MediCine

A PUBLICATION OF THE 
NUS YONG LOO LIN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

 


 

Issue 29 / February 2019

FEATURE ARTICLE

An Anatomist's Guide to Bird Spotting

 

When Professor Rajendran K is not guiding students through the intricacies of human anatomy, he’s beavering away on innovative displays and exhibits to illustrate how joints, limbs and tissue work. And when he does find pockets of free time, the good professor swops lecture notes, laser pointer and slide clicker for a pair of binoculars and takes off for the nearest forested patch. More often than not, that happens to be Kent Ridge Park, which is just behind his office.

 

 

DEAN'S MESSAGE


Dear Reader, 

As we usher in the Year of the Earth Pig, I would like to sincerely thank three groups of people chiefly responsible for the success of the NUS medical school – our alumni, our staff, and our students. In our quest to inspire health for everyone, the support and encouragement of our alumni is invaluable. Their generous contributions enable the School to enhance its mission of educating tomorrow’s healthcare professionals and to finding better ways of tackling disease.
 
Take Dr Oon Chiew Seng, for example. The centenarian’s abiding interest and compassion for the aged has seen her undertake a number of roles and responsibilities dedicated to advancing the cause of dementia patients. It has also spurred her to actively fund research into ageing-related illnesses here at NUS Medicine.

 

DOSSIER

 

Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC) 2019

 

Soon after heralding in 2019, the Centre for Medical Education (CenMED), NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, hosted APMEC 2019 (now in its 16th year) after months of dedicated preparation for the event. More than 1,420 delegates from 39 countries registered for the conference.

 

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 Public Health Service

 

In 2004, a group of medical students from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine organised the School’s first student-led population health screening project. It offered four basic screening modalities at no cost to residents. Since then, the annual event has come to be known as the Public Health Service. The latest edition, PHS 2018, featured 10 screening modalities, complete with a health exhibition and an inaugural health carnival run.

 

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SCIENCE OF LIFE

 

The Data Whisperer

 

Assistant Professor John Chen Yu-Shen doesn’t just review data. He listens to them and hears their whispers. While many scientists scan and peruse the reams of information mined and gleaned from their research, Asst Prof Chen goes further, paying close attention to data that is often deemed irregular or irrelevant and which may then be disregarded. His belief in keeping ears and eyes tuned for the unusual and the odd have paid off time and again.

 

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A New Approach to Identifying HFMD


Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an illness commonly reported in children and endemic to many parts of Asia. To diagnose HFMD, clinicians rely primarily on physical symptoms. This is tricky and carries risks of misdiagnosis since the symptoms of HFMD overlap with many other illnesses. A team of researchers has developed a diagnostic model to test for HFMD in human saliva and this model was able to detect HFMD with an accuracy of 85-93% in a test comprising 69 saliva samples from HFMD patients and healthy children.

 

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IN VIVO

 

A Dose of Japanese Medicine

 

In November 2018, a group of medical students visited Yokohama City University (YCU) along with Associate Professor Suresh Pillai (Director, Centre for Healthcare Simulation). Having had the pleasure of hosting YCU medical students when they visited NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine back in August 2018, the students were excited to meet old friends and make new ones on this outbound trip.

 

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A Passage to India


Phase IV medicine student, Deepanraj and his friends packed their bags and headed to Christian Medical College in Vellore for their overseas elective. Learning came in many forms, in terms of exposure to a wide range of conditions, direct interaction with veteran clinicians who taught them the nuances of making a clinical diagnosis, as well as providing low cost effective care.

 

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ETHICALLY SPEAKING

 

Genetic World in Uproar over Chinese Scientist's Move

 

The idea of scientists tinkering with the genes of babies was once the realm of science fiction. Chinese scientist He Jiankui reported the historic live births of twin girls whose genes he had edited. The goal may have been noble: to use CRISPR to alter their genes to include a variant protective against transmission of HIV. But the announcement – yet to be verified – has quickly become mired in a deluge of scientific and ethical criticism of He as a reckless researcher who overstepped well-established boundaries, writes Dr Owen Schafer of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics in the 28 November 2018 issue of The Conversation.


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INSIGHTS

 

A "Good Death" - What's Your Game Plan?

 

In a survey done by the Project Happy Apples student committee in preparation for their event, called END Game: What’s Your Game Plan?”, it was found that there was a low level of awareness about Palliative Care and related concepts like Advance Care Planning. It is ironic that more effort is put into planning a holiday than preparing for old age, retirement or death. So it should not surprise anyone that few people have considered what a good death means to them.

 

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Paradigm Shifts In Medical Education

 

MediCine is reproducing a series of articles from Ministry of Health's publication “Caring for our People: 50 years of healthcare in Singapore”. The second article of this series gives insights into the shift in the thinking of the local medical community that would help shape the future of medical training in Singapore.

 

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The Nurse Next Door

 

Based in the heartlands, the NUHS Community Care Team consists of nurses and care coordinators who work together with partners to deliver care to residents in the community. Services include transitional care, primary care, health promotion and prevention care. Hoping to be more closely involved in improving the health of people, SSN Koh Shu Hua, from NUS Nursing Class of 2012, made the switch from a general ward nurse to a community nurse after five years at NUH. She shares about what a community nurse does.

 

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Collaborative Research For the 

Betterment of Human Health


Singapore is a small country with limited resources. Collaboration, not competition, is therefore the way to go. Developing partnerships across different institutions is important to establishing national resources to combat diseases. This will help maximise research productivity and minimise duplication of efforts. Associate Professor Lim Kah Leong shares his thoughts on the importance of fostering collaboration between basic and clinician scientists.

 

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ALL IN THE FAMILY

 

Primary Care Research: Now More Than Ever

 

Primary care research translates science into the practice of medicine and caring for patients. It provides further understanding of how to better organise health care to meet patient and population needs. It develops and evaluates innovations to provide the best health care to patients by engaging patients, communities, and practices to improve Health Research Sciences.

 

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ALUMNI VOICES

 

Every Man's Best Friend

 

Professor Foo Keong Tatt, Emeritus Senior Consultant at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), championed the practice of Urology in Singapore, pioneering the transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) procedure here. The trailblazer has taught and inspired generations of clinicians and students and was recognised as ‘Alumnus of the year’ at the inaugural Alumni Awards organised by NUS Medicine in 2018. The alumnus from the Class of 1965 shares insights from his life’s work.

 

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PEOPLE OF NUS MEDICINE

 

Bird Man of Kent Ridge

 

When Professor Rajendran K is not guiding students through the intricacies of human anatomy, he’s beavering away on innovative displays and exhibits to illustrate how joints, limbs and tissue work. And when he does find pockets of free time, the good professor swops lecture notes, laser pointer and slide clicker for a pair of binoculars and takes off for the nearest forested patch. More often than not, that happens to be Kent Ridge Park, which is just behind his office.

 

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WITH A LITTLE HELP

 

Help of the Helpless

 

"Do you need a reason to help others?"


That response, gently rendered to a journalist who sought to understand the basis of Dr Oon Chiew Seng’s lifelong concern for the aged and disadvantaged, was a neat summary of the beliefs and conviction that have energised the NUS alumna through a long and distinguished career.

 

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SCHEDULER

 

FEBRUARY - APRIL


 

Date Event & Venue


Feb 19-22 Workshop: Grant Writing
NUHS Tower Block

 
Feb 26-27 Workshop: Fundamentals of Simulation-Based Healthcare Education
Level 3, Centre for Healthcare Simulation, Centre for Translational Medicine (MD 6), NUS

 
Mar 6
Workshop: SCRI Grant Writing
Clinical Research Centre (MD 11), NUS
 
Mar 21-22
Cochin Institute-NUS MSC Cancer Programme Joint Symposium
Cochin Institute, Paris, France
 
Mar 27-29 14th NUS-Nagasaki-LSHTM Symposium on Infectious Disease
Centre for Translational Medicine (MD 6), NUS
 
Apr 30 Workshop: Debriefing in Simulation-based Healthcare Education
Level 3, Centre for Healthcare Simulation, Centre for Translational Medicine (MD 6), NUS