News: Offering prospective students a taste of medical education with a difference

This year's annual High Tea on Saturday, 18 May, sees LKCMedicine Dean and President's Chair in Medicine Professor James Best hosting some 450 prospective students and parents to a day filled with student-led tours of the School's purpose-built, award-winning teaching facilities on its Novena Campus. 

Each tour included an immersion into a mini Team-Based Learning session at the Learning Studio; clinical skill demonstrations in the Practical Skills Lab and Simulation Ward; anatomy teaching showcase of the Anatomage table, plastinated and 3D-printed specimens in the Anatomy Learning Centre; and the spectacular views of the Singapore skyline from the Medical Library on the 20th floor. 

At every stop, prospective students and their parents could interact with LKCMedicine students at close quarters to get first-hand accounts of student life at the School.

The formal programme was held at the Ong Tiong Tat & Irene Tan Liang Kheng Auditorium on level 4, where Prof Best welcomed the roomful of prospective students and parents, by giving his heartfelt congratulations on having qualified for medical school.

Prof Best said, "Congratulations on being great students who have the right stuff to be good doctors. I'll like to cut to the chase here about what LKCMedicine offers that doesn't exist elsewhere in Singapore. We are a young, energetic, innovative medical school, training students for the medicine of the future. We are benchmarked internationally with one of the best medical schools in the world, Imperial College London. We offer a patient-centred curriculum which emphasises ethics and people skills."

Prof Best's welcome address was followed by that of Professor Philip Choo, Group CEO of the National Healthcare Group. 

Prof Choo gave a clear view of Singapore's healthcare future and the role that LKCMedicine graduates will be filling. 

He said, "We take our role as LKCMedicine's primary clinical partner seriously. We have to teach medicine in the place where healing takes place. The mission from the beginning is to produce doctors who can run from day one. We want doctors to have the ability to work in different places, in different settings. We want doctors who are trusted. All have been proven true with the first two batches from LKCMedicine."

Giving a bigger picture of LKCMedicine's place in the wider NTU setting is NTU Vice-President for Alumni & Advancement Professor Alan Chan. Although the only School to have a dual campus, LKCMedicine students are still embraced within the caring system of NTU. 

He said, "Even as a young university, we can make a positive difference to research and education. We wanted to make a difference to Singapore and beyond, and that is the context for the new medical school. We are committed to building the best medical school possible. What we want in our graduates from LKCMedicine are doctors who care, beyond just having a high level of competence."

LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Education Professor Naomi Low-Beer took to the stage to share more about what sets the School's world-class medical education apart. 

She said, "Medicine is the most exciting journey that can bring you to many career destinations. Science practicals, exposure to research, international opportunities and the best of both worlds with the dual campuses are all good reasons to choose LKCMedicine, as well as the partnerships that it's built on, not just for medicine of today, but medicine of the future."

The prospective students and their parents were then treated to a presentation by Year 4 student Stanley Low and Year 3 student Gayatiri Raveentheran on the LKCMedicine student experience, touching on TBL, the house systems, hall life, Imperial immersion week, student-led events as well as local and overseas community outreach programmes available for students to learn more about healthcare needs in different settings. The clinical years and research opportunities were also covered.

The audience was given an overview of the Freshman Orientation Camp programme "Evalesce" by Year 1 students Jiang Xiuting and Chen Mingwei, as well as the Inter Healthcare Games, which is the unbeatable opportunity to interact with peers from dentistry and pharmacy disciplines, in order to cultivate friendships they could rely on in the future.

This was followed on by the Imperial Head of the Undergraduate School of Medicine and Vice-Dean of Education, Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, Mr Martin Lupton. 

He spoke about Imperial's joint partnership with NTU that is LKCMedicine and how the School made it possible for the teaching of medical education to also progress and evolve at the established Imperial despite its traditions. He stressed the inter-School interactions available to LKCMedicine and Imperial students, which add layers of richness to their undergraduate years.

The High Tea ended with a Q&A session chaired by Vice-Dean for Clinical Affairs Professor Pang Weng Sun with a panel comprising Prof Low-Beer, the School's Assistant Deans and Mr Lupton. The panel addressed a wide range of questions, including ones about national service disruption, length of NTU-Imperial partnership, anatomy teaching format using plastinated specimens instead of cadavers, the benchmarking of PGY1 and PGY2, and advice for parents whose children are on 36-hour house officer shifts.