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Behind-the-Scenes Superheroes: Adminstrators who Wear Multiple Hats

Since its inception, SingHealth Residency has skilfully orchestrated well-structured training programmes for Residents. This is a demanding and collaborative process involving senior management, clinicians and administrators. It is certainly not an easy task. Our Programme Executives (PEs), who work closely with our Residents and Faculty to strive toward an ever-improving SingHealth Residency, share what drives them at work.

1. Tell us about your role in SingHealth Residency. How does your work help Residents?

Belinda Huang, Education Manager, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Residency Programme: I oversee undergraduate-to-postgraduate training matters under the Obstetrics and Gynaecology (OBGYN) Academic Clinical Programme (ACP). I work hand-in-hand with our teaching faculty to develop training curricula and courses, as well as innovate new ideas to improve the training experience.

Shane Christopher Chew, Senior Programme Executive, Cardiology Senior Residency Programme: I provide administrative assistance to the Programme Director (PD) to oversee a Residency programme. A PE's job consists of a plethora of roles and responsibilities; among which include monitoring Residents' training progress, collation of Resident evaluation forms, and attaining programme accreditation.


2. Your job requires you to work closely with the Residents. Describe one such memorable experience.

Shane: There are a number of events that have left a lasting impression on me. For example, I have had the chance to witness Residents' surgical skills during wet labs, attend dinner gatherings and BBQs at the PD's house, and participate at engagement events. Once, I was stuck inside a 'zorb ball' with a Resident as part of a race during our Residency Freshman Orientation event!

Belinda: There are times when I have to be strict with Residents to ensure compliance to the policies and guidelines. Many have found that I am tough, but I have to ensure improvements are made to the programme, and that the Residents adhere to the policies implemented. Many later thanked me and provided positive feedback when they saw that the improvements were beneficial.


3. What do you enjoy most about your work?

Belinda: Sometimes, my Faculty or Residents seek my opinion before making a decision and we work together to resolve the issue. At times like this, it feels like we are part of a big family whose members may have their own differences, but who hold each other's best interest at heart. I am also glad to be able to work with many like-minded people who believe in educating the next generation. Our ACPs and PDs are very supportive and receptive to new ideas to implement/streamline processes for Education.

Shane: I enjoy the close working relationships that I have formed with the Residents and Faculty. On a personal note, when my father had a heart attack, the Residents and Faculty were very reassuring and kept my family up-to-date on my father's condition.

Also, knowing that I had a part to play in the development of competent future Cardiologists and Cardiothoracic Surgeons is gratifying. Who knows? Maybe someday one of them may save my life.


4. What was one of your proudest moments at work?

Shane: Seeing the very first two batches of Cardiology Senior Residents graduate was a nice moment to cherish. Whenever I bump into them around the campus, I always get a reminder of my purpose in this whole system.

I have also created a website called Cardiology Senior Residency Portal. This portal serves as a one-stop platform to improve communication between the PEs and Senior Residents, and to allow Senior Residents to keep up-to-date with their training progress. I am happy to see that Neurosurgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Neurology are adopting this for their own programmes as well.

Belinda: My proudest moment is when colleagues/patients praise our OBGYN Residents and administrators for the good work they have done or things put in place. It is always heartening to hear that they appreciate our presence and that it makes their training better.


5. Lastly, how would you describe the work culture in SingHealth Residency?

Shane: "Good Work, Hard Work and Team Work" firmly resonates as part of our culture. I find that information-sharing across programmes and willingness to give advice to fellow PEs is common in our day-to-day work. On top of that, there is a pro-family culture within the department; I have observed that many colleagues have a positive work-life balance. I believe this strongly contributes to SingHealth Residency having many long-serving staff within its ranks.

Belinda: Fast-paced and constantly busy, but this is what makes it interesting for anyone who wants to join SingHealth Residency!