In Focus: Congratulations, Class of 2021!

LKCMedicine’s Class of 2021 celebrated their graduation at the Convocation on 18 September. Held in the Nanyang Auditorium, the ceremony is a meaningful rite of passage for these young doctors who have put in tremendous dedication and effort into preparing for their medical careers.

Due to uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony had been rescheduled from July to September, but it did not dampen the excitement felt by the graduates on this significant occasion. Many of them were in high spirits as they arrived with their families for the eagerly anticipated event.

After the arrival of the academic procession, followed by the national anthem, Presiding Officer Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of LKCMedicine’s Governing Board, declared the ceremony open. NTU President Professor Subra Suresh then addressed the audience in a pre-recorded message.

Prof Suresh noted that the in-person ceremony reflected the resilient OneNTU spirit. “I am sure that the resilience that has characterised your journey through NTU until now will continue to serve you well in the future,” he added.

Concluding his speech with well wishes for the graduates, he said, “I offer you my congratulations and best wishes for the journey ahead. I look forward to watching with great interest all that you will accomplish. I also hope to see you on future occasions as you continue to engage with, and contribute to, NTU as our proud alumni.”

The presentation of graduates kicked off with LKCMedicine graduate Dr Tiew Pei Yee receiving her PhD degree from Mr Lim. Presented by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Clinical Affairs) Professor Pang Weng Sun, Dr Tiew is among four PhD students who were conferred doctorates from the School this year.

At the start of the MBBS degree presentation, five outstanding graduates received their awards:

  • Dr Sia Chin Leong (Winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal, and the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award) 
  • Dr Ding Jianbin (Winner of the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award, and the Chee Yam Cheng Gold Medal in Professionalism, Ethics, Law, Leadership and Patient Safety)
  • Dr Clara Kong (Winner of the Chew Chin Hin Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Medicine, and the Toh Kian Chui Gold Medal)
  • Dr Andrew Yap (Winner of the Anthony SC Teo - Gordon Johnson Gold Medal)
  • Dr Koh Yu Qian (Winner of the Low Cheng Hock Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Surgery)

The Class of 2021, which is LKCMedicine’s fourth cohort of MBBS graduates, was presented by Prof Pang. With their families cheering them on, it was a moment filled with joy and pride as the graduates went onstage to receive their joint NTU-Imperial College London degree.

Valedictorian Dr Sia then took to the stage to deliver a heartfelt speech to his fellow graduates. 

Reflecting on their experience as one of the School’s pioneer batches, he said, “I believe I can speak for all of us in saying that medical school was marked by a sense of excitement, of togetherness, and of creating a fresh new culture that prizes creativity and collaboration. It is fitting then, that we are also graduating in an extraordinary time, with new challenges that our time in LKCMedicine has equipped us well for.”

He also spoke about the importance of wisdom and compassion in practising medicine and encouraged his course mates to listen well to their patients. “As we all strive to achieve clinical acumen, let us try our best not to tire of having a heart that hears. Somewhere between our sheltered, simulated practices in school and the shop floor as a House Officer – at the junction between the ideal and the practical – may we all discover the sweet spot in listening well,” he added.

Dr Sia ended his speech by thanking the LKCMedicine faculty who “demonstrated the art and science of Medicine” and the staff who helped them in various ways. On behalf of the cohort, he thanked their families for being with them throughout their medical school journey and for their “love that has made everything possible”.

What made medical school memorable: Reflections from the Class of 2021

Convocation marks the completion of five years of intensive medical school training. Three graduates look back on memorable moments of their LKCMedicine journey.

Dr Nadia Nasuha Binte Mohammad Nazri credits the support of her fellow medical students for her achievement, “The LKCMedicine culture is very welcoming and friendly, with a strong tradition of giving back. My friends and seniors were always willing to help whenever I faced difficulties and this has made my journey in medical school a little easier. I could not have reached where I am now without their help.”

Echoing the same sentiment, Dr Zenneth Lim considers the shared experiences with his batchmates in overcoming challenges in the steep learning curve at the start and weathering clinical life together as the highlights of medical school. “It is these shared experiences that have built lifelong friendships that I will never forget,” he said.

For Dr Ashwin S/O Singaram, the rapport with his course mates was also a source of motivation, “My favourite part of my degree programme was the camaraderie that was always present amongst my peers. No matter the class, I always felt like I was going to be amongst friends and that made getting through the programme a lot easier.”

“My goal at the end of the 5 years was to be a competent and compassionate junior doctor and the programme was geared to absolute perfection to allow me to achieve that goal,” he added.

Left to right: Dr Ashwin S/O Singaram, Dr Zenneth Lim and Dr Nadia Nasuha Binte Mohammad Nazri

Dr Koh Yu Qian and her parents snap a picture to commemorate the happy occasion

Dr Ding Jianbin celebrates his graduation by posing for a fun shot with his family