LIM Shih Hui

Master (2012-2016)
Academy of Medicine, Singapore



9 May 2014


Dear Fellow Academicians


1. Elected Council Members for 2014-2016


At the close of the Nomination for Elected Council Members on 31 March 2014, six (6) nominations were received. They will be declared elected at the upcoming 36th Annual General Meeting of the Academy to serve the Council for the next two years:


a) Dr Chan Yew Weng
b) Dr Khoo Kei Siong
c) Dr David Lye Chien Boon
d) Dr Ong Hock Soo
e) Dr T Thirumoorthy
f) Dr Teo Eng Kiong


The nominees, with the exception of Dr David Lye, are incumbent Elected Council members or have had served the Council previously.  They are cognisant of the complex and demanding challenges of the Academy but are willing and committed to fulfil the Academy’s obligations.  For David, he is not exactly new to the Academy.  He comes with years of experience serving the College of Physicians, Singapore in various capacities.  Together with the current team of Elected Council members, the nominees will be of great help to me in serving you better for my second term as Master.


Let me also register my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all Council members for devoting their time to the Academy despite their obligatory family commitment, demanding clinical practice, increasing teaching responsibilities and/or imperative healthcare administration.  A responsible and vibrant Academy with strong support from our Fellows will positively enhance our medical profession.


2. Formation of the Chapter of Family Medicine Physicians


In my last Master’s Message, I shared my thoughts and views on Family Medicine as a specialty of medicine.  It was indeed edifying to hear from our Fellows as well as colleagues in the field of Family Medicine, offering their valuable insights, inputs and suggestions.  Overwhelming majority of the responses strongly supported the formation of the Chapter under the Academy.  It was highlighted to me that Family Medicine is a specialty of medicine in many countries.  In the United States, Family Medicine is the 20th specialty of the American Board of Medical Specialties (AMBS).  The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) also issues Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQs) in Adolescent Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Sleep Medicine and Sports Medicine.


In Singapore, we have adopted the ACGME-style residency training system as well as collaborated with ABMS in conducting several postgraduate examinations.  Those who have completed Family Medicine BST or Residency Training and have obtained Master of Medicine (Family Medicine) are eligible for specialist training in Geriatric Medicine, Palliative Medicine, Sports Medicine as well as Aviation Medicine. 


It is now timely for the Academy to officially give due recognition to Family Medicine as a specialty!  The Academy is now preparing the resolution to form the Chapter of Family Medicine Physicians at our coming Annual General Meeting scheduled on 14 June 2014.


3. Formation of Additional Colleges under the Academy


In 2004, I had the opportunity to be part of the team, led by Past Master Prof K Satkunanantham, to transform the Academy with the creation of six (6) Colleges.  At that time, the Academy had only ten (10) Chapters, of which the Chapter of Physicians and the Chapter of Surgeons were the largest, e.g. the Chapter of Physicians had 14 specialties and the Chapter of Surgeons had 11.


The Academy’s organizational structure in the 1990s and early 2000s was less than ideal.  It was grossly inadequate for a 5-member Chapter Executive Committee (even with co-opted members) to act on behalf of big Chapters to develop their specialties professionally and to cater for the development of additional sub-specialties.  Even for single-specialty Chapters, e.g. Chapter of Radiologists, Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and Paediatricians, further specialisation and subspecialisation negated creation of its own Chapters, Sections and/or interest groups.  It was deemed necessary at that time for the Academy to restructure and transform.  


With the pioneering spirit of the founders and continuing efforts of our Fellows, we now have 9 Colleges formed in the last ten (10) years:



College of Anaesthesiologists, Singapore (CAS)

2 College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Singapore (COGS) 7 Specialty Sections
3 College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Singapore (CPCHS) 1 Subspecialty Chapter
4 College of Physicians, Singapore (CPS) 15 Specialty & Subspecialty Chapters
5 College of Radiologists, Singapore (CRS) 3 Specialty Chapters
6 College of Surgeons, Singapore (CSS) 9 Specialty Chapters and Sections
7 College of Dental Surgeons, Singapore (CDSS) 7 Specialty Chapters
8 College of Ophthalmologists (COS)  
9 College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians (CPHOPS)  


In 2014, the two Chapters under the Academy that have expanded professionally and grown in membership are now poised to be transformed into Colleges.  Currently, resolutions are being prepared to achieve the transformation at the upcoming AGM of the Academy.


a) Chapter of Psychiatrists → College of Psychiatrists, Singapore
b) Chapter of Emergency Physicians → College of Emergency Physicians, Singapore


4. Formation of the Chapter of Intensivists


Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) has become one of the 4 recognised subspecialties in Singapore in 2011.  Aviation Medicine is now the 5th recognised subspecialty from this year.


To date, there are a total of 174 registered Intensivists in Singapore, of which 84 are Fellows of the Academy:



College of Anaesthesiologists, Singapore

Chapter of Respiratory Physicians,
College of Physicians, Singapore
Chapter of Cardiologists,
College of Physicians, Singapore
Chapter of General Physicians,
College of Physicians, Singapore
Chapter of Cardiothoracic Surgeons,
College of Surgeons, Singapore.


ICM is an integral part of acute and episodic care in hospitals.  Doctors, in hospital setting, have to work closely with our Intensivists should our patients require ICM care.  A pivotal role of the Academy, a multi-specialty medical and dental professional organization, is to bring different specialists together facilitating and promoting inter-specialty medical education which is essential to improving outcome of patient care.


The Academy currently has two subspecialty chapters: the Chapter of Palliative Medicine Physicians under the College of Physicians, and the Chapter of Neonatologists under the College of Paediatrics and Child Health Singapore.   With a big group of intensivists in Singapore and many who are Fellows from across 5 different specialty Colleges/Chapters, it is not only timely to form a Chapter of Intensivists now but also appropriate to form it under the Academy.


Dr Philip Tseng, President of College of Anaesthesiologists, Singapore, has kindly agreed to help coordinate the formation of the Pro-tem Committee.  In addition to conducting inter-specialty education in ICM for Fellows of the Academy, the proposed Chapter will provide independent expert opinions/reports when requested by MOH and other stakeholders.  The proposed Chapter also plans to develop a Staff Registrar Scheme Diploma in ICM.


I look forward in great anticipation for the above resolutions to be passed at the coming Academy AGM. With the resolutions passed, the Academy will have under its aegis 11 Colleges and 5 Chapters (Chapters of Pathologists, Clinician Scientists, Clinician Educators, Family Medicine Physicians and Intensivists).   This is the natural evolution and growth of the Academy and how Academy is contributing to the professional development of specialties in Singapore.


5. Renewal of Institution of a Public Character (IPC) Status


The Academy is a registered Charity and an Institution of a Public Character (IPC).  Not only set up for charitable purpose, the Academy is approved by the Commissioner of Charities to receive tax-deductible donations, i.e. donors are given 2.5 times tax deduction for donations made to the Academy.   I am pleased to inform you that Academy has been granted the status to continue as an Institution of Public Character for another two years from 17 May 2014 to 16 May 2016. 


One of the criteria for renewal of IPC status is to receive further donations and to continue charitable work for the public.   The Academy has plans to institute several initiatives to benefit our Fellows academically, as well as to work closely with patients’ support groups for the benefits of the public.  Please let us know if you have potential donors whom our Council can engage to bring our purpose to fruition.


6. Induction Comitia of the Academy, 17 May 2014


Last but not least, I invite you to join us at the coming Induction Comitia to be held on Saturday, 17 May 2014, at the Health Promotion Board Auditorium. 


A/Prof Benjamin Ong, Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Singapore, will grace the occasion as Guest of Honour to address and witness the conferment ceremony.   Please support this important event with your presence.  Join us for a short afternoon break to interact with our Fellow Academicians and welcome our new Inductees.


Best wishes


Lim Shih Hui


Academy of Medicine, Singapore


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