S R E Sayampanathan
Academy of Medicine, Singapore
13 April 2017
Dear Fellow Academicians
The Academy will reach its 60th anniversary milestone come 19 July 2017. In the last decade, rapidly changing healthcare landscape in Singapore has challenged the Academy and Fellows to do more in advocating and advancing professionalism, professional standards, and continuing professional development.
As you are aware, the Academy’s call for nomination for Elected Council term of 2017 – 2019 received eight (8) nominations for six (6) positions. A postal ballot is now underway. I am pleased to highlight our 8 nominees are committed Fellows with excellent track record and great enthusiasm to serve.
It is heartening to note across the Academy, from Colleges to Chapters, more Fellows are stepping up, willing to make sacrifices, to serve the specialists community and to uphold the profession. Please support their effort with your votes. The closing deadline to send in your vote is 17 April 2017, 5:00 pm.
The Organising Committees of the 51st Singapore Malaysia Congress of Medicine (SMCM) and 12th Public Health & Occupational Medicine Conference (PHOMC) has teamed up enthusiastically in assembling a great congress in 2017. Invitation to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations is open until 30 April 2017.
I hope many of you, along with your fellow colleagues and members of your healthcare team, will be encouraged to join us at this unique meeting to listen, learn and discuss.
On 12 April, the Academy, together with the College of Family Physicians Singapore (CFPS) and Singapore Medical Association (SMA), issued another AMS-CFPS-SMA Joint Advisory to provide clarity and make recommendations on acceptable standards when dealing with Managed Care / Third Party Administrators (TPAs). Since the release of the last joint opinion in December 2016, the 3 professional bodies have continued active engagements with members and garnered feedback from key stakeholders, working to ensure our members comply with SMC’s Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines (ECEG).
Planning is underway by the Academy and its Colleges and Chapters to prepare and support continuing professional development (CPD) needs of specialists in anticipation of the proposed Maintenance of Competency (MOC) framework which is expected to replace the current Continuing Medical Education (CME) system in 2020. Under the proposed MOC framework, the Academy will be tasked to administer and operationalise a new Category 5 specialty-specific Self Learning Module (SLM) for all accredited specialists.
At the last SMC CME Co-ordinating Committee (CMECC) meeting, target has been set for the pilot specialty-specific SLM to be rolled out by 1 October 2017. The Academy Deanery has already commenced engaging Fellows from our Colleges and Chapters to develop framework, standards and contents for the pilot SLM. Only accessible to our Fellows and Members, the pilot SLM will enable us to further evaluate issues and challenges, calibrating and shaping the specialty-specific SLM for full implementation under the proposed 2020 MOC framework.
I look forward to give you more updates on the SLM pilot in the coming months.
The Academy has been awarded a 3-year tender by Ministry of Health (MOH), commencing 1 March 2017, to provide services for the management, implementation and evaluation of Ministry of Health’s (MOH) examination administration, workshops and training. Under the oversight of the Academy Deanery, we will provide support in the administration of examination development and implementation workshop for the 12 MCQ specialty examinations. It includes co-coordinating local meetings, workshops (e.g. Item/Form review and Key validation/standard Setting) and teleconferences for exam related events. The Academy will also assist in conducting registration and examination applications, which includes briefing sessions and collation of dataset, for the 12 specialty examinations.
It also gives me great pleasure to report that the 32nd Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Congress 2017, held on 1 – 5 March 2017, has been an outstanding success. Health Minister Mr Gan Kim Yong, who graced the Opening Ceremony, addressed the importance of preventive eye care, research and innovation for better clinical evidence and improved patient care, embracing ambulatory care models, and improving public education on eye care.
More than 5,000 participants from 77 countries attended the congress at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The congress featured 185 scientific sessions, 575 invited speakers and experts, more than 1,100 free paper presentations, and 105 sponsors and exhibitors.
Let me extend my heartiest congratulations to the leadership of the College of Ophthalmologists (COPH) and the Singapore Society of Ophthalmology (SSO). Led by Congress and College President Dr Wong Tien Yin, the Local Steering Committee and Scientific Programme Committee, comprised of dedicated ophthalmic educators, researchers and leaders across Singapore, had laboured two years to deliver this congress.
Together, they have forged an extraordinary national collaboration and produced what is truly a world class ophthalmology meeting at APAO 2017. It is a remarkable achievement for Singapore which the ophthalmology community can be proud of.
The Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore held its Awards & Appreciation Dinner on 15 March 2017 at the Peach Garden, Hotel Miramar to recognise deserving reviewers, winning authors and retiring Editorial Board members.
The event also delivered a poignant tribute to Dr Tan Eng King, who will complete his term as Editor of Annals at the Academy’s Annual General Meeting on 3 June 2017. Dr EK Tan has served as Annals Editor since 2010 and will be succeeded by Dr Erle Lim. Appreciation tributes were also presented to Dr Yap Hui Kim (since 1993), Dr Ng Beng Yeong (since 2004), Dr Erle Lim (since 2004), and Dr Pierce Chow (since 2010) and who will also retire from the Editorial Board.
During his six-year tenure as Editor, Dr EK Tan together with members of his Editorial Board has brought invaluable depth of knowledge and experience to the Annals. In encouraging excellence, annual Annals Best Publication Awards presented to outstanding papers were initiated. To promote high quality reviews, Deans of Singapore’s three medical schools are invited to serve on the Annals’ International Advisory Panel. Without a doubt, the Editorial Board’s vision, commitment and contributions had been instrumental in maintaining the Annals’ high standards of a peer-reviewed journal.
On behalf of the Academy Council, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr EK Tan and members of his Editorial Board for serving the medical profession with dedication and distinction.
As tomorrow is Good Friday, I would like wish all a restful and happy Easter weekend!
Dr S R E Sayampanathan
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