Students pursuing the double degree programme in biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will soon get to apply what they learn at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH).
NTU Singapore and KWSH are launching a new internship programme and will also set up an exchange programme for physicians at both institutions.
These initiatives support the government’s efforts to develop the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) industry which is expected to play an increasingly important role as Singapore’s population ages. In 2017, the government invested S$10 million to support the modernisation of the industry.
A five-year agreement was inked today at a graduation session held for graduands from the NTU biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine double degree programme by Dr Ow Chee Chung, CEO, KWSH and Prof Lars Nordenskiöld, Chair, NTU School of Biological Sciences.
Guest-of-honour Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, who chairs the TCM Practitioners Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Health, witnessed the signing, together with NTU Vice President (Alumni & Advancement) Prof Alan Chan and KWSH Chairman Mr Lee Kwok Kie, Patrick.
Beyond the agreement, KWSH will unveil a new residency programme for fresh NTU graduate physicians at the end of the year – a first by the Hospital. Trainees will be supervised by KWSH’s senior TCM physicians for a period of two to three years.
NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) Professor Ling San said, “The new internship, exchange and residency programmes leverage NTU’s innovative ‘East Meets West’ bilingual double degree programme, as well as the modern approach we take to TCM at our NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic. Equipped with knowledge from their foundation in biomedical sciences, students will get the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in KWSH, which combines the best of Western and Chinese medicine in their delivery of care.
“This partnership will also encourage physicians from both institutions to continue learning from each other, and hopefully spark new collaborative research work that sheds new light on existing treatment methods.”
Dr Ow Chee Chung, CEO of KWSH, said, “KWSH is delighted to be able to partner NTU through its School of Biological Sciences and to support the school’s undergraduate training. Also, with the new KWSH TCM Physician Residency Programme, we will play a part in professional TCM training and development for the Hospital’s future physicians as well as Singapore’s larger TCM fraternity.”
Fostering close ties through exchange and research
Under the internship programme, undergraduates enrolled in NTU’s double degree programme in biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine will train in the outpatient setting, which includes day care and community services, and in inpatient care. The double degree programme is offered in conjunction with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.
During this time, they will get to apply their knowledge in a range of TCM services, observe real patient-physician interactions, and also participate in grand ward rounds, where medical problems and treatment of a particular patient are presented to an audience.
Under the exchange programme, physicians at the NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic and KWSH will be on regular rotation between the two institutions. This fosters close ties between the two institutions and ensures that the physicians continue to learn through exposure to a wider range of patient profiles and conditions.
The regular exchange between the physicians could also spark new research collaborations, which is one of the aims of the partnership between NTU and KWSH. Possible research areas include developing an East-West integrative approach to geriatric healthcare and the use of acupuncture to treat post-stroke symptoms.
Nurturing the next generation of modern TCM physicians
Graduates from the NTU double degree programme in biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine will soon be able to apply for KWSH’s residency programme, which will last for two to three years.
Under this programme – the first residency programme offered by the Hospital – fresh graduates will be exposed to different aspects of the TCM practice, from outpatient and inpatient care at KWSH’s TCM Centre and nursing home respectively, to community outreach efforts such as consultations at community events and educational health talks.
The KWSH residency programme aims to offer a conducive environment for graduates in their budding careers as TCM physicians who integrate the modern approach to medicine with Chinese medicine.
Source: NTU Singapore