S R E Sayampanathan
Academy of Medicine, Singapore
18 January 2017
Dear Fellow Academicians
We have just welcomed 2017, and in a few weeks, we will be welcoming the Year of the Rooster as well. I would like to wish you good health and prosperity throughout the New Year.
A New Year must begin with good reflections and forward thinking. Whilst in this good mood, it would be good to include high moral and ethical values as part of our ideals in practice. This is especially so, when we remind ourselves that this is our 60th anniversary, another milestone of accomplishments, and a springboard to new heights.
In November 2016, we were privileged to have Professor Ian Curran as our Distinguished Academician. Topics on Professional Ethics and Professionalism were discussed, and we learnt a lot of important concepts. As we evolve with time, as a profession, we have to develop new strategies to cope with the changing environment.
It has been the same with medical ethics. In his address at the Physician's Pledge Affirmation Ceremony in November 2016, SMC President Prof Tan Ser Kiat (incidentally an AMS Past Master as well) said: "the patient-doctor relationship has changed over the years – patients are more educated, better informed and have higher expectations of their doctors." He also said that "The preservation of good patient-doctor relationships also hinges on a mutual understanding of each other's rights and obligations." Hence the implementation of the Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines (ECEG) which took effect on 1 January 2017.
To summarise the key take-home messages in his speech (all of which are very important),
we need to go back to the basics, assimilate the fundamental tenets of medical ethics and establish an excellent patient-doctor relationship
we need to work as a team
we need to respect medical confidentiality
We should take heed from his wise advice “The medical profession is a noble one that society respects, trusts and has confidence in.” And we should strive hard to maintain this through application of the ECEG.
Reinforcing these thoughts at the same function, the Guest of Honour Professor James Best, Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, mentioned in his speech: “It is our personal and collective values, based on these noble traditions, that make medicine such a special career and make us worthy of the trust people place in us.”
Professor Best also shared: "What helps us to fulfil our responsibilities, and what inspires us to practise medicine at the highest standard we can, is the support of our colleagues, even when they are our patients."
In line with the new ECEG, some TPAs are in conflict with ethical practice. SMC has been discussing with the relevant bodies. They have also given out press statements. AMS, SMA and CFPS have also given statements, and we have been in agreement with SMC. We will keep Fellows informed of updates.
The Academy’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration will be held in conjunction with the 51st Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine (SMCM) and 12th Singapore Public Health & Occupational Medicine Conference (PHOM) on 21-23 July at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. With the theme ‘Moving Forward, Staying Ahead’, I am pleased to share with you some highlights of the event:
INDUCTION COMITIA & OFFICIAL OPENING OF 51st SMCM & 12th PHOM | 21 July 2017
His Excellency DR TONY TAN KENG YAM
President of the Republic of Singapore and Patron of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore
23rd GORDON ARTHUR RANSOME ORATION | 21 July 2017
Chief Justice SUNDARESH MENON
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Singapore
19th RUNME SHAW MEMORIAL LECTURE | 22 July 2017
Professor WONG TIEN YIN
Medical Director, Singapore National Eye Centre
Strategies and Lessons in Tackling Diabetic Retinopathy in Singapore and Globally
GALLOWAY MEMORIAL LECTURE | 22 July 2017
A/Professor CHRISTOPHER CHEN LI-HSIAN
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, National University of Singapore
The Brain-Heart Connection: Revisiting Sydenham’s adage that “A Man is as Old as His Arteries”
DIAMOND JUBILEE GALA DINNER | 22 July 2017
This highlight of the social event promises to be an exciting evening of networking and spectacular live entertainment. A commemorative book outlining the diamond jubilee years of the Academy will be launched at the dinner to commemorate this historical milestone.
On behalf of the Council, I would like to invite our Fellow Academicians to join us for our annual gathering to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a Dinner and ‘Lo-Hei’ which will be held on 6 February 2017 at the Academy’s premise.
Let’s come together and celebrate a momentous Diamond Jubilee.
Dr S R E Sayampanathan
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