News: All you need to know about LKCMedicine’s MBBS programme

By Sarah Zulkifli, Science Writer, Communications & Outreach

In July and August, LKCMedicine organised a series of events titled #askLKCMedicine2022 to promote its Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme. Held over three days – 22 July, 27 July, and 20 August – it welcomed prospective students to find out more about the School and its admissions process, ahead of the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) registration that opened on 1 September and the next to be held on 18 October. BMAT is part of the admissions criteria for the MBBS programme. 

Close to 500 prospective students from junior colleges and polytechnics all over Singapore attended #askLKCMedicine2022 at the Ong Tiong Tat and Irene Tan Liang Kheng Auditorium in the School's Novena campus and via Zoom. A series of events were organised for prospective students to be informed about the vibrant student life and campus community through an active dialogue with LKCMedicine faculty, staff, and students.

On 22 July, the onsite event opened with a welcome address by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Clinical Affairs) Professor Pang Weng Sun. He said, “Different people choose to do medicine for different reasons. Some of you choose this field because you really want to help and you truly care for people. Medicine is a means to do something very meaningful for people. Others want to do medicine because they are interested in science and healthcare. Whichever medical school you choose to go to, you need to do your BMAT prior to joining LKCMedicine”.

LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Clinical Affairs) Professor Pang Weng Sun giving the opening address on 22 July

The second onsite event on 20 August was opened by Vice-Dean (Education) Professor Jennifer Cleland. Adding on to what Prof Pang said at the first onsite event, Prof Cleland said, “Our aims are to equip you to become doctors with the skills, the heart and attitude for medicine. It is not all about knowledge. There are so many things that come together to allow you to become a good doctor. From day one, you will learn to work in teams. When you begin to work in healthcare environments, you will be working in teams and we have received very positive feedback from the hospitals about our graduates.”

LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Education) Professor Jennifer Cleland giving the opening address on 20 August

Next, ​Assistant Dean (Admissions & Overseas Electives) Associate Professor Kwek Tong Kiat gave an overview of the MBBS Programme. In this segment, prospective students gained a better understanding of what the clinical years will entail. 

A/Prof Kwek explained, “We introduce a lot of clinical exposure, in the beginning, to help you contextualise what you are studying, before going into more advanced clinical years. At LKCMedicine, we do not hold traditional lectures. Almost all our teachings are done in a team-based learning format. This way, your lessons will always be very engaging.”

  LKCMedicine Assistant Dean (Admissions & Overseas Electives) Associate Professor Kwek Tong Kiat giving an overview of the MBBS programme 

Giving more details about student life at LKCMedicine, Year 5 student Sean Lim and Year 3 student Amanda Auyong shared some insights about their experiences at LKCMedicine, namely in the LKCMedicine Students' Medical Society (MedSoc). 

Sean said, “MedSoc represents the needs and interests of all LKCMedicine students. MedSoc also seeks to empower various initiatives from the ground up to contribute to a more vibrant student life here in LKCMedicine. 

“At the start of your medical school journey, every student will be assigned to one of five houses. The house system acts as an informal support system that enables students to experience tighter bonds with fellow batchmates, juniors, and seniors.” 

Amanda added, “I was the Year 1 house representative for Marie Curie House and I think that having this house system was something that really benefits me. I entered medical school during the peak of COVID-19. With the house system, we are able to reach out to our seniors very easily for advice on what lies ahead and get advice on our academics. In turn, we also will help our juniors who may have similar concerns. 

“Having this support system across the batches is something that really helps because there will always be someone to have your back: your house tutors, seniors, and juniors.”

  LKCMedicine students Sean Lim (left) and Amanda Auyong speaking about student life 

At the online event on 27 July, Year 3 students Hafez Sourori Zanjani and Kimberly Chen shared their insights with prospective students via Zoom.

Hafez said, “Every medical university can produce good medical doctors. But as the saying goes ‘It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.’ I can say that coming to LKCMedicine is an experience like no other. We are exposed to clinical skills at the early stage of our studies, unlike many other medical schools.”

On 20 August, Year 3 student Lim Rong and Year 4 student Purjita Kiruparan shared their experiences.

Speaking on activities planned by LKCMedicine students, Lim Rong said, “We have many activities ranging from sports, arts and culture, research, academic and career. These activities seek to enrich your life here.”

Purjita added, “We have interhouse games where we compete with other houses in sports and video games for example. There are just so many opportunities for you to develop yourself holistically beyond your medical lessons.”

LKCMedicine students Purjita Kiruparan (left) and Lim Rong speaking about student life  

On 22 July, the attendees participated in a Q&A session with LKCMedicine Dean, Nanyang Distinguished University Professor and Senior Vice-President in Health and Life Sciences, Professor Joseph Sung; A/Prof Kwek; and students Sean Lim and Amanda Auyong.  

In the session moderated by Prof Pang, he said, “Teaching medicine in this day and age is very different from teaching in our days. In my day, students come in with a big textbook of anatomy and an even bigger book of biochemistry. You had to memorise a lot of information. Nowadays with the advancement of Information Technology, everything is at your fingertips. What is then more important? It is the skill to know how to make use of the information.”

A series of questions on BMAT and Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) was raised.

Amanda shared, “My advice is to start preparing early. Past year papers and online resources are very useful and you may find it worthwhile to complete 10 or 20 years of papers. In addition, the syllabus is also available online.”

Sean added, “For MMI, it is quite the opposite. The interviews do not test you on medical content. It is a series of situational-based assessments and those attempting should instead, go with the flow. What helps is getting ample rest. One thing to note is that it is all right if one messes up one station. Do not be discouraged. Every station is different and one should just perform their best. 

On 20 August, the Q&A segment was moderated by A/Prof Kwek with panellists, Prof Cleland, Lim Rong and Purjita.

Q&A with LKCMedicine Dean Professor Joseph Sung (middle)

Q&A with Vice-Dean (Education) Professor Jennifer Cleland (second from right)

Prospective students during the Q&A session

Prospective students also experienced what learning is like as a LKCMedicine student. They took part in a Team-Based Learning (TBL) demonstration held in the Learning Studio, where Lecturers of Medical Education Dr Raihan Jumat and Dr Han Siew Ping conducted a highly interactive learning experience.

Prospective students experienced a Team-Based Learning demonstration

Prospective student Branden Chan from Victoria Junior College said, "The TBL session allows for interactions with your peers. You can raise points or issues with your teammates and learn from each other. Instead of reading notes, an interactive learning environment allows us to retain information."

Another prospective student Subashri Yuvaraj from School of the Arts expressed her enthusiasm, "TBL is awesome because it is a very methodological and systematic approach to learning. Learning happens before, during and after the lesson and therefore provokes me to re-evaluate my thinking."

Shamsia Ali from Republic Polytechnic (RP), on the other hand, had experienced TBL in RP and shared her take on the TBL demonstration at LKCMedicine as compared to that in RP. She said, "The two major differences I noticed are the stipulated timing facilitators spend with the students to clarify any doubts unlike the much more independent learning in RP. Secondly, LKCMedicine has a much more modern infrastructure with better resources making TBL a breeze."