The Editors’ Musings

Tina Tan, Chie Zhi Ying

Tina Tan

2023 will have rolled in by the time readers get this issue, and what I can say is that SMA has been busy. We hosted our SMA Annual Dinner after a COVID-19-induced hiatus of two years, while simultaneously launching the book Unmasking the Extraordinary. This collaborative piece between SMA and local artist Josef Lee is still on sale, and proceeds will go to the SMA Charity Fund for needy medical students.

Life is getting back on track, and we have invited doctors to contribute illustrations or comics to reflect on how 2022 has been, and/or what they look forward to in 2023. We also featured materials from the Annual Dinner, including the citation for this year's Honorary Member, Prof Tan Chorh Chuan. In this issue too is Dr Tan Yia Swam's maiden speech as SMA President at the Annual Dinner (again, COVID-19 prevented her from being able to do so, but we all know that Dr Tan has been making speeches [and waves] in other areas).

How do you think 2023 will be for you?

Chie Zhi Ying

Time flies and in the blink of an eye, a brand new 2023 awaits all of us. As mask-wearing, safe-distancing and various community measures against the COVID-19 pandemic eased and travel restrictions lifted, it was a big relief that life has nearly returned to normal, much like the pre-COVID-19 times.

From attending conferences and corporate events to weddings and dinners, I have learnt to cherish the opportunities to catch up with family, friends and colleagues over sumptuous meals more than ever. It was simply joyful to be able to mingle freely, banter without masks on and see the smiles on everyone's faces after these few years.

In this issue of SMA News, we place focus on the SMA Annual Dinner 2022 held in early November. We had the pleasure of having Minister for Health, Mr Ong Ye Kung, as our Guest of Honour. This year's SMA Annual Dinner was also the first and the last hosted by Dr Tan Yia Swam, our President for the 63rd SMA Council and SMA's first female president, who took over the reins in 2020 when COVID-19 struck. Another highlight of the dinner was the conferment of the SMA Honorary Membership to Prof Tan Chorh Chuan in honour of his meritorious service to the medical profession, presented by our Guest of Honour Minister Ong.

In the spirit of commemorating 55 years of National Service, we are privileged to carry an interview piece with COL (Dr) Lee Wei Ting, Chief of Medical Corps, by Dr Ivan Low, on how the military medical corps have supported civilian medical organisations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a lighter note for December, it brings me great pleasure to read the letters penned by our medical and dental students studying in UK as they reflect on their lives overseas during the pandemic.

As we celebrate this festive season, let us give ourselves a pat on the shoulder for all the hard work this past year, and look forward to an exciting new year ahead. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tina Tan is a psychiatrist in private practice and an alumnus of Duke-NUS Medical School. She treats mental health conditions in all age groups but has a special interest in caring for the elderly. With a love for the written word, she makes time for reading, writing and self-publishing on top of caring for her patients and loved ones.

Chie Zhi Ying is a family physician working in the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics. She also holds a Master of Public Health from the National University of Singapore and is a designated workplace doctor. She enjoys freelance writing and writes for Chinese dailies Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News and health magazine Health No. 1. She can be contacted at