Academy of Medicine, Singapore
Formation and Purpose
The Academy of Medicine, Singapore was founded in 1957 as the professional corporate body of medical and dental specialists in Singapore. It was patterned on the Royal Colleges in Britain and Australasia, and also charged with the same ideals and aims especially in regard to the maintenance of the highest standards of professional and ethical practice through teaching, instructing and training those who wish to learn and to specialise.
Unlike these Royal Colleges who are responsible generally for individual disciplines, the Academy embraces all specialities in Medicine. The Academy thus provides a platform whereby members of different medical and dental specialities can come together to share their knowledge at intra-and inter-disciplinary levels.
In keeping with its major responsibility to maintain the highest standards of professional practice, membership to the Academy has always been based on strict requirements. Applicants for Ordinary Membership are scrutinised based on the possession of higher professional qualifications, professional standing and appointments held, contributions to medical literature and general character and conduct. Practice in specialty for at last 5 years after full registration is an essential requirement.
From a modest beginning of 34 foundation members, membership has grown to 877 members, including 19 Honorary Members of international repute. Ordinary Members are grouped under 10 Chapters, namely Anaesthetists, Community & Occupational Physicians, Dental Surgeons, Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Paediatricians, Pathologists, Physicians, Psychiatrists, Radiologists and Surgeons.
By 15 April 1987, "AM (S'pore)" was gazetted as a registrable qualification to be placed after the names of Academicians. The Academy is presently in the process of applying for approval to change the designation "AM (S'pore)" to "FAMS", i.e. Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore.
Postgraduate Medical Education and Advanced Specialty Training leading to Specialist Certification
One of the significant moves made by the Academy after its foundation was to submit a Memorandum on Postgraduate Medical Education to the Government and the University which resulted in the formation of a Postgraduate Committee and a rewarding partnership between the University and the Academy. This Committee was to be the precursor of the School of Postgraduate Medical Studies.
The School of Postgraduate Medical Studies is managed by a Board that has equal representation from the University and the Academy. Today the School conducts courses leading to the Master of Medicine degrees in Anaesthesia, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics and Psychiatry, and Master of Science degrees in Occupational Medicine and Public Health. These qualifications are commonly recognised as entry qualifications to the advance specialty training.
Since 1985 the Academy has also initiated work related to the advanced specialty training of doctors with the aim that it would lead eventually to specialist certification. To date, the Academy has identified 32 specialities for specialist certification and established the training criteria for these specialities. The Academy is currently working towards the accreditation of training departments and the implementation of exit certification.
Log books for advanced trainees in the 23 specialities under the purview of the Academy were issued on 15 March 1991. The Academy has begun its task of tracking the progress of these doctors.
Continuing Medical Education
The Academy organises as well as sponsors numerous congresses, seminars, symposia, scientific meetings and lectures in any calendar year. This is a strong testimony of the role played by the Academy in continuing medical education.
These meetings also serve to foster ties between the Academy and various Specialist Societies as well as enhancing the harmonious relationships with overseas Colleges, particularly those in the Commonwealth. The Academy's participation at regional and international meetings has certainly contributed to its international standing as an institution of excellence.
To facilitate quality presentations at both local and international meetings, the Academy has invested some of its resources in the establishment of a Medical Illustrations Section. This Section is responsible for the production of slides, etc. used by both members and non-members of the Academy.
The first Congress was held at the Pathology Lecture Theatre in the grounds of the Singapore General Hospital from 3-5 may 1963. The President of the 1st Congress was Prof. Gordon Arthur Ransome. The Congress was declared open by Dr. K Shanmugaratnam, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya in Singapore.