Eight Master Academic Clinicians were inducted into the newly formed Hall of Master Academic Clinicians, while 29 senior clinical faculty were promoted or newly appointed
On Friday, 15 January, Duke-NUS inaugurated its virtual Hall of Master Academic Clinicians and inducted the inaugural cohort of eight outstanding clinician faculty at a ceremony held at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium at the Academia. During the event, which Duke-NUS Governing Board Chairman Mr Goh Yew Lin graced as Guest-of-Honour, 29 senior clinicians also received their promotion or new appointment to professor or associate professor.

Kick-starting the event, which saw some 30 guests gathered at the auditorium and a larger audience joining via video link, Duke-NUS Dean Professor Thomas Coffman recognised the immeasurable contribution of the more than 1,600-strong clinical faculty over the last 15 years since the medical school was established on the Outram campus.

“You have educated and trained our students. You have made discoveries. You translated them to change clinical practice. And you have established a culture of curiosity, innovation, and compassion that distinguishes the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre as a world-class institution,” he said.

He then turned to address the clinician faculty, who hail from all parts of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC): “With this Hall, we recognise senior clinicians who have distinguished themselves in all areas of their careers. These are multi-dimensional clinicians who combine clinical mastery, exemplary standards of professionalism, leadership and outstanding academic achievement. They are role models for all who aspire to careers in academic medicine.”

Following the Dean’s opening address, the audience was inspired through a short video featuring the eight inaugural Master Academic Clinicians. In the video, the faculty shared what inspired them to go the extra mile as academic clinicians.

Clinical Professor Fock Kwong Ming spoke about meeting Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall, who famously drank a cocktail of helicobacter to prove to a skeptical medical community that peptic ulcers can be cured with a simple regimen of antibiotics.

Nurturing the generation of clinicians to be even better is what motivates Associate Professor Ong Biauw Chi.

“One day I will need you [younger clinician] to help me and when that happens I can’t possibly get out of bed and say don’t do it like that,” she said. “Whatever we know, we should share.”

The recipients also included Clinical Professors Tan Ban Hock and Venkataraman Anantharaman who offered advice to clinicians keen to pursue academic research careers, highlighting that research needs to be contextualised to local patients and environments, and advised them to grow their careers by starting small.

Inspiration was also shared for those who are keen to develop their expertise as educators. Clinical Professor Ang Chong Lye highlighted that one should teach according to one’s strengths which change over the course of a clinician’s career, while Professor Chay Oh Moh shared how she incorporates teaching students, residents and nurses into her ward rounds.

“It doesn’t take extra time but you need to make the extra effort to incorporate teaching in your clinical work,” said Prof Chay.

Juggling teaching, research, clinical and even administrative duties can be daunting but Clinical Professors Tan Kok Chai and Wong Wai Keong emphasised that good planning and time management are essential skills that should be cultivated early on. Prof Wong also highlighted that in today’s working environment, protected time can be obtained to pursue passions in teaching or research.

After the inspiring video, Mr Goh took to the stage to unveil the—for now—virtual Hall of Master Academic Clinicians.

“I hereby officially inaugurate the Hall of Master Academic Clinicians,” said Mr Goh as a virtual curtain revealed the Hall.

The eight Master Academic Clinicians mark their induction with a commemorative photo with Guest-of-Honour Mr Goh Yew Lin, Duke-NUS Dean Professor Thomas Coffman and SingHealth Group CEO Clinical Professor Ivy Ng

The ceremony was also an opportunity to congratulate 29 promoted and newly appointed senior clinical faculty, who received their new name tags from Prof Coffman.

Bringing the ceremony to a close, Duke-NUS Vice-Dean for Academic & Clinical Development Professor Wong Tien Yin said that today’s event demonstrates the progress of the AMC and hopes that the next generation can see that these very distinguished Master Academic Clinicians can be “a beacon” to light the way, he said.

“I look forward to working with you as well as [to] you supporting some our younger residents and consultants in their own academic journey.”