August 2017 (Special Edition) | Issue 31
Freshmen forge strong new bonds during orientation

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By Dorothea Ong, Class of 2021 and Freshmen Orientation Programme Chair

FOP Group shot.jpgIncoming medical students at LKCMedicine and their seniors bond over a four-day action-packed orientation programme

Inspired by the saying “blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb”, LKCMedicine’s Freshmen Orientation Programme, IntroDOCtion 2017, was all about forging strong bonds that will form the foundation of many lifelong friendships for LKCMedicine’s newest recruits, the Class of 2022. Called “ALUMES”, the Portuguese name for the chemical compound Alum, the camp was held from 24 to 27 July and saw freshmen and seniors explore both the NTU and Novena campuses, while travelling across Singapore.

Over four days, the 115 out of 120 incoming students were sorted into their five Houses and puzzled over brain teasers, challenged other Houses in war games and united as one student body to defeat a common enemy. Through these many activities, the Class of 2022 got to know the School, faculty, campuses and community.

Organised by a student-led Freshmen Orientation Programme Committee, the camp was also a great opportunity for the freshmen to get to know their seniors, with more than 80 per cent of the Class of 2021 taking part. This helped to foster strong bonds between us and juniors, so that sufficient guidance is available as the freshmen transition into medical school.

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L-R: Lim Boon Keng House stops for a group photo at the North Spine on their NTU campus adventure trail; LKCMedicine students old and new get some welcome respite from the heat during Pool Games on Day 2 of IntroDOCtion 2017

The first two days of the programme were held at NTU, where the freshmen spend most of their time in Year 1. The NTU Trail saw them exploring areas like Crespion Hall, the Experimental Medicine Building and North Spine. Pool Games provided some respite from the heat of our sunny island and Colour Games gave the freshmen some icky, colourful fun.

On the third day, everyone travelled to Sentosa, where a line-up of exciting activities in the sun and sand waited for us. Games on the previous two days had been played within Houses, but this was the day for war games and for the Houses to experience some friendly competition!

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Students of William Osler House get ready to do battle with a rousing war cry

The last day was one for more meaningful activities. It started with a short Community Involvement Programme segment, where the students spent time at different institutions – Ren Ci, Sunshine Welfare Action Mission and Peace Connect Senior Activity Centre. Because here at LKCMedicine, we believe in the importance of the attitude of servitude and hope to impart this mindset to the freshmen. We also had an activity called “Patient Shoes”, through which we simulated the various disabilities and discomforts that patients may experience. By stepping into patients’ shoes, we wanted our juniors to see things from a patient’s perspective and to keep empathising with patients and treating them with understanding and compassion.

We hope that the freshmen enjoyed this special programme and found it a great way to start their first phase of medical school!