News Details | 29-Jun-2012

As real as it gets… NTU’s medical school offers rare peek into work of surgeons

A cyclist has met with a car accident and is in critical condition. Bleeding from his wounds and requiring immediate attention, he is rushed into an operating theatre where a surgical team is waiting.

For the first time in Singapore, 600 students from junior colleges, polytechnics and the integrated programme had a chance to see what goes on behind closed doors of an operating theatre. In two special sessions held on 30 June 2012, NTU showcased its simulation technology for medical education in a “live” presentation of trauma surgery, which involves actual surgeons and realistic human organ props. This will form part of the medical training at the new Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.

The demonstration was accompanied by a running commentary by Professor Roger Kneebone from Imperial College London, one of the world’s pioneers of simulation technology in medical education and inventor of the “igloo”, a low-cost inflatable operation theatre used to simulate the real setting.

The students also visited six experiential learning booths, where they sampled the cutting-edge simulation training that awaits them at Singapore’s newest medical school. They also tried their hands on augmented reality technology, viewed and felt life-like models of gashes and wounds, and learnt how to keep a patient calm while a minor surgery is underway. More details on the booths below:

• See a body through an iPad
Assistant Professor Dinesh Kumar, Lead for Anatomy Teaching and Head of Examinations

This booth showcases an interactive learning system based on augmented reality technology, which makes learning about the human anatomy a much more interesting experience for the medical student. Accessed on an iPad, this learning tool uses pop-up labels and videos to describe complex anatomical structures. This highly intuitive software with its visually attractive presentations acts as a powerful supplementary material for the medical student’s lessons at LKCSoM. 

• Save the patient!
Ramani Saravanan, Manager, Clinical Skills
Julian Yeo, Support Officer, E-Learning Development

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is done on a person whose breathing or heartbeat has stopped. At this booth, students get to do CPR on a patient simulator and learn the correct way to perform chest compressions. Performing CPR promptly and correctly will help to restore heart function and maintain blood circulation until further life support measures are introduced.

• Listen to your heart
Dr Wong Teck Yee, Assistant Dean, Family Medicine / Lead for Patient-Centred Care

Here, students will find out more about auscultation, which is the act of listening to sounds arising within the lungs or heart as an aid to diagnosis and treatment. They will get the chance to find out what the doctor is listening to when he puts a stethoscope on a patient’s chest. They’ll also learn about different heart tones and breathing sounds and what these say about a patient’s heart and lung function.

• Lumps and bumps
Dr Tanya Tierney, Assistant Dean / Head of Clinical Communication and Simulation / Head of Student Welfare

How does a surgeon keep a patient calm while performing minor surgery with the patient awake? What does the patient think about, or worry about during the surgery? Students can have a go at being the surgeon or patient in this simulated minor surgery scenario. They will learn about the importance of interacting with patients while performing technical tasks.

• All about venepuncture
Dr Tham Kum Ying, Assistant Dean / Lead for Emergency Medicine
Renay Taylor, Senior Assistant Director, Student Life & Services

Venepuncture refers to the surgical puncture of a vein especially for the withdrawal of blood, or for the administration of fluids or drugs. It is an important tool within the diagnostic process and a fundamental skill for healthcare practitioners to master. Students will learn more about this routinely performed invasive procedure.

• Simulated cuts and wounds
Max Campbell, Director, Health Cuts
Mikey Burger, Health Cuts

This is as real as it gets! Students will find out how life-like models of cuts, gashes and wounds are being used to train medical students in technical skills such as suturing and wound care management. Max Campbell and Michael Burger have spent years making silicone models that look exactly like real-life wounds and trauma injuries for television shows and feature films. Today, they work with doctors to design and produce these highly realistic wounds for medical students to practice on. Campbell and Burger tell students about the role of these simulated wounds in medical education.

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Media contact:

Evelyn Choo (Miss)
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 4714

For admissions-related enquiries:

Tan Kia Yen (Mr)
Manager, Student Affairs & Academic Services
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Tel: 6592 7939

About the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, a partnership between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Imperial College London, will train a generation of doctors who will put patients at the centre of their exemplary medical care. Graduates of the five-year undergraduate medical degree programme that begins in 2013 will have a strong understanding of the scientific basis of medicine, along with interdisciplinary subjects including business management and technology.

The School’s primary clinical partner is the National Healthcare Group, a leader in public healthcare recognised for the quality of its medical expertise, facilities and teaching. The School, named after local philanthropist Dato Sri Lee Kong Chian, aims to be a future model for innovative medical education. Its first doctors will graduate in 2018 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), awarded jointly by NTU and Imperial College London, and become doctors who will enhance Singapore’s healthcare in the decades to come.


The School’s admission requirements include the compulsory BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) as well as a series of Multiple Mini Interviews. Prospective students should have the appropriate pre-university qualifications, including ‘A’ Levels, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the NUS High School Diploma, a relevant Polytechnic Diploma or other equivalent international qualifications.

The BMAT is a two-hour pen and paper test aptitude test taken by students all over the world who apply to top medical universities in the UK such as Imperial College London, Cambridge University, Oxford University and University College London. The test assesses skills in problem solving, communications and applying scientific knowledge and has been shown to be a good predictor of a student’s performance in medical school.

Shortlisted students will go through a series of eight mini interviews in a single day. Conducted by professionals from various healthcare disciplines, these interviews are designed to assess whether students have the skills required to successfully complete the joint Imperial-NTU MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) programme. 

The school will admit the first cohort of 50 students in August 2013. Applications begin in December 2012. Prospective students should note that the BMAT is scheduled on 7 November 2012.

About the dual campus

The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s campuses at Novena and Yunnan Garden have been designed to spur medical innovations by the School’s faculty, students and research staff. 

Its campus at Novena – comprising the high-rise Clinical Sciences Building and the School’s Headquarters – is in close proximity to Tan Tock Seng Hospital to facilitate students’ integration into clinical settings. To be equipped with administrative and teaching facilities, the re-purposed School’s headquarters building will be ready by June 2013, in time for the first intake of 50 students in August 2013. The Clinical Sciences Building is expected to be ready in 2015.

The School’s Campus at Yunnan Garden will leverage on the close partnership between engineering, biological sciences and medicine. The Experimental Medicine Building will be located within NTU’s biomedical-engineering cluster and is linked to the School of Biological Sciences. It is projected to be completed in 2015.

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

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

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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