Singapore is not among the first destinations for post graduate doctoral training or full time career in medicine. Not many have ventured there as compared to North America or Europe so little information is available. So was the case for me when I had gone there for my fellowship. I would like to share some information that may be useful.
- Singapore is a very well developed and beautiful country. Many of the consultants over there have received training in the US or UK.
- Fellowships or staff registrar posts are good starting options. A staff registrar post pays well. With fellowships, you may just survive. Some of the centers one can apply for fellowships include the National Neuroscience Institute (for neurology), Singapore General Hospital (Neuro, MSK and Body), Changi General Hospital and KTP Hospital for registrar posts depending on the vacancy. The Institutes have to be applied individually. This will have to be done online through the websites.
- Fellowship in IR is available at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, but is not a paid one. There is one at SGH as well but I am not sure if it pays. Surviving on your own is expensive.
- First essential step is FRCR. MBBS from JJ Hospital, Mumbai, AFMC, Pune and AIIMS, Delhi are among the few institutes that are recognized. Doctors from these places may get a higher salary and get in initially without FRCR. But again the rules may have changed since I moved back to Mumbai; so do check.
- You can obtain the email address of the respective program director or official address of the hospital from the respective online sites. Apply online with your CV and state your intent – whether you are interested for short term fellowship or long term. The interview would be telephonic or via video calling. You can expect to get the post after at least 6 months from your application. The paperwork can be irritating as the SMC is very strict and scrutinizes every tiny detail. But once your application is accepted by them and you reach there, the going is smooth. It is better to be working there and gain their trust and then enquire for residency. Your application is stronger if you have more publications and visible interest in research.
For long term plans:
- Unfortunately the rules keep changing.
- Initially after FRCR, one could become consultant after getting into 2 year AST training (Advance Specialist Training). But this was changed in 2012 and this pathway has stopped. Now full time residency of 5 years is the most common way to obtain Singapore Medical Council registration (4 years if FRCR has been completed successfully). There is a registrar – senior registrar – staff physician – principal staff physician pathway. as well, but that is difficult and cannot be predicted.
- Getting into residency is tricky as there is no formal objective process in place. The interviews happen once a year. Applications are taken in September, usually of the medical officers working in Singapore. Selection is at the discretion of the interviewing panel with no objective scoring to go by. Generally you must work for a couple of years before applying.
- However, remuneration and work environment are very satisfying once you become a consultant. Some of the Singaporean institutes are recognized in Australia. A short stint there may also give you a push down under.
– Chintan Trivedi,
Neuroradiology Fellow at National Neuroscience Institute
Consultant Radiologist, Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai
PS: You can check our other blogs on training abroad in our section ‘Beyond the Shores’.