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3.2.1.2    Curriculum Structure and Requirements

Educational Aims

The aim of the medical curriculum is to produce graduates who are competent and compassionate Residents or House Officers committed to serving the Singaporean community, with the foundation to undergo further training to become excellent clinicians and specialists, clinician-researchers, clinician-scholars, or health administrators.

The curriculum aims to support Singapore’s goal of becoming a regional centre of excellence in healthcare, by meeting the needs of the ageing population, and by fostering translational research as an engine of growth for the economy.

Education Outcomes

Our graduates will:

  • be equipped with sound medical knowledge;
  • be able to provide quality patient care;
  • demonstrate excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • uphold high standards of professionalism;
  • engage in continual practice-based learning & improvement; and
  • engage in systems-based practice.

Medical Knowledge

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the basic medical sciences and their relationship to the practice of medicine.
  • Understand and apply the scientific basis of medicine as well as principles of the social-behavioural sciences to the diagnosis, management and prevention of disease, and to the maintenance of health.

Patient Care

  • Achieve a sufficient level of medical knowledge and clinical skill to be a highly competent medical practitioner who will be an effective house officer on graduation and have the capacity for further training to be a proficient general practitioner or specialist.
  • Demonstrate the ability for effective and efficient data collection, synthesis and critical analysis in the prevention, diagnosis and management of disease.
  • Provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Develop skills in effective communication with patients and their relatives, with colleagues and for scholarly communication.
  • Develop leadership skills and team skills to be an effective member of the healthcare delivery team.

Professionalism

  • Display the attributes of compassion, honesty and integrity in relating to patients, families and the medical community.
  • Adhere to the highest standards of professionalism, ethical behaviour and practice.
  • Appreciate the limits of his/her clinical ability and seek assistance from more experienced colleagues where appropriate.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement

  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity and the habit and skills for life-long learning and professional development.
  • Develop the skills necessary to investigate and evaluate patient care based on scientific evidence, and proactively contribute to improve patient care.

Systems-based Practice

  • Develop a sound knowledge of the system of healthcare, and be able to garner resources for optimal treatment and quality delivery of healthcare to patients.

Longitudinal Tracks

There are several broad-based curricular components that are integrated with biomedical sciences and clinical teaching, running through various Phases of the undergraduate medical course:

  • Health Ethics, Law and Professionalism

The Health Ethics, Law and Professionalism (HELP) longitudinal track aims to develop ethical sensitivity, theoretical understanding, reflective and critical skills, and professional attitudes in medical undergraduates through all five years of the curriculum. It is student- and patient-centred; case-related, multidisciplinary and inter-professional; fully integrated into all phases of the curriculum; and regularly assessed, both formatively and summatively.

  • Information Literacy

This longitudinal track aims to enable all students to gather and critically evaluate research and health informatics data, effectively incorporate the selected information into their knowledge base and apply the knowledge in patient care, and also to lay the foundation for future training to conduct high quality research.

  • Medicine and Society

This longitudinal track aims to expose students to the concepts of preventive healthcare at the individual and population level, with emphasis on the epidemiology of common communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as on vulnerable groups. It also aims for students to gain an understanding of the influence and relevance of behavioural, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors in local and global settings, which will assist in their promotion of health and management of illness as future doctors.

  • Patient-based Programme and Clinical Skills Foundation Programme

These two Programmes aim to give medical students an introduction to the Singapore healthcare system, the practice of medicine, foundations in clinical skills and the importance of the pre-clinical sciences. Students will be trained to become practitioners with skills in listening and questioning, and who understand and reflect on patient-centred care. Examples of skills that the students are expected to achieve are the ability to conduct and manage an open interview; introduction to the physical examination; the ability to evaluate and reflect on their interviewing skills; and to understand another person from that person’s point of view.

  • Integrated Care

As the School places strong emphasis on preparing medical students to work in an integrated healthcare system with an integrated care mind set, Integrated Care aims for students to gain a perspective of and own patient care across time, space, acuity, and discipline. Teaching pedagogies are inter-disciplinary in nature, combining knowledge from Family Medicine, General Medicine, Palliative Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and other community-oriented specialties.

This training begins in Phase I with students undergoing a caregiver training session. This provides students with a better appreciation of the multi-dimensional nature of care provision for patients. Combined Teaching Sessions (CTS) in Phases III and IV, conducted in a case-based discussion fashion, will enhance students’ integration of discrete patient interactions into a complete and holistic view of a patient’s health journey.

Pathway Programmes

The Pathway Programmes are elective opportunities running through various Phases of the undergraduate medical course to broaden their skillsets relevant to clinical practice and healthcare in the 21st century. Each Pathway Programme comes with core components that inculcate relevant core knowledge to the entire cohort, selective workshops or project work, that culminates to a scholarly paper or presentation by the time of graduation.

  • Behavioural and Implementation Science

This pathway exposes medical students to principles of behavioural and implementation science, and apply these knowledge to effectively design and deliver healthcare in real-world settings, and lay the foundation for them to become active agents of change in clinical practice.

  • Health & Humanity

This pathway aims to nurture emotionally-resilient, socially conscious and globally minded health leaders through rekindling one’s love for medicine and humanity. Through experiential activities, inspirational workshops and hands-on project work in the community, graduates develop critical thinking skills in global health, teamwork and leadership skills to inspire health for all.

  • Health Informatics

This pathway aims to enable students to gather and critically evaluate research and health informatics data, equipping them with the skills necessary to apply the principles of health informatics, summarise and visualise datasets to perform basic analyses, so they become data-science competent clinicians who can identify and analyse medical data to address clinical issues. 

  • Inquiry and Thinking

This pathway aims to inspire and motivate our medical students to develop a sense of curiosity so as to foster a habit of inquiry that is able to dynamically utilise a range of thinking methods, processes and skillsets to tackle questions and problems. The end goal of this pathway is to groom a pipeline of thinking doctors who can advance healthcare in any aspect they desire.

  • Medical Education

This pathway exposes medical students to concepts and principles in Health Profession Education, to equip them with foundational skills in Health Profession Education, with a focus on educational innovation and scholarship of teaching and learning, so as to groom future clinical educators.

  • Medical Innovation & Entrepreneurship

This pathway aims to nurture medical students with the 6Cs attributes: Curiosity, Creativity, Compassion, Collegiality, Collaboration, and Commercial Intelligence. The programme gradually exposes medical students to concepts and principles in innovation, and the selective elements equips students with foundational skills in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Course of Study

Satisfactory completion of all components of the curriculum is required for graduation. The course of study for students admitted from AY2020/21 onwards is as follows:

Phase I
(Year 1)
Introduction to Health & Disease Longitudinal Tracks:

  • Health Ethics, Law & Professionalism;
  • Information Literacy;
  • Medicine & Society;
  • Patient-based Programme;
  • Clinical Skills Foundation Programme;
  • Integrated Care
Foundations of Human Biology: The Cell and the Human Body
Musculoskeletal System & Neuroscience, with Skin and Connective Tissues
Blood, Respiratory & Cardiovascular Systems
Gastrointestinal, Nutrition & Metabolism Systems
Renal, Fluid & Electrolyte Systems
Endocrine & Reproduction Systems
Neuroscience with Head & Neck
Phase II
(Year 2)
Introduction to Diseases, Investigations & Interventions
Mechanisms of Diseases and Principles of Pharmacology
The Immune System, Clinical Microbiology & Infection
Genetics and Genomics
Cancer Biology
Blood, Respiratory & Cardiovascular Systems
Musculoskeletal System & Neuroscience, with Skin and Connective Tissues
Gastrointestinal, Nutrition & Metabolism Systems
Endocrine & Reproduction Systems
Renal, Fluid & Electrolyte Systems
Neuroscience with Head & Neck
Foundations in Geriatric Medicine
Clinical Skills Foundation Programme
Phase III (Year 3) General Medicine
Family and Community Medicine, including Ambulatory Paediatrics and Integrated Care for Older People
General Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery
Community Health Project
Electives
Phase IV (Year 4) Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Paediatrics
Acute Care comprising Anaesthesia and Emergency Medicine
Psychological Medicine
Forensic Medicine
Otolaryngology
Ophthalmology
Electives
Phase V
(Year 5)
Medicine Student Internship Programme
Surgery Student Internship Programme
Paediatrics Student Internship Programme
Geriatric Medicine Student Internship Programme
Orthopaedic Surgery Student Internship Programme
Dermatology
Infectious Diseases
Clinical Skills and Life Support Training
Electives

Examinations

At the end of each year of study, examinations leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) are held as set out below. A candidate must pass each meet all the passing criteria set out in the bulletin before proceeding to the next stage of study leading to the award of the degrees.

The examinations for students admitted from AY2019/20 onwards are as follows:

YEAR OF STUDY EXAMINATION MODULES
Phase I
(Year 1)
First
Professional
Normal Structure and Function (MD1140):

  • Introduction to Health & Disease
  • Foundations of Human Biology: The Cell
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Blood, Respiratory and Cardiovascular systems
  • Renal, Fluid & Electrolyte systems
  • Gastrointestinal, Nutrition & Metabolism systems
  • Endocrine & Reproduction systems
  • Neuroscience with Head and Neck
Phase II (Year 2) Second Professional Abnormal Structure and Function (MD2140):

  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Cancer Biology
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Microbiology & Infection
  • Principles of Pharmacology and Systemic Pharmacology
  • Principles of Pathology and Systemic Pathology
  • Neuroscience & Musculoskeletal
  • Foundations in Geriatric Medicine
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Medicine & Society
  • Information Literacy
  • Community Health Project
  • Longitudinal Track: Health Ethics, Law & Professionalism (HeLP)

Clinical Skills Foundation Programme (MD2150)

Phase III (Year 3) Third
Professional
Core Clinical Practice (MD3140):

  • Family Medicine and Ambulatory Paediatrics
  • Medicine
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Surgery
  • Community Health Project
Phase IV (Year 4) Fourth Professional Acute and Specialty Clinical Practice (MD4140):

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Psychological Medicine
  • Acute Care comprising Anaesthesia and Emergency Medicine
  • Paediatrics (including neonatology component)
  • Specialties Posting comprising Forensic Medicine, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology
Phase V (Year 5) Final
Professional
Medicine (MD5140)

  • Medicine Student Internship Programme (SIP)
  • Geriatric Medicine SIP
  • Paediatrics SIP
  • Specialties Posting comprising Dermatology and Infectious Disease

Surgery (MD5150)

  • Surgery SIP
  • Orthopaedic Surgery SIP
  • Clinical Skills and Life Support Training

Policies and Rules on Examinations

Policies on Examination

1. The course of study for the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery lasts five years and consists of modules and tracks prescribed by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

2. A candidate may be granted up to a maximum of two (2) calendar years of medical leave or leave of absence during the whole course of study. This may be extended only under extenuating circumstances, with the approval of the Dean.

3. Candidates shall not be permitted to take more than six (6) years, excluding approved leaves of absence, from the time of his/her admission to the course of study, to complete the prescribed examinations for the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

4. The Examination Policies and Rules described below apply to students entering the respective year of study for academic year 2020/2021.

5. There are five examinations leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, namely:

The First Professional, Second Professional, Third Professional, Fourth Professional and Final Professional Examination. A candidate must pass all requirements as set out in the Rules on Examination before proceeding to the next stage of study leading to the degree.

6. A candidate who fails the Main Examination or module, must complete and pass a mandatory remediation programme before he/she is eligible to sit for the required part(s) of the Supplementary Exam.

7. A distinction in any module of the course may be awarded by the Board of Examiners to a candidate who at his/her first sitting at the Main Examination obtains not less than 85% of the aggregate marks assigned to the module.

8. Students may submit an application for Special Consideration, if they have circumstances that may adversely affect their attendance or performance in an assessment/examination. The application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, according to principles set by NUS Special Consideration Guidelines (https://myportal.nus.edu.sg/studentportal/academics/all/docs/Guidelines-on-Special-Consideration.pdf).

Rules on Examinations

First Professional Examination

  1. A candidate is eligible to take the Main First Professional Examination if he/she has passed at least one (1) out of the three (3) Continuous Assessments (CAs) prescribed for MD1140.
  2. If the candidate does not fulfil the eligibility criteria stated above, the candidate shall only be eligible to take the Supplementary Examination as his/her first and final attempt. The candidate is required to sit for all the components of the end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
  3. A candidate may be eligible to enter Phase II when he/she has passed Phase I. Passing Phase I is defined as having
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD1140’s end of academic year (EOY) First Professional Examination; and
    • Achieved the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD1140 (CA + EOY Exam).
  4. Subject to Policies 1 to 8 above, a candidate who fails to meet the passing criteria stated above shall be examined at a Supplementary Examination in Phase I as follows:
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD1140 – to sit for all the components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD1140’s end of academic year Main First Professional Examination – to sit for all the components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
  5. A candidate must complete and pass a mandatory remediation programme before he/she is eligible to sit for the Supplementary Exam.
  6. A candidate who fails or misses a Supplementary Examination (even if there is special consideration submission i.e. medical grounds or non-medical grounds) must repeat the whole course of study of Phase I depending on candidature.
  7. No candidate shall be permitted to take more than two (2) years from the time of his/her admission to the course of study for the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery to complete and pass Phase I.

Second Professional Examination

  1. There are two modules in Phase II, namely MD2140 and MD2150.
  2. A candidate is eligible to take the Main Second Professional Examination for MD2140 if he/she has passed at least one (1) out of two (2) Continuous Assessments (CAs).
  3. A candidate is eligible to take the Main Second Professional Examination for MD2150 if he/she has passed at least two (2) out of five (5) prescribed online assessments.
  4. If the candidate does not fulfil the eligibility criteria stated above, the candidate shall only be eligible to take the Supplementary Examination of that module, as his/her first and final attempt. The candidate is required to sit for all the components of the end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
  5. A candidate may be eligible to enter Phase III, when he/she has passed Phase II. Passing Phase II is defined as having
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to both MD2140 and MD2150; and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the end of academic year Second Professional Examination for both MD2140 and MD2150; and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate assessment points assigned to the end of academic year examination in MD2150.
  6. Subject to Policies 1 to 8 above, a candidate who fails to meet the passing criteria stated above shall be examined at a Supplementary Examination in Phase II as follows:
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to each required module (MD2140, MD2150) – to sit for all the components of that module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate mark assigned to the module’s end of academic year Main Second Professional Examination – to sit for all the components of that module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed assessment points in MD2150’s end of academic year Main Examination – to sit for all the clinical components of MD2150’s Supplementary Examination.
  7. A candidate must complete and pass a mandatory remediation programme before he/she is eligible to sit for the Supplementary Exam.
  8. A candidate who fails or misses a supplementary examination (even if there is a special case or special consideration submission) must repeat the whole course of study of Phase II depending on candidature.

Third Professional Examination

  1. A candidate is eligible to take the Main Third Professional Examination if he/she has completed and passed at least four (4) of the postings prescribed for Phase III.
  2. If the candidate has completed and passed only three (3) of the postings prescribed for Phase III, the candidate shall only be eligible to take the Supplementary Examination as his/her first and final attempt. The candidate is required to sit for all the components of the supplementary examination.
  3. If the candidate has completed and passed less than three (3) of the postings prescribed for Phase III, the candidate must repeat the whole course of study of Phase III.
  4. For any failed or incomplete posting in Phase III, a candidate will need to remediate and pass that posting before he/she is allowed to enter Phase V.
  5. A candidate may be eligible to enter Phase IV, when he/she has passed Phase III. Passing Phase III is defined as having:
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to each component (Theory and Clinical) of the end of academic year (EOY) Third Professional Examination; and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD 3140 (CA + EOY); and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the end of academic year examination (Theory component + Clinical component); and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate assessment points in the clinical component of the end of academic year examination.
  6. Subject to Policies 1 to 8 above, a candidate who fails to meet the passing criteria stated above shall be examined at a Supplementary Examination in Phase III as follows:
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD 3140 – to sit for all the components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the theory component of the end of academic year Main Third Professional Examination – to sit for all the theory components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the clinical component of the end of academic year examination or the prescribed aggregate assessment points in the clinical component of the end of academic year Main Examination – to sit for all the clinical components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to both the theory and clinical component of the end of academic year Main Examination – to sit for all the theory and clinical components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
  7. A candidate must complete and pass a mandatory remediation programme before he/she is eligible to sit for the supplementary exam.
  8. A candidate who fails or misses a supplementary examination (even if there is a special case or special consideration submission) must repeat the whole course of study of Phase III depending on candidature.

Fourth Professional Examination

  1. A candidate is eligible to take the Main Fourth Professional Examination if he/she has completed and passed at least four (4) of the postings prescribed for Phase IV.
  2. If the candidate has completed and passed only three (3) of the postings prescribed for Phase IV, the candidate shall only be eligible to take the Supplementary Examination as his/her first and final attempt. The candidate is required to sit for all the components of the Supplementary Examination.
  3. If the candidate has completed and passed less than three (3) of the postings prescribed for Phase IV, the candidate must repeat the whole course of study of Phase IV.
  4. For any failed or incomplete posting in Phase IV, a candidate will need to remediate and pass that posting before he/she is allowed to enter Phase V.
  5. A candidate may be eligible to enter Phase V, when he/she has passed Phase IV. Passing Phase IV is defined as having
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to each component (Theory and Clinical) of the end of academic year (EOY) Fourth Professional Examination; and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD4140 (CA + EOY Exam); and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to each component (Theory and Clinical) of the end of academic year Fourth Professional Examination; and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the EOY Exam (Theory component + Clinical component); and
    • Obtained the prescribed aggregate assessment points in the Clinical component of the end of academic year main examination.
  6. Subject to Policies 1 to 8 above, a candidate who fails to meet the passing criteria stated above shall be examined at a Supplementary Examination in Phase IV as follows:
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to MD4140 – to sit for all the components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the theory component of the end of academic year Main Fourth Professional Examination – to sit for all the theory components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the clinical component of the end of academic year Main Examination or the prescribed number of assessment points in the clinical component of the end of academic year examination – to sit for all the clinical components of the module’s supplementary end of academic year examination.
    • where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to both the theory and clinical component of the end of academic year Main Examination – to sit for all the theory and clinical components of the module’s end of academic year Supplementary Examination.
  7. A candidate must complete and pass a mandatory remediation programme before he/she is eligible to sit for the Supplementary Exam.
  8. A candidate who fails or misses a supplementary examination (even if there is a special case or special consideration submission) must repeat the whole course of study of Phase IV depending on candidature

Final Professional Examination

  1. There are two modules in Phase V, namely MD5140 (Medicine) and MD5150 (Surgery). For the avoidance of doubt and without limitation to the foregoing, a candidate must pass all postings prescribed for the Third and Fourth Year of Study, at first attempt or during remedial postings, before he/she is eligible to undergo any posting in the Medicine or Surgery modules of Phase V.

MD5140 (Medicine Module)

2. A candidate is eligible to take the main Final Professional Examination of MD5140 (Medicine) if he/she has completed and passed all four (4) postings prescribed for the Phase V Medicine module.

3. If the candidate has completed and passed only two (2) or three (3) out of four (4) postings prescribed for the Medicine module, the candidate shall only be eligible to take the Supplementary Examination for that module as his/her first and final attempt. The candidate is required to sit for all the components of that module’s Supplementary Examination.

4. A candidate who completed and passed less than two (2) out of four (4) postings prescribed for the Medicine module shall have to repeat the whole Medicine module for Phase V.

MD5150 (Surgery Module)

5. A candidate is eligible to take the main Final Professional Examination of the Surgery Module (MD5150) if he/she as completed and passed all three (3) postings prescribed for the Phase V Surgery module.

6. If the candidate has completed and passed only one (1) or two (2) out of three (3) postings prescribed for the Surgery module, the candidate shall only be eligible to take the Supplementary Examination for that module as his/her first and final attempt. The candidate is required to sit for all the components of that module’s Supplementary Examination.

7. A candidate who completes and passes none of the postings prescribed for the Surgery module shall have to repeat the whole Surgery module for Phase V.

Medicine and Surgery Modules

8. Passing a module is defined as having:

• Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the clinical component of the module’s end of academic year (EOY) Final Professional Examination; and
• Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the module (CA + EOY Exam); and
• Obtained the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the module’s end of academic year examination (Theory component + Clinical component); and
• Obtained the prescribed aggregate assessment points in the clinical component of the module’s end of academic year examination.

9. Subject to Policies 1 to 8 above, a candidate who fails to meet the module’s passing criteria shall be examined at a Supplementary Examination in that module as follows:

• Where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the module – to sit for all the components (theory and clinical) of that module’s Supplementary Examination.
• Where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to the module’s end of academic year main examination – to sit for all the components (theory and clinical) of that module’s Supplementary Examination.
• Where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate marks assigned to that module’s clinical component of the end of academic year main examination – to sit for all the components (theory and clinical) of the required module’s Supplementary Examination.
• Where the candidate failed to obtain the prescribed aggregate assessment points in that module’s clinical component of the end of academic year Main Examination – to sit for all the components (theory and clinical) of the required module’s Supplementary Examination.

10. A candidate must complete and pass a mandatory remediation programme before he/she is eligible to sit for the supplementary exam.

11. A candidate who fails or misses a Supplementary Examination (even if there is a special case or special consideration submission) in any module must repeat the whole course of study for that module depending on candidature.