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Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School names its advisory colleges

21 May 2010

LAUNCH OF DUKE-NUS ADVISORY COLLEGES: The four medical personalities who inspired the new college names were variously introduced. One of these introductions or appreciation messages was given by SingHealth Group CEO Prof Tan Ser Kiat on the late Prof Sir Gordon Arthur Ransome.

SPECIAL GUESTS: Among the audience were some family members of the four personalities whose legacies were honoured at the launch. They include (from left) daughters of the late Prof Seah Cheng Siang, Ms Joanna Seah and Dr Marianne Seah; and the children of the late Singapore President, Dr Benjamin Sheares, Ms Constance Sheares and Dr Joseph Sheares. Sitting next to Dr Sheares was Dean of Duke-NUS Prof Ranga Krishnan
As of 19 May 2010, the four advisory colleges of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) have taken on the names of legendary figures in medicine. They are now known as Gordon Arthur Ransome College, Seah Cheng Siang College, Benjamin Sheares College and Eugene Stead College.

Introducing the four luminaries who inspired these names, Dean of Duke-NUS Prof Ranga Krishnan said that they were renowned not just for what they did, but also how they lived; and he hoped that they would continue to be beacons and role models to new generations of medical students to come.

These four medical personalities were all highly influential and fondly remembered by countless patients, students and fellow doctors whose lives they had touched. As physician, teacher, co-worker and friend, they were exemplary in their compassion and willingness to serve others, and remarkable for their great achievements.

Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares (1907-1981) was Singapore's second President and "Father of Modern Obstetrics and Gynaecology" (O&G). He achieved several firsts for Singapore in this field - first Singaporean to specialise in O&G and first local to be appointed Professor of O&G at the University of Malaya in Singapore. He pioneered the Lower Segment Caesarean Section which is now gold standard and used extensively today. He also created the vaginoplasty surgical procedure, which was named after him, and became internationally recognised after he published a paper on it in 1960.

Emeritus Prof Sir Gordon Arthur Ransome (1910-1978) was an important pioneer of modern medicine in Singapore. His contributions to medicine in Singapore went as far back as 1938 when he was made Associate Professor of Medicine at the then King Edward VII College of Medicine. He also founded the Singapore Academy of Medicine and was its first Master.

Prof Seah Cheng Siang (1922-1990) was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Singapore. He headed medical units at Singapore General Hospital and Toa Payoh Hospital (the present Changi General Hospital), and founded the Gastroenterological Society. He was also dedicated to medical training in Singapore, and set up the MRACP courses for internal medicine.

Dr Eugene Anson Stead, Jr, (1908-2005) was Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Dean of the School of Medicine at Emory University. He went on to Duke University in 1947 where he served as Chairman of Medicine for 20 years. In that capacity, he played a major role in shaping the vision of Duke, building its Department of Medicine, and devising many innovative methods for medical teaching and practice.

With these role models which embody the spirit and values that Duke-NUS desires to impart to its students, the medical school and its College Masters have begun to define the character and direction of the colleges. Finally, it hopes to nurture caring physicians and excellent clinician scientists who are dedicated to lifelong learning and service to society, like these illustrious forerunners.