MSc Medical Microbiology alumnus (1976), Dr Farida F Jamal spoke to us about studying at LSHTM and her career in academic and clinical microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Farida decided to study for MSc in Medical Microbiology at LSHTM in 1975, as the course was recognised by the Ministry of Health Malaysia as a postgraduate qualification for medical graduates specialising in microbiology. Studying at LSHTM enabled Farida to begin a career in academic and clinical microbiology. It also prepared her for the examination for the Membership of the Royal College of Pathologists, UK.
However, her time at LSHTM was not without its challenges. Farida told us “doing a research project and writing a dissertation, I had not prepared for that and learnt about it when the course had commenced. Bacterial cultures were posted to me from Malaysia by my mentor, Dr. M Jegathesan. Staff at the School and visiting lecturers from the PHLS advised and helped me to fulfill this requirement.”
During her time at LSHTM Farida formed relationships that allowed her to gain further training in clinical microbiology, providing consultation via correspondence and identification of bacteria and fungi that she sent by post. Her former classmates and teachers also acted as external examiners for her students in Malaysia and facilitated her involvement in research at national and international levels.
Farida’s greatest achievement in her career is being awarded an Emeritus Professorship by the Universiti Putra Malaysia during their 41st convocation in November 2017. This will enable her to remain professionally and academically active after retirement from full time service. She hopes to continue with her research, learning and teaching as long as possible.
She advises current LSHTM students to “make the best of this opportunity to establish international links and forge lasting friendships.”
Feature image courtesy of Dr Farida F Jamal.