Two new collaborative platforms at Duke-NUS aim to further the impact of academic and research collaborations - the Academic Medicine Education Institute to raise the level of teaching and learning and the Academic Medicine Research Institute to enhance research.
Bringing together clinical care, education and the development of new knowledge, Academic Medicine at Duke-NUS and SingHealth has taken on an added dimension with the launch of two new platforms: the Academic Medicine Education Institute (EI) and the Academic Medicine Research Institute (RI).
According to Professor Bob Kamei, Vice Dean of Education at Duke-NUS, "The EI is a way to bring together the mutual strengths and expertise within Duke-NUS and SingHealth. This allows us to reach a wider audience of faculty staff and other learners with the concept called Academic Medical Education."
He explained, "Academic Medical Education is not only about improving the way we teach healthcare learners across the spectrum, from doctors, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, but also the way they learn. It's an additional slant on education that seeks to improve teaching or learning skills. In addition, Academic Medical Research is about doing the studies that change the way we care for people and the bigger the impact on people's health. The quality of every discovery is measured by the impact it has on people's lives. In the same way, greater the impact you make in education, the greater the advancement in medical research."
Ultimately, it is about improving the way teaching and learning in a way that brings about the greatest impact. This means not just training individual students, but also though broader means such as course writing, resident programs and educational medical research, all of which develop people to reach their full potential for the benefit of medical science and patients, added Prof. Kamei.
Similarly with the AMRI, Professor John Rush, Vice Dean, Clinical Sciences, the idea is to develop strong research careers and expertise, support people engaged in research and the pursuit of independent research funding.
"We provide enabling structures and functions in order to help execute research. In having an academic home, people can talk about ideas with each other, think through things and try innovations through being exposed to new ideas."
He added, "The days of doing research alone in a lab are gone. We are looking at improving scientific collaborations across a wider scale and scope. To understand a disease these days, we need a multidisciplinary team, from biochemists, radiologists, geneticists, statisticians, metabolomics, proteomics and disease experts." Other resources also range from workshops to help develop protocols and grant applications, access to quantitative expertise (in biostatistics, epidemiology or bioinformatics) and mentorship to peers with whom researchers can collaborate with to help shape protocols and develop safe, efficient and clear research.
"The RI also provides functions such as medical writing reviews, assistance in data capture, consultation with experts from Duke (Durham, USA) and elsewhere," said Professor Rush. "We want to make the research process easier, more feasible, less painful and more fun. The aim is to develop careers through creativity and collaboration to contribute the best outcome to patients."
Translational research: The study of how bodily functions and diseases work in people through the study of animal models. Translating studies done or information gathered on animals to human application. In translational medicine, researchers may find drug targets or physiological systems that can be modified with medicines or behavior change.
Clinical research: Taking the data found in translational research and applying them to patients to see if these treatments work, for whom it works and when in the course of a disease it is most effective to discover how a treatment or diagnostic test is best applied in practice.Health services: The study of clinical applications and analysing what is the most cost effective and effective way to deliver a new treatment.
Story extracted from Vital Science, June 2012 publication