In SingHealth, Residents are often encouraged and offered various opportunities to pursue their interests beyond their Residency training, so as to develop them into more holistic clinicians. We hear from
Dr Dorinda Chew (Diagnostic Radiology), as she shares her personal and multifaceted journey on how she pursues her passion and beliefs in teaching and constantly finds ways to give back and enhance the learning experience of the next generation of doctors.
I was the
SingHealth Residents' Committee (RC) Co-Chair in 2019, where I was involved in planning several initiatives to actively engage our senior and junior Residents as well as medical students. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel many of the planned initiatives as a result of COVID-19, but that did not stop my RC members and me from wanting to do something for our Residents and juniors. We took advantage of the COVID-19 situation and collaborated with the Singapore Medical Association (SMA) Doctors in Training Committee to put together a COVID-19 Handbook for House Officers (HO), which aims to help junior doctors get acclimatised to life in SingHealth Residency with safe practices and tips on manoeuvring through their medical journey.
I also had opportunities to take on some leadership roles alongside esteemed seniors and fellow Residents, for example, I was part of the 2020 Singapore Congress Radiology (SCGR) Organising Committee, Chairperson of the College of Radiologists Singapore (CRS) Junior Forum Chapter in 2021 and Chief Resident from the
Singapore Chief Residency Programme (SCRP) in 2020. Together, we were driven by a common goal to improve education for better patient care for tomorrow.
Wearing many hats has provided me with plenty of opportunities to be involved in education development. I have learnt that education training can come in many forms, ranging from direct person-to-person teaching, to the development and consolidation of education resources and establishing Residency training framework and protocol, to name a few.
These roles have placed me in a unique position to provide direct feedback to my supervisors regarding changes to workflow processes. It has also presented me with a platform to mentor and guide my juniors when they approach me for advice, giving me the chance to hone my leadership skills.
COVID-19 posed a major challenge in education and training, such as having to transit in-person teaching and learning to online platforms etc., which may have resulted in a fragmented teaching experience. Thankfully, we have come a long way in overcoming these challenges, including becoming more tech savvy, establishing and utilising online teaching platforms. It also helped that SingHealth is the nation’s largest healthcare cluster, providing the opportunity for frequent hospital rotations and exposing me to a wide variety of patient demographics and caseloads that have enhanced my teaching experience.
Sometimes, I also found that I needed to find ways to ensure I stay inspired and motivated when I get stuck in a rut. To recharge myself, I unwind during my free time to bake, spend time with my family or simply do nothing (which happens to be my favourite!).
There are many role models and education giants whom I have had the privilege to meet and who have inspired me at work. I have personally benefitted from the initiatives that selfless seniors have established over the years. No system is perfect; gaps in education and training do exist, with plenty of room for improvement. But I believe that if we were to contribute in our own ways, we can build on prior experiences and improve the current systems for the doctors of tomorrow. Even if it means sharing a tip with juniors and fellow Residents on how to get their scan request approved!
I am a firm believer of mentoring, developing in-depth relationships with my juniors, and seeing them through different phases of their lives and training. Seeing them succeed through these different stages of their training under my mentorship always gives me a great sense of pride and achievement which motivates me on this journey.
*This article is contributed by the SingHealth Residents' Committee (RC) and copyedited by SingHealth Education Communications.
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