Dr Amalina Che Bakri
In 2004, Dr Amalina Che Bakri scored a victorious and record-breaking 17 1As. Fast forward to 2020, she is now a general surgeon and PhD Breast Research Fellow at the prestigious Imperial College London.
Being a full-time surgeon means her schedule fluctuates. Here’s a little peek of what a normal day looks like for Dr Amalina: 13-hour shift for 4 consecutive days including her weekends and on top of that, she commits her time to research. It’s hectic, but she’s absolutely on top of it. Her daily activities are planned six months to a year in advance, so she can find pockets of down-time.
In order to maintain optimal performance and steering clear of any burnout, the doctor recommends three yearly doses of holiday, taken at appropriate intervals.
Despite having spent half of her life half a world away from Malaysia, Dr Amalina remains up-to-date with the goings-on here. A quick scroll on her Twitter feed will prove it. Most recently, it has been filled with discussions of the gratuitous consumption of supplements.
It’s one thing when it’s unnecessary, but it’s a whole other issue when they are being sold without having completed clinical studies. With a sense of national piety, Dr Amalina rolled up her sleeves and got to work. “I need to educate Malaysians in solidarity with my Malaysian doctor colleagues.” Lack of regulation and enforcement may be key factors here, but what’s more offensive is when public figures take advantage of their audience. Coming from a position of influence, these people are responsible for their actions and what they stand up for as they are most likely to augment their audience’s perception.
Not one to shy away from confrontation, Dr Amalina has called out several public figures, both local and international for false advertising and affirming pseudoscience. Although some of the personalities believe in their so-called miracle cures, there are others who may be in it for personal gain.
“I’m aware of countless cases of people taking herbal supplements, weight loss pills, whitening pills that have been endorsed by local celebrities. Sadly some end up getting medical complications,” she said.
More recently, Netflix’s The goop Lab, a brainchild of actress Gwyneth Paltrow received scathing comments from the medical industry for promoting what is popular than what is true. Some wellness brands go as far as using fear-mongering as a marketing tactic, and this particular brand is currently said to be worth a billion dollars.
Tapping Dr Jennifer Gunter, Dr Amalina semi-jokingly said that “(they’ve) got a lot of work to do.” Dr Gunter couldn’t have phrased this better: Giving women misinformation and disinformation about their health under the guise of empowerment is not feminism; it is the patriarchy.