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Education

Undergraduate

The Department of Medicine has restructured herself in the last few years with an emphasis on training students to be competent physicians on graduation. This has necessitated a review of the curriculum and fine tuning to keep it aligned with the rapid pace of medicine. There is a shift from the study of rare, esoteric diseases to comprehensive management of common diseases that plague this part of the world. This involves a grounding in epidemiology, primary prevention, hospital care, and progressing to palliative care and end of life issues.

Despite the focus on developing competent physicians, the department also understands the importance and relevance of research to medicine. Students are therefore instructed in basic research methodology from the first year. As they progress in medical school, they are educated in basic science and are given opportunities to participate in research projects. An MBBS-PhD program is also in place for students who have decided to pursue a career as a clinician-scientist.

Because medicine is ever evolving, there is ongoing review and fine-tuning of the curriculum. Students have easy access to feedback and there is active interest in implementing worthwhile changes to further improve their education.

Med Specialty Teaching

Geriatric Medicine

Singapore has one of the world's fastest ageing population. The University strongly believes that all graduating students must know about the special problems associated with ageing. The exposure to Geriatric Medicine starts from Year 2 and continues till Year 5 of Medical School.

There is a set Geriatric Curriculum with special emphasis on common problems in the elderly such as falls, incontinence, impaired cognition and end of life care.

In Year 4, students will get exposure to various community services during their Family Medicine posting.

The Geriatric Medicine attachment in Year 5 consists of 2 weeks of structured intensive attachment. At the end of the posting, the graduates are expected to develop core competencies such as history taking from an elderly person, formulating a differential diagnosis, preparing an initial management plan and understanding the importance of a multi-disciplinary team approach to the care of older people.

It is also constantly emphasized that the principles of care should be applied to all elderly regardless of the specialty.

Teaching Initiatives
Workshops, Focus Groups

The Department of Medicine places great emphasis on the teaching and assessment of our medical undergraduates. Within the School of Medicine, we have been at the forefront of improving the quality of teaching by having all new members of the faculty attend mandatory courses on effective teaching methods. Additionally, we conduct annual workshops such as the "Best Practices in Clinical Assessment" to improve and standardize the assessment of our students by harmonizing the training of our examiners nation-wide. The Department's Examination Task Force believes in the process of continuous improvements in all areas of teaching, testing, assessment, and examination. Focus groups are revamping, updating, and revitalizing the bank of examination questions. Other teaching initiatives include expansion of the Student Internship Program, where we have begun a process of creating written clinical training objectives in order to effect evidence-based learning successfully. We hope to develop professional, high quality, and fair examinations of the highest standards.

Dental Yr 3

Teaching Programme for Third year Dental Students

The course consists of 55 hours of Medicine spanning over three terms. There will be one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour bedside tutorial every week for 27 weeks (July - March).

The purpose of the course is to teach dental students to recognize and diagnose the major medical diseases of the main system of the body. Emphasis will be given to 3 aspects:

  1. Medical conditions that affect the oral cavity or dental procedures and vice versa
  2. Recognition of the sick outpatient eg patient with dyspnoea, cyanosis etc
  3. Emergency medicine. Students are expected to be competent in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, diagnosis and management of medical emergencies including unconsciousness, allergic reactions, seizures, angina and cardiac arrest.

On top of the formal bedside teaching, students are encouraged to go to the wards to examine the patients.

At the end of the course there will be an Examination in Medicine to evaluate students on patients and clinical material in common medical conditions, with particular reference to their studies. The examination consists of two sections, Written Paper in Medicine and Clinical Examination I.E. OCSE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).

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