S R E Sayampanathan

Master (2016-2020)
Academy of Medicine, Singapore



5 March 2020

Dear Fellow Academicians

It has been a challenging period for our nation with the COVID-19 outbreak, especially for our healthcare teams who have been working tirelessly and selflessly in battling the epidemic. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to these silent heroes, amongst whom are our Fellow Academicians who have been busy combatting the virus at the frontline.



Live Webinar on COVID-19: The Singapore Experience


The change to DORSCON Level Orange impressed upon us an urgency to keep our Fellows and Members informed of important updates on COVID-19, and to provide some clarity in this ever-dynamic situation through innovative means and alternative sharing platforms. To this end, the Academy worked closely with the Chapter of Infectious Disease Physicians, College of Physicians Singapore to organise a live webinar on COVID-19: The Singapore Experience (Insights from Infectious Diseases and Public Health Specialists) that took place on Saturday, 29 February 2020.



The response to this, our inaugural webinar, was overwhelming. The programme was oversubscribed with over 800 participants.  Our panel of experts delved into topics on Clinical Features, Diagnostics and Management; ICU Management; Infection Control Recommendations in the Hospital; Public Health Imperatives; and Infectious Diseases Perspectives Moving Forward. The webinar concluded with a lively and informative Q&A session.


The feedback that we received on the webinar was also extremely encouraging. Some deemed the utilisation of readily available technology to conduct and attend seminars as being a step forward in CPD and learning. The convenience of simply using one’s own electronic device to attend a seminar was also commended as it not only saved time, but also contributed to the ease in which learning could take place.


If you have any questions pertaining to COVID-19, please email ams@ams.edu.sg, and we will endeavour to address them.


For Fellows and Members who missed the webinar on COVID-19, the Academy has scheduled a re-telecast of the recorded webinar on 7 March 2020.  Please register your attendance for this CME/CPE-accredited event.


I would like to record my appreciation to Dr Asok Kurup, Chapter Chairman and Moderator for the session, as well as our panel of experts: Dr Shawn Vasoo, Dr Puah Ser Hon, Dr Brenda Ang, Dr Vernon Lee and Dr Leo Yee Sin. Their commitment towards sharing their experiences with fellow doctors, despite being neck-deep in the fight against COVID-19, is commendable, and we would like to thank them for setting aside precious time for this important webinar.



CPD and CME Activities


The Academy’s CPD Bulletin on Infectious Disease and COVID-19 was also disseminated last week. As clinicians, it is important for us to keep up with the rapidly evolving science on this condition with accurate and updated information.


As we are at DORSCON Level Orange, the Academy understands the difficulty that clinicians are having with keeping up to date as many CME activities have been cancelled. In addition to the webinar, Fellows and Members can continue with professional development via e-learning through our AMS Self Learning Modules (SLM). To-date, we have a total of 33 available modules and 5 CME points will be awarded for the satisfactory completion of each SLM. If the SLM is in your specialty, the points will be core points. Otherwise, they will be non-core points.


It is important to stay informed in order to make evidence-based decisions for your patients, families and staff. Do visit our website for news and updates on COVID-19, and the sharing of insights from our Fellows. We are currently working on other engagement initiatives which will be rolled out in due course so do keep a lookout for them.



Call for Nominations for Elected Councillors (2020-2022)


Before I end, may I take this opportunity to also remind our Fellow Academicians on the call for nominations for Elected Councillors (2020–2022).  I urge our Fellow Academicians to step forward and serve the specialists’ community and the profession.  I look forward to receiving your nominations by Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 5:00 pm.


The test faced by the nation and all Singaporeans is that of our resilience towards fighting the current coronavirus crisis, both medically and psychologically. I am confident that we will be able to stay strong and united in battling this crisis, just as we successfully overcame the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and the H1N1 influenza in 2009. The Government is taking expeditious measures to stop the virus, and the World Health Organisation Chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has commended the efforts of Singapore in tackling the coronavirus, even saying that other countries should follow our example (The Straits Times, 19 February 2020).


To our medical colleagues, we salute your altruism, commitment and professionalism. Let us fight this battle together.


Best Wishes

Dr S R E Sayampanathan
Academy of Medicine, Singapore

Email: master@ams.edu.sg








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