October 2016 | Issue 26
London calling

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Gerry Greyling, Head of Business Development, Collaboration and Innovation, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial

It’s with great excitement that I make my first contribution to this newsletter, having started my new role as Head of Business Development, Collaboration and Innovation within the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London at the beginning of July.

Prior to starting my role, I met with my predecessor to discuss this unique collaboration between two great institutions. The significance and magnitude of achievements were proudly emphasised over and over in these discussions – always with a reference to “you have to see it for yourself”.

One of my first actions, therefore, was to travel to Singapore to meet my colleagues at LKCMedicine in person. Many times in life you build up an expectation of something, only to be disappointed when you experience it in real life; I was, therefore, cautious not to expect too much. Well, let me say, what I found blew me away and far exceeded any expectations that I had.

The investment in infrastructure, teaching and research resources, the absolute resolve from staff to welcome me and share their journey – all absolutely certain how they contribute to the success of their School; and the overwhelming enthusiasm to deliver a student experience bar-none was truly inspirational.

I returned to London full of vigour and with a desire to share my great experience. Agreements like this one are built on both parties benefitting and no doubt both institutions have gained from the first five years of working together. It is, however, also clear that over the years, there will be plenty more new opportunities for us to learn from each other – and this is particularly exciting to me!

My colleagues in the London Office have been hard at work to coordinate the development of a six-week elective programme in August 2017 which will be offered to LKCMedicine students as part of the LKCMedicine student-selected block.  The LKCMedicine student-selected block comprises an overseas Elective and a local Selective and is an opportunity to gain experience of a healthcare system, speciality or an aspect of specialty not necessarily encountered in the normal course of undergraduate medical training at LKCMedicine.

The elective at Imperial will provide students an opportunity to experience London and all of the tourist trappings that make it one of the greatest cities in the world! We can hardly wait to welcome them with open arms!

This was not only my first trip to LKCMedicine but also to Singapore. The city is as welcoming as the humidity is unforgiving! As South African born, it reminded me of home and how summer used to be before I moved to London eight years ago. I can’t wait to return.