So you want to be a doctor? Get inspired at seminar

Dr Benjamin Seet will be sharing his experiences along with six other physicians at a seminar on July 21, titled "So You Want To Be A Doctor".
Dr Benjamin Seet will be sharing his experiences along with six other physicians at a seminar on July 21, titled "So You Want To Be A Doctor".ST FILE PHOTO

Over the past three decades, Dr Benjamin Seet has worked with United Nations peacekeepers in post-conflict zones and overseen the medical needs of the Singapore Armed Forces.

Now, the trained eye surgeon is executive director of the Biomedical Research Council, Singapore's largest biomedical research organisation.

Dr Seet, who will be sharing his experiences along with six other physicians at a seminar on July 21, said a medical education opens the door to many opportunities.

"Each career turn was not planned," he said. "I seized each opportunity as it presented itself."

Called "So You Want To Be A Doctor", the half-day seminar is targeted at aspiring doctors as well as those who wish to pursue related careers in healthcare such as biomedical research and allied health. It is being organised by Wildtype Media Group, a media company that focuses on events in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors .

Other speakers include doctors who have scaled mountain peaks to raise funds for charity, and those who aim to unite their research findings with clinical practice.

For example, Dr Tiah Ling, an emergency medicine physician at Changi General Hospital, will be talking about her experiences doing public health work in Afghanistan and Ghana. "I hope that our contributions, no matter how small, could bring about some positive changes where these projects were based in," she said.

Another speaker will be Assistant Professor Isaac Liu, a consultant with the National University Hospital's paediatric nephrology, dialysis and renal transplantation division.

Apart from seeing young patients during clinic sessions, Prof Liu also organises a yearly camp for children with kidney issues, some of whom require regular dialysis treatments. "Usually as doctors, we see these children as patients... but when you see them in a camp, they are totally different," he said. "There's so much life, there's so much passion."

Through his everyday work as a doctor, Prof Liu added, he hopes to restore his young patients to the energy level and potential he sees in them during camps.

Dr Juliana Chan, who is chief executive of Wildtype, said that all seven speakers have made "incredible contributions" to society.

"I hope that their stories of failures and triumphs will inspire our young audience to join them on their mission of saving lives, making research breakthroughs, and doing good for humanity."

Tickets for the seminar, held at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House at the National University of Singapore, cost $28 and can be ordered online.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2018, with the headline 'So you want to be a doctor? Get inspired at seminar'. Print Edition | Subscribe