We are so proud of Alumni Jeevinesh Naidu from the Class of 1998, who was the recipient of the Asia Pacific Association for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy/Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation (APAGE-JGHF) Clinician Scientist Fellowship Grant 2018.
After GIS, Jeevinesh went to Taylors College for A Levels, before attending before the International Medical University (Malaysia) and University of Liverpool (UK) to study Medicine, graduating in 2005.
Congratulations, Dr Naidu. Tell us more about this award!
The APAGE/JGHF Clinician Scientist Fellowship Grant is issued every year to aid an applicant from Asia in pursuing clinical work and research at any academic centre worldwide. Medical practice internationally has become increasingly competitive over the last decade, with a bottleneck at the consultant level where jobs are scarce.
Just like how most individuals pursue an MBA to give them a competitive advantage in the business world, an MD or PhD is now a minimum entry requirement for a consultant medical job in certain countries. However, the deterrent in Asia is that the cost of funding
this is extremely high – especially for international postgraduate students who have already been working for many years and have family and financial commitments.
In the past, recipients of this award have been mainly from India and China. Therefore, being the first Malaysian to receive this award is extremely humbling. I am extremely grateful to the Associate Professor Nam Quoc Nguyen and the incredible Gastroenterology Team at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for this opportunity.
Can you tell us about your postgraduate studies and career?
I worked in the UK for 4 years, finishing Core Medical Training (CMT) and becoming a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of the UK (MRCP) before returning to Malaysia. While working at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, I completed subspecialty training in Gastroenterology and obtained registration with the Malaysian National Specialist Register. Presently, I am a Fellow in Interventional Endoscopy and working on a PhD on Pancreatic Cancer at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and University of Adelaide respectively.
Share with us some of your fond GIS memories.
Attending GIS was a wonderful experience where friendships were forged and maintained – despite most of us coming from different parts of the globe! Vivid memories from the GIS days include playing basketball after school and getting drenched in sweat, the excitement when purchasing Mufti Day Coupons, the Annual Eisteddfod – for which I played a piano piece and ended up motivating Cheong Jin Yu to learn the piano! Interestingly, I gave up many years later at Grade 6 and he eventually finished Grade 8, in his usual manner of outdoing everybody around him.
If there anyone you want to thank at GIS?
Definitely! I’d love to thank my close friends from GIS who have been in touch through thick and thin: Keeran Charles Sittampalam, Thong Mei Chuen, Roy Ng, Cheong Jin Yu, Jin Min Song. Also, special thanks must go to my teachers from GIS who helped mould me – Mrs Cheah (my accounting teacher who always believed in me), Ms Nair (whom I frustrated all too often) and Mr Fulton (for making science lessons funny).
Do you have any career advice for current GIS students?
Working life after graduation is more arbitrary than it seems – there are often opportunities that tend to arise spontaneously and difficulties that need to be overcome. While it is important to strive for expertise in whatever you choose to do, the element of chance is too often overlooked!
Being a student of GIS placed me in a great position to be able to contend for professional opportunities and be of service to the workforce. Although GIS taught me critical thinking and how to question everything, my faith and family are the most important things that have supported me through adversity. Nurture wisdom along with intelligence; it will help you decide when you should wait your turn, and when to seize the moment.