The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, the joint medical school being developed by Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, held its ground-breaking ceremony today.
The ceremony, presided over by the Singaporean Ministers of Health and Education, celebrated the start of work on the School’s new Novena Campus at Mandalay Road. The site, located next to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, will include the School’s headquarters, which will be based in a restored 1920s building that was previously used as a hostel by medical students. Equipped with administrative and teaching facilities, the School’s headquarters will be ready by June 2013, in time for the first intake of 50 students in August 2013. The campus’s Clinical Sciences Building is expected to be ready in 2015.
Plans for a new building on the School’s other site at NTU’s Yunnan Garden Campus were also unveiled today. The Experimental Medicine Building, due for completion in 2015, will be located within NTU’s biomedical-engineering cluster.
Together, the School’s buildings will house seminar rooms, learning studios, clinical skills training facilities, innovatively-designed laboratories and other teaching and recreational facilities. The buildings are designed to promote collaboration between students, faculty and clinicians through the use of multidisciplinary and interactive spaces and facilities.
NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said, “The NTU-Imperial partnership has kick started the building of a legacy. With two campuses, the students will have the best of both worlds. They will have a hospital right next to their Campus at Novena which will give them the necessary bedside experience and training, backed by medical professionals at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. At the Yunnan Campus, they will benefit from NTU’s research strengths and expertise in biomedical engineering, science, business and humanities – all necessary in training the doctor of tomorrow to serve Singapore better. The curriculum is also designed by Imperial College London which is recognised globally for quality medical education.”
Imperial President & Rector Sir Keith O’Nions said, “Our aim is to develop world-class doctors. They will have world-class facilities at the new campus. In the inspiring, cutting-edge learning environment, students will fulfil their potential and go on to make a real, lasting contribution to the healthcare of Singapore. In the future a doctor from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine will stand out for their professionalism and their compassionate manner, putting the patients’ needs at the centre of all care.”
While the main aim of the School is to develop doctors for Singapore, it will also play a major role in advancing medical research. Combining NTU’s and Imperial College London’s strengths in science and engineering, the School will cultivate a progressive scientific culture in which experts from the fields of medicine, engineering, technology and business come together to find solutions that will improve patient outcomes.
The School’s Pro-Tem Governing Board Chairman, Mr Lim Chuan Poh said, “Partnerships and the spirit of open collaborations form the bedrock of the School. The school is born out of the partnership between NTU and Imperial College, supported by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. This joint medical school is partnered with the National Healthcare Group as the primary healthcare partner alongside its partnerships with the other hospitals and the different schools in NTU, as well as the wider research community and broader society in Singapore.”
“We also emphasise on partnership with the community to improve healthcare delivery in Singapore. Above all, we see our students becoming doctors who see their patients as partners and working together with the nurses and other allied health professionals, for better patient outcomes. It is these partnerships built on professional and meaningful people-to-people relationships that will ensure the success of the School – people coming together to make the School world-class and help contribute towards medical excellence in Singapore.”
Professor Stephen Smith, the School’s Dean, noted that research is the hallmark of world-class medical schools. “The School gives us a chance to bring together experts from different fields to focus on finding solutions to healthcare problems. We want to create an environment where engineers who can design the smartest devices, doctors who possess a deep understanding of a particular disease, and business thinkers with ideas on how to optimise healthcare processes can talk with each other and come up with ways to deliver the excellent medical care that people deserve,” he said.