After taking a year off to pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Pharmacy degree, Chen Li Li is back at work, energised and raring to share what she has learnt. The Senior Clinical Pharmacist aims to impart not just technical know-how but also to inspire her juniors to embrace continuous learning.
Putting her belief into action, the pharmacist educator recently attended two faculty development workshops jointly organised by the SGH-Postgraduate Allied Health Institute and the Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM•EI). From the sessions, she learned tips on how to be a better teacher by leveraging on advances in technology and collaborative efforts of an interdisciplinary team.
Influencing the Team
Apart from guiding junior pharmacists, participating in ward rounds, and research planning and case discussion with trainee pharmacists, Ms Chen trains specialist pharmacists. In SGH, these include those in the medication management service, rheumatology monitoring clinic and anticoagulation clinic.
The only clinically certified Geriatric Pharmacist in SGH, Ms Chen hopes to help another 10 of her staff obtain certification next year.
“I believe in a ‘franchise’ system. One person doing the right thing for our patients is not impactful enough. We need to influence the team to keep up with the latest medical updates so that they remain relevant and can help even more patients get better.”
Blending New Media into Education
Ms Chen organises learning workshops, and drives an education series that is a showcase of blended education in action. It includes weekly didactic lectures, the use of the Blackboard Apps for mobile learning and Twitter Apps for clinical prompts, updates on the top interacting drugs and cost savings, and the sharing of clinical articles via email.
“It is crucial for us to continuously upgrade our knowledge and maintain competency. When I see my student trainees better able to advise patients on medication management, my passion to teach is refueled.”
Learning Alongside Her Students
Taking cues from the learning challenges she faced as a recent student, Ms Chen aims to be an inspiring and motivational educator. “It’s hard to keep everyone motivated, and unrealistic to believe you will have 100% attention all the time. You need to run with the runner, and persist against resistance. My trainees know that rain or shine, I’ll be there!”
Other than verbal encouragement, sharing feedback from patients, and making sure her trainees get opportunities to attend conferences, Ms Chen sponsors food for lessons that take place early in the morning or during lunch. “I treat it as paying tuition fees to my students because when I teach, I learn from them as well.”
About the AM•EI
It is a joint institute between the Duke- NUS Graduate Medical School and SingHealth that brings together educational expertise from both institutions to develop a pool of clinician educators.
Tailored to the needs of clinician educators of all levels, it offers faculty development programmes to sharpen teaching skills, spur innovation in pedagogical methods and curriculum, and promote and support educational research to improve teaching methodologies.
The AM•EI supports the academic advancement of outstanding clinician educators by providing resources and opportunities for them to increase their competency and academic impact. Essentially, it is to equip educators with the best teaching practices that would draw out the best from students, and also inspire educators to transform tomorrow’s healthcare education.
The AM•EI welcomes all doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and all who are contributing to education. With multi-disciplinary and inter-profession learning, the AM•EI encourages exchange and cross-fertilisation of ideas and facilitates the development of innovative methods of teaching.
Life@SGH Campus, Jan/Feb issue