Friday, May 14, 2010

Good leader, or a bad follower....?

Dr Goh Keng Swee's passing made me ponder a bit about what set him apart so clearly from his contemporaries, and identified him, for me at least, as one of the truly great leaders of his time.

I think it was for me, his clarity of vision and firmness of conviction, and his ability to translate that into down to earth policies that were able to galvanize his followership into achieving wonders for our small island state.

And I think of so much of what's happening in the medical community and our main medical school that disappoints because so much of our 'leadership' appear unable to see beyond blindly following an 'American model'. Where is the vision and self belief that can galvanize our community into achieving true greatness? Instead, the lemming-like dash towards an US residency system continues to baffle everyone about what it is supposed to be achieving. The medical school has been similarly impressive with respect to its pig-headed commitment to policies and pedagogical fads that now is threatening to unravel the very core of medical training.

So here I am wishing instead, that a true leader like Dr Goh can step forward within the medical leadership (MOH or NUS or MOE, or whatever...) and remove the blinkers from their eyes and see the destruction their poor followership has been wreaking on the medical community.


Paul Ananth said...

Dear Gigamole

As many would know, I am one of the fiercest critics of the medical school from the inside.

However, I cannot let your assertion that the medical school is following "An American Model" go unchallenged!

We are by no means following a model which makes the trainees come in at 6 am in the morning to pre-round on their patients, take the ultimate responsibility for all patient care, ban consultants who do not teach, make the trainees the primary physicians making decisions based on the evidence for the patients in academic medical centers etc....There is very little in the proposed model that bears any resemblance to the American model. Read my memory of my US training stint in the SMA news some time back and you will know what I am talking about

gigamole said...


I should have said blindly following the 'form' of an American model. :)

Singapore Student said...

I hope it will continue to institute a requirement for basic training/residency/medical officership to be holistic though. We don't want to see America's model of having direct and seamless residencies into almost every kind of specialty.

gigamole said...

yup.... we wish.