Frequently Asked Questions
I. About Residency
II. Application for Residency
III. SingHealth Graduate Medical Education (GME)
I. About Residency
What is the Residency Program about?
The Residency Program is a US-styled post-graduate medical education where medical graduates undergo training in a supervised and organized way to ensure they become competent and excellent specialists.
The previous system of GME was a British-based apprenticeship system that had served the Singapore healthcare sector well. However, we need to constantly innovate and adopt the best practices in education in order to meet with evolving healthcare demands and ensure that future generations of clinicians are well-trained.
The Ministry of Health, Singapore, after discussions with the Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB), recommended the introduction of the Residency Program in 2010.
What are the differences between the Residency Program and the previous HO/MO system?
The Residency Program is a structured training framework and education curriculum, based on established standards from the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The program is a rigorous system designed on a formative model for quality training. The learning process will be enhanced through the
6 core competencies.
Under the previous system, medical officers will rotate from one posting to another and be responsible for their own training outcome. With the Residency Program, training will be more structured and sponsoring institutions will take ownership of the training outcome of the Residents.
A key feature is the Residency’s evaluation methods – an ongoing monitoring system to assess Residents’ skills, ensuring a continual review of the learning progresses. This differs from the previous system, which utilizes a summative method where assessments accumulate in intermediate and final exams.
What is ACGME? What is ACGME-International?
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) evaluates and accredits medical residency programs in the United States. The mission of the ACGME is to improve health care by assessing and advancing the quality of resident’s education through accreditation.
MOH has invited ACGME to assist us in the drive to improve the graduate medical education in Singapore. The collaboration between ACGME and MOH is known as ACGME-International (ACGME-I), and it is the first of its kind. ACGME-I will develop a set of standards for Singapore in the areas of curriculum development, assessment and teaching methods, data collection systems, professional development and training for program directors and program coordinators.
II. Application for Residency
Who can apply for the Residency Program?
Graduands of Singapore medical schools and those with primary medical qualifications registrable under the Medical Registration Act (Second Schedule) are eligible to apply to the Residency Program. This includes current House Officers (HOs) and Medical Officers (MOs).
Graduands with non-registrable medical qualifications may be considered on a case to case basis. In addition, graduands from overseas need to secure an offer of employment as a doctor from MOHH or local healthcare institutions before they are eligible to apply.
I have some working experience (service MO, MOT, etc); can I join the program in its second year?
All candidates are expected to enter residency training at Residency Year 1 (R1) regardless of prior experience. Depending on specialty-specific requirements, those with prior experience will be subject to review within the first year of residency to determine whether the resident has the required competencies to function in a higher position.
How do I apply for Residency?
Applications for residency training are submitted to MOH Holdings Pte Ltd (MOHH) through their website: http://www.physician.mohh.com.sg/residency Applications are generally evaluated according to a number of criteria including (but not limited to):
a. Interview performance
b. Academic scores
c. SIP performance
d. Previous clinical work experience.
MOHH will schedule the interview subsequently with each candidate. The interviewers comprise of representatives from the Residency Advisory Committees (RACs) and Program Directors (PDs) from each of the Sponsoring Institutions (SIs). Candidates submit their rank order list of residency programs via the MOHH website for matching with their preferred SI. Please refer to MOHH website for more information on the application process.
How does the Residency Matching Exercise work?
The matching process will match candidates' and SIs' preferences for each other. Applicants are first matched to his first choice program, then to his second choice program if he fails the first match, and so on, until a match is made or all applicant’s choice have been exhausted. Applicants are advised to rank as many Sponsoring Institutions for the preferred programs in order to increase their chances of a successful match.
What are the Residency Programs being offered?
Click here to find out more about the training programs offered by SingHealth. We are the participating site for the Preventive Medicine and Psychiatry Residency Programs.
What are the programs with Clinician Scientist tracks and how will they differ from the default Residency?
Programs with clinician scientist tracks will have at least a year of research built into the curricula of advanced residency years. The entry requirements of such programs will be similar to their corresponding default Residency programs. Applicants can choose up to 3 programs if any of their choices are clinician scientist tracks, and up to 2 programs if otherwise
What happens if I am unsuccessful in obtaining entry into, or do not wish to apply for, a Residency Program?
Unsuccessful applicants will either be offered a House Officer position (for new medical graduands) or a service Medical Officer position. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to apply again in the next matching exercise.
If I get matched to a Residency Program, can I change my mind later?
Candidates who change their mind following a successful match will not be able to apply for the next call for residency program. They can re-apply the year after next (one year penalty) unless the change is due to strong reasons and recommended and approved by the Program Director.
Will I be allowed to drop out of a Residency Program?
Candidates who drop out of a Residency Program will not be eligible to apply for entry in the next call for residency program.
When does Residency begin?
Residency officially starts July. For local YLLSOM medical graduands, first year residency begins in May. For application details and important dates for Residency Exercise for Entry, please visit the MOHH website at http://www.physician.mohh.com.sg/residency.
How long will my Residency Program last?
Residency will last a minimum of 12 months. Thereafter, the regular residency cycle commences in July of every year. Generally 5 to 7 years of residency and fellowship training is required before specialist accreditation. Applicants are advised to check with the different SIs on the duration of their programs.
How will assessments be carried out?
There will be regular competency-based assessments to measure both theory and practical skills attained by residents. This will enable Residents (and their trainers) to realize their strengths and also highlight areas of weakness. This creates awareness and the resident and trainer can both work towards improving these areas of weakness and further develop strengths. Generally, assessments will be carried out after each rotation, 6-monthly and annually.
At the end of training, how will I exit as a specialist?
The Residency Programs are meant to train specialists to meet Singapore’s needs. Accreditation to practice as a specialist in Singapore is wholly governed by the Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB) which will recognize local training programs and existing intermediate and exit examinations. Exit as a Specialist will depend on the criteria and assessment (may be in the form of clinical and written exams, exit interviews etc) as specified by the Specialists Accreditation Board.
III. SingHealth Graduate Medical Education
What are the key roles and responsibilities of the people in the Sponsoring Institution?
Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) is the largest Sponsoring Institution for the Residency Program in Singapore.
The Sponsoring Institution (SI) is the organization (or entity) that assumes the ultimate financial and academic responsibility for a program of Graduate Medical Education. The SI has the primary purpose of providing educational programs and health care services.
The Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME), part of SingHealth Group Education, provides exemplary administrative services as the sponsoring institution for all GME residency programs of SingHealth. Led by the Designated Institutional Official, the Office of Graduate Medical Education exercises its authority and its responsibilities for the promotion of educational quality, supervisory oversight, and administrative reliability of SHS residencies and advanced The Office of GME, in collaboration with its affiliated hospitals, provides administrative guidance and professional development for program directors, faculty, residents, fellows, and coordinators to enhance administrative expertise toward fulfilling state and national requirements of ACGME-I, MOH, MOHH and other specialty organizations.
Click HERE for the full Organisational Chart
What is the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC)?
The GMEC exists to provide oversight and governance to all graduate medical education training programs under the Sponsoring Institution (SI), SingHealth. It monitors and provides advice on all aspects of residency education and ensures substantial compliance with the institutional, common program and specialty specific requirements of the ACGME-I. The SingHealth GMEC is chaired by the DIO and comprises members including Senior Management, Program Directors (PDs), peer-nominated residents, administrators and other members of the faculty.
The committee is responsible to establish and implement policies and procedures regarding the quality of education and the work environment for the residents in all programs, and to ensure proper distribution of institutional resources across the resident programs.
What are the roles and responsibilities of the Designated Institutional Official?
The Designated Institutional Official (DIO) has an overview of the educational, fiscal and administrative health of the SI’s GME activities. The DIO leads an organized administrative system that oversees all ACGME-I accredited programs, maintain both ACGME-I Institutional accreditation and Residency Programs’ accreditation.
With support from the GMEC, the DIO (who is also the chairperson of GMEC) establishes and implements policies and procedures regarding the quality of education and the work environment for the Residents in all the programs.
Nonetheless, the DIO’s ultimate goal is to institutionalize an educational experience that would enable residents to obtain the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to practice as competent physicians.
What is the role of Associate Designated Institutional Official?
The Associate Designated Institutional Official (ADIO) is the designee of the DIO. In the DIO’s absence, the ADIO carries out the responsibilities and roles of the DIO. ADIOs in SingHealth are representations of the respective participating institutions at Changi General Hospital and KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
What are the responsibilities of the Program Director?
Each Residency Program will have a Program Director (PD) that is responsible for all aspects of the Residency Program. The PD has to administer and maintain an educational environment conductive to educating residents in each of the competency area.
The PD will oversee the recruitment of residents and faculty, development of the curriculum with assistance from the faculty, and the assessment of the residents’ progress through the program. The PD will have to certify the competency of the graduates to practice independently.
What is the main role of the Program Executive?
The Program Executive (PE) assists the PD in the daily administration of the Residency Program, especially to ensure that residents are informed and adhere to established educational and clinical practices, policies and procedures.
What are the roles of the core faculty members?
Core faculty members are clinicians who work closely with the PD and APD on the development of program, with matters ranging from curriculum to administrative planning and implementation. Together with a fleet of physician faculty, they will lead the team to teach, supervise and mentor the residents. For quality teaching, ACGME-I had stipulated a ratio of 1 core faculty to 6 residents for programs.
Who are the faculty members?
Please refer to the respective programs for more details.