Studying Infectious Diseases online - Aye Thar's story

Aye Thar Aye, from Myanmar and living in the UK, is studying Infectious Diseases by distance learning with LSHTM. In this interview, Aye Thar tells us about her experience of the programme so far.
Aye Thar Aye

Hi Aye Thar, please could you start by telling us about your professional background?

Yes, I have been working as a doctor for 10 years in four different countries: Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore – and now in the UK.

Why did you choose to study Infectious Diseases?

After a decade of spending my life in both developing and developed countries, I have realised that microbiota is unique. The human body is a world for these other little living creatures, thereby interlinking the ecological systems. Disease arises even though the behaviour will be more or less different. This unique picture of infectious diseases attracted me to dive in more; more lives could be saved if the relationships between human and disease-causing microorganisms are interrupted.

Why did you choose to study via distance learning at LSHTM?

There is no doubt that everyone will say ‘Wow…’ when I graduate from LSHTM. I believe I can hold my head high once I pass this valuable programme! I chose distance learning because the study hours are quite flexible and it provides me with all I need in one click – both in terms of the MSc Infectious Diseases programme, and medical literature searches.

The distance learning programme saves me time, money and teaches me all I need to know about infectious diseases in a relaxed way.

What is the best thing about the programme?

Distance learning students can access the LSHTM online library at any time. I think it is one of the best facilities for students. The study materials provided and the online video teaching sessions make me feel as if I were in a lecture theatre. I can study at any time; at home, in a relaxed way, and at my own pace. If I don’t understand the topic, then I just write in the discussion forum and either a tutor or lecturer will reply with a clear explanation within a week. I don’t see any difference between on-campus and distance learning. The distance learning programme saves me time, money and teaches me all I need to know about infectious diseases in a relaxed way. Persistence and time management are essential requirements if you choose a distance learning programme. If you manage this, you can enjoy your life with less stress. While completing the distance learning programme, I am still working in the hospital through sleepless on-call nights!

How will this programme help your career?

I expect to become a good researcher and physician with a special interest in infectious diseases in Myanmar. After the programme, I will have developed my competencies, required knowledge and skills in infectious diseases. The knowledge I am gaining from LSHTM will give me the specialist training I need to boost my clinical skills.