By Wong Jing Hui
STUDENTS from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine say they are impressed with their new medical campus in Novena, but some are concerned that the building’s far-off location will isolate them from the general NTU population.
Boasting 20 storeys and spanning over 40,000 square metres, the new Clinical Sciences building is located at Mandalay Road near Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the partner teaching hospital of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
The building opened for lessons in January.
It provides a wide range of educational facilities, such as a Centre for Clinical Simulation, while the eighth floor is dedicated to recreational facilities, including a gym and music rooms.
Medical students will be posted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital from their third year onwards.
Second-year students will be based in the Clinical Sciences Building, while first-year students will have their lessons split between the Clinical Sciences Building and the Experimental Medicine Building in NTU’s main campus.
First-year medical student Timothy Chan, 21, is already looking forward to having most of his lessons in the Clinical Sciences Building next year.
“The new building has many different types of rooms dedicated to specific learning purposes. The design is well-thought-out, and the environment seems conducive for learning,” he said.
But some of his peers expressed the concern that being away from the main University campus so often would further exclude the medical cohort from the general student population.
As they mainly take modules from within their faculty, medical students say they already do not have many opportunities to mix with students from other faculties on a daily basis.
“One of the few regrettable things is that the medical cohort may become more isolated from the general NTU cohort,” said Reudi Chan, 21, a second-year medical student.
But he was glad for the free shuttle bus services to and from the Novena Campus, which caters to medical students who stay on the University’s main campus.
“Ultimately, it is up to each individual student to decide how involved they want to be in the NTU Community,” added Chan, who chose to continue staying on the main campus.
Unlike Chan, second-year medical student Shaun Tan, 22, stopped staying in hall after his first year.
He said it is easier to travel to the Novena campus from his home in Dover, as he has lessons there up to four days every week.
First-year medical student Louise Lo, 19, acknowledged the concern of greater segregation, but said it was an unavoidable trade-off.
“Considering the fact that Tan Tock Seng Hospital is our main teaching hospital, from a practical point of view this is necessary,” Lo said. “This will probably compromise our hall life, but it is a sacrifice that has to be made.”
The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which first opened in 2013, is a partnership between the University and Imperial College London in England.
Undergraduate students go through a five-year course for a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. The school will see its first doctors graduate in 2018.