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SingHealth Residency Open House – A Final Year Student's Experience

This was my first time attending the SingHealth Residency Open House, and I was admittedly a little sceptical in the days leading up to it. After all, I am now in the phase of life where I have no formal work experience, let alone a sense of certainty about what I might want to do for the rest of my life. To give some context, I belong to a group of students who came into medical school with the intent of training to be a good doctor in general, not one in any particular field. I have since decided to spend some time exploring various postings as a Houseman and Medical Officer (MO) before deciding on an area to pursue.

I planned to accomplish three objectives at the Open House: (1) to explore the Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1) prospects at SingHealth, (2) to find out how I may arrange MO postings with various departments in future, and (3) to get a feel of the SingHealth culture and how their Residents and Faculty are doing. Fortunately, the sprawling event presented many avenues and opportunities for my peers and me to find out more about the institution and its programs, all while somewhat sheepishly partaking in the Llaollao and freebie festivities.

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Of the many things that were happening on that day, a few stood out for me. SingHealth Residency's DIO, Assoc Prof Lim Boon Leng’s briefing was informative and gave a good overview of training expectations and resources in SingHealth. At the PGY1 information session, Assoc Prof Lim Swee Han and his team directly addressed our concerns, and demonstrated their commitment to maintaining high training standards for fledgling House Officers. Faculty members and Programme Directors were really approachable, answering our questions and sharing valuable insights from their decades of experience working in the public sector.

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I found that an essential part of the Open House was the interaction that we had with the current Residents and those who have “been there and done that”. Given my interest in community development and public health, I discussed these topics (and the opportunities to be involved in meaningful work like this) with some Emergency Medicine Residents who shared similar interests. It was enlightening hearing about how they juggled their immense workload with commitments outside of Medicine, and how they felt supported by their peers and mentors who took interest in their personal and professional growth.

All in all, I walked out of Academia that morning feeling a little more invigorated about life after medical school, tough as it will be. I will certainly consider rotating through SingHealth institutions after graduating in 2018, and I am confident that SingHealth and its training programs will continue to play a crucial role in the professional development of my peers and juniors in the years to come. On behalf of my fellow medical students, here’s a huge thank you to all Residents, Faculty, and administrative staff for their advice and support! 

Written by Ivan Low
Medical Society Student Leader & Final Year Medical Student
National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine