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Dean's Message

Professor Pang Weng Sun
Dean, Healthcare Leadership College                          
Vice-Dean (Clinical Affairs), Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Senior Consultant, Geriatric Medicine, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

In my medical officer and registrar years, I had the privilege of working under inspirational senior clinicians who led me beyond clinical practice to service development and nurturing the next generation. Their hearts and minds were not merely department nor hospital centric, but always had the perspective of a wider healthcare service.When the Outpatient Dispensaries (OPDs, before Polyclinics were built) were overloaded during flu outbreaks, we were sent out to help. When smaller hospitals were short of staff, we were rotated to provide cover. When MOH saw the need to develop geriatric services, a medical unit in TTSH was converted into a geriatric medicine department and an active plan was conceived to develop services across the clusters. I have no doubt that many disciplines grew in similar fashion nationwide - committed clinicians paved the way to create departments and expanded their disciplines in various hospitals and specialist centres. Many of these continue to collaborate, whether in service, education or research; and the Covid situation in the past year has shown that our health care services, both public and private, can work together.

Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), an American historian, minister and writer, wrote the story “Ten Times One is Ten” – about a fictitious character Henry who influenced ten others, each of whom in turn influenced another ten. 27 years later, the figure reached one thousand million… Their philosophy? “Look up and not down, Look forward and not back, Look out and not in, Lend a Hand”. The simple approach in this story inspired several charitable groups in real life.

In developing leaders for healthcare, we need to see the impact multiplying across the nation in the long-term. My predecessor Prof Aymeric Lim has done a wonderful job in starting the College from scratch and together with the team established courses targeted at leaders in different stages of their development. The support from both MOH and the Cluster leadership have been strong and we are thankful for their trust and confidence in the College.

The College marks its tenth anniversary in 2022. It remains for us to live up to the aspiration expressed in the story “Ten Times One is Ten”. As one College, our mission is to support and develop good leaders, who in turn, influence and grow other leaders, and collectively have a far larger impact and reach than what the College can do on its own. Together, we can build a strong and large community of healthcare leaders to steer Singapore’s healthcare system into the future.

March 2024 – Issue 30

In this issue of Leading Healthcare

  • The Conviction to Persevere – Dean’s Message by Prof Pang Weng Sun
  • Letters to Young Leaders – Resilience and Growth by Prof William Hwang Ying Khee
  • Tending the Bamboo by HLC
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