LIM Shih Hui

Master (2012-2016)
Academy of Medicine, Singapore



30 April 2015


Dear Fellow Academicians

1.      The Inauguration of the Chapter of Intensivists, Academy of Medicine, Singapore

I was privileged to be invited to attend the Inaugural General Meeting of the Chapter of Intensivists on 24 April 2015.  It is one of the few Chapters nested under our Academy as Fellows who specialized in Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) are also Fellows of other Colleges, namely the College of Anaesthesiologists and the College of Physicians’ Chapters of Respiratory Physicians and General Physicians.


Dr Lim Tiek Whai, Fellow from the College of Anaesthesiologists, is elected Chairman of the Chapter.  Board Members who have also accepted the following appointments are:-






Lim Tiek Whai


Vice Chairman:

Loo Chian Min

Respiratory Physician


Loo Shi



Kenneth Chan Ping Wah

Respiratory Physician

Loh Meng Woei


Alvin Ng Choon Yong

Respiratory Physician

Tan Chee Keat



ICM is one of the 5 subspecialties under Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB).  In Singapore, there are 188 Singapore Medical Council (SMC) registered Intensivists, of whom 85 are Fellows of the Academy.  With these numbers, the Chapter of Intensivists has the critical mass to be transformed into a College, whenever the Fellows deem it timely to bring ICM standard and practice to next level.


With the formation of this chapter, Academy now has 3 sub-specialty chapters.  The other two being Chapter of Neonatologists under the College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Chapter of Palliative Medicine Physicians, under the College of Physicians.  The remaining 2 sub-specialties are Aviation Medicine and Sports Medicine.  Aviation Medicine Physicians have decided to be part of the College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians, while Sports Medicine specialists will stay under the umbrella of the Academy.


2.      Role of the Academy and its Colleges and Chapters in setting the Standard of Specialty Practice


At the Inaugural General Meeting of the Chapter of Intensivists, one frequently asked question was raised: “What is the role of Academy after SAB took over the training and accreditation of specialists in 1998?”  This stems from the observation many new or younger specialists are not joining the Academy since SAB has already accredited them and SMC registered them as specialists.  Another noteworthy point highlighted by a senior Fellow queried “Does the Chapter have any power since there is a Sub-specialty Training Committee (SSTC) for ICM?”


Training to be specialists takes about 5 to 8 years, but practicing in our respective registered specialty could be 20-30 years or longer.  As of now, SAB, together with Joint Committee on Specialists Training (JCST), Specialist Training Committee (STC), Residency Advisory Committees (RACs) and Healthcare Institutions (HCIs), takes charge of training and accreditation, while  Academy plays a complementary role.  However, Academy and its Colleges and Chapters have the “power” in setting the desirable professional standard of specialty and subspecialty practices in Singapore.  Allow me to weigh in on this point further.


After becoming specialists, the institutional needs and our interest decide the types of knowledge we have to gain and skills we have to acquire in our 20 to 30+ years of specialists’ career.  While some of us choose to remain more general, many opt to sub-specialize in each of our specialty.  In the process of sub-specialization, we will invariably keep our knowledge and skills up-to-date without anyone or authority monitoring us.  However, being good in our specialized area of the registered specialty and subsequent involvement in education, research and/or administration in different phases of our career, we might inadvertently “neglect” to maintain the required competencies of the specialty we are registered for. 


Continuing Medical Education (CME) became mandatory since 2003, and full-time practicing clinicians must accumulate 50 CME points to have our practicing certificate renewed.  Currently neither SMC nor SAB-JCST-STC-RAC-HCI stipulate what kind of knowledge we must gain in our practicing career, as long as 20% of CME points are obtained from CME activities related to our registered specialty.  As of now, Academy is contributing to the list of accredited CME activities for Categories 1C / 2 / 3A / 3B.


Situation may change in the next 1 to 2 years as SMC intends to move from mandatory CME to Maintenance of Competency (MOC) framework, to ensure practicing clinicians remain competent in their registered specialty.


While planning to meet the requirement of MOC, opportunity arrives for our Academy and its specialty Colleges and Chapters to set the standard or minimal competencies for various domains.  In particular, specialty Colleges and Chapters can determine the breadth and depth of knowledge each registered specialist must continue to gain, and how the new knowledge can be applied, and/or what new or existing skills must be gained/maintained, etc.


With 35 specialty and 5 subspecialties under one roof, the Academy has the “power” and is in an ideal position to guide specialists in Singapore to maintain the competencies in their registered specialty.  For those who are not Fellows of the Academy, it is time for them to join and contribute to the establishment of MOC framework for their own specialties.


3.      Visit of Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, National Technological University


The Academy’s Council was invited by Singapore’s third medical school, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), to visit and tour its Novena Campus on 27 April 2015.  We were received and briefed by the Dean, Prof James Best and his senior management team on how the new school is helping Singapore produce the next generation of doctors.  We had candid exchange of ideas on medical education and also had the opportunity to observe its engaging team-based learning classroom.


The visit gave us good insight into LKCMedicine’s infrastructure and also appreciation of the school’s innovative curriculum and remarkable research scope.  The Academy is committed to engage the school and we look forward to closer collaboration with LKCMedicine in the near future.



4.         49th Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine 2015

Once again, the Academy will host the biennial 49th Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine (SMCM) from 31 July to 2 August 2015, at Academia @ SingHealth.  The theme is "Greater Integration for Better Patient Care".
The Congress’ opening will be held in the evening of 31 July 2015 in conjunction with our Induction Comitia and Gordon Arthur Ransome Oration.  I am very pleased to announce Professor JY Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, will grace as Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony where he will also be conferred Honorary Fellowship of the Academy.
Dr Selan Sayampanathan and representatives from various Colleges and Chapters have put together a dynamic programme to promote knowledge exchange and enhance clinical competencies.  Here are some of the Congress highlights:- 



Gordon Arthur Ransome Oration:

“Is Medicine still an Art?”

Professor James Best

Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine


Runme Shaw Memorial Lecture:


“Scientific Basis of Cancer Care”

Professor Soo Khee Chee

Director, National Cancer Centre

Senior Vice Dean, Duke-NUS-GMS

Deputy Group CEO (Research & Education), SingHealth

The College of Physicians Lecture and Seah Cheng Siang Memorial Lecture will also be delivered during the Congress.


Several symposia have been planned covering topics such as neurological emergency, management of sepsis, surgical residency training, care of patients lacking mental capacity, consent and negligence, pain management, as well as intensive primary care.


This is also the first time the College of Physicians and College of Surgeons collaborating to develop a one-day “Medicine Review Course for Surgeons”.  The course, scheduled on 2 August, is aimed to help surgical residents excel in the American Board of Surgery In-training Examination (ABSITE), focusing on the medical domain knowledge examined in ABSITE 2014.


Please join us in this exciting Congress and keep abreast of recent developments which are essential in maintaining our clinical competencies.


5.      37th Annual General Meeting of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore


Last but not least, I would like to inform you that the Academy’s 37th Annual General Meeting will be held on 13 June 2015.  


Please join us where the Academy Council will share with you a summary of the achievements accomplished in the past year and also the opportunities and challenges ahead.


Best Wishes

Dr Lim Shih Hui


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