These historical notes provide information on the significant milestones of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore from its founding in 1957 until today.



The Inaugural General Meeting of the Chapter of Pain Medicine Physicians took place on 6 May.


The 24th Gordon Arthur Ransome Oration was delivered by Mr George Yeo, Former Cabinet Minister, Singapore entitled 'Human Solidarity in a Fragmenting World' at the Induction Comitia of the Academy held on 18 January where he was also the Guest-of-Honour.


The Induction Comitia also witnessed the conferment of the Academy’s first FAMS (International) inductee, Dr Aziman Yaákub.


The Academy and College of Clinician Scientists launched the Seah Cheng Siang Memorial Research Award on 7 August to perpetuate the memory of Professor Seah Cheng Siang, distinguished Academician and Past Master of the Academy. The Fund, established in 1990, shall award a grant to the most outstanding clinical or basic research in any important area of medical and dental sciences in collaboration with a research centre either within or outside Singapore.



The resolution to form the Chapter of Pain Medicine Physicians was passed at the 41st Annual General Meeting of the Academy on 1 June.


The CPD Bulletin, a members-only weekly bulletin of objectively-selected and rigorously-summarised articles from the latest issues of the most prestigious journals, was launched on 11 November. The initiative aims to bring up-to-date information to busy clinicians—thereby helping them keep abreast with recent progresses in other fields of medicine.



A special Oration by The Honourable The Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon on ‘Medicine and Law: Comparative Perspectives on Professional Conduct and Discipline’ was held on 14 March. At the same event, an MOU Signing Ceremony for the Medical Expert Witness Training Programme between the Academy, Singapore Medical Association, Singapore Academy of Law and The Law Society of Singapore was held to officially formalise the collaboration of all parties involved in the organisation and conduct of the Medical Expert Witness Training Programme since 2014.


A pilot-specific Self-Learning Module (SLM), implemented under category 3B of the CME programme, was launched on 8 May as a membership privilege for Fellows and Members of the Academy.


On 27 November, the Academy and Ministry of Health Brunei Darussalam renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (which was first signed on 13 May 2014) to establish pathways for medical and dental specialists in Brunei Darussalam, who have completed BST in Brunei Darussalam, to undergo AST in Singapore.



The Academy observed and celebrated its Diamond Jubilee this year.


To commemorate the historical milestone of the Academy, special commemorative gifts were distributed to all Fellows and Members as a gesture of appreciation for their support and contribution throughout the years. The membership appreciation and outreach programme spanned over six weeks, from 29 May to 7 July, at public and private hospitals across Singapore to enable them to collect their choice of commemorative gift at their convenience.


The Induction Comitia was held in conjunction with the 51st Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine on 21 July where His Excellency, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore and Patron of the Academy graced the event as the Guest-of-Honour. Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, delivered the 23rd Gordon Arthur Ransome Oration entitled ‘Law and Medicine: Professions of Honour, Service and Excellence’. He was also conferred Honorary Fellowship of the Academy.


The Induction Comitia witnessed the graduation of the first cohort of the 2015 intake of the Master of Health Professions Education Singapore (MHPE-S). The Academy officially adopted the AMS Charter which was presented to the Academy’s Patron, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, at the Induction Comitia. The fundamental principles of the Charter are the primacy of patient welfare, patient autonomy and social justice. The Academy aspires to adopt an active dedication to the principles of professionalism, which entails not only their personal commitment to the welfare of their patients but also collective efforts to improve the health care system for the welfare of society.


To chronicle and celebrate the remarkable journey of the Academy, the Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Book was published, detailing the significant milestones and achievements over the last six decades. The Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Book was launched by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) at the Academy’s Charity Gala Dinner on 22 July. At the same event, a special moment was also dedicated to launch the fundraising campaign towards the establishment of the ‘Robert Loh Professorship in Clinical Innovation in Ophthalmology’.


On 16 October, the new President of the Republic, Mdm Halimah Yacob accepted Patronage of the Academy.



Two major developments were undertaken by the Academy in 2016 to forward specialist training, education and professionalism, i.e. the setting up of the AMS Deanery and Office of Professional Affairs.


The Academy Deanery was established with the aim of achieving alignment of policies and procedures, consistency of practice, and high-quality outcomes in the education of all postgraduate medical and dental clinicians. A centralised administrative body, the Academy Deanery will develop strategies and coordinate all education-related activities and programmes across the Academy.


The Office of Professional Affairs under the Academy was formed to bring the Standing Committees and Workgroups involved in professional expert advice and guidelines under one office, for coordination and streamlining of activities, and to ensure direction and purpose.


The Academy bestowed its first ‘Academy of Medicine, Singapore Medal for Outstanding Leadership’ to Mr Edwin Yang Jiajing at the Duke-NUS Medical School’s Graduation Dinner on 3 June.


The Academy charted another milestone with the launch of the College of Clinician Scientists on 26 August at the National Dental Centre of Singapore. At its launch, the College also held its first formal research training event, the Investigator-Initiated Trials (IITs) Workshop.



The Academy’s Chapter of Family Medicine Physicians was inaugurated on 17 January at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.


The Academy formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maastricht University for a two-year Master of Health Professions Education, Singapore (MHPE-S) Programme on 5 February. The 2015 inaugural intake comprised 11 participants who began the MHPE-S Unit One from 6 to 24 July.


The Inaugural General Meeting of the Chapter of Intensivists was held on 24 April.



On 13 May, the Academy signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement with the Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam, to enable their doctors to undergo Advanced Specialist Training in Singapore and help train them to be Specialists.


The 36th Annual General Meeting held on 14 June saw the passing of four special resolutions: the conversion of Chapters to College of Emergency Physicians and College of Psychiatrists; as well as the formation of the Chapter of Family Medicine Physicians and Chapter of Intensivists.


The Academy, in collaboration with the Law Society of Singapore, Singapore Medical Association and State Courts of Singapore organised its first Medical Expert Witness Training course on 28 June and 12 July.


History was made on 25 October where Family Medicine Physicians were inducted at the Academy’s second Induction Comitia 2014 held at the Health Promotion Board. Of the 81 Fellows inducted, 24 were Family Medicine Physicians.


The College of Psychiatrists and College of Emergency Physicians held their Inaugural General Meetings on 5 November and 20 November, respectively.



The College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians and the Chapter of Clinician Scientists were inaugurated on 1 and 6 February, respectively.


The resolution to form the Chapter of Clinician Educators was passed at the 35th Annual General Meeting on 15 June.


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, was conferred Honorary Fellowship at the Academy’s Induction Comitia on 23 August where he delivered the 21st Gordon Arthur Ransome Oration entitled ‘A Fair and Just Society: What Stays, What Changes?’.



The Academy proudly commemorated its 55th year by launching a new membership enrolment scheme on 1 June. As of December, a total of 125 new Fellows joined the Academy in 2012. This enrolment number was the highest after 2005.


The growing number of Fellows in the Chapter of Public Health & Occupational Physicians has seen another significant development with the formation of the College of Public Health & Occupational Physicians, a non-independent College under the Academy.


In the same year, the Chapter of Clinician Scientists was formed.



In February, the Academy released the first evidence-based best practice guidelines on Screening Test in Singapore. The Screening Test Review Committee of the Academy, chaired by Dr Lee Hin Peng, and the Ministry of Health announced support population screening for breast cancer and colorectal cancer. After approval by the Parliament for usage of the Medisave, the College of Radiologists, College of Surgeons and College of Physicians assisted with the formulation of guidelines for patients before the Medisave scheme was operationalised by the hospitals.


On 1 November, the new President of the Republic, Dr Tony Tan accepted Patronage of the Academy. Dr Tony Tan was also conferred Honorary Fellowship of the Academy in 2006.



The first Tripartite Congress by the three fraternal academies from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, was held in Hong Kong on 12-14 November.



A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Health and the Academy for the furtherance of medical postgraduate specialist training on 3 July. Both bodies would collaborate to establish the structure and programmes for the various Specialty-specific In-Training Examinations.


The first In-Training Examination administered by the Academy was the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine In-Training Examination held on 10 and 17 October.


The College of Ophthalmologists became the first non-independent College to be formed.



The College of Dental Surgeons, Singapore was officially incorporated on 6 August.


The Academy moved to larger premises at the National Kidney Foundation Singapore, Kim Keat Road, on 11 October. The new premises on the 11th and 12th floors of the building have twice the total area which provides a more conducive working environment for staff and additional facilities for members as well as Colleges and Chapters.



A commemorative publication was published by the Annals, Academy of Medicine, Singapore to document the unique and triumphant journey and milestones of the Academy, founded in 1957 through the initiative and foresight of 34 founding members, led by its first Master, the late Professor Sir Gordon Arthur Ransome.


The Academy celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the 41st Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine on 19-22 July. The Opening Ceremony of the Congress on 19 July was specifically chosen to coincide with the date of the first meeting of the 34 founding members of the Academy. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was conferred as the 39th Honorary Fellow of the Academy.



The Inaugural Pro Tem Meeting of the Chapter of Emergency Physicians took place on 20 July.



The Annals became a monthly publication effective March to cater to the increasing number of manuscripts submitted to the Annals.



The following Colleges were incorporated as companies limited by guarantee:


  • College of Anaesthesiologists
  • College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • College of Physicians
  • College of Radiologists
  • College of Surgeons



The main secretariat was formally re-located to its new home from its leased premises at the College of Medicine Building. The Specialist Training Secretariat remains at the Academy’s branch office at the National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Campus.


President SR Nathan, Patron of the Academy, officially opened the Runme Shaw Building on 3 October. He penned the following message to commemorate this special occasion:


“After almost 50 years, the Academy has found its own home – though modest by other standards. In officially opening the Academy’s Headquarters, it is my hope it will flourish in its esteem in the eyes of the profession as well as others who appreciate its contribution to professionalism and scholarship.”



The Council of the Academy approved specialist accreditation in 6 dental specialties, namely Endodontics, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology and Prosthodontics.



On 3 September, the new President of the Republic, Mr S R Nathan accepted Patronage of the Academy.



The Specialist Accreditation Board (SAB) was formally established to oversee the accreditation process of medical specialists in Singapore. Each of the 35 specialties recognized for the purpose of specialist registration with the Singapore Medical Council has a Specialist Training Committee (STC), which is appointed jointly by SAB, National University of Singapore Division of Graduate Medical Studies and the Academy. MMed remains the local entry qualification for advanced specialty training and FAMS is the local specialty qualification awarded to those who have passed the exit examination. Where appropriate, the FAMS is to be linked with overseas exit qualifications.



On 6 October, the new President of the Republic, Mr Ong Teng Cheong accepted Patronage of the Academy.



The designation of AM (Academician of Medicine) was replaced by FAMS (Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore).



A Joint Committee for Advanced Specialty Training (JCAST) comprising representatives from the Academy, School of Postgraduate Medical Studies and the Ministry of Health was established. The objects of the JCAST are (i) the provision of advanced specialty training in Medicine leading to specialty certification; (ii) the accreditation of training posts for advanced specialty training; and (iii) the promotion of continuing medical education.



The Chapter of Paediatricians was formed.



The Singapore Medical Council approved the use of the letters “AM (S’pore)” after the names of members of the Academy.


The Academy shifted into new premises at the College of Medicine Building. The Ministry of Health granted the Academy an initial 10-year tenancy.



The Academy secretariat shifted from the Alumni Medical Centre to temporary premises at Harrower Hall on College Road.


Work commenced to plan, design and furnish the Academy’s offices in the refurbished College of Medicine building.


The Chapter of Psychiatrists and the Chapter of Pathologists were formed.



On 7 November, the new President of the Republic, Mr Wee Kim Wee accepted Patronage of the Academy.



On 21 January, the new President of the Republic, Mr C V Devan Nair accepted Patronage of the Academy.



The Chapter of Community and Occupational Medicine Physicians was formed on 21 January.



The Annals was entered into the MEDLINE online database and cited in all issues of Index Medicus.


The Chapter of Dental Surgeons was formed on 21 May.



The Academy was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 19 September.



Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was admitted as Honorary Fellow of the Academy on 21 August at the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine.



A Memorandum on Specialist Certification and Registration was submitted to the Government. This was followed a year later by the formation of a Standing Committee on Specialist Training and Certification.


The Chapter of Radiologists and the Chapter of Anaesthetists were formed.



The Annals of the Academy was first published as a quarterly issue.



Higher professional medical examinations were instituted leading to the degree of Master of Medicine (MMed) in Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery and Obstetrics & Gynaecology.



The Academy was largely responsible for initiating the formation of the postgraduate medical school at the University.


The Chapter of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was formed.



The Minister of Finance approved the Academy as an Institute of Public Character under the Income Tax Ordinance (Chapter 166).


The Chapter of Physicians and the Chapter of Surgeons were formed.



The Academy’s First Congress of Medicine was held on 3-5 May, drawing participants from Singapore and Malaysia.


On 20 June, the Letters Patent for the Academy’s Coat of Arms, granted a year before by the Sovereign’s Kings of Arms, was formally presented by His Excellency the Yang Di-Pertuan Negara, Encik Yusof Ishak.



Immediately after its inauguration, the Academy turned its attention towards the establishment of formal postgraduate training and continuing education. A carefully prepared memorandum to the Government and the University led to the formation of a Committee of Postgraduate Medical Education at the University with representation from the Academy and Government.



The Academy of Medicine was formed in 1957. The founding members included Professor Gordon Arthur Ransome, the first Master, Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares, the second President of the Republic of Singapore and Dr Yeoh Ghim Seng who later became the Speaker of Parliament.


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