The Insider is pleased to catch up with two of our colleagues from the Medical Education, Research and Evaluation (MERE) Department. Meet Ms Goh Sok Hong, Senior Manager and Mr Francis Law, Laboratory Technical Officer (Pictured below from L-R). 

The Insider (TI): How long have you been with Duke-NUS? 

Sok Hong (SH): 
This is my 8th year of service at Duke-NUS. I started as a statistician and helped develop various projects during the initial phases, such as the TeamLEAD, gradebook, evaluation programme, and the student assessment system. 

Francis Law (FL):  About 1.5 years.

TI: What made you decide to join Duke-NUS?

The team-based learning concept was new in this region and I was curious. I was confident about this learning concept and wanted to help make it a success in this medical school. I am incredibly grateful and appreciate having the opportunity to be part of the pioneers in the Office of Education.  

FL: I wanted a change in environment. I was a medical photographer in the NUS Surgery Department for 17 years. It was the most interesting job I ever had. A typical day starts in the Operating Theater, where I took pictures of operation procedures followed by the occasional photography in the wards.

Along the way, I picked up enough IT knowledge and ended up troubleshooting IT issues. Computers became my patients. Machines do not complain or show much signs of trouble even if they are seriously ‘ill’ so I often have to go onsite to check on my “patients”. 

Now, my typical work day is spent mostly in the control room for classroom video recordings. I have to ensure the equipment used to facilitate the class (eg. computer and microphone) function properly. Every now and then, I may also be called on to help with urgent IT issues like a computer crash or a virus attack etc. 

TI: What is a typical day at work like for you, Sok Hong?

 A typical day involves responding to queries from our students and faculty. Their questions are mostly related to curriculum, scheduling, programme evaluation and data management.

The most rewarding aspect of my job is being able to pursue my interest in medical education research. I can have a deeper understanding of educational phenomena, such as why we do things in a certain way and how we can improve on these processes. 

TI: You have been recognised for your numerous contributions to the school over the years. Can you share your formula and motivation for work excellence?

: I have always set high expectations for myself and I work hard to achieve excellent results. My aim is to always go beyond my goals and I ride on the momentum of my successes to achieve even greater results. I always try to be positive as this helps to broaden the sense of possibility and keeps my mind open to new skills and alternative resources. 

Sok Hong with Dr Tan Chunzhen 
(Duke-NUS MD Class of 2014
Graduation & Hooding Ceremony)
Sok Hong is one of three inaugural winners of the
Dean’s Excellence Awards and one of five inaugural winners of the Values Ambassador Awards

TI: Francis, you have been recognised for your interest and talent in photography.  How has this helped you at the workplace?

: I picked up the art of photography when I was about 11 years old. Back then, film was the king. We did a lot of experiments with film photography by practising on different techniques including varying aperture and shutter speed settings. In doing so, I learned to be patient and creative in solving audio visual and IT issues. 
Additionally, I am able to help our colleagues take nice portraits of our students or event photos for our various publications.

Our MD students at the General Anatomy class (Photos by: Francis Law)

(L): Local dragonfly taken with Macro lens; (R): Jellyfish at the Underwater World, Sentosa Singapore (Photos by Francis Law)

TI: If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be and why?

: The world around us is changing rapidly and I think everyone of us needs to be accountable and willing to adapt to these changes. We can all learn from each other and create a positive work environment.

FL: I think it is prudent to constantly ensure our audio visual equipment is up to date. Schools will always find it a challenge to balance the costs of acquiring the latest technology for the classrooms, but it is an essential investment that cannot be overlooked.

TI: As Duke-NUS marks its 10th anniversary this year, what are your hopes and aspirations for the school on this significant milestone?

: I am so honoured to be a part of this wonderful organisaton. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, I am confident the school can continue to be a leader in providing world-class medical education and transforming healthcare practices with its cutting edge research.

FL: As the school grows in stature and attracts more students, I look forward to the opportunity of working with more talented and dedicated colleagues so that we can continue serving the students’ needs efficiently.

TI: If you could have coffee/tea with someone besides your family and friends, who would it be?

: It would have to be Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, the  Hong Kong comedy star. He makes me laugh and I believe laughter is the best medicine. 

FL: I would like to have tea with the President of Singapore, Mr. Tony Tan Keng Yam. It would be interesting to find out more about his daily routine as the President and as a husband and father to his family.

TI: What is your favourite phrase at the workplace? 

: Francis’s favourite phrase is, "let me check and see what we can do". He is always open and a great team player.

FL: Sok Hong’s favourite phrase at work is, "two heads are better than one". She is easy to talk to and work with. 

A group photo from the 2014 Office of Education Retreat. Try and spot Francis and Sok Hong!

Also in this issue:

A Passion for Medicine and Beyond
Building Duke-NUS
The Call of Medicine
Growing with Duke-NUS
Staff Snapshots