Dr Adrian Kee

Senior Consultant, Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine,

University Medicine Cluster, National University Hospital

Programme Director, NUHS Internal Medicine Residency Programme

The fourth edition of the NUHS-Harvard BIDMC Conference – Updates in Internal Medicine was held on 25-27 January 2019. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) is a major teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) and has collaborated closely with the NUHS in areas of education and research. Building on the successes of the previous three conferences, this year’s overarching theme – “When East Meets West” – was aptly brought about by the first of two keynote talks.


NUHS Chief Executive Professor John Eu-Li Wong kicked off the conference by speaking on “The Evolving Health Care Model from an Asian Perspective.” It was followed by “The Evolving Health Care Model from an American Perspective”, delivered by Professor Mark Zeidel, Chief of Department of Medicine in BIDMC. 


After both keynote addresses, conference participants turned their attention to the programme’s five contemporaneous focus areas: Oncology, Ageing, Metabolic Diseases, Infectious Diseases and Gastroenterology & Hepatology. They were treated to informative sessions tailored to bring them up to speed with current, relevant and important developments in these focus areas. Eminent faculty from BIDMC served as conference speakers – Professors Mark Zeidel, Sanjiv Chopra, Lowell Schnipper, Martin Abrahamson and Christopher Smith. 


Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman (Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya), Professor Sanjiv Mahadeva (Head of Academic & Clinical Services, Department of Medicine, UM) and inspiring local faculty from NUHS and Tan Tock Seng Hospital also lent weight to the line-up of speakers. The talks were specially prepared such that the content was immediately relevant and beneficial to Internal Medicine residents who were looking for quick updates of the knowledge applicable to their day-to-day practice.

A special feature this year was the inclusion of parallel sessions related to medical education. Associate Professor Christopher Smith, Associate Chair of Education in the Department of Medicine in BIDMC, conducted several sessions ranging from effective clinical teaching, assessment of learning to cognitive learning theories. These sessions were attended by residents and faculty members and saw fruitful engagement and exchanges of good ideas.


The conference came to a rousing close on a bright Sunday morning where Internal Medicine residents from NUHS, Singhealth (SHS) and National Healthcare Group (NHG) pitted their knowledge and wits against one another in the Medical Jeopardy gameshow segment. Modelled after the all-time favourite gameshow “Jeopardy”, this version featured challenging medical questions designed to test the depth and breadth of the residents’ medical knowledge. It was a thoroughly enjoyable game, culminating in a nail-biting finish where NUHS and NHG battled for top honours. It came down to a tie-break question, with the NUHS team prevailing to lift the Challenge Trophy on home soil. Our heartiest congratulations to the team comprising Drs Lim Wei Yang, Joshua Tan and Nicole Chong.


Over the course of 2.5 days, more than 100 participants benefited from the knowledge sharing in the focus areas and were brought up to speed with the advances and current expert management strategies. The conference not only provided a learning platform for participants, but also gave opportunities to network with local and international experts and peers. We hope that the conference rejuvenated and inspired participants to give of their best during their training and in their daily clinical practice.