master, learning the basics n strengthen them, learning to cry with patients, to decide which need to stay n which need to let go, new friends and losing some, community works.. etc etc.

    Go for your specialities.. No doubt about it.. But dun rush.. It will burn you down. Have fun and climb the ladder.. We will see at the top.

    1. Waalaikumsalam.

      Dear Dr tokwanz, ( I sound awkward and I know that, but I can't think of a better way to call you unfortunately.. Hope you don't mind!)
      Thanks for the explanations! Honestly, I find myself kind of clueless of what to do after housemanship; no one seem bothered enough to let us future doctors know about it from early on, like a top secret we have to find out ourselves! Hence, I am glad that you took your time to explain this to me, thank you so much!

      I will do my best, I will preservere inshaallah. Make dua for me and my colleagues, please.. I'll see you at the top! ;)

    2. Dengar kata Tokwanz ni. Otai. Glad that all these seniors can help. You can PM Me via my Facebook page as well.
      Don't be scared of asking. Consider doctors in the medical fraternity as one big family :)

    3. Dear MO Frust,

      Yeah, will listen to these wonderful seniors' advice, as I am still a no one but a humble graduating medical student ;)

      Thank you for your offer! Will pm you on fb a lot for helps in the future okay, hope you dont mind.

      I wonder, if that 8 months waiting is sort of a compulsory thing to do? When I read your article the first time, my understanding was that we can reduce it down to 2 months if we choose suburbs like sabah and sarawak for placement. When I read it again today, I process it differently somehow... Am I wrong?


    4. No. It's just based on what I read. I can't confirm that part as I am unable to access ehousemen. Maybe your immediate seniors may have the answer

    5. No. It's just based on what I read. I can't confirm that part as I am unable to access ehousemen. Maybe your immediate seniors may have the answer

  3. macam mana kalau fresh grad skip HO buat research in medical science. lagi mantop. tak ada yang berminat ka? kalau kat denmark ni kawan kawan phd diorang start master dua taun, phd tiga tahun baru diorang prektis.

    cool gila kawan aku sorang ni, decided buat bioinformatics after grad medicine. sistem macam ni best jugak sebab lahirkan doktor yang boleh wat research.

    dulu aku grad biotech, tapi gatal sangat nak buat master in disease diagnostics. perit jugak nak kena study immuno dan microbes (Tuberculosis) untuk design kits. memang payah sebab tak ada foundation.

    rasanya kalau yang stong foundation, amik peluang buat research in medical sciences lagi power.

    sekadar pendapat.

    1. It's possible I guess, and more grads should be aware of this option.
      Tapi ramai yang akan put off sebab kalau tak buat HO, tak boleh dapat practicing licence.

      Denmark.....tunggu Aku datang

    2. It's possible I guess, and more grads should be aware of this option.
      Tapi ramai yang akan put off sebab kalau tak buat HO, tak boleh dapat practicing licence.

      Denmark.....tunggu Aku datang

    3. Dear Mr Fauzan,

      All I know is that if you are a UK medical graduate, you can apply for academic foundation track instead of the usual housemanship (it's called the foundation programme in the uk by the way).

      Those who are doing academic track do more research than practising medicine.

      As for me, I prefer to practice but I like to carry out projects like clinical audits and trials as well.

  4. Thank you for this piece of advice. It was really helpful.

    apartments at Nungambakkam

  5. MO Frust thank you for such an enlightening blog. I hope you could help me with my doubts..

    -if we choose a "nearby" or city-central hospital for our housemanship, will we end up having to choose a distant location for our MO-ship?

    - how long is MO-ship(average)?

    - is this statement accurate ->> " For HO, just choose anywhere also can. Because the training is general nationwide. For MO, important you choose a hospital that can give u lots of opportunities/chances for practicals, such as the far away places".<<-

    1. Hi, I'll try an answer based on my experience & what I know. But you may need to get clarification from other sources.
      1. Seems to be the case with HOs in Klang Valley. Not sure with the current trend though
      2. MOship is as long as you want it be. After you complete the compulsory service you can be a specialist, an administrator, serve as medicolegal consultant & so on. I encourage you to explore all the medical fields available. Being a doctor is more than just being a surgeon, gynaecologist etc.
      3. My opinion is this: what kind of doctor & how confident you are as a doctor will depend greatly on where you get your training. Get a place where there aren't many HO. You can get better hands on training

  6. DearDr.
    My daughter just decided to quit HO after finishing the first postings. I tried my best as ayah to pursuade her to continue, but by now she almost already make up her decision to quit. By the way her husband is also undergoing HO now at the same hospital and at second posting. My question to you is: what is the options for her... if one fine day she think she wants to continue her HO.. what she should do.
    2. Can she opt to continue master's program like dietician or pharmacology with her graduating MBBCh from the university in Egypt.

    Thank you.

  7. Dear MOFrust,
    I am thinking of where to apply for housemanship. I was wondering, if I did it in KL, would I be able to be posted back to KL as an MO? Or would I have to go somewhere else for awhile, but I can request to be posted back to KL after that? Thanks!

  8. Hello everyone, anyone has any comment on doing HO in kuching gh?

  9. Hi there. I have a questions. What would happen if I quit after completing my Housemanship. I have successfully obtained my MMC registration. Right now I have place I need to be that contradict with my current position so I will have to quit but I wanted to know will I be able to apply back into the system later when I am ready to work back as a doctor. It seems tricky and nobody have really given me a proper answer yet. thanks


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