Now that Singapore is in Phase 3 – the safe resumption of more activities – the Convocation for the Class of 2020 was finally held this week. Today was the day for LKCMedicine’s Class of 2020.
In a visibly low-key fashion, each of the graduates purposefully went onstage to receive their joint NTU-Imperial degree scroll from the Presiding Officer, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, who is also the Chairman of LKCMedicine’s Governing Board.
The careers of these young doctors are just beginning, possibilities are beckoning, and their future is shining bright. None could be prouder than their families who came along, their faces radiant with pride and joy.
The ceremony commenced with the arrival of the academic procession, followed by the national anthem. As soon as Mr Lim declared the ceremony open, the graduates – two cohorts of PhD and the MBBS cohort – were addressed by NTU President Professor Subra Suresh in a pre-recorded message.
“Class of 2020, we celebrate you with great pride and joy,” he said. “At NTU, we strive to prepare you for a productive, rewarding, and meaningful life and career. A highly committed and world-leading faculty has taught and mentored you.
“Every generation has its unique purpose. History has shown, time and time again, that when young people emerge from highly challenging periods, tested and tempered by crises, they approach their lives, careers, and service to society with reinforced determination, vigour, purpose, and extraordinary resilience. This moment is your invitation to put your NTU to work to help restore and reimagine the post-pandemic world.
Reminding them that despite COVID-19, they came through with flying colours, he added, “Class of 2020, you will no doubt be tested during these unprecedented times. But you are among the brightest, the most qualified, capable, and committed youths anywhere in the world. I hope you will keep your voice and action at the forefront of transformative issues to advance humanity in the 21st century. The world will respect and thank you for it.”
At the start of MBBS degree presentation onstage, three outstanding students, who received their awards in an earlier ceremony, were first mentioned:
• Dr Ong Kim Yao (Winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Medal, the Anthony SC Teo-Gordon Johnson Medal, the Chee Yam Cheng Gold Medal in Professionalism, Ethics, Law, Leadership and Safety, and the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award)
• Dr Reudi Chan (Winner of the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award, and the Low Cheng Hock Gold Medal)
• Dr Koo Jian Hui (Winner of the Chew Chin Hin Gold Medal, and the Toh Kian Chui Gold Medal)
Towards the end of the ceremony, Valedictorian Dr Ong delivered his speech. “The Convocation this year is slightly belated and medical school seems almost like a lifetime ago, but it shouldn’t seem out of place for us to celebrate. As we know very well by now – work never ends and stopping to celebrate the small wins help us to keep moving forward. Today is a special day, and we should be proud of ourselves.
“We work insanely hard every week, we sleep too little, we’ve sacrificed on our social lives, our hobbies, our relationships,” said the top graduate. “Don’t let frustration and cynicism get to us. We can hold on to the inspired idealism that we started this journey with – that our everyday actions are consequential, and that we are responsible for and do directly impact our patients’ lives.”
Addressing his course mates, Dr Ong gently reminds, “Medicine teaches us to be kind and compassionate to our patients, but we don’t often talk about extending that same kindness and compassion to ourselves and each other… Before we take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves and each other. So lean on each other, be there for each other, and continue to support each other unconditionally. Doctors need doctors too.”
Presiding Officer Mr Lim then declared the convocation closed.
From all of us at LKCMedicine, our heartiest congratulations to the Class of 2020!