October 2019 | Issue 44
A Photo Finish
LKCMedicine’s Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine inaugural cohort celebrates graduation 

LKCMedicine celebrated the graduation of the Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine (GDSM) programme’s inaugural cohort on 27 August with a dinner reception. 

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Introducing the inaugural cohort from the Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine (GDSM) programme

The 17 doctors from the Class of 2019 celebrated the happy occasion with their loved ones, and the leadership of the School and Changi General Hospital (CGH) at Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park. 

Kicking off the reception, LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best said the graduation marks a milestone for the School and the doctors in their careers. In his welcome address, Prof Best noted that the life expectancy in Singapore is rising. Singaporeans can now expect to live up to 85 years old, the longest life expectancy in the world. 

“With this added years of life expectancy comes added years of disability and that’s one area where you can all now make a difference in your work and as advocates for a physically active society,” he added.
Launched in March last year, the GDSM programme aims to train doctors to treat patients suffering from sports-related injuries, particularly in an ageing society. Upon completion of the one-year part-time programme, these doctors will be able to provide medical support for sports programmes and events. 
The programme is headed by LKCMedicine Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology Fabian Lim, who is also Assistant Dean of Research. 

Addressing the guests, A/Prof Lim said they will play an important role in growing the Sports Medicine capability in Singapore. 

“Today, there are about 25 medical doctors in Singapore, specialists and non-specialists combined, with specialised skills to treat sports injuries. After the graduation of this cohort, the number will increase by almost 70 per cent to 42, with all of you included,” he added. “With subsequent cohorts, the GDSM programme will contribute in a multiplier and exponential manner in growing the Sports Medicine community in Singapore. This growth is not only an expansion in scale, but also in the extension of the services to research the communities you each serve in.” 

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A/Prof Lim also said the GDSM programme “would not be possible” without the partnership of CGH and the support of the Sports Science and Medicine communities from the Singapore Sports Institute, Army Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National University Health System, Sports Medicine International and Bodyengineering. 

At the dinner, CGH Chief & Senior Consultant of the Department of Sports & Exercise Medicine Adjunct Associate Professor Benedict Tan congratulated the cohort. “You will make a difference, we need you to make a difference and we know that our investment will make a difference through you," he added.

The top student of the Class of 2019 GDSM programme is Dr Liau Kah Han, a General Practitioner at Healthwerkz Medical Clinic @ Sembawang MRT. Dr Liau topped the cohort despite having to juggle work, studies and supervising his three children's examinations. He received the "Top-of-Class" award from Prof Best and CGH Chief Executive Officer and Adjunct Professor Lee Chien Earn at the dinner reception.

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Dr Liau was drawn to the GDSM programme as he is an avid swimmer and runner. He did not just want to gain insight into the management of sports injuries for his patients, but also for his family of sports enthusiasts; his wife cycles and does weights training, while his sons are cross-country runners for their schools, and his daughter is a national cyclist at the junior level.

Sharing his experiences of the GDSM programme in a speech, Dr Liau said the clinical attachments were an "eye-opener" to the work of the sports medicine clinicians and physiotherapists.

"The specialists were very willing to show us the ropes and impart their knowledge, and they were very patient with us… I would like to thank all of them on behalf of my fellow coursemates," he added. "The course has given me a lot more confidence to approach sports medicine in my medical practice."