Being the Voice of Medical Students

Teo Chong Boon

On 12 June 2021, the National University of Singapore Medical Society, Duke-NUS Student Council and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine Students' Medical Society inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalise the TriMedSoc Alliance. The ceremony was graced by A/Prof Kenneth Mak, Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health (MOH), the deans of the three local medical schools and representatives from SMA.

The TriMedSoc Alliance is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the student bodies of Singapore's three medical schools. It aims to unify the voices of local medical students, and to advance and synergise student advocacy and community engagement efforts. With the MOU, the TriMedSoc Alliance is formalised as the official student representative body of local medical students.

The three student representative bodies have always collaborated on representation and services for medical students through annual inter-school events such as the Careers Symposium and the annual SMA National Medical Students' Convention (SMA NMSC). We have also been constant partners in the engagement of key stakeholders including MOH.

Seeing that we had similar goals and ideals, we wanted to integrate our efforts and tap on the unique strengths and resources of each organisation. This culminated in the idea of the TriMedSoc Alliance, first conceptualised about half a decade ago by our seniors. It is based on the belief that there is strength in unity and that by working together, we can bring the quality of student-led initiatives to greater heights. The Alliance also recognises TriMedSoc's role in creating an ideal environment for the holistic development of future doctors.

In the coming terms, we will focus on four key areas of collaboration. First and foremost, we will collaborate on bringing our student bodies closer through community engagement initiatives. In the short run, these initiatives will largely involve projects suitable for the pandemic, such as telehealth projects and health promotion efforts. Secondly, we will work to encourage discussion among doctors in training on pertinent healthcare topics such as the challenges the Singapore healthcare system faces today, through events such as the SMA NMSC. Thirdly, we will focus on supporting the holistic development of patient-centric doctors through skill acquisition and career exploration opportunities. Most importantly, we will continue to actively represent the voices of all local medical students and engage in regular dialogues with key stakeholders.

One of our upcoming initiatives is a revamped version of the SMA NMSC. Beyond keynote addresses and dialogues, it will also feature a hackathon for students to brainstorm artificial intelligence and tech-enabled community engagement solutions. This will encourage interactions between students and emphasise the spirit of service to the wider community that all future doctors should embody.

It is our sincerest belief that the unity of the TriMedSoc Alliance will allow doctors in training to further engender change for both the medical fraternity and wider community on an unprecedented scale.

The presidents of the three societies will serve as representatives of the TriMedSoc Alliance:

Teo Chong Boon (72nd National University of Singapore Medical Society)
Sean Ng Ming Sheng (8th NTU LKCMedicine Students' Medical Society)
Katherine Nay Yaung (13th Duke-NUS Student Council)

Teo Chong Boon is a fifth-year medical student at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He is invested in the holistic well-being of doctors in training and also passionate about community service. He is chairperson pro-tempore of the TriMedSoc Alliance. He is also a Public Service Commission Scholarship (Medicine) recipient.


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