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Feature

6 ways to get ahead now

It’s wow or never! See how NTU students get the best all-in-one experience on the NTU Smart Campus, from top-notch learning facilities to a vibrant campus life, overseas stints, unique learning options, cool internships and super credentials
by Chrystal Chan, Derek Rodriguez and Peter Yeo

“My professor is an iPad”

PHOTOS: MARK TEO

Paras Bajaj
Medicine

My journey as a freshman at NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine started on a hospital bed. Experiencing a nasogastric tube insertion and other aspects of rehabilitative care at Woodlands Polyclinic and Tan Tock Seng Hospital showed me exactly what patients go through.

It was a good lesson on having empathy for patients. Of course, we aren’t given a handbook on how to do this. Instead, we step into the shoes of patients.

We start interacting with patients from our first year of medical school. In a long-term patient project, we are attached to specific patients until the end of our second year. I can now better appreciate the difficulties of the chronically ill and their families who take care of them. I have also seen for myself the challenges Singapore’s healthcare system faces, and how it is bracing itself for the silver tsunami.

As NTU medical students, we enjoy a dual campus with the latest facilities. I love how beautiful the learning environment at both campuses is. The Experimental Medicine Building in the main campus faces a swathe of forest teeming with wildlife, which always makes me feel inexplicably calm and contemplative.

The equally impressive Clinical Sciences Building at the Novena campus is like our second home, with recreational facilities and cosy house rooms. Just a few floors below are simulated wards (below) that make you feel you have just stepped into a hospital.

When I brought some NTU friends up to the medical library on the 20th floor, they were blown away by the scenery. The jaw-dropping views of Singapore never fail to motivate me during my study breaks and remind me of my reason for pursuing medicine – to support the healthcare of our population to the best of my ability.

My lessons are fast-paced and fascinating. They begin with an iPad, which every medical student is given, containing lessons and reading material. We learn the course content on the iPad at our own pace before classes. In class, we dissect problems in teams of six and come up with solutions together.

This July, I’ll be jetting off to Sri Lanka under the Overseas Community Involvement Programme. We are planning to set up a support group for chronic kidney disease patients in a local village. I’m also looking forward to the two-week exchange in the UK. We’ll study at Imperial College London, NTU’s partner university, and work in hospitals and clinics in London. These stints are going to further transform my perspective of medicine.