The annual #whyLKCMedicine engagement event returned on 20 May to provide offerees who have been awarded a place to study at the School and their parents a better understanding of the ins and outs of medical learning at LKCMedicine.
The air was rife with excitement and curiosity as some 300 attendees went on specially curated student-led tours to explore the School’s state-of-the-art, award-winning learning spaces at the Clinical Sciences Building. They also had the opportunity to interact with LKCMedicine Deanery, faculty, staff and students throughout the event.
Split into two sessions, the student ambassadors brought the guests to different locations to showcase components of the LKCMedicine MBBS programme such as Team-Based Learning (TBL) at the custom-built Learning Studio, anatomy teaching at the Anatomy Learning Centre, which is home to the Anatomage table, as well as clinical procedures training and history taking with simulated patients at various venues.
Many participants found it insightful to have current LKCMedicine students lead the tour as they would pepper their explanations with first-hand accounts of student life.
Prospective student Jolene Ang said, “I felt the tour was really well done. I am amazed by the facilities and I enjoyed hearing the perspectives of the students. It has changed my point of view of medical school in general, and I am excited to learn about what Lee Kong Chian has to offer.”
One of the highlights of the tour was a Career in Medicine talk at the rooftop Medical Library. With a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline in the background, LKCMedicine alumni and moderators Associate Professor Tang Wern Ee and Associate Professor Tham Kum Ying, who are also Assistant Deans, detailed what potential students can expect from LKCMedicine in terms of career preparation.
The main programme of #whyLKCMedicine2023 featured a line-up of speakers from LKCMedicine and its primary clinical partner the National Healthcare Group (NHG).
LKCMedicine Dean Distinguished University Professor Joseph Sung, who is also NTU Singapore’s Senior Vice-President for Health & Life Sciences, set the tone for the session in his opening address by sharing a personal anecdote about what motivated him to read medicine and how it enabled him to better care for the people around him.
“Sometimes care is more important than cure. You may cure a disease but the patient may not be grateful to you, only if you really show that you care about them…In this medical school, we will not just teach you all the facts, all the information, all the drugs, and how to operate on patients. We are going to teach you how to be a good doctor who cares not just about the body functions but also the psychology of the patient as well as their family.”
Prof Sung also addressed the question on everyone’s mind: Will Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT replace doctors? He said, “In 10 to 15 years, Medicine will be very different from what we are doing [now] so we have to teach you a new way of practising and working with machines so that you will not be replaced by the machine.”
In her address, Associate Professor Michelle Jong, Group Chief Education Officer of NHG said, “I have walked and worked with the School since its inception. I have marvelled at the buildings they have built; and the progress they have made in crafting the curriculum — employing the best education strategies, advocating for the best placements in the healthcare ecosystem so that you can see medicine right from the get-go.”
Echoing Prof Sung’s sentiments, A/Prof Jong reminded the future healthcare professionals of why they decided to pursue medicine. “Most importantly, LKCMedicine and NHG believe that people are at the core of what we do. Our patients are at the centre of our profession and our staff, which includes the medical students, are the centre of the care that we give.”
To further illuminate the audience on the School’s MBBS programme, LKCMedicine Assistant Dean (Admissions and Overseas Electives) Associate Professor Kwek Tong Kiat touched on the School’s growth since it opened its doors in 2013, its expansive campus, the non-traditional ways students engage with their curriculum, and what students can expect in each year of their study.
Guests were then provided insights into the life of a LKCMedicine student by President of the LKCMedicine Students' Medical Society (LKCMedSoc) Ernest Ong. The Year 4 student shared his perspective on what makes the LKCMedicine curriculum distinct, ranging from its use of TBL and early patient interaction to clinical simulation and anatomy practicals. He further provided an overview of the house systems, student-led events as well as community outreach programmes organised by LKCMedSoc.
The programme came to a close with an engaging Q&A session chaired by Vice-Dean (Clinical Affairs) Professor Pang Weng Sun, along with a panel featuring Prof Sung, A/P Jong, A/Prof Kwek, LKCMedicine Alumni Association President Dr Ken Chua, and Ernest. The panellists answered a wide variety of questions about choosing specialties, overseas exchange opportunities, the School’s approach to education and research, and students’ exposure to different hospitals in Singapore.
#whyLKCMedicine2023 was an enlightening experience for many of the attendees. Mr George Lee, parent of soon-to-be LKCMedicine student shared, “Before coming for the tour, I checked out the [School’s] website and I was already impressed by the facilities featured. Now that I am here, I can say that what you see is what you get. The campus is indeed impressive, and I think my son chose the right school.” He further added that it was refreshing to hear Prof Sung’s candid views about the future of medicine and medical education.
The full-day engagement event was equally enriching for the LKCMedicine community. Student ambassador Chua Tze Hean (M3) said, “When I joined the School, I did not have an exact idea of what the curriculum entailed. So, it is good to share with my potential LKCMedicine juniors more about the School and its unique curriculum, particularly clinical communications. This helps both parents and the child make an informed decision.” Having been involved in #whyLKCMedicine since he joined the School three years ago, Tze Hean remarked, “It is nice to see these [budding doctors] starry-eyed and enthusiastic about getting into medicine. It reminds me of myself at that point.”