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Medic Week which was held from 17th to 24th January 1998, is actually an overgrown Medic Day, held annually by medical students to celebrate life, to raise public awareness of certain issues, to show that we could do other things besides expouse medical jargon, and on a more practical note, to raise funds for charities. This year, we have consolidated, redefined and expanded Medic Day to Medic Week under the motto of ‘To be Beacons of Charity and Honour, to live lives willing to serve’. 

In this frenzied week, four activities were held _ a community Service Day, a charity bazaar and exhibition, a cycling and jogathon relay and finally a wholly clinical play production, “A Tomb With A View”. 

All proceeds raised throughout the whole week went to the Singapore Cancer Society and the Children’s Cancer Foundation. 

It is indeed surprising that not many medical students do regular volunteering. Many students lament that they do not have the time. Many of the other volunteering organisations in NUS have schedules that do not seem to fit our irregular time-tables. 

This is the reason why we decided to get all those who are interested in doing regular volunteer  work together and officially adopt Moral Welfare Home, a home for the destitutes. We will be organising games and art & craft sessions for the lonely residents there and assist them in simple physiotherapy. 

Community Service Day for Medic Week was on 17th January 1998. It was the first time that 40 medical students brought the residents out for a tea session at People’s Park. Some of the excited residents even put on make-up just for the trip. Some of us were a little apprehensive but fortunateIy there were others who are very experienced in handling the old folks. It rained heavily that day when we arrived at People’s Park but our spirits were not dampened. After all, Chinese New Year was approaching. We treated them to the famous egg tarts and char siew pao at the hawker centre and they liked them so much that we bought a few more for them to bring back to the Home. Each resident also received a $10 ang pao. 

After this Community Service Day, medical students will continue to visit the Home every Saturday afternoon. Doctors interested in volunteering at the Home can contact Weien at 9259 6709. 

After a few months of planning and liaison, Medic Connection kicked off on 19th January 1998 with 3 separate groups of joggers and runners embarking on three different routes, all finally converging at NUS. Participants included medical, dental and pharmacy students and volunteers from St John’s Ambulance and NUS Motoring Club. 

The 35-km cycling North Route began from Woodbridge Hospital and covered Mount Alvernia Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and Raffles Surgicentre. The 31-km cycling East Route started from New Changi Hospital and covered Eastshore Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore General Hospital. The more down-to-earth 6-km running route was flagged off from Alexandra Hospital towards National University Hospital. At each hospital stop, the participants witnessed a meaningful logo handing-over ceremony in the presence of eminent representatives from the hospitals. 

At the ending point at NUS, we were honoured to have our Dean A/Prof CC Tan as our guest-of-honour, together with Dr William Tan, and several patients from the Singapore Cancer Society. Hard-earned logos received from each hospital were put up onto a Medic Connection mural to mark the completion of the event. This symbolises our hope to physically connect our hospitals and figuratively connect the various health care professionals. 

The three-day bazaar held at the NUS Science foyer, was a bargain hunter’s paradise. There was something for everybody. Items sold included: T-shirts, bags, jewellery, cards, ice-cream, etc. We also organised a jumbo sale where an even greater variety of items were sold. These items ranging from china bowls, key chains to posters, paintings and teddy bears were all generously donated by medical students. Although the prices were exceedingly low, we managed to raise about $700 from the sale alone. The Singapore Cancer Society also put up an exhibition to create awareness about cancer. In addition, there was a bone marrow drive. Our first ever Medic band also staged their inaugural performance at the Foyer. 

On the 23rd and 24th of January 1998, we staged our first public play. “A Tomb With A View” is a murder mystery/comedy thriller that follows the tradition of Agatha Christie’s ‘Mouse Trap’, where all the characters are suspects. 

Besides a tight script, we also employed a plethora of special props, from fake blood to sugar glass bottles and starter guns. We even came up with a decapitated ‘head’ and secret passages. The audience was kept on their collective feet from the beginning to the end, as each act brought forth new twists and surprises. 

We were also extremely fortunate to get a wide spectrum of media coverage from the papers (ST, New Paper Lianhe Zaobao) to radio (One 90.5 FM, Power 98, 88.5 FM and 99.5 FM) and television (AM Singapore). As a result, we managed a sell- out for both shows. 

It was clear to all involved at the play (see photograph) that the audience enjoyed the performance as much as we enjoyed bringing it to them. And that’s all that counts.