Howard Tang

Howard Tang

MDRP Student (2020)

Howard is a final year medical student undertaking his MDRP at the Department of Surgery at Western Health. He completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne, and went on to start the MD at the Melbourne Medical School in 2017. He has been a student at the Western Clinical School through his clinical years. Western Health is strategically located in Victoria’s fast-developing growth corridor and the Western Clinical School has just celebrated its 10th birthday in 2019.

Over the two years of clinical placements, Howard has developed interests in surgery and geriatrics. One might think that they are on opposite ends of the specialty spectrum, but Howard has found that skills in surgery and geriatrics complement each other well. In the era of an aging population, more of our surgical patients are elderly. Howard believes that more can be done to provide better outcomes, improving the quality of life for our senior citizens.

Under the guidance of A/Prof Justin Yeung and Ms Irene Deftereos, Howard will be looking at the use of patient reported outcome measures, also known as PROMs, on elderly patients who are undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer. PROMs are standardised quality of life surveys that have been increasingly used across the globe, as patient-centred care becomes the benchmark of modern medicine.

Howard’s project involves collecting quality of life data using 4 PROM surveys. In addition to recruiting new patients, he will also be building on the long-term data that have been collected over the past two years. Howard is interested in how different patient factors, especially ones that are related to aging, might affect one’s self perceived quality of life over the course of cancer treatment.

It has been a pleasure working alongside the friendly and fantastic team at the Department of Surgery at Western Health. Students are actively encouraged to participate in research and educational activities within the department. The team is very keen to help their students achieve the best they can. Students are part of the team and are very well supported to facilitate learning and well-being. The people here have been the highlight so far, and help is never more than an email away.