The symposium ‘Preparedness as Junior Doctors: Perspectives of Learners of the Alpha Generation’ will explore the changes and differences in medical education over the past 15 years. The three speakers from Malaysia and Singapore, alumni of IMU Malaysia, will share their perspectives on various topics related to medical education and the changes that have occurred over the years.
Ripple 1: Taking care of mental health
Amanda Albert (Malaysia)
The presenter, a psychiatrist and medical educator believes strongly in the importance of mental healthcare in medical education. She highlights that medical students from Gen Z face a unique set of challenges, different from their predecessors. They are exposed to a rapidly changing world, with digital technology permeating almost every aspect of their lives, and unprecedented amounts of information. On top of that, the advent of virtual teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how students can experience or choose to experience university life.
In her presentation, she will emphasize the need to teach student doctors to be aware of and take care of their mental health. She highlights that the young people of Gen Z report unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and it is vital for educators to consider this aspect in the equipping of medical students, and even young people across the board. She advocates incorporating interventions that increase mental health awareness and the ability for self-care into the medical curriculum
Having heard and shared the difficulties faced by medical educators, she will also discuss the issue of the generation gap, and how it impacts medical education today. She proposes methods in which educators from different generations can adapt to Gen Z to remain relevant and supportive, and perhaps even learn from them.
Ripple 2: Preparedness for Junior Doctors: Part and Parcel of Medical Education
Joash Tan Loh (Malaysia)
The presenter, a physician based in a government hospital teaching junior doctors in Malaysia, will expand on the challenges of balancing instant gratification and duty in medical education. He will discuss the impact of the current generation's reliance on technology and instant gratification, and how this can lead to a lack of patience and perseverance when learning and practising medicine.
He will explore strategies for educators to help students develop patience and perseverance, such as providing feedback and constructive criticism, encouraging reflection and self-awareness, and promoting a growth mindset.
In addition, the speaker will discuss the role of leadership in promoting a culture of patient-centered care and emphasising the importance of duty and responsibility in medical education. He will also touch on the impact of technology on patient care and the importance of balancing the benefits of technology with the need for human connection and empathy.
Overall, the presentation will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by educators in balancing instant gratification and duty in medical education and strategies for promoting patient-centered care and professionalism.
Ripple 3: The Road Less Taken
Kuhanesh Janardanan (Singapore)
The presenter, who's currently a senior resident in public health in Singapore, will explore some of the reasons behind physicians choosing non-clinical or even non-medical fields of work. Most graduates prefer to practice clinical medicine and non-clinical and public health are less commonly chosen.
The presenter will expound on his own experiences in developing a broader understanding of healthcare systems, policy, and exploring alternative career paths. He will also touch on the challenges of transitioning from clinical to non-clinical work, such as mismatched expectations due to diverse career backgrounds.
Overall, the presentation will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of the drivers behind the rise of non-clinical work in medical education and the presenters own experiences and reasons for seeking non-clinical careers.
Students as Effective Change-Makers
Woon Shi Sien (Malaysia)
As one of the largest demographics in the world, the youth is poised to be effective agents of change, given the proper platform and opportunities. This presentation will cover the work that has been done in the Asia-Pasific region to empower and capacitate medical students. The presenter will discuss the role of medical students in leadership and collaboration to face the health challenges of tomorrow.
Peer Tutoring as a Catalyst for Student Engagement
Jigyasa Sharma (Malaysia)
Peer tutoring has gained attention as an educational intervention aimed at improving student learning outcomes. It involves students helping each other in academic subjects, creating a collaborative learning environment. Research suggests that peer tutoring enhances comprehension and memory recall, and fosters camaraderie among students. It also develops interpersonal and social skills for both tutors and tutees. However, the effectiveness of peer tutoring can vary based on factors such as subject, session length, and student personalities. Interviews with IMU students involved in the peer tutoring program revealed positive experiences, indicating personalized support, increased motivation, and improved interpersonal skills, they helped to determine its impact on academic performance and learning outcomes.
A Student-Led Approached to Medical Education
Quek Joo Wei Ethan (Singapore)
Even as we are slowly easing measures, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the landscape of medical education, accelerating the development of technology-enabled education. The online learning environment has its benefits, allowing for improved flexibility in the curriculum and allowing our students to explore their interests outside of medicine. Yet, navigating this environment brings about a different kind of academic challenge as students may fall through the cracks in light of reduced peer-to-peer interaction.
Hence, we would like to take this time to review the student-led initiatives that have supported our medical students in their academic pursuits. These initiatives revolve around three pillars: Empowering learning, Encouraging mentorship, and Engendering change. We also highlight the close collaboration between students and faculty via the NUS Medical Society, the students' representative organisation, to equip our students with the relevant skills to address the academic needs of our students.