Students' Take: Get to know LKCMedicine’s House System!

By Kaylyn Lim, Executive, Communications and Outreach

Aside from studying and clinical practice, one other important aspect in the bustling life of a LKCMedicine student is the School's House System.

The LKCMedicine House System was created with the aim of giving students maximum opportunities to excel in the MBBS programme. The system allocates personal tutors, who act as role models and advisors, providing guidance and mentorship to individual students. Students discuss their wellbeing and academic progress with their House Tutors.

Another equally important role of the House System is to ensure students have had a platform to build meaningful relationships with students of the same house, year by year as they progress in the MBBS programme.  

Last year, the 2020 Freshman Orientation Programme Committee also initiated a "Counsellor-Counselee" system, where each freshman is paired with a senior House Family member, to further strengthen junior-senior and inter-batch relationships.

The five houses of LKCMedicine are named after historical figures who have impacted the history and profession of Medicine – Marie Curie, Alexander Fleming, Lim Boon Keng, William Osler and Wu Lien-Teh.

Read more about the houses below!

Marie Curie House

House colour: Yellow

House Mascot: Wolf

This house was named after Polish-French Physicist and Chemist Marie Curie, a pioneer in research on radioactivity and the use of radium for medical diagnostics. She was the first person honoured with two Nobel prizes in Physics in 1903, and Chemistry in 1911.

Disregarding social norms against female education, her hunger for excellence led to her appointment as the first female Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences in Sorbonne. She personally drove x-ray equipped ambulances to the front lines of war, ensured her France-raised children knew their native language and have seen Poland, and named one of her discovered elements, Polonium, after her native country.

As such, the wolf is most fitting as the mascot of the Marie Curie house - pious towards their pack, gracing every challenge. In remembrance of her great contribution to radioactivity, the main colour of the Marie Curie house is yellow.

Alexander Fleming House

House Colour: Green

House Mascot: Otter

Sir Alexander Fleming, a Scottish physician trained at LKCMedicine’s parent university, Imperial College London, is best known for discovering penicillin in 1928, which was the pivot for the antibiotic age of his time. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 for his discovery.

The vision behind the colour and mascot for the house was based on Fleming's curious and humble nature. While he has attained various honorary degrees, medals and more, Fleming remained modest and did not patent penicillin, as he hoped the product would be developed as a cheap and effective drug.

Green, associated with balance, life, and growth, resembles Fleming's incredible achievements. Although the otter is curious, resourceful, and adaptable, it is also associated with joy, playfulness, and sociability. In retrospect, the House aspires to create an environment with the same values that supports students away from the academic rigours of the School.

Lim Boon Keng House

House Colour: Blue

House Mascot: Horse

Known for his servant leadership, Lim Boon Keng pioneered change through social and educational reforms in the early 1900s, empowering Straits Chinese women through education.

Similarly, the horse is associated with humility, loyalty, and industriousness, while sensitive and knowing. By appointing the horse as the mascot, students of this House hold the vision of emerging gracefully from adversity with composure, ever-ready to forge ahead, while gentle and wise in caring for patients.

The colour blue is linked with a calm assurance of inner fortitude coupled with intelligence and strength, tying into how students of the house seek resilience through inner strength. 

William Osler House

House Colour: Burgundy

House Mascot: Deer

William Osler was known to be a firm believer in having a balance between books and mankind. He recognised the importance behind balancing gaining knowledge, with student life and social circles beyond studies.

Osler always stressed upon keeping up to date in terms of knowledge and way of thinking. In the same way, the vision of the House is to exceed in and out of the classroom, while providing the family of support needed throughout the rigorous course of medical education.

The qualities of the deer resemble the qualities of Osler – the deer embodies the magnificence of the stag and the gentleness of the doe. Unlike other horned creatures, most species of deer shed their antlers, signifying the need to keep up with the times. The colour burgundy corresponds to what the House believes in – controlled power, determined ambition and dignity.

Wu Lien-Teh

House House Colour: Black

House Mascot: Phoenix

The house animal of phoenix represents the element of fire, tying into the belief of Wu Lien-Teh in using cremation to stop the spread of plagues. The phoenix is also represented by eternal flame – his fight against plagues is a testament to his never-dampening resolve and strength of will, which lives on to this day in all healthcare professionals.

As the phoenix always rises from ashes during its rebirth, the students of this House also hold the belief to always grow in adversity and stand up stronger from every setback.

Black is also known to represent ash, which relates back to both the modus operandi of Wu Lien Teh – the cremation of bodies of people who have passed on from the plague – and ashes, where a phoenix undergoes rebirth.