• Vol. 34 No. 6, 121C–125C
  • 15 July 2005

The Teaching of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Singapore from 1905 to the Present



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Medical education commenced a century ago in 1905. In 1922, the Department of Midwifery and Gynaecology was established. This was renamed the Department of Obstetrics in 1951. Medical undergraduate curriculum in Obstetrics and Gynaecology has evolved and undergone radical changes. From a compulsory 11-week residential posting in Kandang Kerbau Hospital, medical students are now only expected to be resident when they are scheduled for night duties. Having been an examination subject by itself in the Final MBBS Examination, Obstetrics and Gynaecology has in the latest revised undergraduate medical curriculum been incorporated into the Surgical tract and has ceased to be evaluated as a subject on its own. In this review, the establishment of postgraduate training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology is traced over the last 50 years and the important changes over the years are described. The first local Master of Medicine (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) was awarded in 1971. Currently, the specialist training for Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Singapore spans a period of 6 years, comprising 3 years of basic structural training and 3 years of advanced structural training. Over the years, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University of Singapore, has played a pivotal role in the teaching of clinical and laboratory research. This has added substantially to Singapore’s efforts to become a world-class knowledge hub, especially in the areas of relevance to Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School was established a century ago in 1905. The name of the school was changed to the King Edward VII Medical School, Singapore in 1912.1 In 1921, the title was changed to the King Edward VII College of Medicine.2 In 1949, the College of Medicine became the Faculty of Medicine in the newly created University of Malaya.3 The University of Singapore was established in January 19624 and in 1980, the present National University of Singapore (NUS) came into existence.5

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