The Editor’s Musings

Tina Tan

It is hard to believe that I am already penning the editorial for the second-last issue of 2022. We are steadily barrelling into 2023, and with the world opened up once more, it is truly nice to hear about people travelling, attending overseas conferences, and just meeting each other in person after two years of Zoom meetings, where we were often looking at online/beauty-filtered/lighting-optimised versions of ourselves and others.

This is interesting, because our Feature this month is Dr Kenneth Lyen's article on the concept of the "metaverse" and how it will change healthcare. The other night at a birthday celebration, I proudly declared to my younger relatives that my job as a psychiatrist made me "indispensable"and "irreplaceable", unlike some specialties that may be more vulnerable to "replacement" by artificial intelligence and virtual reality. This rather obnoxious declaration was made on the basis that only another human can properly analyse a patient's behaviour and thought patterns, and synthesise all that information back for the patient to understand and make appropriate changes. Reading Dr Lyen's article however, I think I might be wrong. If a virtual reality that could enhance the mental well-being of every human on the planet existed, well then, I would not be needed. But that reality is, for the moment, science fiction and may eventually come with its own amalgamation of problems.

I have chilly but fond memories of huddling in very cold anatomy laboratories as our clinical professors took us through dissections to understand the intricacies of the human body. It is apt then, that we've featured an article by our student correspondents, Joycelyn Soo and Helen Cai, on the National University of Singapore's Department of Anatomy, as it celebrates 100 years since its founding. That is no easy feat, and I wholeheartedly congratulate the department on its centennial celebration. Do read through the first of their two-part article on the department's history and the esteemed professors who have taught generations of medical students.

A/Prof Cuthbert Teo has submitted an interview with Dr Teoh Chin Sim, who is Singapore's first sports and exercise medicine specialist. If you've ever wondered what it is that a sports medicine doctor does, look no further, as Dr Teoh looks back on her interesting career thus far.

As the year end approaches, I know of many colleagues and fellow Singaporeans who are making plans to travel overseas. On that note, I am happy to report that our Indulge articles are finally starting to feature contributions from fellow doctors who have ventured abroad, either for holiday or work. This includes none other than our own Editorial Board member, Dr Clive Tan, as he relates his experience travelling to a familiar and nearby destination, Bali.

With that, I wish our readers all the best for the rest of the year. Don't forget to get your flu shots before you take that trip. Stay safe.

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.