TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called on doctors and future doctors in the country to contribute towards nation-building by serving the people.
The former prime minister who spoke on 'brain drain', said that loyalty to the country was very important "if you want to build this country".
According to Dr Mahathir, everyone who was born in this country was "helped" by the country, to be where they were today, be it a doctor or any other profession.
"So, if you think that you owe the people who helped you, then I don't think you will leave the country so easy," he said in a dialogue with International Medical University Malaysia students and staff at the university here today.
Dr Mahathir said that it was alright for a medical student to go overseas to study but upon completion, they should return and serve the country and the people.
"I don't think it (not returning to serve the nation) is compatible with a character a doctor should have," he added.
While it could not be denied that a doctor could earn more if he chose to go to a country which offered better pay, Dr Mahathir pointed out that the cost of living there, could be higher.
To a question from a student, the doctor-turned politician who helmed the country for almost 22 years, said that it was not wrong for a medical student to pay attention to political developments, but it should not be at the expense of his studies.
"(In fact)...medical education helps you to become a good politician. Doctors ask patients the history and symptoms. They have developed a very good methodology to solve problems," he noted.
He said the standard of the medical profession and the character of doctors must always be maintained.
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