A new university programme to be launched next year will let students who graduate with an engineering or science degree go on to do a medical degree.
The aim of this dual-degree programme is to produce doctors who will be adept at harnessing technology to improve medical devices, aids and equipment for better patient care.
This new track to a medical degree is offered by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in a tie-up with Duke-NUS Medical School.
SUTD chairman Lee Tzu Yang foresees these doctors coming up with medical innovations in such areas as healthcare products, biomaterials, ways to monitor patients, delivery of drugs, systems to allocate hospital beds and even the design of hospitals.
Initially, the programme will take 10 students a year and they will be counted under the Duke-NUS Medical School's headcount of about 50.
It is open to both Singaporeans and permanent residents, said SUTD president Thomas Magnanti yesterday. He will relinquish his position at the end of this month. Provost Chong Tow Chong will be acting president.
The undergraduates will do a 31/2-year Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science degree at SUTD, followed by a four-year Doctor of Medicine degree at Duke-NUS Medical School.
The inter-disciplinary programme will give students deeper, real-life knowledge of the industries that produce medical equipment and services as well as more research and internship opportunities, both here and abroad, said Mr Lee when he announced the partnership with Duke-NUS Medical School.
The tie-up is part of SUTD's growth plans for the next five years, including plans to develop new programmes in key economic sectors.
Its goal is to further integrate research, education and industry to produce graduates with multi-faceted skills and understanding of the sectors.
The initiatives it has in mind include research collaborations to develop technologies to help transform industries. These will focus on four key areas: healthcare, cities, aviation plus artificial intelligence and data science.
When Professor Magnanti steps down at the end of his eight-year-term, he will be appointed president emeritus, acting as adviser on university matters and representing SUTD when necessary.
The incoming leader, Professor Chong, said SUTD's next phase will be "big and bold", in vision and ambition. He said the university's approach to education, research and partnerships will give students a good university experience to "create a better world by design".