LKCMedicine today kicked off its student outreach campaign by hosting a group of junior college and polytechnic students at the Novena campus, with a talk on the enhanced MBBS programme and admissions process, followed by a get-to-know-us session over lunch.
The attendees are part of NTU Singapore’s Early Admissions & Scholarships Exercise (EASE) 2024. LKCMedicine’s enrolment process is from October to June for all applicants, including EASE applicants, and this engagement session was organised to showcase LKCMedicine’s modern approach to medical teaching and the comradeship of faculty, students and staff. This year’s student cohort will be the first to graduate with an NTU MBBS degree come 2029, as the joint degree programme between NTU Singapore and Imperial College is set to conclude in 2028. Ahead of this, the curriculum has been enhanced – with more course content related to AI and digital health, to be balanced out by an expanded scope in medical humanities.
Held at the Flexi-Space in LKCMedicine’s Medical Library, today’s outreach began with LKCMedicine Assistant Dean for Admissions and Overseas Electives Professor Kwek Tong Kiat warmly welcoming the attendees and providing a run-through of enhanced MBBS programme and the admissions process, now requiring applicants to sit for and submit their University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) results in place of the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) used from 2013 to 2023, alongside their primary qualifications. Prof Kwek’s talk was followed by an insightful sharing by LKCMedicine students, Nigel Lee and Purjita Kiruparan, from Year 2 and Year 5 respectively, on student life and their personal highlights about being part of the School.
Invigorated by the information gleaned during the presentations, the attendees eagerly participated in Q&A segment. Their questions ranged from whether job shadowing is a necessity for admissions to the type of support provided to cope with the rigour of being a medical student, to what awaits students after graduation.
For Summer Tan from Victoria Junior College, today’s event was very useful in broadening her understanding of the options available to her. “Before this, I did not know much about how LKCMedicine teaches medicine and how it is different from other medical schools. Now, I know more about the team-based learning pedagogy and how it may be better for me.”
Their enthusiasm to find out more about LKCMedicine was very much evident during lunch also held at the library. While enjoying the spread of scrumptious food and the panoramic view offered by the top-floor library, the junior college and polytechnic students – some accompanied by parents – were also able to hear directly from the student ambassadors present who shared their perspective about community involvement projects, overseas learning opportunities, scholarly projects, and more.
With a wide variety of sharing opportunities made available to the tertiary students, many noted that it provided them with a deeper understanding about life as a medical student at LKCMedicine.
“I was already aware of the overall admissions process and what the programme offered, so I attended this event to find out about the extracurricular activities, electives, selectives, and scholarly programmes. I also liked how connected the students are with their professors and the way everyone is supportive of each other. I find it very wholesome,” said Shaun Ng from Raffles Institution.
Similarly, Hwa Chong Institution student Tristan See said, “Hearing from the students themselves [during the Q&A] made it more relatable and knowing that they have a good support system was helpful too.”
The outreach event was informative for graduating LKCMedicine students too. “I am an M5 student and I just passed my exams. So, it is nice to look back at where my journey began and how the School has changed as well, like how the curriculum has been adapted to suit students’ interests. It is nice see the School meeting the ever-changing learning needs,” reflected Purjita.
The EASE engagement session is the first of many outreach activities by LKCMedicine, and we look forward to interacting with more students interested in studying medicine.
From 2024, LKCMedicine will implement more tech-enabled teaching tools throughout its five-year MBBS programme to help students become doctors who are discerning and confident users of technology.
This tech focus will be balanced out by an expanded scope in medical humanities, which trains medical students to be doctors who are agile and adaptable in navigating uncertainties and difficult situations in their practice, and to deliver compassionate and patient-centred care.
This refreshed curriculum comes on the back of the rapidly developing digital age, and aims to expose students to the digital health solutions and AI-powered medical technology that are increasingly deployed in the healthcare setting. It builds on the distinctive features of LKCMedicine’s MBBS programme, such as team-based learning and early patient interaction training through the clinical communication curriculum.
In 2021, the School received the ASPIRE award for excellence in curriculum development, the first medical school in Singapore and the fourth in Asia to win this accolade. The ASPIRE Award, developed by a group of leading international authorities in medical education and educational bodies, led by the UK-based Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), is the only global accolade of its kind to recognise excellence in medical education.
Professor Joseph Sung, LKCMedicine's Dean and NTU Senior Vice President (Health and Life Sciences), said, “Our team-based learning, early clinical exposure, and students’ enthusiasm for self-learning are the foundations of our success. We are also proud that at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, our doctors are on the frontlines, joined by our fourth-year and fifth-year students who donned PPE (personal protective equipment) and worked alongside the doctors and nurses in hospitals as volunteers or as healthcare assistants.
“The high quality of the LKCMedicine programme, teaching programme and student experience will continue. We will continue to upgrade and evolve the MBBS programme, taking into account advances in the science and technology of medicine and the ever-increasing complexities of healthcare,” he added.