Haematology at a Glance
Blood is fundamental to the human existence. An expert in Haematology has an in-depth understanding of blood diseases and disorders on both the cellular and non-cellular levels. As a physician specializing in Haematology, you are committed to your patients, many of whom require your long-term care.
As a haematologist, you will learn to take a broad perspective of clinical medicine, because medicine is never practised in silo. You also amalgamate your clinical findings with laboratory assessments to compose a complete and comprehensive diagnosis.
A haematologist is therefore:
1) A clinician who has broad perspectives of clinical medicine and does not practice silo medicine
2) A diagnostician who amalgamates his clinical findings with laboratory assessments and comprehensively compose a complete diagnosis
3) A practitioner with capacity for dealing with both malignant and benign conditions
4) A scientist who is capable of venturing into a wide variety of research fields including cardiovascular medicine, oncology and immunology
If you enjoy both clinical and laboratory work and wish to have the capacity to venture into a wide variety of research fields including cardiovascular medicine, oncology and immunology, besides haematological disorders, then Haematology may be for you.
A Word from Our Program Director
As doctors, we are privileged to be in a position to care for people. But to best serve our patients, it is imperative for us to be good at what we do. Fortunately for us, the breadth of medicine from primary to specialized care makes it impossible for you to be truly well-rounded.
The time has now come for you to decide on the next course of your devotion to your patients, as you choose a subspecialty which you hope to excel in.
People perform best when they have a passion for what they do. An exciting and ever-changing subject matter will further provide fertile ground for young inquisitive minds to explore and advance the field. And Haematology is one such specialty where there are immense opportunities for you to excel.
Many trainees like you may have the impression that Haemotology is a complex and difficult subject.
In fact, haematological disorders are among the best understood medical conditions, with therapeutic choices at the forefront of medical progress. Most trainees are also surprised to discover the expanse of the subject and its elegant simplicity once they have spent time with us.
As you embark on your senior residency, do listen to your heart and consider making Haematology your choice of specialty.
Dr Chandramouli Nagarajan
Department of Haematology
Singapore General Hospital
Why SingHealth Haematology?
Get the Best of Both Worlds
Haematology is the only program which offers a clinical and service laboratory component. You will be trained to become a clinican, diagnostician and therapist in the most complete sense. From determining the diagnosis, to interpreting the laboratory investigations and deciding on the treatment for haematological disorders; you will be trained to care for the patient at every single point of his or her illness. A trained haematologists is therefore a master clinician and pathologists. The senior resident will receive extensive training in laboratory haematology which will hone their skills in laboratory techniques as well as train them to be proficient in the laboratory diagnosis of haematological disorders to complement the clinical training.
Build Long-Term Relations with Patients
Caring for Haematology patients promises some of the most rewarding and close encounters with patients. Most haematological conditions are chronic and people diagnosed with such conditions can sometimes require intensive treatment and long-term care. They would also require your dedicated care, understanding and concern. Thus, the patient-doctor relations in Haematology is one of the most unique and humbling experience for a doctor.
Ample Opportunities to Develop Subspecialties
As a haematologist, you can choose to focus on various subspecialties, such as haematopoeitic stem cell transplant, thrombosis and haemostasis, myeloproliferative disorders, the leukemia, transfusion and laboratory haematology. The Program therefore provides ample opportunities for you to discover your true strengths and choose a focus area that you wish to further develop and expand.
Guidance by Expert Mentors
Trainees on the Program will be guided by experienced clinician champions who can guide and train you on a wide range of subspecialties. You will learn from renowned mentors who are recognized local and regional experts in their specialty areas. They are passionate educators who are ever ready to provide you with the learning opportunities you need to master your choice of subspecialty.
The SingHealth Haematology Senior Residency Program is a three-year program which will cover clinical and laboratory Haematology. At the end of the program, you should also be capable of performing and interpreting laboratory tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of haematological disorders, and be able to independently manage a haematological laboratory.
Training will take place at the Singapore General Hospital except for a short stint at the Blood Services Group, Health Sciences Authority of Singapore.
Over the 36-month duration of the program, 18 months will be spent on clinical Haematology which will cover various aspects of benign and malignant Haematology, including stem cell transplant.
A total of 12 months will be devoted to training in laboratory haematology including in transfusion medicine. The remaining 6 months will provide opportunities for the senior resident to do a variety of elective postings such as in palliative care medicine and infectious disease.
Some areas covered in the training include:
Routine care of haematology sub-specialty patients and provision of haematology consultations to other medical disciplines, care of patients undergoing therapeutic apheresis procedures, care of Hickman line, care of stem cell transplant patients, counseling of family members, management of haematological emergencies including hyperleucocytosis syndromes, tumour lysis syndromes, extravasation of vesicant chemotherapeutic agents.
Bone marrow aspirates & trephines, insertion of central & PICC lines, performance of lumbar punctures, administration of chemotherapy, venesection
Routine care of haematology sub-specialty patients, preparation of patient for stem cell transplant, priming and preparation of patient for PBSC harvesting
Morphology of blood and marrow smears, common coagulation tests and blood banking procedures, assessment of blood donor suitability, interpretation of haemoglobin electrophoretic strips, laboratory quality control measures. Exposure to flow cytometry, cytogenetic studies and molecular biology will be included.
Ability to critique journal articles, understanding of biostatistics, conduct of an actual research project, grant-writing and journal-writing skills
Upon qualifying as haematologists, trainees will be appointed as associate consultants at various institutions in Singapore.
At the end of your three-year training program, you may choose to pursue subspecialties, such as transplant haematology, thrombosis and haemostasis, lymphoproliferative disorders, acute leukemias, myeloproliferative disorders, transfusion medicine or laboratory haematology.
Trainees with good aptitude for laboratory research can look forward to becoming a clinician-scientist, as Haematology is one of the best stepping stones to molecular medicine and its related fields. You can expect ample job opportunities in both institutional and private practice.
Dr Chandramouli Nagarajan, Consultant, Department of Haematology, Singapore General Hospital