Duke-NUS Dean Professor Thomas Coffman spoke to welcome the AMAC members and participants from across the campus in his opening address during AMAC 2022

From 25 to 28 October, the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC) was abuzz with activity as the long awaited fifth Academic Medicine Advisory Council (AMAC) gathered in-person at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium. This bi-annual meeting, which was last held in 2018 had been delayed because of COVID-19. With three new members joining the Council, the AMAC met to review the AMC’s progress, share best practices and insights. They concluded their visit by sharing a set of recommendations on the way forward.

The four-day event, which also saw participants tune in virtually, was kicked off by Duke-NUS Dean Professor Thomas Coffman and SingHealth Group CEO Professor Ivy Ng who welcomed the AMAC members as well as the many participants from across the campus.

This year, the AMAC panel welcomed three new members—Professor Gillian Harvey, Flinders University; Professor Margaret Chan, Founding Dean of Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University; and Professor Victor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine—who joined AMAC Chairman Emeritus Regius Professor Sir Keith Peters, University of Cambridge and members Professor Arthur Rubenstein, University of Pennsylvania and Professor Sam Hawgood, Chancellor of the University of California San Diego.

Joining the dialogue session on the first day of AMAC 2022 are (L-R): Professor Sam Hawgood, Professor Victor Dzau, Professor Ivy Ng, Professor Sir Keith Peters, Duke-NUS Dean Professor Thomas Coffman, Professor Arthur Rubenstein and Professor Gillian Harvey

As the programme unfolded, the Council engaged in insightful dialogues and tea sessions with various stakeholders from the AMC, centring on three main themes: population health in an ageing population, healthcare innovation as well as the importance of interdisciplinary partnerships.

Another highlight was the “Academic Hour with AMAC” segment, a series of keynote lectures by AMAC members. The audience heard from Prof Dzau, Prof Hawgood and Prof Harvey who shared their insights on pertinent issues relating to population health, interdisciplinary collaboration, and strategies for innovation and implementation.

On the last day, Prof Chan, who used to head the World Health Organisation, addressed the audience about the importance of a coordinated response in tackling the global emergency of non-communicable diseases before handing the stage to Sir Keith Peters.

Sharing the panel’s findings, Sir Keith congratulated the entire AMC community on its progress, noting that the rate at which things have improved and the way the AMC leadership has taken the panel’s previous recommendations are “quite extraordinary”.

During the closing, Prof Coffman called it a phenomenal week and thanked the Council for their recommendations, emphasising that they had been incredibly helpful in charting the AMC’s path. Echoing his sentiments, Prof Ng also expressed her gratitude to the Duke-NUS and SingHealth Governing Boards, co-chairs of the AMAC 2022 Organising Committee Clinical Associate Professor Adrian Koh and Professor Nicholas Graves as well as Vice-Dean for Academic and Clinical Development Clinical Associate Professor Chow Wan Cheng for a successful AMAC 2022.

With the conclusion of AMAC 2022, a new chapter at the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC begins as plans are laid to follow through on the AMAC’s recommendations before the next meeting in two years’ time.