EAMSC Taiwan 2016

In 2016, the 29th EAMSC was held in Taipei, Taiwan from 24th – 29th January 2016. The theme for the conference is "Medical Care in the Future- When medicine and technology meet humanity". 

We had 36 Singaporean delegates from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, as well as Duke-NUS Graduate School of Medicine participating in EAMSC, led by our two Chief Delegates, Low Yi Mei (M1) and Leona Ang (M1).

Our delegates participated not only as general delegates during the conference, but also presented scientific papers, public posters, as well as a movie as part of the academic competition. Not only was it a tremendously fun experience, it was an eye-opening and enriching experience for all our delegates!

TCU Exchange

February 21, 2016

TCU/YLL AMSEP 02/2016 Day 6


It was a bittersweet day. Today is the day that our Taiwanese friends will be staying with us. In the morning, we brought them to Gardens by the Bay where they had a fun filled morning taking photos with the beautiful flowers. Following which, we brought them for dinner on a Kelong! All of us presented them with a gift and wished them farewell on their trip! Indeed, it was a great day! We look forward to seeing our Taiwanese friends soon as it will be our turn to visit them in June! :)

TCU/YLL AMSEP 02/2016 Day 5

We had a fun-filled day at Sentosa today, starting off from a train ride from our hostel to Harbourfront station. It was the first time for most of them to Sentosa, and they enjoyed a nice long walk along the Sentosa Broadwalk to the Resorts World area.They experienced a variety of attractions themed from the Dreamworks movies across six different parts of the park: Madagascar, Jurassic Park, Hollywood Studios, Shrek, The Mummy and Transformers. Some enjoyed the rides so much that they purchased an express pass in order to take more rides and to re-ride the interesting attractions!  We tried a hands-on lunch with a do-it-yourself style popiah and kueh pie tie picnic style! We taught the Taiwanese how to prepare their own popiahs and kueh pie ties using radish, garlic, sweet sauce, sambal chili and the relevant wrapping skins and kueh pie tie cups! They had a lot of fun and a great load of delicious food preparing their own lunch! We ended the day with a spectacular fireworks display at the USS before heading off to see the Sentosa Merlion which was not far from USS. It was interesting to learn that the Merlion was an icon taught to them in the Taiwan students' Geography lessons, and being able to see it first hand really excited them! We had a scrumptious dinner at the Seah Im food centre just opposite VivoCity, where the Taiwanese students got a chance to enjoy roti prata, Singapore-style seafood fried rice, bandung and briyani for the first time! Looking forward to another great day ahead tomorrow!  


A meaningful day was spent at the Day Adults Activities Center St. Andrew’s Autism Center, where we interacted and learn more about people with moderate to severe autism. It was an eye opening experience for both myself and the Taiwanese, some of whom have only interacted with children with mild autism. We were split into pairs and assigned to observe and help out the coaches in different classes. Each class had a different schedule of activities ranging from supermarket visits, outing, cooking to exercising. Our idea of autism changed quite a bit after the day attachment to classes. During the debrief session, a few heartwarming stories were shared about how some of us progressed from initially having fear about not knowing how to deal with the clients, to gaining rapport and trust from them, and managing to help the coaches in teaching the students something new. The session definitely helped all of us be better healthcare professionals in letting us know more about this special group of individuals, whom we had previous stereotypes about and stigma towards.

Following the CIP session, we introduced the Taiwanese to the Arab and Muslim culture by bringing them to the Kampong Glam area. The Taiwanese also got to walk through the eclectic mix of boutiques and quaint shophouses on Haji lane.

After filling our hearts with warmth and eyes with wander, it was finally time for dinner. Braving the pouring rain, we filled our tummies with fish soup from the famous Rangoon Road Whampoah Keng Steamboat restaurant, which everyone could not get enough of. Still craving for more food, we headed to get some traditional desserts unique to Singapore at Chinatown.

We ended our day with a calming night stroll beside the Singapore River, beside the stretch of bars at Clark Quay, in the relaxed atmosphere of a Friday night. Indeed, it was a perfect way to end a week of work.

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AMSEP UK 01/2016: A Trip to London

London is a city rich in culture and is filled with interesting museums and theatre venues. 12 medical students from Singapore embarked on an exciting exchange to London on the AMSEP program in January. The week in UK was well packed with visits to prestigious medical colleges such as King's College, Imperial College and University College London and numerous museum visits. We gained new insights and made new friends from UK and Singapore. It was also a good chance for students from NUS and NTU, who will be future colleagues, to mingle together and learn from one another.


It was our pleasure to sit in lectures at the different medical colleges and experience the life of a medical student studying in UK. As we interacted with the UK students, we learnt more about UK's national healthcare system and different teaching methods of the various colleges. For instance, the research scene in UK is extensive and the research culture is promoted early in medical school.

A memorable first time experience for most of us would be the dissection at King's College. Professor Hunter from King's College gladly taught us a simple technique and gave us the chance to perform dissections on a cadaver. As Singapore is facing a shortage of cadaveric donors, medical students rely on prosected or plastinated specimens to learn anatomy. I am sure that the dissection at King's College was an eye-opening experience for most of us.

Visiting museums in London is a must-have in the itinerary for tourists visiting UK. Away from the hustle and bustle, one of the many museums we visited was Victoria and Albert museum. It showcased countless paintings, sculptures and jewellery, just to name a few. An interesting exhibition which caught our eyes while we were there was "Shoes: Pleasure and Pain" featuring over 200 pairs of shoes around the world. It was definitely an afternoon well spent, appreciating the unique artworks.

 Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

There is so much to see in every museum we visited and more to be discovered in London, especially its rich culture and history.

We are grateful to the UK students who hosted us for the week. Amid their busy schedules, they put in great efforts to bring us around London. Special thanks to Boon and Adrian from King's College who planned and made arrangements for our accommodation, transport, meals, lectures, anatomy class and sight-seeing. We truly enjoyed our trip to London and we look forward to hosting our UK friends when they come to Singapore in August!

Judith Goh
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Class of 2019

AMSEP UK 23-30/01/2016

The exchange to London was really a great eye-opener and one-of-a-kind experience for the twelve of us that embarked on this trip. Before we start reminiscing over the wonderful days, we would like to first thank Boon and Adrian from King’s College for being the main organizers and even skipping school to accompany us for the entire exchange! 

Day 1 : As we arrived in Heathrow Airport, we were instantly received by the students from London. It started out to be a little awkward (as all first greetings are) fortunately the conversations slowly became comfortable as we got to know each other further.

After placing our luggage down at YHA King’s Cross, we headed straight to Camden Market. We were greeted by more students from King’s and Imperial and boy, the warm atmosphere did make the cold slightly bearable! 

Day 2 : As our alarms rang, poor jetlagged us struggled to wake up in order to watch the changing of guards in time. Fortunately, our efforts didn’t go to waste  

The changing of guards at the Buckingham Palace was really a marvelous experience! The entire ceremony was beyond grand as we stood in awe when the horses approached us.

The rest of the day went along as we visited famous tourist attractions such as The National Gallery, Big Ben and London Eye

Last but not least, we ended the day with London’s must-eat Burger and Lobster.  

Day 3 : Today is University of London day! We started our day visiting the different faculties of UCL. After the short introduction to UCL, we sat in for their lectures and realised that “ wow, students here actually attend lectures” (shame on us hahha)!  

As some of us took notes/fell asleep/played games, we realized that UCL adopts quite a similar lecture style as us. The lecture on “Hydrophilic Hormones and Enzyme Cascade” gave us a refresher course (for M2s) and taught us new things (for M1s).

Day 4 : Time for Imperial College! As we visited the different colleges, we couldn’t help but to compare their architecture. In summary, ICL has a more modernized composition and quieter atmosphere compared to UCL. We sat in for lectures on gonads and once again had the same feelings as those in UCL. On the other hand, our students from NTU had a totally different experience. They were excited, restless and simply eager! The reason behind this was because the lecturer they had always viewed in front of their computer was finally right in front of their eyes!

Day 5: We first started the day by having an extremely heavy breakfast at “Duck and Waffles”. We then toured the Tower Bridge and even took a short visit up to understand more about its mechanisms and history.

The second half of the day was spent at King’s College. The highlight of the entire exchange was indisputably the dissection hall. Professor Hunter was kind enough to provide us with the experience of dissection as he sympathetized with us the scarcity of cadavers in singapore and also emphasized the importance of dissection in learning anatomy. We were taught the basics of blunt dissection and after, were given the freedom to do whatever we wanted. Once again, thank you Professor Hunter for this precious opportunity!

Day 6 : Oxford day trip! We took a short break from London city life by escaping to Oxford. Somehow, all of us seemed to have friends studying there (why are singaporeans so smart) as one by one we broke off from the team to find our friends before regrouping at night. Boy, isn’t Oxford just beautiful? 

Day 7 : Farewell, nooooo! In the morning, we sat in for lectures in King’s College and to our surprise, unlike the other two colleges, attendance was subpar (so YLL isn’t that bad afterall). However, the “Visual Processing” lecture was extremely interesting as it wasn’t something we had learnt beforehand.  

Before we know it, the night came and it was time for our farewell. The friendships and memories that we created together will perpetually be in our hearts! Thank you AMSA UK for hosting us and giving us this memorable experience! Till we meet again in Singapore! We love you!!!! 

TCU/YLL AMSEP 02/2016 Day 3

Our third day started with an engaging lecture by practicing neurology clinician Dr Erle Lim. He infused a great deal of multimedia, engaging slides and illustrative videos of clinical signs to reinforce our understanding on various neurological disorders and their underlying concepts! Our Taiwanese friends found his sense of humour especially funny when he called out students to answer questions and gave hilarious comments based on their shirt-prints, keeping the atmosphere of the lecture light throughout and interesting! This provided them valuable knowledge which they could learn before officially starting on neuroscience back in their school's curriculum. We moved on to bring the group to explore the school campus a little more, introducing them to our school bookshop (NUS-Coop) where the participants purchased special NUS memorabilia for their friends back home.  The next highlight of the day was our trip to River Safari. Before that we stopped by the Ang Mo Kio residential estate, exposing the Taiwanese students to a typical Singapore neighbourhood infrastructure and gave them an opportunity to try some local cuisines from Yong Tau Foo to popiah at the nearby S11 food centre. The extent of captivation of the students at the safari was indescribable; the great diversity of animals and wonderful design of the exhibits awed the students and their positive feedback was unanimous. Some even commented how they only have an oceanarium back in Hualien, and it was their first time visiting a zoo! We took an Amazon River Ride where screams of exhilaration and laughter filled the air as their boat coursed through pitfalls and high drops!  We ended off the day with a scrumptious dinner at the Kim's BBQ outlet in Dhoby Ghaut, where they had a grilled meat buffet and ate to their heart's content. We proceeded to Gardens by the Bay in the night to enjoy the dazzling display of lights under the supertrees and the night sky - a great mode of relaxation after a long day of fun! Looking forward to the next day!

TCU/YLL AMSEP 02/2016 Day 2

To put it simply, our second day was action-packed and fruitful! Our Taiwanese friends got up early and attended Anatomy lectures by Prof Raj. They like his way of teaching and did not find it too fast or too overwhelming. Afterwards, we had lunch at Food Clique and toured NUS Utown. They were very impressed with the facilities in residential halls and colleges. At YaleNUS, all of us were gaping at their library. We headed back to school for Harvey Session conducted by Dr Satish. He gave an introduction of Cardiovascular Physiology as our friends haven't learnt that yet and gave them a mini crash course on heart sounds.

Afterwards, we visited the Med Library and headed to Anatomy Hall. It was the first time that our exchange students saw a cadaver and they were rather nervous at the start. As they have not started learning human anatomy, we gave them a brief introduction to the names and functions of some of the rather prominent parts. They also asked us questions and some of us told them about landmarks (e.g. ASIS) which are clinically important. Dr Satish very kindly talked to all of us and help us with our learning as well.

In the evening, we visited the Botanic Gardens. Most of the time we just sat on the grass, talking and enjoying the scenery. As the sun set, we walked to Adams Food Center for dinner. Local hosts ordered a whole array of local food (our fav Char Kuay Teow, Ice Kachang etc) and had a really sumptuous dinner to end our day. Most of us are really tired, but we certainly had a lot of fun. Really looking forward to tomorrow!

TCU/YLL AMSEP 02/2016 Day 1

Today was the first day of the our exchange with Tzu Chi University of Taiwan. After bringing our friends from the airport to their hostel (& getting slightly lost along the way), we headed straight to little India to enjoy their first meal in Singapore - Northern & Southern Indian food at Muthu's Curry. It was while sharing a meal there that we realised our definition of "a little spicy" was world's apart from their's. What was marked as "not spicy" on the menu turned out to be way too spicy for some of them. Nonetheless, dinner was a good time of getting to know each other better & learning more about our similarities and differences.

After dinner, the taiwanese drew lots to pick their buddies. We were all very excited to find out who we would be hosting for the next few days. After getting to know our buddies, we headed off for a short tour of little India by our very own participant, Nandhini! She brought us around to see a procession being performed at a temple, some traditional Indian crafts being sold at the road side stalls as well as a short tour of mustafa where many of our Taiwan friends bought postcards to send back home from Singapore.

Tired after a long day, we brought them back to their hostel while playing ice breakers along the way. Overall, it was a great first day, and we are really looking forward to the rest of the exchange!


 Right after we ended our CA3, a few of us rushed to pick the Taiwanese up from Changi Airport. On the long way to Prince's George Park Residences, we had a good ice-breaking chat with them. They were amazed by the luxury of having their air-conditioned single rooms, each with a toilet attached, as well as the convenience of having foodcourts and a minimart within the residences compound.              

Before we ended off Day 1, we brought them to UTown to have dinner and a tour around one of the most beautiful places in NUS. Today was just an orientation. We hope they are looking forward to the rest of the week for more food and fun!

EAMSC 2016 Taiwan Adventures Day 3!!!

Never would i have thought that I would be having the opportunity to attend a lecture given by a professional Contemporary Clown!

What is a Contemporary Clown? Well they are pretty much as much as a normal clown that you have grown up knowing but minus the baggy costumes and face-paint and add in a whole lot of teaching of life and moral lessons through laughter and fun. Today our delegates learnt that the environment one grows up in should never determine how the person grows up to become. Our professional clown lecturer grew up in Europe and due to the high occurrence of cancer in his hometown, the place always had a sad and dark atmosphere to it. However, he did not let his environment get the better of him and hence set off to learn the trades of a clown in hopes of bringing back joy and laughter to the sick in his hometown. Now he holds workshops all over the globe to share about his mission to bring smiles and warmth back to the sick all over the world.

After a brief technical tour in National Defense Medical College, where our delegates were showed how 3D printing is used in medical sciences and how virtual reality is a growing medium for rehabilitation, we set off to one of the tallest buildings in the world, Taipei 101. The trip from the lobby of the building to the apex took only 45 seconds on an elevator that was going at 600m/min. Upon reaching the observation deck of the tower, we were greeted with a spectacular view over the city of Taipei. We also were able to see that wind damper that was the core mechanism that was keeping the building firm and upright in spite of the fast winds.

Tomorrow will be the first day of the Academic Competitions and a few of our delegates are going to be participating in it. Here is to wishing them all the best and tune in tomorrow for day 4 of our adventure in Taiwan!

Photo featuring the view from the observatory deck of Taipei 101.

EAMSC 2016 Taiwan Adventure Day 2!!

The adventure continues as our delegates start fresh new day filled with excitement for the day ahead. Breakfast this morning confirmed the fact that the Taiwan hosts are really good at spoiling their guests with great variety of delicious food.

We made our way to National Taiwan University Hospital via the MRT (Metro Rapid Transit) along with the crowd that were rushing to work. If you thought the rush hour crowd in our own MRT is bad, you have yet to witness the impossibility of entering a train packed full of people (Yes even the middle of the carriage) in Taiwan.

After successfully arriving at NTUH in one piece, we were formally welcomed by the host and attended a keynote address by Professor David who talked about how data can save lives and the future of medicine and technology. Our delegates learnt much from the witty professors entertaining and engaging lecture from creating "Star Maps" of disease relations and revisiting the calculation of probability, a skill that most of us have long returned to our math tutor.

Now on to the main highlight of the day for most of us. The Running Man Games. We raced across most of Taipei searching for stations scattered all around, with the aid of nothing more than a few pieces of paper riddled with riddles (see what i did there). The games really allowed us to see Taiwan and what it has to offer in its most natural form, allowing us to soak up the ambiance of National Taiwan University with its scenic archaic building and architecture, smell and taste the "chou dou fu" (Smelly beancurd) in the night market and also watchers as peddlers rush about to avoid the police.

For some of us, the night ended with a hike up "elephant hill" . Upon reaching the observation deck and almost dying in trying to do so, we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the city lights of Taiwan and the majestic 101 Tower.

Now our delegates have retired into their rooms to rest and prepare for tomorrows activities which include a tour to the National Defense Medical College and the Taipei 101. Check back tomorrow for more!

Photo credit : Keith Low (Treasurer, 6th Exco AMSA Singapore)

EAMSA 2016 The Journey Begins!!!

On 24th January 2016, we, a group of 36 excited medical students from AMSA Singapore touched down in Taiwan International Airport to begin our 6 day 5 night journey at EAMSC 2016 Taiwan. Greeted by the smiles and enthusiasm of our GMs here in Taiwan, we were then brought to Chientan Overseas Youth Activity Center to register and check into our lodgings for the week to come. After a hearty welcome dinner filled with scrumptious food and great performances, some of us were able to find time to visit the Shilin Night Market to experience the night life and famous Taiwan street snacks. Pigging down on Shilin fried chicken cutlet at 4 degrees Celsius is definitely something we wont get to experience everyday. Stay tuned for more updates of the adventure as we visit Taiwan's National University Hospital, National Defense Medical College and Taipei Medical University for tours, workshops,competitions and even playing Running Man in the streets of Taiwan!


It's FOODIE THURSDAY! It was a usual hot and humid day in Singapore but things got a little spicier when we brought our Tasmanian buddies to try out a Thai food place called Nakhon at Holland Village. It is dubbed as one of the yummiest and most affordable Thai food in this city state! (not advertising for Thai food or anything but it is really good). My buddy and I shared a Phad Thai, Thai style Fried Kway Teow, Pandan Chicken and not forgetting our not-so-spicy Seafood Tom Yum soup! It was a scrumptious meal and the sweltering heat definitely did not dampened our high spirits.

After lunch, we strolled pass some of the more famous cafes in Holland Village and ogled at the mouth-watering desserts before heading to school for Ethics tutorials. We had an ever-confusing and enlightening lesson where some of the exchange students were asked about their views by our lovely Professors. Our buddies were taken aback at how intense our debates can get and it was definitely an eye-opener for them.

We spent the evening at the big shopping malls in Jurong East where our Tasmanian buddies got the chance to buy souvenirs and gifts either for themselves or for their families! We spent a very long time roaming around the malls for food places to eat as there were so many good food to choose from! At last we settled for Japanese food at Ichiban Boshi, which is the one-stop place for average-priced Jap food in Singapore!

I have learnt a lot from today about the vast differences between standards of living between Singapore and Australia albeit both being first-world countries. One plate of Phad Thai costs around $5 in Singapore while it costs $18 in Aussie! I'm really glad for this opportunity to bring my buddy around to eat cheap and yummy food which would otherwise be too expensive for them back in Australia. I've also learnt to count my blessings to be in a place where affordable and delectable foods are readily available for "poor" uni students (like myself) and there is truly nothing like home when it comes to having a food haven just a stone's throw away.

Cheryl Goh, M1, YLLSoM

UTAS x YLL AMSEP 2016 Day 3

Wednesday (13/01/2016) :

The day started late as the exchange students are tired out from the past few days activities and some had personal activities.

The group met at Yio Chu Kang at 1.30pm. We were on our way to Thye Hua Guan hospital to carry out a community service program. The program was to encourage and accompany the patients of who are mostly elderly in the hospital to take part in a lively Karaoke session together. We reached the hospital at 2pm and had a briefing for a short while before heading over to fetch our patients from their beds. Many of them were reluctant at first but a significant number still agreed. We were not allowed to transfer the patients but we wheeled them from the bedsides to the Karaoke room.

There were many songs of the elderly's generation being played and many of us naturally are not familiar with. We then accompanied them in the Karaoke session. When the session was over, we wheeled the patients back to their bedsides and said our goodbyes. It was an enjoyable 2 hours with our elderly friends. It was also a new and memorable memory for our friends from UTAS.

We proceeded to Kampong Glam to check out the olden shops there and to show the exchange students around. It was a place where we think would portray Singapore's heritage well to the exchange students. It was a short shopping trip and we proceeded to have dinner at Bumbu restaurant for traditional Peranakan food. We ordered dishes like sambal kangkong, olive fried rice and green curry chicken for the exchange students and we enjoyed a good meal together.

After dinner we proceeded towards Bugis library to show the exchange students the large Bugis central library that many Singaporeans study at or probably visited it before.

The day ends here and we left for home.

UTAS x YLL AMSEP 2016 Day 2

Day two of the exchange continued with a visit to the attractions at Resorts World Sentosa! After having a Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast with soft boil eggs at Ya Kun, the group headed over to Sentosa, all geared up for the day ahead.

The first attraction visited was RWS Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium, where the group marvelled at the different species of maritime life, from the agile sharks to the graceful manta rays. This was then followed by lunch at Malaysian Food Street, where the students were able to enjoy delicacies like Bak Kut Teh, Char Kway Teow and Chendol! The next stop of the day was a trip to the trippy Trick Eye Museum where we were all amused and amazed by the illusions that were portrayed. Pictures were taken, faces were made and everyone had a good laugh! After walking around at Vivo City, we ended the day, full from food, fun and laughter!

UTAS x YLL AMSEP 2016 Day 1

We kicked off the UTASxYLL AMSEP, with Plant Sunday. What better way to bond then spend a day appreciating some beautiful plants? We had a lovely afternoon “plant appreciating” at Gardens by the Bay, (although honestly, we didn’t know much about the plants). We then proceeded for local fare at Lau Pa Sat, where we stuffed ourselves silly with Hokkien Mee, Satay, Carrot Cake and all the goodness Singaporean cuisine has to offer.

It really is a true privilege and great blessing to be part of this exchange. It is simply amazing how one can meet a complete stranger from the other side of the globe, share life stories, fall into deep lengthy conversations and forge friendships, all within a day.

“Day 1 was really fun!! We went to Gardens by the Bay and it was an extremely enlightening experience that was made by the fostering of good friendships and good food ;) Thanks for hosting us UTAS students in Singapore!” – Urna Rahman, Year 1 Medical Student, UTAS.

Overall, it was a good day of plants, incredible food and lovely table conversations.

Faith Ong, M1, YLL

East Asian Medical Students’ Conference, 2015

The East Asian Medical Students’ Conference (EAMSC) is an event hosted by Asian Medical Student’s Association (International) annually. This year, I am greatly thankful for the opportunity to participate in the 28th conference hosted in Tangerang, West Jakarta, Indonesia, with the main theme of Sexually Transmitted Infections - “Halt the Disease, Help the People”. 

Upon our arrival at Jakarta Airport, we were welcomed by the warm smiles of the event organisers and the general moderators for the conference. We were then transferred to our hotel (Ibis Hotel Garding Serpong) to meet our conference group mates for the first time. It was truly an illuminating experience to meet a coalition of medical students from all around the region with diverse cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds. 

The next morning, we were sharply woken up by loud knockings on our door in the wee hours of the morning. It was only 5.00am and I could foresee a long list of exciting activities lined up for us. The day continued with keynote lectures given by international speakers from the World Health Organisation. They provided us with an informative overview of the epidemiology and global issues of STIs, together with the ways we could approach this growing problem. This was followed by various academic workshops which provided us with an insightful hands-on experience on circumcision and the examination of vaginal discharge - an opportunity that I would not have had otherwise as a Year 1 medical student.

One of the main highlights of the conference was undoubtedly the academic competition where delegates from different chapters would exchange their knowledge about health, epidemiology. We also discussed the solutions that can be implemented to deal with the expounding health problems related to STIs. Through their hardwork and dedication, the Singapore team managed to come in Third Place for both the academic paper and public poster competition.

Personally, my favourite activities from the conference would be the International Booths and the Cultural Night events. Not only were we given a chance to taste the traditional food, we were also audiences to the unique and well-choreographed performances of the different nations. Dressed in Red and White, we brought some of our famous mouth-watering local delicacies such as pineapple tarts, love letters, kachang puteh and even the popular Tiger Beer for sharing. As I am sure many of my other delegates would agree with me, food does bring people together. I really enjoyed mingling and making new friends while learning more about the stories behind the common food in their countries and the delicious delicacies - a true reflection of the diverse cultures brought together in this very conference. 

This being my first medical conference, I was not sure of what to expect initially. However, I am glad that I took the chance and signed up for this conference. The whole experience was a truly fulfilling and meaningful one; from having gained valuable medical knowledge and skills applicable to Singapore’s healthcare landscape, to creating fond memories and priceless friendships throughout. 

Having returned to Singapore to prepare for the new semester, I would often see pictures of the conference with the caption #PostConferenceSyndrome, reminding me of the wonderful times we had back at the conference. I really miss you guys, and I look forward to seeing you all again at the upcoming Asian Medical 

Gerald Fung

AMSEP Taiwan, 2014

The YLL/LKC-NCKU Exchange programme was first initiated from the 20th December 2014 – 25th December 2014 in Taiwan. 7 NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (YLL) students and 4 Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKC) students visited National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan.

The second leg of the exchange programme was held in Singapore from 26th January 2015 -30th January 2015, where AMSA Singapore welcomed 11 Taiwanese medical students from NCKU. Throughout their week-long stay they were hosted by the same group of YLL and LKC students who went to Taiwan in the first leg of the exchange.

The bilateral exchange aims to serve as an academic and social platform for medical students from different countries to experience the healthcare systems and medical education of a partner country. Through these exchanges, students also hope to forge meaningful friendships with the medical students from another country.

On the first leg of the exchange, I remember stepping into Tainan near midnight and how I wasn’t very used to the cold but the friendliness radiating from our Taiwan buddies really warmed me. Throughout our 6 days with them, they were such wonderful hosts that I felt that we could not have gotten any better buddies. In my opinion, the taiwanese planned a very spectacular programme for us. That was the first time I experienced such a wide variety of fun in such a compacted period. I remember there was the “peaceful” fun where our buddies brought us to the various scenic sites in Tainan. Whether it was bird watching of the black-faced spoonbill (a type of bird solely found in tainan), touring the Anping old streets, treehouses, sightseeing along the love river, each scene was unique and unforgettable.

Then there was the “thrilling” fun where we were brought to NCKU’s Christmas party and experienced the Taiwanese’s way of partying. There were performances, DJs and various games which kept our spirits high. The company we had was excellent as well, it was definitely one of the highlights. And lastly, there was the “friendly” fun where we bonded with our new Taiwanese friends through meals and shopping at the night market and various shopping streets. Time passed very quickly whenever we were spending time with each other. In fact, 1 of the biggest takeaways I had from this trip was all the new friendships formed.

On the more academic side, I felt very privileged to be brought to visit both of the NCKU’s teaching hospital, the Dou Liu branch which was a community hospital and the NCKU’s main hospital. At the community hospital, I learnt more about the various problems, such as the lack of emergency department staff or the lack of various medical equipment and facilities, which the hospital faced. In Singapore where medical care is easily accessible, this experience reminded me on how privileged we are to have good medical equipment and facilities which not every hospital is equipped with and how things should not be taken for granted.

Throughout the whole trip, my on-doctoring experience with the oncology department in the NCKU’s main hospital left the deepest impression. With another exchange participant from Singapore, I had the opportunity to follow an oncologist for a few hours. The oncologist we followed was a wonderful mentor as he was very patient with us despite his busy schedule of meetings, ward rounds and research. Before he made his round, he went through the various case histories of the patients with us so that we could understand better on what he was doing. While communicating with his patients, he was an epitome of how an empathetic doctor should be. A unique feature of the NCKU’s hospital which I felt was very meaningful: the palliative oncology department and the oncology department wards were combined. The rationale behind that was to ensure that the terminally ill patients would not feel that their doctors gave up treatment on them when the oncology department hand them over to the palliative department. There would be continuity in the sense that the oncologist taking care of the patient would see them through till the very end, whether it is recovery or a dignified death. This experience also set us thinking more into the idea of dignified death. I was reminded of how It is a privilege to be able to journey with the patient and I definitely feel blessed to be part of this profession. 

On the second leg of the exchange when it was our turn to play host, we all felt the pressure in a positive way to plan it well after the amazing experience the Taiwanese gave us. To enable our buddies to get the most out of their Singapore experience, the programme was planned in a way where they would spend time in both LKC and NTU. In terms of lessons, they were exposed to both the NUS lecture tutorial style and NTU’s TBL style. It was very interesting to sit into their discussions when they were comparing the different learning environments among NUS, NTU and NCKU. It was definitely an eye opener for them. 

To experience the vibrancy of Singapore, we brought our Taiwan friends to various tourist attractions in Singapore such as Marina Barrage and Esplanade. In addition, with Singapore known for being a food paradise, our Taiwan friends had nothing but praises for our local food. Before they left, many of them took the opportunity to buy the local kaya jam back to share with their friends. It was really heartening to see how they were enjoying the food and experience here. The farewell party held in the Mandalay student lounge marked the end of this exciting exchange. The party was filled with a galore of local food from Newton Circus, the banana leaf apolo and wings world. I remember that we all had the times of our lives. The highlight of the night came when the Singaporean students and our taiwanese buddies exchanged gifts to mark the end of the exchange but the start of a lifelong friendship. 

All in all, I am very thankful to be part of this exchange. Through this exchange, I’ve met many new people, formed new friendships, not only with the Taiwanese but also the amazing people from YLLSOM. This exchange also helped me to appreciate healthcare a lot more from the different cultural perspective. It was a blessing to be part of this exchange and I definitely encourage anyone who has similar opportunities to take part.

Chia Ming Li, LKCSOM (M2)