LIM Shih Hui

Master (2012-2016)
Academy of Medicine, Singapore



29 February 2016


Dear Fellow Academicians

 I hope you have had a good and promising start in 2016.  This year, I will complete my final term as Master of the Academy.  Colleagues and friends have often asked how I balance and fulfil my multiple obligations and challenging portfolios, i.e. clinical practice and academic education at public healthcare institutions, and professional leadership and specialists training as Academy’s Master and JCST Co-Chair.  As a matter of fact, the educational roles I played at SingHealth, MOH and Academy are intertwined and synergistic.  It has given me the unique opportunity to witness the outcome of medical education in different phases of doctors’ training and career which has sustained my drive to improve medical education in the various capacities all these years and the years to come.

I will not deny that these commitments are both hectic and heavy amidst my effort to spend quality time with my family and also get in couple of badminton sessions weekly.  I look forward to relinquishing my duties as Master in June and assuming a different capacity under the Deanery to deliver the educational goals of the Academy.


1. Leadership Change and Transition within the Academy


Leadership change is essential, as we need new blood and fresh ideas for the Academy.  This year, the College of Ophthalmologists and College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians will welcome Dr Wong Tien Yin and Dr Vernon Lee as President respectively, while the other Colleges and Chapters are slated to elect new leaders after the conclusion of their AGMs.

To achieve long term missions and objectives, leadership transition needs to be smooth with no loss of continuity.  Since elected as Master-Elect, Dr Selan Sayampanathan has been actively involved in decision-makings at the Academy, especially on the re-organisation of the Academy and formation of the Deanery and Office of Professional Affairs (OPA).  He also attends JCST Co-Chairs weekly meetings and represents the Academy at meetings and in MOH Committees relating to Residency Training, Specialists Accreditation, CME-MOC and professional affairs.  I am very confident when he assumes as Master in June, he will be poised and well attuned with training matters as well as the administration of JCST Secretariat, which are housed under the Academy.


2. Nomination for Academy Elected Council Members (2016-2018)



I am pleased to announce that at the close of the nomination deadline on 25 February 2016, 1700 hours, the following nominations were received:-. 

According to Article 62 of the Constitution, if the number of nominations received is six or less, the nominees will be declared elected at the upcoming 38th Annual General Meeting of the Academy on 11 June 2016. 


While the first 4 nominees are re-elected to serve another term, Dr Anantha and Dr Yeo Jin Fei are not new to the Council.  They are senior clinicians with years of valuable experience and wisdom as Council members.  Dr Anantha has served as appointed Council member representing the Chapter, and now College of Emergency Physicians, since 2007.  Dr Yeo Jin Fei served as Censor on the Academy Council from 1997 to 2005 and was the first President of the College of Dental Surgeons in 2009-2011. 

Together, they will complement our existing Council members in steering our Academy to new heights.  Please join me in congratulating all of them on their election to the 2016-2018 Academy Council.

3. Academy Lunar New Year Celebration and Dinner, 18 February 2016


The Council, Fellow Academicians and staff gathered at the Academy’s Office on 18 February for an evening of fun and camaraderie to usher in the Lunar New Year.  The annual festivity opened with a pair lively lions prancing propitiously through the Academy to the tune of pounding drum beats.  The lion dance tradition was followed by the tossing of the Lo Hei Yu Sheng and dinner. 


It was a wonderful occasion for Fellows to catch up with each other and we were extremely delighted to see new and senior Fellows at the celebration.


4. Formation of the Office of Professional Affairs


The mission of the Academy is to advance the art and science of medicine through (a) undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education; (b) maintenance of (high standard of) competency (MOC) and ethical integrity through continuing professional development (CPD); and (c) generation and dissemination of information and knowledge to the public on matters related to health.

With the formation of the Deanery, the Academic Board, with guidance from its Advisory Board, will oversee all academy’s education and training activities, including the CPD-MOC initiatives.  I will continue to administer this important function of the Academy after I pass the baton to the next Master.

The OPA is being formed to oversee and manage Professional Opinions, Professional Standards, Professionalism, Provision of Medical Experts and other related professional matters in accordance to the Academy’s missions.


Since 2007, the Academy has received requests from Ministry of Health to provide professional opinions on medical issues and technologies.  In the last few years, the numbers have reached 40-60 requests annually.  Dr Ho Lai Yun, Dr Alan Ng and Dr Ong Hock Soo have led the Academy to solicit professional opinions from relevant Colleges and Chapters.  This is an important function of the Academy in serving the public and nation, and the Academy will continue to work with MOH to ensure patient safety from provision of appropriate medical care.

The Academy is now developing a mandatory ethics course for our Staff Registrar Scheme (SRS) Diploma programmes.  This is a programme enhancement aimed to ensure that all SRS trainees acquire knowledge and are competent in medical ethics, professionalism and health law.  The College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians has also formed a workgroup to collaborate with MOH’s National Ethic Capability Committee to develop a training framework on Organizational Ethics.  Under the leadership of Dr Thirumoothy and Dr Tan Kok Chai, the Academy and its Colleges and Chapters have teamed up to draw up evidence based guidelines and consensus in Aesthetic Medicine Practice, which is scheduled for publication in The Annals of the Academy of Medicine.

The Academy, with the formation of OPA under the leadership of Dr Selan Sayampanathan and Dr Khoo Kei Siong, is suiting up to undertake more strategic and weighty initiatives to improve the professionalism and professional standards of practicing clinicians.  One of the pressing and prospective tasks of the OPA is to establish a Faculty of Medical Expert (vide infra).


5. Medical Expert Witness Training 2016


In January 2016, Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon announced new initiatives in the area of medical litigation, to avoid the practice of "defensive medicine" and higher insurance costs.  Three overlapping measures are being evaluated for adoption:- (1) mediation as a primary step in resolving disputes; (2) a shift to a more judge-led process from an adversarial model; and (3) allowing the judges to be helped by medical assessors.

As such, more medical assessors are needed.  The Academy will endeavour to collaborate with the Singapore Medical Council in providing a panel of medical assessors to assist the Court in medical litigation matters.   Presently, the Academy has a pool of medical assessors who have undergone proper training, many of whom have experience as medical expert in courts.  In the last few years, the Academy has teamed up with the Singapore Medical Association to conduct training courses to equip clinicians to (a) acquire the knowledge and skills on writing medical expert reports; (b) be aware on the skills and pitfalls in giving oral evidence in court as an expert witness; and (c) acquire practical skills by being directly observed and coached in providing oral evidence in court.

The next run will be conducted over two days: 19 March 2016 at the Academia (SGH Campus) and 9 April 2016 at the State Courts.  This year’s programme is a multipartite collaboration involving the Academy, the Law Society of Singapore (LSS), Singapore Academy of Law (SAL), Singapore Medical Association (SMA) and the State Courts of Singapore (State Courts).  Participants will be given the opportunity of being coached by judges and lawyers in giving oral evidence and expert opinions in courts.  I am pleased to learn that the course is fully subscribed, reflecting the importance of practising clinicians to be well trained and competent in court proceedings. 

Last but not least, please block your calendar and join us at the upcoming AMS events:-

Induction Comitia on 23 April 2016 at the Auditorium, NUHS Tower Block. Guest of Honour: Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Health, Singapore.

38th Annual General Meeting on 11 June 2016 at the Academy of Medicine, Singapore.



Best Wishes

Dr Lim Shih Hui


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