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SingHealth Senior Management and representatives from various professions at the launch of AM•EI.

Education is no longer just for the wise and experienced. The Academic Medicine Education Institution (AM•EI), launched on 6 September in conjunction with Teachers’ Day, hopes to build a community of excellent educators, and it’s got its sight set on the young generation.

The room was packed and there were hardly any space to stand. News had got out that education in SingHealth will get a facelift, and people thronged to  catch a glimpse of the new kid on the block.

And they got what they came for.

A New Generation Of Educators

Taking the podium were two outstanding examples of young educators – Dr Keefe Lai, first year Medical Officer (MO), and Dr Jonathan Yap, a resident with the SingHealth Internal Medicine Residency Program. They are teachers while being students, sharing their knowledge with the next generation of medical students who stand to benefit immensely from their selfless act of mentoring.

Keefe found something lacking in the curriculum and decided to take matters into his own hand, starting an after-work course for his fellow Medical Officers to help them handle night calls better. Apparent in his classes are a culture of mentoring and the sharing of experiences from one MO to another, helping  each other become better doctors. 

The better educators were then spotted by Keefe and asked to become mentors themselves, expanding the circle of education to future participants. His courses are so popular that it’s being adapted into the regular curriculum. 

Dr Jonathan Yap, a SingHealth Resident, shared with the audience about education initiatives by the residents. Teaching starts young. Jonathan’s  achievements are no less. He leads the REACH (Residents as Teachers) education initiative that includes mentoring fellow medical trainees including junior residents, incoming residents and medical students. These are great examples for trainees to realise that the educator title is not just reserved for senior doctors. Together with like-minded “student-educators”, Keefe and Jonathan are changing the face of medical education.

Jonathan and Keefe are not the only young doctors who have the passion to share their wisdom. If there is any message that is to be taken away from all the festivities of the launch of AM•EI, it is that teaching starts young. 

The Next Step

And that is the way AM•EI wants everyone to view medical education, Prof Koo Wen Hsin explains, “AM•EI empowers clinicians to share their knowledge and enables recognition of their efforts. We will give them an opportunity to initiate their interest and keep the flame alive.”

One half of the AM•EI leads, Prof Koo teams up with Prof Robert Kamei from Duke-NUS to organise the activities of the institute in coordination with the  SingHealth Education Council. 

This partnership between SingHealth and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School marries the best of both institutions, serving the role of a “teaching academy”.

“The AM•EI is for educators by educators. There is already so much teaching happening now at SingHealth and Duke-NUS across educational groups in the different professions. We are simply bringing together all that talent,” said Prof Kamei.

Prof Kamei painted the vision: “We will become the Teachers’ University in Asia, centred here at SGH Campus.”


Supporting Prof Kamei’s ideals of a bustling community of excellent educators is the Pioneer Fellows Program, an advanced specialised education training with multi-disciplinary participants trained with one main goal – to expand and guide the education community of the AM•EI.

And we call that Generativity, which means sharing knowledge to nurture the next generation and stretch our academic impact.

The AM•EI will train two types of educators: Clinician Educators with significant commitment in an education role and Clinicans who teach in the wards and clinics. Supported by resources and opportunities to improve their abilities, the education institute also provides academic support to assist these educators in sharpening their teaching skills and encourage the improvement of teaching methodologies.

AM•EI aims to help our own people develop a bigger academic impact (see figure). They do it by developing our faculty’s capabilities in teaching and formalising it in academic promotion through the ACPs.

The Education Institute has also created three workgroups to help make this a reality. The first one is the Faculty Advocacy workgroup. Its job is to recognise outstanding contributors in teaching and develop the criteria for academic promotion. The Educational Scholarship workgroup guides educators in evaluating their own programs and projects. At the same time, the workgroup creates collaborative opportunities and oversees educational research projects.

None of this will work without the people who teach the faculty development programs or without events that promote knowledge sharing among the educators. This is where the Professional Development workgroup comes in.

If we take a look at established Academic Healthcare Clusters around the world, development of educators plays a pivotal role in all of them. With strong educators we teach new knowledge in a better way, paving the path for discoveries from clinical care and research to reach practitioners who can make Academic Medicine meaningful for our patients. And that’s exactly what we want. 

Gift from the Heart – AM•EI had recently received a donation of S$1M endowed gift from the late Mr Tan Yew Hock, who was a grateful patient of SGH. This led to the establishment of the “Tan Yew Hock Faculty Development Fund”, which will spearhead selected education and training programs for clinician educators who are passionate in developing and nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Join the Community of Excellent Educators

Is education in your blood? Register online and get one free program of your choice!

Programs Offered

Programs offered by AM•EI are structured within five key domains:

1. Design and Planning of Learning Activities
Programs under this domain: Team-Based Learning, designing multiple choice questions, pedagogy for primary care providers, using Standardized Patient for learning, Voice Annotated Presentations, presentation skills and e-learning with Articulate

2. Teaching and Supporting Learners
Programs under this domain: micro skills for bedside teaching, creating and engaging learning session and optimising performance through coaching

3. Assessment and Feedback to Learners
Programs under this domain: issues and challenges with assessment and evaluation, strategies to improve feedback and logic model as roadmap to assessment strategies

4. Educational Research and Evidence-based Practice
Programs under this domain: Academic Medicine dissemination, creating QI education and operational programs, abstract and manuscript writing and Qualitative Research

5. Educational Management and Leadership
Programs under this domain: building your education portfolio, defining and understanding yourself as a leader and the Chief Resident development program

Membership Categories

The AM•EI welcomes all levels of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals who are keen on contributing to education in healthcare.

Trainee Membership - for healthcare professionals who are still in training, including medical students, residents, PhD candidates, post-doctoral fellows, nursing students, allied health trainees and dental students

Full Membership - for all non-trainee staff and faculty at SingHealth or Duke-NUS interested or involved in healthcare education.

Fellow Membership - for teaching faculty who have taken on significant responsibilities in education, for example, faculty in the Clinician-Educator track, nurse educators, course directors of medical school programmes and faculty with significant commitment to education.

The AM•EI was launched at Teachers’ Day for all our Educators. Along with the occasion, we showed our appreciation to all educators in SingHealth and Duke-NUS with a vibrant celebration that ended on a sweet note with toffee apples for all. The celebration included a showcase of education groups entities in SingHealth that caters to different professional groups.  (Left photo): a mannequin-based simulation from SGH’s Institute for Medical Simulation and Education. (Right photo): Teachers’ Day photo booth at the Duke-NUS atrium added the fun element to the celebration. 

Extracted from Tomorrow's Medicine (Issue 04-2012), a SingHealth Publication

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