By Professor Matthew Gwee,

Centre for Medical Education

The Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC) series of conferences was initiated in 2003 by the Medical Education Unit (now the Centre for Medical Education (CenMED) in the then Faculty of Medicine (now the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine), National University of Singapore. There were only about 100-odd participants when the 1st APMEC was launched soon after the MEU was established.

 

APMEC has grown almost ten-fold since its inception – a clear testimony to its popularity, reflecting the quality of its educational offerings to participants who now come, not only from Asia, but also from across the world. We are of course delighted.

 

The success (or perhaps the growth rate) can be attributed, firstly, to the vision and firm belief of the organisers that there is a need for Singapore to provide the educational leadership to enhance the status of medical education in general and, more specifically, to motivate our teachers to “Teach and Flourish” in the spirit of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The organisers are also mindful of the need to share knowledge across Asia and in this context, we are deeply grateful to all our specially invited speakers who so readily share their wisdom, expertise

 

and experience with all participants. We owe a debt of gratitude to all our support staff for the cheerful and conscientious spirit which team members display throughout and, last but certainly not least, we would like to express our deep appreciation to all our participants for their continued support over all these years.

 

The primary focus of this 15th edition of APMEC (10-14 January 2018) was on technology-enhanced education, in view of the fact that information is now available at the click of a button for both education and healthcare. The two are not separate but are interdependent endeavours. However, we also needed to observe a caveat: patient-care is both a science and an art; the latter will require healthcare students to optimise the development of their interpersonal skills which involve much human communication and interaction. How technology can contribute effectively and efficiently to learning of interpersonal skills must be critically assessed!

 

We hope all our participants enjoyed sessions of learning and gaining exciting educational insights that will stimulate them to continue their conversations beyond the conference site and into their respective disciplines in their own institutions.