LIM Shih Hui

Master (2012-2016)
Academy of Medicine, Singapore



27 June 2014


Dear Fellow Academicians

Time flies like an arrow!  Just a blink of an eye, I have served my first two-year term as Master of the Academy.    Reflecting on the past two years, I wish to highlight that Academy, its Colleges and Chapters have accomplished many but more efforts will be needed to fulfil the rest of goals and objectives set in our Strategic Plan 2012-2014.  Many of the accomplishments, as narrated in our Annual Report 2013, were made possible by our Fellow Academicians, who had volunteered and contributed altruistically, in one way or another, towards the Academy and our profession.  Today, my message shall highlight several of the recent activities and upcoming initiatives in 2014.

1. Council 2014-2015

The Council of 2014-2015 was formed at the conclusion of our 36th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 14 June 2014.  We are retaining the same elected council members in the Executive Committee to ensure continuity in our efforts to serve you better.


Assistant Master (Academic Affairs):

Dr Wong Kok Seng

Assistant Master (Administrative Affairs):

Dr Teo Eng Kiong


Dr Selan Sayampanathan


Dr Khoo Kei Siong

Assistant Bursar:

Dr Lai Fon Min


Dr T. Thirumoothy


Dr Chan Yew Weng


Dr LIm Lay Cheng


Dr David Lye Chien Boon


Dr Alan Ng Wei Keong


Dr Ong Hock Soo


Dr Wong Chiang YIn




The following are appointed Council Members:


President, College of Anaesthesiologists:

Dr Tseng Seng Sou, Phillip

President, College of Dental Surgeons:

Dr Benjamin Charles Long

President, College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists:

Dr Tan Hak Koon

President, College of Paediatrics & Child Health:

Dr Victor Samuel Rajadurai

President, College of Physicians:

Dr Tay Jam Chin

President, College of Radiologists:

Dr Lim Choie Cheio, Tchoyoson

President, College of Surgeons:

Dr Esuvaranathan Kesavan

President, College of Ophthalmologists:

Dr Heng Wee Jin

President, College of Public Health
   & Occupational Physicians:

Dr Benjamin Ng

Chair, Chapter of Emergency Physicians:

Dr Venkataraman Anantharaman

Chair, Chapter of Psychiatrists:

Dr Ng Beng Yeong

Chair, Chapter of Pathologists:

Dr Cuthbert Teo

Chair, Chapter of Clinician Scientists:

Dr Tan Eng King

Chair, Chapter of Clinician Educators:

Dr Erle Lim


2. Passing of Special Resolutions at 36th Annual General Meeting to form 4 Colleges and Chapters


I am glad to report that we passed 4 special resolutions at our recent AGM to form the following Colleges and Chapters:

• College of Emergency Physicians
• College of Psychiatrists
• Chapter of Family Medicine Physicians
• Chapter of Intensivists


The amendments to our Memorandum and Articles of Associations have been submitted the Accounting and Corporate Regulating Authority (ACRA).  We look forward to ACRA’s endorsement as the evolvement of the new colleges and chapters are pivotal to enhancing the professional development of these specialties in Singapore.


3. Induction Comitia 2014


The Academy enjoyed a successful Induction Comitia at the Health Promotion Board Auditorium on Saturday, 17 May 2014 where 69 Fellows are formally admitted into the Academy. 

A/Prof Benjamin Ong, Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Singapore, graced the occasion as Guest of Honour to address and witness the conferment ceremony.  In his address, Prof Ong shared his thoughts on the direction of medicine in Singapore.  He highlighted the need to revisit the care models and to adjust and restructure them to better suit the changing demographic profile and disease patterns.  “This would include putting more emphasis on the primary care sector and ensuring that care between the tertiary, primary and community healthcare and even social care sectors are properly integrated. It means truly turning the perspective to the patient,” said Prof Ong.

A related area which Prof Ong also broached is equipping and training the future doctors.  He added that the Ministry has started making changes to the internship year to ensure a period of good, well supervised and experientially relevant period of training.

4. Medical Expert Witness Training Course on  28 June and 12 July 2014


The Academy, in collaboration with the Law Society of Singapore (LSS), Singapore Medical Association (SMA) and State Courts of Singapore, is organising a 2-day Medical Expert Witness Training course on 28 June and 12 July 2014.  The course objective is to equip our local medical practitioners with basic and advanced legal knowledge and skills required to make medical expert reports and give oral expert evidence in proceedings before the Singapore courts.

Training to be an Expert Witness is not part of the curriculum in our undergraduate or specialist training.  Only after becoming a specialist, “suddenly” we become an “expert witness” in our specialty.  Many of us have been and are likely to be called upon to serve as expert witness in various legal proceedings.  In this role, we are serving the public interest by providing testimony that has to be competent, objective, and respectful of law and the legal process.  This course provides a unique opportunity to learn the right “language” and an important communication skill which we practising specialists must acquire in our life-long learning and professional development.  I am sure this inter-professional educational course which will be delivered through seminars, MCQ quiz, written assignment and role play in actual court room will be an enjoyable and enriching programme.

5. 48th Malaysia-Singapore Congress of Medicine, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This biennial Malaysia-Singapore Congress of Medicine, in conjunction with the 2014 International Congress of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (ICPaLM), will be held in Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 26 to 28 August 2014.  The theme of the Congress is “Personalized Diagnostics: from Bench to Bedside”.  Please join us in Kuala Lumpur and strengthen our bilateral ties during the Congress.

6. Medicine Review Course 2014

At the recent Induction Comitia, I addressed the importance of not losing the foundation of general internal medicine (IM) while pursuing medical excellence in one of the IM-specialties.  

In the last 20-30 years, specialisation, sub-specialisation and super-specialisation are the norm!  It is not surprising that medicine in Singapore has become mainly disease or organ based.  We have 35 medical specialties, 5 medical subspecialties and 7 dental specialties now, and many specialists or sub-specialists focus on one specific organ, system or part of it.  This is excellent for patients, with only one organ-specific disease, to receive highest level of care. 

With high standard of medical care, good public health and preventive medicine, we are now living longer!  With longevity, we are now seeing more chronic diseases and multiple co-morbidities amongst our aging patients.  It is quite common for patients nowadays to be looked after by multiple specialists for multiple diseases.  They are being processed and passed from one specialist to another on a conveyer belt.  Each specialist along the belt will ensure the patients are well looked after, or do not have their specialty disease.  Over-investigations therefore are not uncommon, and healthcare cost is expected to increase. 

What our aging patients need most is to have good doctors who have competent overview of the whole patient and provide holistic and integrated care.  This is where General Physicians, expert in General Internal Medicine, are so important in the hospital setting.

Devoting a few days periodically to be updated through informative and well-structured courses, we will learn new knowledge that will come in useful when our patients present with symptoms and signs outside our specialty.  Knowing what to do will minimize our tendency to refer, directly reducing healthcare cost and fragmented care.

I strongly recommend for you to attend the yearly Medicine Review Course organised by the College of Physicians, Singapore.  Based on topics delivered in 2011, 2012 and 2013, you are going to learn yet again topics and subjects that you are very likely to encounter in your clinical practice.

7. Feedback on Training of Specialists in Singapore

Last but not least, you will receive a separate email from the Academy the next couple of weeks asking for feedback on the way specialists are being training in Singapore. 

As stated in our Strategic Priority 4, Academy aims to be Proactive in Specialist Training & Assessment.  Although Academy, its Colleges and Chapters are not directly involved in training of specialists, Academy can play a complementary role by giving constructive feedback on training curriculum, assessment, examination as well as training system and methods.  The greatest asset of our Academy is our 2,800 Fellows, many of whom were or are actively involved in specialist training.   Even newer Fellows recently completed their training have valuable comments on how the training system can be further improved. 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller. 

“Alone we can only do so much; together we can do immensely” – Academy of Medicine, Singapore!


Best Wishes

Dr Lim Shih Hui

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