22 Dec 2022

Dear College Members

On SCOPE Issue 1: Wherefore Art Thou?
Dear Fellows of the College of Psychiatrists, Academy of Medicine, Singapore. The College of Psychiatrist was inaugurated in 2014 as a non-independent college at the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. Like our fellow professionals in other countries around our region (Malaysia, HK, Australia and New Zealand to name a few), we are an association representing the profession of psychiatry in our country.

My name is Daniel Fung, and I am the President of the College of Psychiatrists in Singapore since 2021 as well as the CEO of IMH. As we move out of the pandemic, I would like to share some of my thoughts for the College. This will be a regular feature that we will post on our website and will form what I call the Singapore College Of Psychiatrists EXPRESS (SCOPE) video blog. This first issue of SCOPE will focus on a couple of fundamental questions.

Why is the College important and necessary?
If you have ever wondered why professional organisations exist, it’s because they offer professional development and connections with others in your field. These developmental opportunities include networking, standards of care, professional mentoring and keeping up to date with the latest research and clinical practice. Having an association on your resume says you are very committed to your profession and actively participating in its advancement. This can be important to patients as well as potential employers. Importantly, the College ought to be a resource for oversight on knowledge, skills, support, conduct and practice of psychiatry. This will mean that members must come and contribute to this and make it relevant for training and development, even at the pre-professional level.

Who should join the College?
Today if we search the Singapore Medical Council register, we will find 287 psychiatrists registered for practice in Singapore. Of these roughly one third is practising at the Institute of Mental Health, our tertiary psychiatric hospital while the other third is in the public general hospitals and the last third in private practice. Each group may have different reasons for wanting to be part of the College and it is the purpose of our council to help meet the needs. Currently we have 134 members who are Fellows of the Academy of Medicine Singapore. We want to make the College relevant to all.

How can we all contribute to make the College relevant?
There are several reasons that makes the College relevant to psychiatrists and I am going to list and describe them. The first is access to information and resources that practising psychiatrists need such as standards of care and practice guidelines. The College has it plans to review and update all of the current MOH guidelines on psychiatric disorders as well develop new ones relevant to our work. The second is relevant certifications for practice such as use of neurostimulation therapies and psychological therapies. The College through the section on neurostimulation has been organising annual workshops for certification of training using these techniques and we plan to do more especially in psychotherapy. The third area is advocacy including campaigning and lobbying but also in creating research networks and professional advice for members. This last area needs some work and we will look into this in the future. As IMH is the largest grouping of psychiatrists in Singapore, we will take the lead some of these developmental processes to make the College relevant to our profession and I look forward to taking this journey with all of you.


The content of this newsletter has been recorded in a video blog for your viewing. Please click this link to view the video.


Yours Sincerely,

Dr Daniel Fung Shuen Sheng
College of Psychiatrists
Academy of Medicine, Singapore