Dr Cindy Zhu Shi Qi, NUHS Family Medicine Residency Programme,
"In the stormy journey of a junior doctor, the NUHS Family Medicine Residency is my anchor and safe harbour. Navigating through the formidable ocean of knowledge and skills required of a competent family physician, I always felt safe coming back to my preceptors and programme directors to discuss patient care, practice pearls, or even on advice for balancing a young family and my career. The nurturing spirit of the NUHS Family Medicine residency programme is a deep rooted one that has passed down through generations of residents and tutors. As I approach the end of my residency training, I look forward to joining our alumni community in giving back to the residency that raised us."
Dr Haresh Singaraju, NUHS Family Medicine Residency Programme, 2018 Cohort
"The NUHS Family Medicine Residency Programme is nationally known to be the most rigorous and all-rounded clinical traineeship. Diving into 20 various clinical rotations that span Neonatology to Geriatrics, it would have been easy to drown especially since one had to also enlighten himself with the core Family Medicine principles and knowledge of home and community-based care. This fatality is constantly prevented by passionate and nurturing faculty who are approachable, up-to-date in knowledge, practice and examination-centric, and open to residents' suggestions to tweak the programme for the betterment of both.
For a rigorous programme to remain successful in churning out clinically strong physicians for a decade now, it boils down to not only the faculty and programme coordinators but also that of the strength and camaraderie of the residents. The constant support and initiatives to ensure no one is left behind is second to none. Age, seniority, gender, race, competitiveness etc. play no part. Work hard, play hard is the informal motto. The end goal is for all to appropriately manage anyone and everyone at the primary care level with evidence-based care.
As the sense of Ohana is forged in these three years, roots that have grown keep residents and faculty in-touch after graduation for both personal and post-graduation matters. It is simply a growing, respectable family. Have no fear to join us. Yes, the going gets tough, but we, the tough, get going even if that means we have to drag you along."
Dr Michael Lim, NUHS Family Medicine Residency Programme, 2018 Cohort
"Wah doctor, you not going to specialise is it?" I hear this from my patients at least once a month. Despite my best efforts to convince them that yes, family practice is indeed my specialty of choice, some of them still leave wishing me all the best in pursuing my 'future specialist training'. Sometimes these comments come from my own relatives.
Despite recent efforts to send the message that Family Medicine is a field of practice in itself, the sad reality is that many patients have been conditioned by decades of focus on specialist training to think of primary care as an inferior field of practice. They come in asking for referrals for their various minor ailments, and gently rebuff my efforts to offer cost-effective treatment to reduce the load on our specialist colleagues. After all, what would a GP know about acne or eczema? About menstrual problems? About children with fever? About depression and anxiety?
Some come back, however. After you see them through their COVID infection, after you see their young child for chickenpox, after you syringe their elderly parent's ear so they can hear again, after you pick up that bit of rectal bleeding that turned out to be early cancer, after you walk with them through a particularly difficult time when a loved one passes away. They realise that maybe there is some value in a doctor who knows them as people, who knows their family, who always has something to offer them no matter what season of life they are in or what difficulties they face.
And then when they trust you, they will start coming to you with other problems. The real ones this time. That headache that keeps coming back daily from staying up late as he works two jobs to keep the family afloat. The child with autism. The HbA1c of 11 per cent in the elderly lady who can't inject insulin because her hands are shaking from Parkinsonism. The sexually transmitted infection from the wayward spouse. And when those problems come, you have to be ready with the right training and experience to deal with them.
The NUHS Family Medicine Residency is not an easy one, but it will train you well to be the family doctor of the future. If you are inspired by this, join us!"
Dr Elaine Tay, NUHS Family Medicine Residency Programme, 2019 Cohort
"Looking back at my residency training experience in NUHS, it has been rigorous but rewarding. And I have certainly enjoyed these three years.
Firstly, I like the programme. NUHS has the most holistic training. We are exposed to home visit, nursing home visit, GP block posting, community hospital posting - various forms of primary care settings. Our programme also comprise of areas involving community health, research and education, that will make you an all-rounded family physician. Training is solid in NUHS. We are fully immersed in various rotations - with core postings like paediatrics, gynaecology, emergency, surgical and medical to subspecialised fields such as cardiology, eye, ENT, palliative, dermatology, psychiatry, just to name a few.
Secondly, I like the culture. There is a strong teaching culture in NUHS as an institution. Regardless of the host departments we are posted to, the department senior doctors and consultants are always eager to organizs tutorials for the FM residents. There is also a lot of on-the-job teaching during the ward rounds and clinics. I am very appreciative of the teaching we receive in the various departments despite the frequent and short rotations. Within family medicine itself, we have weekly Friday night teachings by residents, posting tutorials by faculty and workshops by specialists.
Finally, I like the people. I love our NUHS Family Medicine's family and I truly feel a strong sense of belonging towards this community. We have extremely dedicated core teaching faculty who are very invested in our learning. They are patient and kind in answering our questions, and are clinically strong in both knowledge and communication skills. The faculty genuinely care about our well-being and personal life, and have been a great inspiration and a joy to learn from. Despite COVID that happened mid-way, it has been a lovely journey with my batchmates, celebrating one another's milestones and having ad-hoc gatherings both at and out of work. Inter-batch wise, our seniors are approachable and often give us valuable tips on getting through residency. Even those who have graduated have also come back to teach and guide us along. It is amazing how easy it is to talk to everyone, regardless of batch or age and I am truly blessed to be a part of this community.
And that is my residency journey with the NUHS Family. "