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Singapore Medical School Incorporating AI, Digital Health

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The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), is gearing up for a transformative shift in its curriculum, set to reshape the future of medical education. Starting in 2024, LKCMedicine will embark on an ambitious journey to equip its students with cutting-edge knowledge and skills, blending traditional medical expertise with the transformative powers of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital health.

The LKCMedicine has devised a forward-looking curriculum that aims to produce doctors who are not only compassionate healers but also discerning and confident users of technology. The key pivot in this educational revolution is the integration of digital health and AI throughout the five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree programme.

Instead of relegating these critical subjects to isolated modules, LKCMedicine has chosen to infuse them as vertical courses, seamlessly interwoven into the fabric of medical education. This visionary approach empowers students to develop a deep understanding of medical data science, data analytics, and the ethical and legal dimensions of AI in healthcare.

But this transformation goes beyond theory. LKCMedicine is committed to hands-on learning, ensuring that students gain practical exposure to AI and medical technologies such as telehealth, health apps, wearables, and personalised molecular medicine. By doing so, they will graduate not just as doctors but as tech-savvy medical professionals poised to harness the full potential of digital innovations for the betterment of patient care.

To facilitate this bold endeavour, LKCMedicine is introducing an array of tech-enabled learning tools. Virtual reality simulations, like the upcoming virtual reality learning tool for the heart, are poised to revolutionise the way students comprehend complex anatomical systems.

Moreover, the development of custom-built e-simulators for drug prescription and electronic medical record management will mirror real-world hospital settings, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for the challenges of clinical practice in the digital age.

However, amidst this high-tech revolution, the school remains resolute in preserving the essence of compassionate care. The human touch, which is at the heart of medicine, will not be overshadowed by machines. LKCMedicine recognises that doctors need to be adaptable and agile, capable of navigating uncertainties and delivering patient-centred care.

This commitment to human-centric medicine is exemplified by the expansion of medical humanities in the curriculum. Drawing from the realms of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, this interdisciplinary approach equips students with the skills to manage clinical uncertainty and adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare.

By integrating medical humanities throughout the five-year programme, LKCMedicine aims to foster adaptability and resilience among its students. In an era when AI and technology are becoming integral to medical practice, medical humanities will serve as a compass, guiding students to keep the patient at the centre of their decision-making process.

As AI becomes a prominent presence in clinical environments, there is a risk that patient-centred care might wane. Medical humanities bridge this gap by equipping future doctors with the critical skills to engage with technology while maintaining their focus on patient well-being.

LKCMedicine’s commitment to holistic medical education extends to its admissions process. Beginning in 2024, the school will replace the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) with the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT).

This shift reflects a broader perspective on what makes a great doctor, assessing qualities beyond academic prowess. Compassion, teamwork, problem-solving abilities, and integrity are now given the prominence they deserve in the selection of future medical professionals.

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