Sean Firoz, Senior Executive, Communications & External Relations
Studying to be a doctor can be tough. From juggling exams and ward rounds to keeping up with family and friends, having a good pastoral support system is key to a healthy student life. That is why LKCMedicine Senior Lecturer for Medical Education Dr Claire Ann Canning explored the pastoral support systems at both LKCMedicine and Imperial College London to find out what works best for medical students in her latest research.
"On both sides, students feel that their peers are their strongest support networks," said Dr Canning. "They will still go to their mentors for certain kinds of support, but before that they will seek out their peers."
Dr Canning's research was one of 60 posters selected for the Best Abstract for Poster Presentation Category at the 15th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC). Held at Resorts World Sentosa from 10 to 14 January, a team of 20 LKCMedicine faculty and students presented a total of 15 posters and gave four talks at the conference, which was organised by Centre for Medical Education (CenMED), National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the National University Health System.
Aptly themed Technology: Enhancing Education for Improvement of Patient Care – Trends, Issues, Priorities and Strategies (TIPS), the conference gave experts and educators a platform to share their latest ideas in medical and healthcare professional education. Alongside the Poster Presentation Category, Dr Canning and Class of 2019 students Kimberley Chan, Marcel Scully and Seah Wen Da, also won merit awards for their e-posters.
LKCMedicine students attend APMEC for the first time, enjoying learning more about the latest trends in medical education
"I was greatly inspired by the medical education experts, and hope that these discussions will have an impact on my views and the research I do in medical education in the future," said Marcel when asked about what he thought of the conference.
As one of the award-winning e-posters, Seah Wen Da presented his Scholarly Project work, in which he delved deep into simulation by using Virtual Patients. Virtual Patients recreate clinical encounters between a patient and a clinician. They enable clinicians to perform basic tasks needed when seeing a patient, such as history taking, physical examinations and managing the patient's needs. Wen Da's project explored whether Virtual Patients can provoke cognitive medical errors in trainees.
"We concluded that Virtual Patients were able to reliably provoke certain errors in the participants," said Wen Da. "We also explored how future modifications could bridge the gap between simulation and real clinical practice, providing a closer-to-life simulation experience."
With the theme of education and technology, it was no wonder that LKCMedicine, with its unique technology-enhanced and collaborative curriculum, had plenty to share. Vice-Dean for Education Professor Naomi Low-Beer presented on the "Standards for Medical Education in Singapore: An Opportunity to Enhance Collaboration and Promote Excellence". Assistant Dean for Year 5 Associate Professor Tham Kum Ying spoke on "Sim-Round: Easing Transition into the Clinical Clerkship" and Acting Director for Medical Education Research & Scholarship Unit (MERSU) and Visiting Associate Professor Nabil Zary presented on the "Pathways Towards the Classroom of the Future: Incremental vs Sustaining vs Disruptive".
Assistant Dean for Year 4 & Family Medicine Associate Professor Wong Teck Yee was also there to present on "Workplace-based assessment (WBA) in the family medicine setting". Assoc Prof Wong talked about how LKCMedicine uses the iFolio platform to conduct WBAs for medical students during their clinical rotations, helping to "bridge and make it accessible for tutors and students to use", said Assoc Prof Wong. The platform also allows clinical assessors to easily provide real-time feedback to the students during their family medicine clinical rotations.
With technology here to stay, how it is applied was top of mind for everyone there.
"Technology is important as we need to keep up to speed with its advancements, but we must make sure it does not replace us," said Dr Canning on what her takeaways were from the conference. "Especially in medicine, we need a humane presence, and we need to teach empathy and humility. Can a computer actually do that?"