The SingHealth Residency Leadership Programme (SRLP) builds up a pool of leaders among residents in SingHealth.

As a participant of the SingHealth Residency Leadership Programme (SRLP), Dr Maria Judith Pang and her peers had the opportunity to not only learn in class but also beyond. She recalled, “We had to go to Sembawang Adventure Camp that had a high element programme.   I’m not a fan of heights, but my group was very encouraging and cheered me on.   As much as I was deathly afraid of it, they were very supportive and I cleared all the obstacles.   I couldn’t have done that without support from my team.”

Dr Pang, a Resident in Otolaryngology, added that much like overcoming the obstacles at the camp, “Being in leadership role is about stepping out of your comfort zone of clinical work by doing things that not only engage a small group but also at a very large scale – where you need the support and encouragement from other people.”

“I had benefitted from my residency training … My involvement in the SRLP is a good way to pay it forward and guide my juniors.” 
- Dr Lie Sui An, Senior Resident, Anaesthesiology, SingHealth Residency and mentor to Dr Maria Judith Pang

The six-month long SRLP provides exactly this.   The programme is unique as it is designed for residents by residents, with alumni from the Singapore Chief Residency Programme (SCRP), the national level physician leadership training, as mentors and co-facilitators.   It comprises five seminars that teach essential leadership skills including systems thinking, communications and team-building.

SCRP was established four years ago by the Ministry of Health and more than 10 SingHealth Residents participate in SCRP each year. However, there is a need for more Residents being trained for leadership roles.

SingHealth Residency Designated Institutional Official, Assoc Prof Lim Boon Leng, explained, “In a healthy situation, 10% to 20% of employees should be trained for leadership positions.   Among SingHealth’s annual intake of about 200 residents, this means up to 40 each year can be identified and groomed from an early stage of their careers.”

Residents from SRLP’s first cohort and their mentors attended a two day one night seminar at FOCUS Adventure Sembawang.

Cohort one sharing at one of the SRLP seminars.

To join SRLP, residents are held to the same standards as SCRP, with selection based on academic performance, leadership qualities, peer reviews and an interview with a panel of faculties.

Dr Lie Sui An is one of the SCRP alumni roped in to the programme. He is currently a Senior Resident in the Anaesthesiology Residency Programme and mentors Dr Pang in SRLP. He said, “I had benefitted from my residency training in SingHealth and in the SCRP. My involvement in the SRLP is a good way to pay it forward and guide my juniors.”

SRLP ensures that no one is thrust into leadership positions without preparation.  Attested Prof Lim, “I had seen a few cases of doctors who considered leaving, or have left the organisation because they were daunted by leadership roles they had not been trained for.   We want to make sure our residents are not caught unaware.”