Dear Fellows and colleagues,
I feel honoured and humbled to be writing my first message as Academy President.
My profound gratitude goes to Immediate Past President Prof. Chak-sing Lau for his great mentorship and trust, and to all fellow Council members for their confidence in me. I am also delighted to introduce our new team of Officers: Vice-President (General Affairs) Dr. Yu-fat Chow, Vice-President (Education and Examinations) Prof. Paul Bo-san Lai, Honorary Secretary Dr. Wing-cheong Leung, Honorary Treasurer Prof. Eric Wai-choi Tse, and Editor Prof. Martin Chi-sang Wong. You will find their introductions in the latest issue of academyfocus and on this website (see the Governance section), which has recently been revamped under the incredible effort of the Secretariat.
Medical and dental practices are undergoing momentous changes amid the pandemic, with emerging fields, such as genetic and genomic medicine, posing both opportunities and challenges, and evolving public needs and expectations informing our future standards of practice. In this new environment, I believe there are at least three things the Academy should do.
First, we have to revisit our training paradigm to ensure the skills and knowledge we intend to instil are fit for purpose, and that the way we do so is effective. To this end, we are working on an online educational platform to enhance the learning experience of our Fellows. Deepest appreciation must again be given to Prof. Lau for his tireless lobbying efforts in securing new government funding for this purpose. The online platform, in conjunction with the HKJC ILCM, will provide leverage for pursuing the idea of establishing an education office of the Academy.
Second, we have to go beyond skills and knowledge by focusing more intently on ethics and professionalism, and cultivating among our Fellows and trainees professional attitudes and behaviours that will enable them to embrace all these changes. The Academy’s Professionalism and Ethics Committee is presently formulating best practice guidelines as a foundation to promote good practice in various aspects.
Third, we need to re-examine and realign connections along the necessary continuum between undergraduate education, postgraduate training, and clinical service needs, particularly in the context of technological advancement, evolving modes of practice, and changing societal expectations. We shall strengthen and expand strategic ties with local, regional, and overseas counterparts who share this belief.
Take care and stay vigilant, body and spirit.
Prof. Gilberto Ka-kit Leung
1 March 2021