LKCMedicine welcomed 168 students, its ninth and largest cohort to date, at today’s White Coat Ceremony. A significant milestone for our newly-matriculated students, the tradition marks the start of their medical journey.
With safe distancing measures in place, LKCMedicine was able to resume the in-person ceremony at the Nanyang Auditorium. Students were grouped in their respective Houses with masks on throughout the event while family and friends witnessed the momentous occasion through a livestream.
The air was buzzing with excitement as NTU President Professor Subra Suresh kicked off the ceremony with his welcome address. Congratulating the students for entering medical school, Prof Suresh pointed out that LKCMedicine has an innovative curriculum designed to prepare students for the future of medicine.
“You can be assured that your life at LKCMedicine will not only be about the pursuit of knowledge that will enable you to practise medicine, you will also be trained to become the next generation of thinkers – healthcare practitioners who are able to innovate in the face of new challenges in a post-Covid world,” said Prof Suresh.
Following his speech, Guest-of-Honour, Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak took the stage to give his keynote address.
A/Prof Mak, who is also a LKCMedicine Governing Board Member, noted that the new students entered medical school at a particularly challenging moment as the pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in how medical education is delivered. He spoke about how medical schools have adapted to the evolving situation, while ensuring that “learning objectives are never compromised” and that their training remains “robust and of a high quality”.
Speaking about the traits that a good doctor should possess, he said, “The doctors of today and the doctors of tomorrow must be resourceful and versatile. I have confidence that the training you will receive at LKCMedicine will equip you with the knowledge and the heart to make a difference in the future of patients and in the community.”
Dean of LKCMedicine Professor Joseph Sung then announced the conferment of the white coat. Addressing the students in his first White Coat ceremony as Dean, Prof Sung encouraged them to build trust and rapport with patients and to make the commitment to respect the patient, always remembering them as a person and not a condition, a disease or a case.
He reminded the students, “When you put on your white coat, you are wearing the standard of professionalism, ethical practices and caring that is expected of the medical profession.”
Prof Sung added that he will be communicating with students through a monthly blog on the School’s website to share his views on medical education and his experience both as a medical doctor and as a patient.
In line with safe management measures, the students were conferred the white coats according to the five Houses that they belong to. As LKCMedicine’s Senior House Tutors announced the names of the students from the respective Houses, they went onstage and put on their white coats.
After donning their white coats, the students recited the Declaration of a New Medical Student led by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Clinical Affairs Professor Pang Weng Sun. The declaration reflects a binding commitment to patients as well as a doctor’s professional ethics and tradition, based upon sound scientific knowledge combined with patient-centred care.
This was followed by a recitation of a poem titled “A Conversation” by Year 2 student Hannah Wong. Written by Year 3 student Ethan Ho, the poem explores the relationship between patients and their doctors, reflecting the unspoken thoughts and emotions sensitively.
The ceremony ended with words of inspiration by Chairman, Medical Board of Woodlands Health Campus, Associate Professor Nicholas Chew.
In his closing remarks, A/Prof Chew shared a story about his encounter with a patient which impressed upon him that patients remember deeply how doctors make them feel. He urged students to be the best versions of doctors that they can be “by choosing to behave in a manner that builds relationships with your patients, that cares for them with empathy and positive regard”.