June 2016 | Issue 24
Acting Minister for Education visits LKCMedicine

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Acting Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung poses for a group photo with his hosts during his recent visit to LKCMedicine

LKCMedicine hosted Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education & Skills) Mr Ong Ye Kung for the first time on 20 May. Mr Ong was joined by a delegation from the Ministry of Education (MOE) including Minister of State Dr Janil Puthucheary and Parliamentary Secretary Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.
Extending a warm welcome on behalf of the School and NTU, Mr Ong and his delegation were received at the Experimental Medicine Building (EMB) by NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson, LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best and Executive Vice-Dean for Administration Professor Lionel Lee.

After making their way to the Seminar Room, Prof Andersson started with an overview of how NTU has been growing over the years to become Asia’s top young university. Complementing Prof Andersson’s introduction, Prof Best gave a brief introduction to LKCMedicine and the history of this young medical school.

He ended his talk outlining the aspirations of the School, saying “We want to create doctors who are compassionate, responsible and would go the extra mile for their patients.”

Then it was time for a presentation by LKCMedicine Year 2 students Seow Yi Heng and Sophia Wong, which was undoubtedly the highlight of the talks. The students gave the Minister an overview of the MBBS programme through their eyes, before Vice-Dean for Education Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer wrapped up the segment with a presentation on the innovations in the LKCMedicine MBBS programme.

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LKCMedicine Year 2 students Sophia Wong (left) and Seow Yi Heng (right) give the Minister their perspective on the MBBS programme

After the talks, it was time for the delegates to experience the LKCMedicine curriculum first hand. They sat in on an ongoing Team-Based Learning (TBL) class on Professionalism, Ethics, Law, Leadership and Patient Safety (PELLS). The class was led by Vice-Dean for Clinical Affairs Associate Professor Pang Weng Sun and Assistant Dean for Integrated Care Associate Professor Chin Jing Jih. It was an eye-opening experience for the visitors, who watched as Assoc Prof Pang and Assoc Prof Chin challenged the students’ understanding of the content and encouraged them to explain their answers to the class.

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Acting Minister for Education Mr Ong observes a Team-Based Learning class during his visit

After the enlightening TBL session, the delegates proceeded to the Teaching Laboratory, where practical demonstrations and hands-on activities were lined-up to give them a feel of how LKCMedicine students do their practicals. Mr Ong went eye-to-eye with plastinated specimens, which are used in Anatomy Teaching, and tried out the ageing simulation suit that allows the user to experience age-related disabilities, such as tremors, and loss of vision and hearing.

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Acting Minister for Education Mr Ong tests out the ageing simulation equipment

As the delegates made their way to the research laboratories, they were greeted by LKCMedicine Year 2 student Aletheia Chia, who shared how she was involved in various research projects in the labs of top-name local and international research faculty at LKCMedicine, and how she benefited from the LKCMedicine MBBS programme. The tour continued on to Assistant Professor of Metabolic Disease Yusuf Ali’s laboratory, where he showcased his recent work into the underlying pathways that regulate blood sugar levels. Moving on, Aletheia led the delegates to Associate Professor of Human and Microbial Genetics Eric Yap’s laboratory, where the Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA) students, including Aletheia, showcased their impressive home-made prototypes of laboratory equipment to Mr Ong.

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LKCMedicine Year 2 student Aletheia Chia explains her prototype to the Minister

The visit ended with a tea reception at the Collaboration Space on level 3, where the Minister interacted with LKCMedicine Year 1 students, asking about their experiences at the medical school and how they were coping with their studies.

After a lively discussion with the students, Mr Ong and his delegation bid farewell to LKCMedicine.