• Vol. 34 No. 6, 140C–142C
  • 15 July 2005

The Teaching of Anaesthesia in Singapore



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This article describes the development of undergraduate and postgraduate anaesthesia teaching and training in Singapore. Anaesthesia teaching has evolved from art and apprenticeship to become systematic, scientific and evidence-based, while retaining an emphasis on hands-on practical training. Simulator training provides unique advantages, which the University Department of Anaesthesia has utilised in integrated medical student teaching

The era of modern anaesthesia in Singapore began in 1847, a year after the successful public demonstration of ether anaesthesia in the USA.1 However, it would be over a century before anaesthesia became established as a specialty in Singapore. From a humble beginning of a single department serving the whole of Singapore, there are now independent departments in each hospital, with a University Department of Anaesthesia based at the National University Hospital. The College of Anaesthesiologists is one of the largest member colleges in the Academy of Medicine of Singapore. This article describes the evolution of anaesthesia training, from ad hoc apprenticeship to a specialty firmly based on scientific foundations, with undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

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