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Monday, 14 Jun, 2021

Duke-NUS students partner their undergraduate peers to form Singapore’s first national student body

TriMedSoc signing of MOU

To enhance collaboration among medical students and deliver more impactful community outreach activities, Singapore’s three medical schools joined forces on 12 June to form a national body that will support the holistic development of medical students in Singapore.

Joining the deans and students from the three medical schools, Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, attended the virtual ceremony as Guest-of-Honour. Together with the three deans, he was witness to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Duke-NUS’s Student Council, the NUS Medical Society and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s Student Medical Society.

The virtual ceremony commenced with an introduction of the new alliance’s vision, mission and aims by the emcee, Arvindh Ulagapan, Vice-President from the NUS Medical Society.

TriMedSoc logo

“The TriMedSoc alliance acts as the official platform by which information sharing and planning can occur,” said Mr Ulgapan. “While we operate as individual societies, we all have a common interest in the outcomes and welfare of our peers in other schools. It is also our desire that through TriMedSoc, we can bring our various student populations together and forge strong inter-school relationships.”

Reflecting on how this alliance will provide new opportunities to share resources, Assoc Prof Mak, who is also a member of Duke-NUS’ governing board, said, “Each of your medical schools has a slightly different culture, but what you share among the three medical schools is a desire that all of you as medical students would become the doctors of the future, culturally and socially astute, keen to be advocates for your patients and the wider community and highly competent in the roles that you will play in different parts of the healthcare system.”

Associate Prof Kenneth Mak and Dean Prof Thomas Coffman

Also attending as Guests-of-Honour, the deans of the three medical schools—Professor Thomas Coffman from Duke-NUS, Professor Joseph Sung from NTU’s LKCMedicine and Professor Chong Yap Seng from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine—were invited to speak next. They stressed the importance of having a network of support that will help students to cultivate their resilience as they take their first steps into the medical world.

Excited to support this newly forged alliance, Prof Coffman said, “I am delighted that our collective student bodies and leadership have decided to work together to forge this new alliance, fostering ties and building trust. I look forward to seeing you make greater things happen for medical students and for medicine across Singapore.”

Sharing the perspectives of past and current students who have made this milestone possible, the audience heard from students, including Duke-NUS MD-PhD student Ariel Ying, as well as the three TriMedSoc Presidents, who shared their thoughts on how much potential this deeper collaboration between the three student bodies has to offer in terms of student learning and improved patient care.

Speaking first on behalf of the TriMedSoc Alliance, Ms Katherine Nay Yaung, President of the Duke-NUS Student Council, said, “The formalisation of the TriMedSoc Alliance today has only been possible through the hard work and collaborative spirit of the many generations of student leadership committees that have come before us.”

Student speakers

Taking over the baton, Mr Teo Chong Boon, President of 72nd NUS Medical Society, explained that the alliance will enable students to develop even larger and better student-led initiatives. “We will continue to work closely together to create and organise innovative events for students to enjoy and get to know one another better,” he added.

One of the first projects that the TriMedSoc has in its sights is putting on a revamped National Medical Student Convention (NMSC), which they hope to hold in December 2021. Mr Sean Ng, President of the 8th LKCMedicine Student’s Medical Society, said, “Beyond keynote addresses and dialogues, which seek to educate doctors-in-training on TriMedSoc signing of MOU group photopertinent healthcare topics, the NMSC will feature a hackathon for the brainstorming of artificial intelligence and technology enabled community engagement solutions by inter-school teams to emphasise the spirit of service to the wider community that all future doctors should embody.”

And on this note of collaboration, the newly formed TriMedSoc was signed into existence and its logo, which celebrates each partner as well as the country they collectively represent, was unveiled. 

To commemorate the occasion, Assoc Prof Mak, the three deans, students and guests posed for a group photo, with the audience wishing the newly formed TriMedSoc Alliance a smooth journey as they embark on improving lives through greater collaboration.