Cheung Yuk Man at Division of Haematology, Medical Oncology & Haemopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital
Cheung Yuk Man
Concentration of Study
Health Economics Policy and Management (HEPM)
MPH Degree Mode and Graduation Year
Division of Haematology, Medical Oncology & Haemopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, Pok Fu Lam
1. Describe your practicum.
My practicum spanned eight months at the Haemopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) Centre under the Division of Haematology, Medical Oncology & Haemopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Department of Medicine of Queen Mary Hospital (QMH). It was centred around quality management in the HSCT Centre. For the practicum, I aimed to evaluate the HSCT programme with respect to international quality standards, and to set up quality indicators for the HSCT service.
2. Why did you choose your practicum organization/ practicum project?
As I am working full-time in a public hospital, I opted to undertake my practicum at my workplace through the “Practicum Equivalence Program”. Considering the requirement of the “Practicum Equivalence” and my concentration “Health Economics, Policy and Management (HEPM)”, I decided to apply what I have learnt in the MPH Programme to my daily work. On one hand, I could put my acquired knowledge and skills in public health and HEPM into practice. On the other hand, I hoped my deliverables could contribute to the betterment of my institution.
3. What was the most rewarding part of your practicum?
The most rewarding part of my practicum was really the process. The practicum was a challenging endeavor, demanding a complex skill set ranging from clinical medicine background, public health knowledge, thorough understanding of the health care system, effective communication, to statistical, analytical and various problem-solving skills. Furthermore, all tasks were to be accomplished within a tight time frame. The whole process was arduous and intensive, but at the same time stimulating and fulfilling. Prior to enrolment of the MPH programme, I practically hadn’t heard of the term “quality management system”. I was not aware of any international standards for HSCT services, either. Through the practicum, I learnt about quality management from scratch, and overcame one obstacle after another to produce the deliverables. I am glad to witness my personal growth, with the process being testimony to my ability, patience and perseverance.
4. What skills did you gain as a result of your practicum?
As a result of my practicum, I managed to practise and strengthen my skills of effective communication, strategy development, effective leadership, negotiation, and conflict management. My critical and analytical skills were nurtured through the tasks. I also got to appreciate the value and significance of quality management, which is increasingly important in health care organizations and relevant to clinical medicine.
5. How can you see your practicum helping with your future career in public health?
Obviously, my practicum provides me with great opportunities to strengthen my public health knowledge and apply various skills acquired through the MPH programme. What I treasure most is that it urges me to appreciate and appraise my daily work, i.e. clinical services, from a different perspective that is unfamiliar to many clinicians but highly complementary to our service provision. Adding “quality management” to my mindset transforms how I view delivery of clinical services, especially in public health system. My practicum equips me with the skills, experience, and more importantly, the vision, to further my clinical practice and career development.
6. Do you have any advice for future practicum students?
Planning and time management are crucial. For students who are in full time work like me, I encourage you to take the practicum as an opportunity to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. Do try to engage yourself in an unfamiliar aspect of your field of practice. Upon completion of the practicum, you would then find yourself understand your work and organisation better from a multi-dimensional perspective, which would in turn enable you to provide better health care to patients.