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​British High Commissioner to Singapore HE Ms Kara Owen makes inaugural visit to LKCMedicine

Published on: 19-Dec-2019

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As a joint medical school of NTU and Imperial College London, LKCMedicine thrives on its close working relationships, not only with Imperial's School of Medicine, but also other UK-based medical researchers, clinician-scientists and university faculty. Her Excellency (HE) Ms Kara Owen, recently appointed as British High Commissioner to Singapore in June 2019, kindly accepted the School's invitation for a visit to the Novena campus today, to learn more about the unique young medical school, working ties to Imperial, research and education collaborations and future partnerships.

HE Owen was received by LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best and shown to the Boardroom at LKCMedicine HQ where the Vice-Dean for Research Professor Lim Kah Leong, Vice-Dean for Faculty Affairs Professor Michael Ferenczi, Director of HELIOS Professor John Chambers stood ready together with Assistant Dean for Family Medicine Associate Professor Tang Wern Ee,  Assistant Dean for Student Welfare & Clinical Communication Dr Tanya Tierney, Assistant Director for Education Development Mr Emmanuel Tan, Senior Lecturer Dr Lucy Rosby and Chief Operating Officer Mr Chan Wei Chuen to welcome her to the School.

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After a video presentation on the School, Prof Best acknowledged HE Owen's comment that a joint medical school like LKCMedicine takes on all the complexity but also reaps extraordinary benefits. The Dean also touched on the importance of research and medical education for LKCMedicine, "Blending education and research for the students in the form of a research project allows them to understand where medical knowledge comes from and the need for continuous learning."

Prof Ferenczi elaborated on the distinctiveness of the LKCMedicine-Imperial MBBS joint degree, and that there is even adaptation of certain aspects of LKCMedicine's pedagogy by Imperial; certainly of the flipped classroom concept. Prof Best pointed out that there are also increasing signs of other medical schools in Singapore looking at LKCMedicine's pedagogy and technology-driven educational approach.

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The research presentation by Prof Lim highlighted LKCMedicine's research programmes, which align with the Ministry of Health of Singapore's five priority areas as well as those of the School's primary clinical partner, the National Healthcare Group. He also did a comparison of the disease burden of Singapore and the UK, which had certain similarities especially in public healthcare expenditure. He also touched on LKCMedicine's research capabilities. Prof Lim said, "I always consider a medical school to be in a privileged position, able to conduct upstream lab-based research, as well as downstream, more translational research."

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A/Prof Tang then presented on LKCMedicine's MBBS programme, and its pedagogy, early patient contact, as well as science-based, technology-driven medical education. Dr Tierney wrapped up the education presentation with the student leadership platform Medical Society, House System mentorship, community involvement projects and other co-curricular activities.

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HE Owen was then invited for a tour of the School's state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. Dr Rosby presented the plastinated specimens used for anatomy teaching, demonstrated the Anatomage table as well as the potential of 3D-printed specimens. Asst Director Tan briefly showcased the Learning Studio before the tour of the research labs where Assistant Professor of Metabolic Disease Yusuf Ali and Nanyang Assistant Professor Christine Wong touched on their areas of research interest. 

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Prof Chambers walked HE Owen through the 10 stations that make up the HELIOS study, which has now expanded from a 10,000 to a 100,000 cohort size.

The last stop, but certainly not least, was to the Medical Library on level 20, where the visit was brought to a scenic close.

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