Prof Stephen Smith is the Founding Dean designate for the new school. A gynaecologist, Prof Smith was the Principal of the ICL in 2004, and subsequently also became the Chief Executive of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
The formation of the 3rd Medical School is being watched with considerable interests from those who have been involved with medical education in Singapore. How will it differ from the approach NUS had taken? So far the leadership have been saying all the right things. Exploiting existing strengths in engineering and business, the new Imperial College London-Nanyang Technological University Medical School (ICNMS), will focus on training good doctors "equipped for tomorrow's challenges".
All nice words.
Many are hoping it will not fall into the same trap that the other medical school did by over-investing in the clinician-scientist mission. No doubt we need clinician-scientists to fuel the biomedical industry, but this should not be the main mission of a medical school. Singapore needs good caring doctors who can look after patients - not doctors whose primary mission is to serve the biomedical industry. Many have felt that the NUS Medical School had so over-reached itself to pursue the research agenda that the medical mission had been severely compromised.
If the new ICNMS remain true to the educational mission, the worrying outcome may be that many committed medical educators may decide to jump ship for a school environment that is much more aligned to medical education and the training of good doctors.