April 2020 | Issue 47
The Class of 2020 completes the final stage of their MBBS programme


On Friday, 3 April, the Class of 2020 marked the end of their Student Assistantship Programme (SAP) and with it, the end of their medical school years. All 90 students already passed their final MBBS exams in January. Having completed the SAP satisfactorily, the newly minted medical professionals will join the Singapore healthcare workforce later this month as Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1) doctors. 

With safe distancing guidelines closely adhered to, students didn’t hug or exchange high fives on the SAP wrap-up day, held on Friday. However, the physical distancing didn’t dampen the celebratory mood on their final day at medical school. With the students divided across four venues around the Novena campus, the SAP wrap-up day went fully online.

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The Class of 2020 tuned in to the SAP wrap-up day from four locations across the campus

The day kicked off with a virtual welcome by the Singapore Medical Association Membership Committee Chair Dr Chong Yeh Woei before the newly minted doctors were briefed via video conference by MOH Holdings (MOHH) on what to expect from their first posting as PGY1 doctors.

Next, the students were welcomed by the NTU and LKCMedicine alumni teams and encouraged to take part in ongoing research on the transition to practice conducted by the School. These talks were followed by sessions led by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Clinical Affairs Professor Pang Weng Sun, who reinforced in his message the ethical and professional responsibilities of PGY1 doctors, and Assistant Dean for Year 5 Associate Professor Tham Kum Ying, who sought students’ feedback on the SAP and settled any outstanding administrative matters to ensure that the students will have a smooth start on 27 April.

With the last of the morning’s formalities complete, LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Education Professor Naomi Low-Beer addressed the cohort via video conference to congratulate the students on their success. She then handed over to LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best to say a few words. Prof Best, too, was delighted to see the cohort ready to leave the nest. 

"You're as well equipped as you could possibly be to succeed in medicine - equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will make you outstanding doctors. It makes me proud of you," he added. 

After a short break, Associate Professor Alfred Kow, Senior Fellow with the Clinical Quality, Performance and Value Division at the Ministry of Health, introduced the cohort of fresh doctors to patient safety e-learning on-the-go. 

In ordinary times, the SAP wrap-up day would conclude with a commemorative photo of the entire cohort with the Vice and Assistant Deans. This year, however, the commemorative photo was replaced with a loud resounding cheer.