Singapore newest medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, has picked its inaugural batch of 54 students out of more than 800 A-list applicants. The school being set up by Nanyang Technological University and Imperial College London said it shortlisted 440 of them to attend a series of eight short interviews.
The final 54 chosen medical students - all Singaporeans - had almost perfect scores in the interviews and also aced their BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT).
Two out of three students are A-levels holders and 90 per cent of them are among the top students in their cohort. The remaining one-third has equally outstanding results, with qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate and the NUS High School diploma.
Besides boosting the number of doctors for Singapore, the school hopes to see more of their graduates becoming clinician scientists - doctors who do research and drive scientific discovery in medicine, on top of treating patients.
Students at the school have been promised an innovative medical curriculum aimed at producing competent, caring and professional medical practitioners. Simulation and mobile learning will be done in a big way, including the use of modern technologies like the iPad and the Anatomage Table which displays life-sized 3D images of full body anatomy, said the school.
The new medical school will also be pioneering the use of plastinated specimens - human bodies pledged towards science and preserved through plastination - for medical education.
To encourage active collaborative learning, team-based learning in clusters will be a key feature, including early patient exposure where students will be able to interact with real patients as early as the second month of their first year of study.
The school will eventually increase its annual intake to 150 - half the number of medicine students which the National University of Singapore admits.