Age is just a number for Ms Ivy law, 50, who is a firm believer in lifelong learning.
Currently a manager for research and education in the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology, she started pursuing the Master of Science International Healthcare Leadership by The University of Manchester, United Kingdom, at SIM Global Education (SIM GE) this year.
The two-year part-time master’s degree focuses on the challenges faced by healthcare leaders. It offers knowledge on the roles that clinicians and managers can play in reshaping healthcare services through case studies or applications in their workplaces.
The modules consist of weekly activities involving topical learning. Students then prepare reflection journals and assignments to share with the group.
The programme is conducted locally through blended learning, which comprises interactive lectures or seminars, action learning and residential workshops.
Sharpened skill sets
Through one of the modules, Ms Law gained a first-hand appreciation of the political, economic, social and cultural impact of Singapore’s healthcare system, and why it is one of the best in the world.
The action learning set (ALS) also equipped her with the skills to solve complex problems.
Action learning is a development tool that is used to enable the individual, team and organisation to tackle important work-based problems or issues.
Explains Ms Law: “This involves a team of people engaged in shared learning. The presenter will describe a problem, and the rest of the group will ask leading questions to help everyone understand better.”
The presenter then reflects on his actions based on the team’s questions and updates the team at the next meeting.
This routine continues for each member so that everyone gets the opportunity to develop problem-solving, presentation, active listening, and better questioning skills.
She adds: “There is no right or wrong answer. You are free to voice your opinion or pick a stand in this conducive learning environment. The lecturers also make references to actual case studies in the healthcare industry.”
She says the programme has enabled her to apply what she has learnt in her daily work, especially in terms of thinking on a macro level.
“The interactions and sharing of ideas were valuable exercises. Learning through teamwork helps resolve problems effectively, given our busy work schedules,” says Ms Law.
“Open dialogue deepens our appreciation and helps us improve as a leader.”
Learn to excel
Ms Law feels lifelong learning is a compass that guides her in life.
She says: “I believe that learning never ends. The programme will provide me with the necessary skill sets that I need to advance in my career.
“My interactions with tutors and course mates have provided me with invaluable life lessons.”