By Ang Hoe Khoon
Executive, Communications & External Relations
A crowd of more than 100 eager LKCMedicine students packed into the Experimental Medicine Building's teaching laboratory for the first ever Community Involvement Project (CIP) Recruitment Fair focusing exclusively on medical and healthcare projects.
(L-R): Loh Kieng Wee gives the opening address; one of posters on display in the Teaching Labs
The fair, which was held on 26 August, was organised by the LKCMedicine Medical Society (LKCMedSoc) Community Service Committee and was the brainchild of Loh Kieng Wee, an LKCMedicine Year 3 student and LKCMedSoc Community Service Representative. Inspired by Junior Colleges across Singapore coming together to host events and fairs, Kieng Wee wanted to have something similar for the medical student community.
"While there are many CIP fairs organised, I wanted to create a centralised place for anyone who is specifically interested in medical and healthcare CIPs, so that people can easily clarify any questions and decide which projects best resonate with them." said Kieng Wee.
The recruitment fair featured 17 CIP booths introducing projects organised by various groups, including Dover Park Hospice and the National Healthcare Group (NHG). Projects included assisting the elderly, conducting health screenings and teaching general hygiene.
The collaborative spirit of the medical fraternity was also evident with projects by National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine represented as well.
Yeo Jia Zheng, a Year 2 student at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, was at the fair to promote his school's CIPs. "We are all medical students who will be doing similar jobs for the benefit of the people. This fair allows us to come together as one and learn from each other," he said.
(L-R): Yeo Jia Zheng shares more about the CIPs at Yong Loo Lin; Year 1s visit the Teddy Bear Hospital booth, a joint CIP between LKCMedicine & Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
While many willing volunteers were attracted to the unique environment and settings of Overseas Community Involvement Projects (OCIPs), for some visitors to the fair, local CIP projects were of greater interest. Choo Yue Jia, an LKCMedicine Year 1 student, was very interested in the NHG CommHealth project, which aims to push for better primary healthcare such as prevention and health screenings.
"I am very keen on geriatrics, and this CIP would give me real insight. I would like to learn more about caring for the elderly," said Yue Jia.
His fellow classmate, Bryan Quah, also found local CIPs more meaningful. "While OCIPs offer a lot in terms of experience and allow me to immerse myself in a different environment and situation, a local CIP allows me to have a better feel of the system," said Bryan.
Whether they were recruiting for local or overseas projects, all participants were united by the shared attributes they were looking for in a volunteer.
"If you have the heart, it doesn't matter how trained you are, or how fluent you are in another language. Just as long as you want to serve and want to learn, to do something with the skills you possess as a medical student," said Jia Zheng.
After the success of the first recruitment fair, LKCMedSoc plans to host this event every year.
"It is really encouraging to see such a strong start to this fair! With the growing number of medical students as well as CIP projects, I see this becoming something really big in the near future," said Kieng Wee.