By Dr Jaita Mukherjee
Rheumatology registrar, Northwick Park Hospital, London
Two months ago, I returned from a life-changing six-month placement in Singapore, working at both LKCMedicine and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
If somebody had told me two years ago that I would be working and living in another country, learning words in three different languages, as well as how to use chopsticks properly, I wouldn’t have believed that they were talking about me and my journey to Singapore.
I was given the opportunity to work at LKCMedicine in the Education Office whilst working as a service registrar in rheumatology at TTSH from April 2014. Not only did I learn how medicine is practised in another country, but seeing the corridors of 11 Mandalay Road abuzz with enthused and driven LKCMedicine students made me appreciate and realise the incredible achievements and complexities of an international collaboration.
My links with Imperial began 15 years ago, when I started studying there as a first year medical student, and since 2009, I have been a rheumatology registrar working around West London hospitals. As any training registrar will tell you, the ultimate goal is to be a consultant and there are many paths that lead you to that finish line.
In 2012, I started working at Imperial as an education fellow for LKCMedicine in the London Office. My main responsibilities included curriculum review and development, including TBL preparation. Being part of an international collaboration in education was a fantastic learning opportunity, working alongside senior colleagues in both Singapore and London.
By then working at LKCMedicine in Singapore, I gained valuable insight into the day-to-day running of the school, working with people I had previously only contacted via email, seeing how TBL sessions run supported by IT, and culminating in the summative Year 1 exams. One appreciates the tremendous efforts made by faculty at both universities to deliver groundbreaking education.
However, one of the highlights of my stay was meeting and seeing the students, whether it was during a clinical encounter or at an after school Peanut Butter & Jam music extravaganza!
These same students will be doctors in a few years time, and by working at TTSH, I now have a unique perspective of their future working environment.
Now that I am back in London, I am finishing my training in rheumatology having learnt so much from TTSH. I will also share my experience at LKCMedicine to support ongoing curriculum development.
Hard work leads to success, yet the kindness and generosity shown by Singapore will always remain with me, and I look forward to welcoming LKCMedicine faculty to London.