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The December issue of the SMJ and the SMA News under Prof Kua Ee Heok is always a special one I look forward to. For one thing, he brings along a group of peers each year to reflect on a theme. This year it is on future challenges in medicine. This is an appropriate juncture in time to reflect on this topic as the world races to a new millennium.

For another thing Prof Kua Ee Heok brings to the cover of the journal a holiday look. After all this is holiday time after a year of toil. Hopefully, it has been a fruitful year or a year of growth. Never mind if it has not. We can always look towards the new year.

Hope springs eternal. For in hope, we will live another day, another month and another year. This is the time of the year that each of us should make a review of ourselves, our relationships, our goals and our challenges. Amidst the holiday cheer and light heartedness, may each of us find the quiet time to reflect and set our goals for the coming year.

For your reflection too, Prof Kua has rushed out the SMA Lecture 1999 by Mr Choo Han Teck who is a Judicial Commissioner. Those of us at the Lecture have enjoyed it. Amongst the goals let us not forget the goal to be a doctor. Let us resolve to strive everyday to be a better doctor whose mission is to cure, to care and to comfort. Let this goal be the fountain of energy that will keep us professional and caring, wherever we are, whatever we may be doing through the years.

But for a while, let us relax, put on the music and bring out the gifts.

May I wish you happy holidays and a happy new year.