News: Celebrating the Class of 2020

For LKCMedicine’s Class of 2020, graduating in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic meant they could not have an in-person Convocation ceremony just yet, so the School organised a virtual celebration instead.

A group photo of the virtual celebration

Held on 25 July, the celebration began with a warm welcome from LKCMedicine’s Governing Board

Chairman Mr Lim Chuan Poh. He congratulated the graduands on hitting this first milestone in their career as doctors, which is made more significant as it coincides with the School’s 10th anniversary.

In a special pre-recorded message, the Guest-of-Honour Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat sent his congratulations and thanked them for working tirelessly with others on the frontline, to keep us safe in a critical time of need.

Guest-of-Honour Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat spoke to the Class of 2020 in a special pre-recorded message 

DPM ended his speech with, “You may have graduated in the wake of a global pandemic, but your future is bright and full of promise. I hope you also remember the values of – humility, integrity, compassion,
continuous learning, and professionalism – that LKCMedicine has taught you. You must always remember the Physician’s Pledge that you will soon be taking, – the values that you will uphold, and your responsibility to your patients. Your journey has just begun, and I hope that you continue to learn and grow. In your hands, we entrust the health of our people. Congratulations once again.”

NTU President Professor Subra Suresh also sent his well wishes to the newly-minted doctors via a pre-recording. 

Prof Suresh congratulating the graduands via a pre-recording

This was followed by a video compilation of congratulatory messages from various members of the Imperial leadership led by Imperial President Professor Alice Gast.

Imperial’s leadership sent their congratulatory messages to the Class of 2020

LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best then introduced the Class of 2020 and the Medal and Prize winners. 

Prof Best introduced the Class of 2020

Leading the cohort was valedictorian Dr Ong Kim Yao who was also awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal for best overall performance throughout the programme of study as well as three further awards and prizes. 

Dr Ong (third) from left was the sixth Vice-President of the LKCMedSoc

Along with Dr Ong, Dr Reudi Chan was also awarded the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award, which recognises students who have graduated with distinction, displayed strong leadership qualities and contributed significantly to society. Dr Chan also received the Low Cheng Hock Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Surgery. 

Dr Chan (far left) is seen with his classmates 

The Toh Kian Chui Gold Medal for best overall performance in the final year of study went to Dr Koo Jian Hui who was also awarded the Chew Chin Hin Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Medicine.

Dr Koo at a community health screening 

Dr Lee Jie Qi was awarded the College of Family Physicians Singapore Prize in Family Medicine, and Dr Alex Tanoto Lim was awarded the Academy of Medicine Singapore Medal which recognises the graduating student who has demonstrated qualities of independence, initiative, and resilience; and possesses qualities of leadership, passion, and compassion. 

Dr Lee (second from right) is seen with his Team-Based Learning classmates 

The inaugural Singapore Medical Association Prize for Best Scholarly Project went to Dr Joelle Chong.

Dr Chong received the Scholarly Project award from LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Education) Professor Naomi Low-Beer in 2019 

A video montage of the Class of 2020 created by the LKCMedicine Students Medical Society brought back fond memories of the years the cohort spent at the School

Next, the attendees heard from the valedictorian, Dr Ong, who summed up the feelings of his classmates as they embark on the next exciting phase of their journey towards becoming the doctors that you and I want caring for us. 

Dr Ong was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal for best overall performance throughout the programme of study as well as three further awards and prizes

"Medicine is always about people - not just the patients, but also each other. The relationships are some of my best memories from medical school, and I'm sure they will continue to be some of our biggest takeaways from our medical careers. May we continue to extend the same compassion that we have for our patients to each other as we journey through the next few decades together - to dignify rather than reduce, to help instead of judge and to continue to support each other unconditionally," he added. 

A rousing performance by MedLee took this celebratory event to another high. The performance was especially significant as some of the founding members of the acapella group were from the Class of 2020. Year 4 student Wong Wei Cong followed with a recital of his thought-provoking poem 'Letter to a Young Doctor'. 

Dr Leon Tan welcomed the Class of 2020 to the LKCMedicine alumni family 

President of the LKCMedicine Alumni Association Dr Leon Tan (Class of 2018) then welcomed the Class of 2020 to the LKCMedicine alumni family, before the hour-long event ended with Imperial and NTU Provosts, Governing Board members, and LKCMedicine leadership in attendance sending their best wishes to the class.

Hear from the Class of 2020

Dr Pirateb Paramasivam Meenakshi Sundaram
Singapore General Hospital, Internal Medicine

"It is certainly an interesting time for healthcare workers, and I am glad to be able to contribute to the fight against Covid-19 in whatever way I can. For aspiring doctors who are considering applying to medical school, it is important that you reflect on your passion and life's mission to see if it is a good fit with the profession. The decision to join medicine continues for a lifetime." 

Dr Muhammad Fadzil Bin Kamarudin
Tan Tock Seng Hospital Orthopaedic Surgery

"Medical school is a five-year marathon full of ups and downs. I'm grateful to have completed the course together with my fellow batchmates whom I have gotten to know very well over the years. Although my journey at LKCMedicine has ended, I will carry the lessons, friendships, and memories to the next chapter in my medical journey and I know they will serve me well."

Dr Shafiqah Binte Shahrin
Changi General Hospital, General Medicine

"It feels surreal to finally finish medical school. As a junior doctor now, I will always remember LKCMedicine's teaching of putting patients at the centre of our exemplary care. Having people's lives in my hands is a heavy responsibility but knowing that you are playing a part in saving their lives will make it all worthwhile."

Dr Amanda Chia
Tan Tock Seng Hospital, General Surgery

"Completing the course came with mixed feelings: a strong sense relief from passing my final MBBS exams, the excitement about finally going out into the "real world", anxiety about the challenges that lie ahead, and a tinge of sadness about having to leave this School behind. I am only a few months into the job; while it can be gruelling and thankless, I think it is a rewarding job, and it is relatively easy to find purpose and meaning in the things we do."

Dr Ong Kim Yao
Tan Tock Seng Hospital, General Medicine

"At first, starting practice was daunting as it meant leaving the comfortable shelter of medical school. However, the last few months of work showed us that the hustle can be extremely meaningful as much as it is challenging. LKCMedicine has prepared me well for work, and I am excited to continue to apply what I have learnt in my medical career."