By Wahida Hussain, Executive, Academic Affairs
The Class of 2019 on their first day of school
They’ve passed the academic mustard required by the School and battled contagion during freshmen orientation camp. Now finally, the Class of 2019 has matriculated and is ready to don their white coats and take their first step on the journey to becoming doctors.
Arriving from diverse walks of life, LKCMedicine’s second cohort of 78 students is united by their eagerness and excitement to get started.
“I am really excited to start school!” says Candice Loh, a former Dunman High student and a street dance enthusiast.
Candice, whose first exposure to LKCMedicine was when she attended one of the School’s inspirational lectures at Marina Bay Sands, found herself “very drawn to the vision of the School”.
“I had the chance to interact with staff and students and after hearing about their experiences, I decided that I wanted to place myself in an environment where I will have a close-knit family that supports me through this journey. I am excited to get to know everyone, to make friends and forge friendships that will last,” she adds.
Together with the other Year Ones, Candice Loh (second left) queues to get her welcome pack (left); excited freshies collecting their welcome packs (right)
Adam Mohamed Naveeth, a Victoria Junior College graduate, polyglot and basketballer, finds the prospect of being part of the School “simply exciting”. “I get to pursue my lifelong passion for learning science and unravelling the mysteries and complexities of the human body,” he says.
The new intake can expect a dynamic experience as they join their 54 seniors who play a pivotal role in shaping the LKCMedicine culture and experience. The Class of 2019 too will be able to add their touch to the School’s congenial community of students, staff and researchers. The School’s innovative curriculum and cutting-edge technology-enhanced learning approach are proving a big draw with the second cohort.
“I am excited about the curriculum, from E-Learning to clinical attachments, where I’ll get to learn practical skills and be exposed to the life of doctors,” says Candice.
Russell Chuah, who is LKCMedicine’s first polytechnic graduate, agrees. “The School places a lot of emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship. With extensive use of simulation, the Long-Term Patient Project and more, I feel that LKCMedicine is really committed to helping us better understand and care for patients. It was a very strong pull factor for me.”
Adam credits the solid team responsible for the School’s top-notch curriculum with helping him make up his mind.
Despite LKCMedicine’s young age, the partnership between institutions as established as NTU and Imperial College London provides him the assurance that he is undertaking a quality medical education.
Reflecting on why he chose LKCMedicine, Adam believes that the School is “more forward-looking and willing to embrace new technology”. Students can use their iPads to access the School’s specially designed online learning ecosystem anytime, anywhere. Additionally, with state-of-the-art learning tools like the Anatomage Table, Adam is thrilled that he will be able to use cutting-edge technology to see a realistic life-size rendering of the anatomy of the complete human body, and virtually dissect it in 3D, a first-of-its-kind in Southeast Asia.
Freshies getting acquainted with their iPads with the help of LKCMedicine staff and Year Twos (left); Medicine is for me, say these freshies (right)
At Singapore’s newest medical school, innovations in learning are not just about leveraging advanced technology. Isabelle Yoong, a competitive archer formerly from Raffles Institution, is eager to learn through the School’s Team-Based Learning pedagogy. By putting collaborative learning at the heart of the School’s education structure, Isabelle feels that it prepares students to develop a deep understanding of the scientific basis of medicine while fostering communication, critical thinking and teamwork skills.
Another thing the new cohort has in common is a passion to help. Candice reflects that her month-long internship spent at Alexandra Hospital was pivotal to her decision to study medicine. She says, “Despite all the difficulties in their job, I saw how each doctor is truly joyful as they learn to empathise and serve with humility. Each patient was unique to them, and the relationship forged was unique. I knew from then on that I wanted to serve in such an environment and capacity.”
Indeed, attracting the brightest and most enthused talents has been a major undertaking for the School. More than 800 applications were received for the second intake, of which more than 300 were shortlisted for the Multiple Mini Interviews, and from there, the top 78 were selected.
Russell, who is a Biomedical Science graduate from Singapore Polytechnic and an avid runner, epitomises the energy, passion and promise that arrive with each new class of freshmen. “I want to dedicate my time to helping people get better. I thought that a career in medicine would be a logical choice because despite the huge challenges it presents, it would be very exciting and meaningful,” says Russell.
He believes that his diploma provides him with a strong foundation in health sciences and has equipped him with good hands-on exposure to the workings of clinical laboratories and biomedical research. When asked how he feels about being the School’s first polytechnic student, he frankly shares his concern. “There is some pressure because I fear that my own performance may affect the School’s general perception of future poly graduates who vie for places here. But I think I should be fine if I just focus on being a good doctor.”
As students, faculty and staff usher in a new academic year, it is time to reflect on what it means, in the words of Irish poet Seamus Heaney, to “begin again”.