By Kimberley Wang, Manager, Media and Publications, Communications and Outreach
For the first time in two years, LKCMedicine hosted in person close to 400 prospective students who have been offered a place at the School and their parents at an engagement event on 14 May. Titled #whylkcmedicine2022, they met with the LKCMedicine Deanery, faculty, staff, and students, and were given hands-on tours of the School’s state-of-the-art, award-winning learning spaces at its Novena Campus. After being held virtually for two years, there was much anticipation and excitement in the air as the attendees stepped into the School’s Clinical Sciences Building.
Held over two sessions, the interactive tours first offered the incoming students and their parents a taste of Team-Based Learning (TBL), the School’s main classroom pedagogy, at the custom-built Learning Studio. They also participated in observations at the Practical Skills Lab, viewed clinical communication demonstrations including history taking with simulated patients, and experienced anatomy teaching which showcased the Anatomage table, together with plastinated and potted specimens in the Anatomy Learning Centre. Throughout the tours, they also had the opportunity to interact with LKCMedicine students and hear first-hand accounts of student life at the School.
At the rooftop Medical Library, which offers a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline, prospective students and their parents joined in career talks with LKCMedicine alumni who are now doctors in hospitals across Singapore. Moderated by Associate Professors Wong Wei Chin and Tham Kum Ying, Assistant Deans for Year 4 and Year 5 respectively, the chat gave them insights into how LKCMedicine prepares students for their career as doctors, their career trajectory, and how they cope with the demanding hours as young doctors.
The main programme took place at the Ong Tiong Tat and Irene Tan Liang Kheng Auditorium. Kicking off the session, LKCMedicine Dean Distinguished University Professor Joseph Sung, who is also NTU Senior Vice-President (Health & Life Sciences), warmly welcomed the attendees and congratulated them on having qualified for medical school.
Prof Sung said, “We have developed a unique curriculum for medical education that makes use of the latest technology, and shaped the standards of teaching, learning and governance. The unique pedagogy by LKCMedicine is fast becoming a new model for medical education. Our team-based learning, early clinical exposure, and students’ enthusiasm for self-learning are the foundations of our success.”
He added, “You are entering medicine also at a very exciting time because technology has gone at such a fast pace that artificial intelligence, robotics, and many other digital technologies have permeated into different levels and different perspectives of clinical care. At LKCMedicine, we will equip you with the right skillsets to be future-ready doctors of tomorrow. Our curriculum is taught by a distinguished faculty, many of whom are established clinicians and clinician-scientists.”
Next, NTU President Distinguished University Professor Subra Suresh gave prospective students an overview of what the university has to offer in his pre-recorded message and emphasised, “Our undergraduates will benefit from a holistic curriculum incorporating the advantages of immersive technologies, and learner-centric practices that go beyond the confines of a classroom.”
“As a great global university, NTU is a community that is open and welcoming to all individuals, a community that provides its members a safe environment and equal opportunities for learning, living and working,” he added.
This was followed by an address by Professor Philip Choo, Group CEO of the National Healthcare Group (NHG), the primary clinical training partner for LKCMedicine. He spoke about how NHG is partnering with the School to train LKCMedicine’s students and the institution’s deep, strong tradition of teaching.
Prof Choo said, “The practice of medicine has changed. It’s no longer an individual person, it’s team based and we need to be able to train people how to work and how to operate as a team, how to lead a team and more importantly, to be a good team member.
“We want to maintain the style of teaching – the students to have a greater say in it, to self-learn first then come together as a group to share, to discuss, and learn from each other. Because that’s what medicine is all about, that’s what clinical practice is all about.”
LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Education) Professor Jennifer Cleland then took to the stage to share more about the unique aspects of the School’s world-class medical education and innovative curriculum. She said, “Although TBL is the core curriculum, we teach things as they should be taught. It would not be appropriate to teach clinical skills and communications skills using team-based learning – that has to be experiential, active learning. We draw from what the best evidence in medical education in planning how we do things as well as in what we teach you.”
Lastly, the audience heard from Year 4 student Amelia Chay, who is also President of the LKCMedicine Students' Medical Society (LKCMedSoc), on TBL, anatomy practical, clinical simulation, and international exposure through the elective programme. She also touched on the student experience, house systems, student-led events including those organised by LKCMedSoc, as well as local and overseas community outreach programmes, and collaborative efforts involving students from a wide range of healthcare faculties.
The programme concluded with a Q&A session chaired by Vice-Dean (Clinical Affairs) Professor Pang Weng Sun with a panel comprising Prof Sung, Prof Cleland, Vice-Dean (Research) Professor Lim Kah Leong, Prof Choo, Academic Lead for Collaborative Partnerships from Imperial Dr Emma Keeling, LKCMedicine Alumni Association President Dr Ken Chua, and Amelia. During the lively session, the panel answered wide-ranging questions from the audience on the grouping of students for TBL, the breakdown of the curriculum, how the School integrates and exposes students to allied health in Singapore, and how the students are assessed.
Praise for a fruitful and engaging session
Prospective student Shaun Ng, who attended with his parent, said, “It’s insightful that we get to come over here and see how the [anatomy teaching] sessions are carried out. It’s a good first-hand experience. How they treat the cadavers with such respect – there’s really a human touch to it and shows compassion.”
Panneer Preethi found the career talk with LKCMedicine alumni useful. She said, “They are one of the few batches that have graduated. I think their insights into how medicine and how medical school was for them was really helpful because they have completed the full medical course.”
Overall, the staff and student hosts were excited to be interacting with guests in person, with many saying they are touched to see the full auditorium after more than two years, and the venues buzzing with enthusiasm.
LKCMedicine student Chua Tze Hean (M2), who was one of the tour leads, shared, “Hosting them in person to see the facilities, which is a big part of student life, how lessons are held, and for the parents to see what the School is like, is way better than a virtual event. Prospective students had an interactive taster of LKCMedicine’s curriculum and to experience it as a collaborative learning space.”