Medical students at Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU) have a new home that accommodates both classroom learning and clinical experience with "patients" under one roof.
Unveiled yesterday, the new campus for the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Novena has a centre that simulates real-life clinical scenarios, as well as learning spaces that emphasise team-based learning, among other facilities.
Speaking about this "unique learning environment", NTU president Bertil Andersson said: "This not only helps transition and integrate students into the medical scene, but also nurtures a generation of doctors well-versed in using the latest technologies to solve tomorrow's healthcare issues."
Besides the Centre for Clinical Simulation, the 20-storey building in Mandalay Road near Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has over 40,000 sq m of space filled with cutting-edge technologies and facilities.
These are designed to support NTU's "flipped classroom pedagogy", which encourages self-directed, team-based learning. For instance, seating in the learning studio is clustered, and alcoves let students view LED screens in groups at the Anatomy Learning Centre.
This centre has over 170 pathological specimens donated by NTU's partner, Imperial College London, and an anatomage table, a human-size virtual operating table.
At the Centre for Clinical Simulation, a simulated ward, a practical skills lab and a communication suite allow students to practise their medical skills in simulated scenarios - for instance, suturing prosthetic wounds on simulated patients.
The new campus, in use since January, and the Experimental Medicine Building at NTU's main campus form the dual campus of the medical school, which opened in 2013 and has 328 students now.
Students can travel back and forth between campuses by shuttle bus, and are also attached to hospitals and clinics around Singapore.
The new Clinical Sciences Building also has an indoor gym, a dance studio, a 500-seat auditorium and a music room.
First-year student Nadia Nasuha Mohammad Nazri, 19, likes the intimate setting of the alcoves at the Anatomy Learning Centre. "We can look at specimens up close, in small groups. There's one teacher per alcove, so people ask more questions."
The school will accept 120 students for the academic year starting in August, and aims to expand the cohort size to 150 in about three years.
The new building, linked to TTSH's upcoming wing via a skybridge, is part of Health City Novena, Singapore's biggest healthcare complex, due to be ready in 2030.
Correction note: An earlier version of the story said that 120 students were already accepted into the school. This is incorrect. The school is still accepting students for the academic year starting August 2017. We are sorry for the error.