The Editors’ Musings

Tina Tan, Lim Ing Haan

Tina Tan

What a whirlwind of a year 2020 has been for all of us! Are you feeling a bit tired and out of breath? Or just a tad worried about what 2021 will bring? After all, back in December 2019, nobody foresaw how 2020 would be.

Because of all that we've been through, SMA News wanted to end the year on a lighter note. I hope this issue catches you while you're on a well-deserved staycation, enjoying a virtual tour at home, or having a safe-distanced gathering. Or perhaps when you're taking a much-needed break from work (whether physical or work from home) by exploring the hidden wonders of our island nation and Netflix-bingeing.

Take care everyone, and stay safe!

Lim Ing Haan

As 2020 draws to a close, Singaporeans can heave a collective sigh of relief. This has been an extraordinary year; yet, as a nation, we survived. Without the company of our extended families and friends, cooking, botany and exercising seem to be the favourite activities doctors found comfort in. I am grateful to feature articles from our very own doctor chefs in this issue.

While COVID-19 spread in waves around the world, our borders remain tight. The calculated measures limited our exposure to the second and third waves, and we are fortunate in that, though it was not without sacrifices and pain. 23 March 2020 marked the date when Singapore was closed to short–term travellers. Before borders closed, Singapore urged our students studying abroad to return. Many returned, while some made the painful decision to remain behind for fear of voiding the academic year. In the unchartered waters of the pandemic, there is no guidance on the best path forward. Both our local and foreign medical students suffered. Clinical exposure was greatly impacted and online learning can never replicate the usual faculty-student interaction. As the year draws to a close, I thought it timely to ask our Singaporean medical students to pen their thoughts. The essays from our young doctors give us insight on their journey this year.

No matter the struggling economy or the uncertainties of the next year, I am certain that together, we can survive as a country. I hope you continue to enjoy the SMA News.

Tina Tan is a psychiatrist with the Better Life Psychological Medicine Clinic, and a visiting consultant at the Institute of Mental Health. She is also an alumnus of Duke-NUS Medical School. Between work and family life, she squeezes time out for her favourite pastimes - reading a good (fiction) book and writing.

Lim Ing Haan is the first female interventional cardiologist in Singapore. She is an early adopter of new technology and is a key opinion leader in international cardiology conferences. She shares a clinic with her twin sister, an ENT surgeon in Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Travel, fine food, family love and friendships are the things that keep her going.