At Playhouse 2015, Dr Alvin Tan (centre, front row) takes a shot with his friends.


By Dr Alvin Tan Kian Wei (MBBS Class of 2017) looks back on his undergraduate days.

“Not pride of knowledge, but humility of wisdom” This is the motto that no medical student will be unfamiliar with. These were the words that were ingrained in all medical students at the beginning of the university year when we first matriculated. It serves to remind us medical students that as we progress along our medical studies and gain new knowledge, we should always remain humble. Humility is not eating humble pie; it is a personal outlook that recognises our finiteness, and our need to continually learn from everyone around us – professors, mentors, friends and most importantly, our patients.


And now, five years on, its significance can't be any greater than before we graduate and start practicing as doctors. It has been a long five years of medical education, an experience that will remain with all of us for a lifetime.


What makes the NUS medical fraternity so special is that it is a tight knitted community that morphs from schoolmates to colleagues in the hospitals. People may think that medical school is all work and study, but the reality is, the medical fraternity consists of students who are not only into academics, but also very much engaged in sports, the arts and culture and service to the community.

There were many opportunities for medical students to showcase their talents out of medical school, such as the Annual NUS Rag and Flag event where students put up an arts performance to raise funds for a charity organisation; the annual Inter-Faculty Games, where faculties compete against each other in different sports such as swimming, tennis, squash, chess etc. and the annual Medicine Playhouse event where each batch comes together to write an original script and put up an hour’s long play. These events bring us closer together, to understand how each individual in Medicine is special in his and her own way, and helps us learn to tap on each other’s’ strengths and help make up for each others’ weaknesses.


More importantly, there were many others who have spent countless number of hours to teach us, friends who have walked us through the long arduous journey and all the patients we encountered in the hospitals who themselves have been mentors in teaching us invaluable lessons. A big thank you to those who have helped us and impacted us along the way. I look back on the five years at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and have no regrets that this is the university life I sought, and found.