Living in the Moment with Karate


When Associate Professor Too Heng-Phon slipped and fell over the sidewalk at the NUS Business School more than 10 years ago, he made a life-changing decision to join his friend in a karate class.

He joined the Ken Yu Kai Karate Association Singapore to learn the Shitoryu style of karate, one of the four major styles of karate in the world and founded in 1934 by karateka Kenwa Mabuni. Assoc Prof Too belongs to the fourth generation of students learning the Shitoryu karate style from a 75-year-old shihan (master instructor) Ishikawa.





Dear Friends,


Medicine is all about people. Doctors look after the health of people and this itself gives all the purpose to our work. Equally, the lives of doctors are often a heartwarming and inspiring story about people and about life.


This is certainly true of Dr George Khoo Swee Tuan, a 1954 alumnus of the King Edward VII College of Medicine (the antecedent to NUS Medicine) and a true community doctor. He has tended to Rochor area residents since 1963. Some of his patients span four generations of the same family. Some were very poor and he would waive his fees for them. Others were opium addicts living in the area, which was rife with gangsters and assorted riff-raff. One tried to extort $200 in “protection money” to shield him against other gangsters; Dr Khoo bargained the man down to $8, he recalled in a recent interview with The Straits Times. "After some time, I realised I enjoy the profession, curing and helping people. And I realised I'm doing some good."





A Little Love Goes a Long Way


In August, the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine launched the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme to cultivate a culture of volunteerism and service in the School and build camaraderie amongst staff while making a positive impact on society. The programme comprises three activities – Environmental Conservation, Animal Welfare and Community Service – giving staff an option to choose a cause which resonate most with them.



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17th International Conference on Integrated Care


Phase V Medicine students, Huang Xiao Ting and Amanda Teng attended the 17th International Conference on Integrated Care in Dublin, Ireland during their electives. They share their experiences and key learning points.

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White Coat, Heavy Yoke


The White Coat Ceremony (WCC) has been a rite of passage for the matriculation of first year medical students at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine since 2008. Cowan Ho, Phase I Medicine student, pens his thoughts on this milestone moment and what the white coat means to him.



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Neighbours First – An Unwavering Commitment to Serve


In 2007, a small group of passionate and committed medical students congregated to discuss the possibility of starting a new health screening project focused on serving residents living in HDB rental apartments. They gathered what little funds and resources they had and proceeded to introduce Singapore’s first, student-organised and led, health screening service to residents in Taman Jurong.


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Healthcare Competition Challenges Student Team


A belt to transfer patients safely and easily, a device to reduce infections in dialysis patients, and an electronic band to prevent pooling of blood in legs were just some of the innovative projects displayed at the inaugural Medical Grand Challenge (MGC) organised by students of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine).



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Raffles Dialogue 2017 Focuses on Global Concern


The second edition of the Raffles Dialogue took place from September 4 to 6 at the NUS University Hall. Themed “Human Well-Being and Security in 2030: The Critical Role of Innovation”, the conference focused on the world’s most pervasive healthcare issues today.




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A Better Way


Quicker, simpler, smoother, even cheaper. To foster a work culture based on quality, value creation, efficiency and continuous improvement, and to encourage staff to improve their productivity and excellence, the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine established the Organisational Excellence (OE) Unit on May 1, 2016.




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Professor Tan Chorh Chuan to Spearhead Healthcare Innovation


NUS President, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan will be helming the new Ministry of Health (MOH) Office for Healthcare Transformation as its founding Executive Director from January 1, 2018. He will also concurrently serve as MOH’s Chief Health Scientist. This was announced by the MOH on September 4. Prof Tan will assume these appointments after he steps down as NUS President at the end of the year, capping an impressive 10-year term in which he transformed the institution into a leading global university.


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Potency and Potential


In this final instalment of our series, we take a look at cancer vaccines. Cancer vaccines work by activating the immune system to attack cancer cells. There are two types of vaccines – the first fights cancer that already exists, while the second type (more like the vaccines most people think about) protects against getting cancer or prevents the cancer from growing.


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Fighting a Highly Prevalent Disease in Singapore on Multiple Fronts


Singapore and the rest of the world has been battling a growing diabetes epidemic for many years. The numbers are scary and the challenges multi-faceted. The Metabolic Diseases Summit Research Programme (SRP) brings together experts in fields ranging from molecular biology to the behavioural sciences to tackle diabetes treatment on two main fronts, (1) developing new therapies for metabolic disease, and (2) transforming the delivery of care to optimise outcomes for diabetic patients.


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Vitamin E Isoform γ-Tocotrienol May Help Protect Against Emphysema in COPD


Vitamin E can be found in vegetables, fruits and plant oils, and is widely recognised for its antioxidant property. There are a total of 8 isoforms of vitamin E, namely α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocopherol, and α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocotrienol. All along, γ-tocopherol is perceived to be the active antioxidant isoform for vitamin E. However, research found that the γ-tocotrienol form of vitamin E is more effective than γ-tocopherol in neutralising free radicals in the lungs.


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Healthcare in the Himalayas


"As patient after patient sat before my team, I was reminded of the intimacy of a doctor-patient relationship, and the positive impact our treatment can have on their lives."

Jonathan Leong, Phase IV Medicine student, writes about spending a season with an international medical team caring for villages in the Himalayas.


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The Future of Medical Education



In an article published in Issue 23 of MediCine, we imagined what medicine and healthcare might look like in the not-too-distant future. In this article, we explore the medical education required to complement this future healthcare system.


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More Young School Leavers Drawn to Nursing's New Horizons


Shanisse Seah knew she wanted to be a nurse when she was 16. Then a Secondary 4 student at Dunman High School, she and her classmates were asked to research their options for University education during a careers fair.



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A Thirst for Helping People Led Scholar to Nursing


Delphine Chen, a Year 2 Nursing student at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, and a beneficiary of the Thio Kok Foe and Choo Kim Beng Nursing Scholarship, shares how her journey led her to NUS.


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Living in the Moment with Karate


As a teenager, the biochemistry professor practiced qingwu (a type of Chinese martial arts) from his uncle who was a master back in Malaysia, but stopped after he went to the United Kingdom to further his studies. The slip brought him up short. “I thought, that’s not me. It’s always one of those things – you think you’re still in condition, but then suddenly you realise, no you’re not. So that’s something of a tipping point,” said Assoc Prof Too.


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Transforming Healthcare – The Role of Family Physicians and the Primary Care Sector


In a speech addressing medical students at the 1st National Medical Students Convention on August 26, 2017, Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, Director of Medical Services (DMS), Ministry of Health, spoke about the evolution of our healthcare system, our country’s changing healthcare needs and healthcare models, and its relevance to medical students today.1


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Teaching Palliative Care


World Hospice and Palliative Care Day falls in October each year, which would explain the increased number of newspaper articles, radio segments and public activities from late September to early November. All of which is important and necessary of course. But if the positive publicity was so compelling that everyone started asking for Palliative care, our specialist services would not be able to cope with the demand. There are, after all, so very few of us.


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Putting Singapore on Map of Medical Advances


Professor Lee Eng Hin writes about nurturing clinician scientists to further biomedical initiative and put Singapore on the map as a leader in impactful medical innovations and therapies in an article that was published in The Strait Times on August 25, 2017.





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A Country Practice


Husband and wife team has cared for residents in rural Australia for three decades.


Dr Daniel James and Dr Mei Wee met at NUS Medicine in the 1970s when they were young undergraduates and active in the Varsity Christian Fellowship. They have come a long way since. Literally. After graduating from medical school in 1977 and getting married in 1979, the couple and their two daughters Davina and Deborah emigrated to Australia in 1988.



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Reasonable Patient Standard and Informed Consent



The recent Singapore Court of Appeal (CA) decision in Hii Chii Kok v Ooi Peng Jin London Lucien and another has greatly shifted the legal standard for medical advice and information disclosure. Previously, what information needed to be disclosed to patients depended on what reasonable doctors would find relevant. The CA has endorsed a modified version of the test set out by the UK ruling in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board, where disclosure depends on what a reasonable patient would find material, or what the doctor knows is important to that particular patient.


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Regulating the Stem Cell Industry: Needs and Responsibilities


Emerging biotechnologies pose public health challenges1 because of both the known and unforeseen risks they carry, the uncertain medical benefits they offer, the speed at which they have been disseminated and their unproven mode of application.2 The development of therapies from advances in stem cell science reveals the need to pay critical attention to stem cell treatments.






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 Event & Venue

Nov 2 Singapore Brain Modulation Symposium & 4th NUS Academic Psychiatry Meeting
Auditorium, Level 1, NUHS Tower Block
Nov 2 Dialogue 2017
Lecture Theatre LT37, Level 3, Tahir Foundation Building (MD1), NUS
Nov 5 Go Red @ Clementi
Clementi Community Centre
Nov 9 Pressurised Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) 1st Asia-Pacific Symposium & Hands-on Course
Advanced Surgery Training Centre, Level 2, Kent Ridge Wing, NUH
Nov 14 Biology of Ageing II: Impactful Interventions
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore
Nov 16 NUS-Cambridge Joint Symposium
Auditorium, Level 1, Clinical Research Centre (MD11)
Nov 20 AAHCI Southeast Asia Regional Webinar
For more information, visit https://nus.edu/2ygiIMo
Nov 23 Graduate Students Symposium
Lecture Theatre LT35, Level 3, Centre for Translational Medicine (MD6)
Jan 10 15th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC)
NUS & Resorts World Convention Centre, Sentosa
Jan 11 Association of Academic Health Centers 
International (AAHCI) Southeast Asia Regional Meeting

Meeting Room T06-03, Level 6, NUHS Tower Block