On 25 November, Minister for Education Lawrence Wong made his first visit to NTU, where he was hosted at LKCMedicine's Experimental Medicine Building (EMB).
Mr Wong was accompanied by a delegation from the Ministry of Education (MOE) including Ministers of State for Education Ms Sun Xueling and Ms Gan Siow Huang.
He was warmly welcomed by NTU Board of Trustees Chairman Mr Koh Boon Hwee and NTU President Professor Subra Suresh. Upon arrival, Mr Wong was ushered to the Learning Studio at EMB, where the NTU leadership presented him with an overview of the university's strategy, goals, ambitions as well as its overall vision and mission.
Towards the end of a two-hour session peppered with keen questions on NTU's programmes, LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best was invited to briefly present about the School's interdisciplinary approach. He shared that LKCMedicine is one of the few medical schools that incorporate humanities in its MBBS programme.
Said Prof Best, "Medicine is still an art as well as science and our students need to learn knowledge, skills and attitude. Through medical humanities, we try to teach our students about practising medicine with their heart".
This was followed by a visit to the Seminar Room in EMB for a LKCMedicine physical classroom showcase led by co-lecturers Assistant Dean (Clinical Communication) Dr Tanya Tierney and Assistant Professor Michael Stanley-Baker.
The lesson titled, "Heart of Medicine", was a first introduction to Medical Humanities for the latest Year One cohort of LKCMedicine.
During the showcase, the Minister and the MOE entourage observed the way students learn during the lesson.
The Minister then had the opportunity to clarify on the role of humanities in medical education, and in jest, said he wished there was a programme like this when he was in college.
Ms Gan also said she appreciated the lesson saying she sees the importance of humanities in medicine, having read a book by Atul Gawande titled Being Mortal which touched her deeply.
"It (humanities) helps the doctor to think and feel for the patient," she offered.
The Minister and the MOE entourage concluded the visit to LKCMedicine at that point and thanked the School and NTU for hosting him.
As he left, Mr Wong gave the thumbs up to the students, "I wish you the best, and I hope you become good doctors!"