By Sarah Zulkifli, Science Writer, Communications & Outreach
On a cool breezy evening of 26 July, LKCMedicine’s Novena campus buzzed with chatter and laughter as alumni across five cohorts gathered for a very special event hosted by Guest-of-Honour Chairman of LKCMedicine Governing Board Mr Lim Chuan Poh and Dean Professor Joseph Sung. The School welcomed over 200 alumni, LKCMedicine Governing Board, leadership, faculty, staff, house tutors, partners and donors. Each alumnus also had the opportunity to bring along a guest to partake in the festivities.
The event celebrated our most recent graduates – the Class of 2022 – who completed their MBBS programme amid the pandemic. It marked the first-ever major event for LKCMedicine alumni since 2020. For the alumni, it was made even more meaningful as it was held on campus for the first time, a place that holds many special memories for them throughout the five years of their medical studies. The attendees include graduates from other cohorts, all the way from the Class of 2018!
Performance by Year 4 LKCMedicine student Ms Angela Tham
After an opening acoustic guitar performance by Year 4 LKCMedicine student Ms Angela Tham, Chairman Mr Lim gave a warm welcome to the alumni and guests.
Mr Lim said, “Tonight, we welcome both our graduating class of 2022 and 2021 as alumni to LKCMedicine. When we started LKCMedicine with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Imperial College and NTU in 2010, it was very clear to us that we are not just starting another medical school to produce more doctors.
“Rather, it was an opportunity to add richness, diversity and further excellence to the medical education pathways available in Singapore to give choice to our students.
And LKCMedicine, from day one, had sought to do this in a cooperative way with the other medical schools to strengthen the healthcare system and to bring benefits to Singaporeans.”
Guest-of-Honour Chairman of LKCMedicine Governing Board Mr Lim Chuan Poh and LKCMedicine Dean Distinguished University Professor Joseph Sung giving their speeches
LKCMedicine Dean Distinguished University Professor Joseph Sung, who is also NTU Senior Vice-President (Health & Life Sciences), was delighted to host the alumni and guests in person.
Prof Sung said, “You our graduates are our badge of honour. Your performance is a measure of our success and indeed we have been well-recognised for our MBBS programme. Last year, we became the first medical school in Singapore and the fourth in Asia to receive the internationally acclaimed ASPIRE award, in recognition of our innovation and excellence in MBBS curriculum development. We also received a merit award for student engagement. In just 10 years, we are ranked among the top 100 medical schools in the world.”
This was followed by the presentation of the Classes of 2021 and 2022 medal and prize winners.
The first award, Academy of Medicine, Singapore Medal was presented by Professor Teo Eng Kiong, Master of Academy of Medicine Singapore.
The Academy of Medicine, Singapore Medal recognises a student from the graduating cohort who possesses qualities of leadership, passion and compassion, and demonstrates independence, initiative and resilience.
Dr Wang Kaiying and Dr Joshua Tan Wu Xian, winners of 2022 and 2021 respectively, went on stage to receive their awards. The audience cheered for the students who displayed exemplary character and had made significant contributions to the student and social communities. They also served as a role model for their peers.
The next award, College of Family Physicians Singapore Prize in Family Medicine, was presented by Associate Professor Tan Tze Lee, President of College of Family Physicians Singapore.
This award recognises an outstanding essay on a topic around family medicine which demonstrates critique of scientific evidence and personal reflection.
The atmosphere was roaring with applause as the emcee announced the winners: Dr Cheong Nian Kai, Dr Fong En Lei, Samuel and Dr Aaron Goh Qi Yang.
The last award, College of Physicians Prize in Internal Medicine was presented by Professor David Lye, the President of College Physicians Singapore.
The winners of this award were Dr Sam Zhi Hao, Ryan and Dr Kong Yun-Zhen Clara for having the most outstanding performance in Internal Medicine.
The School is proud of the award winners who overcame the challenges faced during COVID-19 to perform exceptionally in their studies.
When asked about how he felt about the event and receiving an award, Dr Sam from the Class of 2022 said, “It’s very nice to be back, seeing all my friends and seniors. Hope everyone enjoyed their evening with food and catching up with peers. Hope we get to meet up more in the future.”
Dr Tan from the Class of 2021 added, “I’m glad to be back and see everyone gather amid hectic work schedules especially during COVID-19 times. To receive the prize in person is something I have been looking forward to.”
Presenters with award winners
Next, President of LKCMedicine Alumni Association, Dr Ken Chua gave his closing remarks.
He said, “As president of LKCMedicine Alumni association, I feel very strongly about giving back… and I hope that all of us will continue to come together – just as our seniors did for us.”
President of LKCMedicine Alumni Association Dr Ken Chua giving his closing remarks
As a fitting end to the special celebration, they were treated to two dance performances by Year 1 and Year 2 LKCMedicine students. The first performance was an energetic hip-hop dance item followed by a mesmerising contemporary dance item.
Dance performance by Year 1 and Year 2 LKCMedicine students
To capture the momentous occasion, the Class of 2022 was invited to gather for photo-taking together with LKCMedicine Assistant Deans, the Core Leadership Group, Governing Board Members, Chairman, and other alumni.
The alumni and guests enjoyed a wide selection of canapes and delicious dinner as they mingled and reminisced on fond memories. They also walked away with a special goodie bag that was curated just for them.
Year 4 LKCMedicine student Ms Tham who played the guitar that evening said, “I am very happy to perform for my seniors. The songs I performed brought us memories as we sang them together in our [annual student talent event] Peanut Butter & Jam right before COVID-19 hit.”
It was indeed a special homecoming for the alumni, with warm memories formed over good food and lively conversations, and deepening of bonds formed during medical school.