Third Spacing is the yet to be defined space between cells and vessels, where fluid moves from one space to another. In sociology, the Third Space is where people talk about things that matter to them towards connection.

This podcast makes space to explore topics surrounding clinical medicine. We talk to doctors with unusual lifepaths and passions, professors who shaped our traditions or our futures, pioneers who took risks in arts, civil society, education, research to expand the possibilities of what medicine can look like in Singapore.

In the next 8 episodes, we explore the Medical Humanities, an interdisciplinary field that involves literature, philosophy, but also art to explore illness, which is the experience of disease.

Episode 7 - What is the role of the Medical Humanities in the Hospital?

In the first part of this two part series, we talk to Dr Devanand Anantham, Director of the SingHealth Medical Humanities Programme and Head of SingHealth Duke-NUS Lung Centre, about the role of the Medical Humanities in the hospital.

He shares the possibilities of infusing the humanities into the teaching of medicine and clinical practice and an upcoming programme aims to instil in healthcare professionals a deeper understanding of sickness and suffering through various disciplines such as philosophy, religion, and literature.

Episode 8 - How can the Medical Humanities grow in Singapore?

In the second part of our interview with Dr Devanand, we also discuss how the medical humanities can grow further in Singapore. Along the way, Dr Devanand shares his insights into the value of Narrative Medicine and the implications of Defensive Medicine on how clinicians approach their work today. We end the interview by discussing what his favourite books are.

Episode 9 - What is empathy, really?

Dr Maleena Suppiah, the Deputy Director of Clinical Education, National University Health System, Singapore elucidates empathy, a term which is used often – but what does it actually mean? Can we, and how do we learn empathy?

Episode 10 - How to write while running a full time clinical practice?

Dr Chang Tou Liang – a full time general practitioner and a reviewer of classical music for the Straits Times for 23 years. In this episode, we discuss how his interest in music developed as a child, how he started writing for the straits times, and how it impacts his relationship with his patients. Along the way, Dr Chang tells us how he knew his wife was the one (thanks to music, no less), and most curiously, how much he is paid per article.

Episode 11 - Why do Doctors write?

Dr Justin Ker, neurosurgeon and published author, shares about his unconventional start to medicine and how his practice inspires his writing. He also gives us a glimpse into his writing process and discusses what it means to be a Singapore writer.

Episode 12 - How do Doctors write?

Dr Justin Ker is a neurosurgeon and author of The Space Between the Raindrops. In the second part of our interview, Dr Ker reflects on his identity as doctor-writer, discusses his writing process, future writing projects, and advice for students considering writing seriously.

Episode 13 - What can the Medical Humanities do for Medical Students in Singapore?

Associate Professor Graham Matthews is Head of English and Coordinator of the Medical Humanities Research Cluster at NTU Singapore. In the first of our two-part interview, A/Prof Matthews provides a broad overview to the Medical Humanities, an interdisciplinary field that draws from literature, philosophy and history, to understand illness or the experience of disease. He also introduces us to developments within the field, including Critical Medical Humanities, the works of Katherine Montgomery and Rita Charon, and explores key themes of empathy and uncertainty.

Episode 14 - What can the Medical Humanities do beyond Education?

In the second half of our two-part interview with Graham Matthews, A/Prof at the NTU School of Humanities, we discuss work by NTU medical humanities by both undergraduate and graduate students to the wider community but also efforts to engage and include experiences of illness from around the region in SouthEast Asia.