Integrate classroom learning with on-the-job training

No education worth its salt can exist in a bubble. Exposure to real-world challenges makes learning relevant and impactful, and all the better if students can encounter these right on the campus. 

For medical undergrad Ramanathan Periakaruppan, the Clinical Sciences Building in NTU’s Novena campus is perfectly positioned in the heart of Health City Novena, especially now that he’s in his clinical years.

“I truly feel the benefits of having NTU’s Novena campus situated in the middle of the medical industry. With the campus just a link bridge away from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, I can be at the hospital in the morning and then at the medical library in the afternoon to do some studying. When I want to take a breather, I like to use the student lounge, where I can hang out with my friends,” says the third-year student. 

He spends most of his time at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he learns from specialist doctors across different departments as they talk to and treat patients.

“One of the biggest takeaways from my clinical postings is being able to see how doctors actually treat patients with medical problems. Normally, during lessons, we perform tests on simulated patients, so it is quite different,” he says.

One valuable tip Ramanathan has picked up from the doctors he shadows is the importance of communication with patients and their families. He believes that apart from explaining an illness in an easy-to-understand manner with an appropriate tone of voice, having a good relationship with patients is key, as it is crucial that patients trust their doctors. 

This story was published in the Jan-Mar 2021 issue of HEY!.