A marathon journey of one full year is finally at the finish line for 25 doctors, who are now fully-trained in the field of Sports Medicine.
When LKCMedicine and Changi General Hospital (CGH) jointly launched Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine (GDSM) – the first Sports Medicine programme in Singapore – it was structured to bring together CGH’s extensive expertise in sports medicine with LKCMedicine’s expertise in exercise science and physiology. Life expectancy all over the world has risen. Singaporeans alone are expected to live up to 85 years old, the longest life expectancy in the world. Medical expertise in the prevention and non-surgical treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions in athletes and the general population, especially in a society that is rapidly ageing but staying active longer, is even more important. Since its launch in March 2018, the GDSM programme has been consistently over-subscribed and its waitlist continues to grow, a testament to the increasing demand for sports medicine doctors.
The occasion was graced by the School’s Dean Professor James Best, the Chief Executive Officer of Changi General Hospital (CGH) Professor Ng Wai Hoe, Chief of CGH’s Sport and Exercise Medicine and Chairman of the Graduate Diploma Advisory Board Associate Professor Benedict Tan, GDSM Programme Director Associate Professor Fabian Lim, GDSM's Clinical Course Director and Senior Consultant at CGH’s Sports Medicine Associate Professor Roger Tian, and GDSM Advisory Committee member Dr Patrick Goh.
The ceremony began with a speech by Prof Best who spoke about the successful collaboration between LKCMedicine and CGH that saw the launch of the GDSM programme in 2018. “We received more than 200 applications since its launch, and so congratulations for getting in and for getting through the programme,” he said. “2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year, but there was no lowering of standards in our MBBS and GDSM programmes. You have earned yourselves a celebration. Take some time to celebrate. I raise a theoretical toast to your personal success and new skills that will enhance your career in sports medicine.”
Dr Goh then delivered the GDSM Annual Lecture which was then followed by speeches from A/Prof Lim and A/Prof Tan. All three spoke about how COVID-19 had pushed the boundaries of commitment from faculty, staff, and students, and how proud they are of their achievements. The graduating cohort was reminded by Dr Goh that they are, first and foremost, doctors and must apply sports medicine methods to anyone they treat.
After the speeches, the graduating students were invited onto the stage to receive their certificates from Prof Best and Prof Ng. The Top of Class award was presented to Dr Fong Lian Im, who was unable to attend the ceremony in person, but a recorded video message she made was played to the audience in the theatre. In it Dr Fong said, “2020 had been a challenging and interesting year for everyone. COVID-19 had demonstrated that the online nature of this programme has strongly benefitted everyone and allowed the course to be conducted mostly uninterrupted.” She thanked the faculty and staff who made it all possible, and then ended the video with a message to her fellow course mates, “Through the programme, we have also made new and very special friends. I hope we will grow these bonds and continue to provide support for each other. Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Let us keep striving to be the best doctors that we can be. Keep in touch!”
Everyone was then ushered out to the front of the LKCMedicine HQ building to take a class photo with the School’s faculty. After which, they were invited to a Bento dinner, which was specially arranged to accommodate safe distancing measures.
During the dinner, Dr Tan Jian Jing, who is one of the graduates, presented Prof Best with a rugby ball as a souvenir to mark his time as the Dean of LKCMedicine – a touching parting gift to the man who had watched over them as they persevered through unprecedented obstacles to complete the programme.