Nor Akma Binti Yunus

PhD student, Department of General Practice

PhD title: Improving primary care management of obesity in Malaysia by understanding obesity complexity in the Malaysian con

Supervisor/s: Dr Liz Sturgiss (main) and Professor Grant Russell (associate) external: Assoc. Prof Rosediani Muhamad (Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Malaysia)

Dr Nor Akma is a Family Medicine Specialist from Universiti Sains Malaysia who is currently undertaking her PhD at the Department of General Practice, Monash University. Her research focuses on understanding the perspectives of people living with obesity in Malaysia and assessing the accessibility to obesity management services in Malaysia. Her mixed-method study will inform the development of an intervention to improve obesity management in primary care in Malaysia.

Dr Nor Akma started her PhD in September 2019 and has received the Bumiputra Academic Training Scheme Scholarship from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education and Universiti Sains Malaysia. She graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia with MD in 2006 and completed a Master’s in Medicine (Family Medicine) in 2014. She served in the Malaysian Ministry of Health for nine years before joining Universiti Sains Malaysia as a medical lecturer in 2015. She has a long-standing interest in the management of chronic diseases in primary care, with a focus on obesity, exercise medicine and therapeutic lifestyle changes

Dr Nor Akma’s research topic is on obesity healthcare for adults with obesity in West Malaysia. Malaysia has the highest obesity prevalence in Southeast Asia. However, patients’ perspectives on obesity and obesity management services in West Malaysia are not well studied. My PhD project aims to seek a deeper understanding of the patient’s view of living with obesity and their experience of obesity healthcare in West Malaysia. We are also intended to explore the accessibility of obesity healthcare in West Malaysia and the perspectives of health care providers of obesity management. The findings from this project will inform the development of a primary care-delivered obesity management model that tailors to Malaysian context.