Thursday September 20, 2012
Nor Salita is lone female nuclear medicine expert in Asia
GEORGE TOWN: Dr Nor Salita Ali is believed to be the first female expert in nuclear medicine in Asia following her graduation from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
The 42-year-old mother of one was the sole female in the university's pioneer batch of students who pursued the Nuclear Medicine post-graduate programme.
She is, however, not letting the acknowledgement distract her from her main aim.
“Since getting into the field in 2001 as a medical officer at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur Nuclear Medicine Department, my main aim has been to cure patients' illness,” said Dr Nor Salita, who also holds a bachelor's degree in medicine from Universiti Malaya.
She added that she was drawn to study nuclear medicine because it involved clinical as well as diagnostic work when dealing with patients.
Dr Nor Salita, who hails from Changlun, Kedah, was among five students who graduated with a Masters of Medicine in Nuclear Medicine from USM yesterday.
Her coursemate Dr Law Chiong Soon said it is vital that more local medical practitioners take up nuclear medicine due to the increasing number of cancer patients.
“The advantage of nuclear medicine is that it has more anatomical information, and provides better results - between 5% and 20% more precise - compared to other techniques,” said the 38-year-old, who also holds a bachelor's degree in medicine from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
USM's Advanced Medical and Dental Institute acting director Prof Dr Ibrahim Lutfi Shuaib said the institute was committed towards producing more graduates in the field of nuclear science.
He added that USM was the first university in Asia to offer the programme and hoped the graduates would be able to meet the demand.
“Right now, the ratio of nuclear medicine practitioners to patients is only at 1:300,000, whereas the ideal ratio is 1:100,000,” said Dr Ibrahim at a press conference after the first session of USM's 46th convocation ceremony yesterday.