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​NTU Singapore and Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital launch internship and exchange programme in Chinese medicine

Published on: 30-Jul-2019

Collaboration also includes new residency programme for NTU graduates

Students pursuing the double degree programme in biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will soon get to apply what they learn at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH).

NTU Singapore and KWSH are launching a new internship programme and will also set up an exchange programme for physicians at both institutions.

These initiatives support the government’s efforts to develop the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) industry which is expected to play an increasingly important role as Singapore’s population ages. In 2017, the government invested S$10 million to support the modernisation of the industry.

A five-year agreement was inked today at a graduation session held for graduands from the NTU biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine double degree programme by Dr Ow Chee Chung, CEO, KWSH and Prof Lars Nordenskiöld, Chair, NTU School of Biological Sciences.

Guest-of-honour Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, who chairs the TCM Practitioners Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Health, witnessed the signing, together with NTU Vice President (Alumni & Advancement) Prof Alan Chan and KWSH Chairman Mr Lee Kwok Kie, Patrick. 

Beyond the agreement, KWSH will unveil a new residency programme for fresh NTU graduate physicians at the end of the year – a first by the Hospital. Trainees will be supervised by KWSH’s senior TCM physicians for a period of two to three years.

NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) Professor Ling San said, “The new internship, exchange and residency programmes leverage NTU’s innovative ‘East Meets West’ bilingual double degree programme, as well as the modern approach we take to TCM at our NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic. Equipped with knowledge from their foundation in biomedical sciences, students will get the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in KWSH, which combines the best of Western and Chinese medicine in their delivery of care.

“This partnership will also encourage physicians from both institutions to continue learning from each other, and hopefully spark new collaborative research work that sheds new light on existing treatment methods.”

Dr Ow Chee Chung, CEO of KWSH, said, “KWSH is delighted to be able to partner NTU through its School of Biological Sciences and to support the school’s undergraduate training. Also, with the new KWSH TCM Physician Residency Programme, we will play a part in professional TCM training and development for the Hospital’s future physicians as well as Singapore’s larger TCM fraternity."

Fostering close ties through exchange and research

Under the internship programme, undergraduates enrolled in NTU’s double degree programme in biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine will train in the outpatient setting, which includes day care and community services, and in inpatient care. The double degree programme is offered in conjunction with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

During this time, they will get to apply their knowledge in a range of TCM services, observe real patient-physician interactions, and also participate in grand ward rounds, where medical problems and treatment of a particular patient are presented to an audience.

Under the exchange programme, physicians at the NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic and KWSH will be on regular rotation between the two institutions. This fosters close ties between the two institutions and ensures that the physicians continue to learn through exposure to a wider range of patient profiles and conditions. 

The regular exchange between the physicians could also spark new research collaborations, which is one of the aims of the partnership between NTU and KWSH. Possible research areas include developing an East-West integrative approach to geriatric healthcare and the use of acupuncture to treat post-stroke symptoms.

Nurturing the next generation of modern TCM physicians

Graduates from the NTU double degree programme in biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine will soon be able to apply for KWSH’s residency programme, which will last for two to three years. 

Under this programme – the first residency programme offered by the Hospital – fresh graduates will be exposed to different aspects of the TCM practice, from outpatient and inpatient care at KWSH’s TCM Centre and nursing home respectively, to community outreach efforts such as consultations at community events and educational health talks.

The KWSH residency programme aims to offer a conducive environment for graduates in their budding careers as TCM physicians who integrate the modern approach to medicine with Chinese medicine. 


Media contacts:

Foo Jie Ying
Manager, Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University

Leong Keat Yeng 
Executive, Corporate & Community Relations 
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital 

Tay Chian Yong 
Assistant Manager, Corporate & Community Relations 
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital 

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past six years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.

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About Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) is a 108-year-old charitable healthcare organisation and is registered as an Institution of Public Character, committed to looking after the sick and needy. In the last century, it has continued the strong tradition of community service, having cared for many generations of Singaporeans, beginning its legacy in 1910 even before Singapore’s independence. It is now one of the most established providers in the ILTC (Intermediate and Long Term Care) sector.
At present, KWSH operates a nursing home, a rehabilitation centre, a traditional Chinese medicine centre, two community care centres and offers home care services. Many of its patients are from the lower-income group and their fees are heavily subsidised.
To better serve the rapidly ageing population, KWSH has undergone redevelopment to be transformed into an integrated community healthcare hub, providing healthcare services to its residents and the community. With the completion of the redevelopment in 2018, KWSH is now the largest single-site nursing home with over 600 beds as well as expansion in its other services.
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