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Medical Education Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic (International Online Exchange with NUS)

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On January 29th 2021, the School of Medicine successfully conducted the International Online Exchange event “Medical Education Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic” with the National University of Singapore (NUS). This is the second trial of this activity at the School of Medicine being solely online since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The event consisted of two sessions. At the beginning of the sessions, opening remarks were given by both NUSMed and YCU deans, Dr. Chong Yap Seng and Dr. Munetaka Masuda respectively. Both deans voiced their expectation to strengthen the relationship between YCU and NUS in the future based on the history of friendship between both universities.

In Session 1, at first, Dr. Suresh Pillai, the director of the NUSMed Center for Healthcare Simulation, gave a lecture, titled “COVID-19 Response in NUS YLL School of Medicine”. He explained the situation in Singapore under the COVID-19 pandemic and actual examples of NUS practicum medical education which were designed to prepare their students for real-life situations. Subsequently, both universities’ students gave presentations regarding changes in courses and practical training - including the adaptations made by each medical education system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students from both universities then delved into discussions to further deepen their understanding.


In the second session, students from both universities discussed the contents of the presentations made by two teams in Session 1. Both teams consist of students from both universities. Although our students started off a bit nervously due to their unfamiliarity with communicating in English via an online platform, they soon became acclimated with the situation and actively exchanged ideas with their NUS counterparts.


Comments from students

“It was great. Both presentations and slides were easy to understand so I could enjoy it very much. There were differences from Japanese training, so it was remarkably interesting. Furthermore, I could not imagine what the foreign medical training amidst COVID-19 is like and this was my first time to know about it, which attracted my interest.” - Kanako, YCU

“It was a safe environment and I was able to have candid discussions about the real-life challenges that we faced.” - Joel, NUS

“My biggest takeaway was the resilience of different schools/systems/individuals throughout this pandemic. I learnt about how schools adapted to the new limitations, and how even the NUS-YCU partnership adapted to keep our relationship strong even though the students were not able to come to Singapore.” - Shauna, NUS



Date: January 29, 2021 7:00 – 9:10 p.m.
Participants: 9 students (YCU 5 / NUS 4) and 25 faculty (YCU 13 / NUS 12)
Session 1:
1) Lecture by Dr. Suresh Pillai, Director of the NUSMed Center for Healthcare Simulation
2) Presentation about medical education under COVID-19 by both universities’ students.
Session 2: Group discussion by both universities’ students

NUS is the most popular study-abroad destination for our students, and attendees of this online program were the students who were selected for the next dispatch. Unfortunately, the study-abroad program was cancelled due to COVID-19. This event may indeed not be a perfect alternative, but we held it with NUS’s kind understanding. We believe that it has contributed to maintaining the good relationship with NUS while cultivating our students’ abilities to discuss and communicate in an international setting.

The YCU School of Medicine will continuously strive to find ways to provide our students with international exchange opportunities.