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The Low Down on the Medicine ACP Office of Medical Humanities

In August 2018, this office was established in Medicine Academic Clinical Program (ACP) by Professor Chow Wan Cheng to educate healthcare professionals through the promotion of the humanities. The aim is to draw on the creative and intellectual strengths of diverse disciplines spanning philosophy, ethics, arts, popular culture, history, literature and religion. The humanities help us re-examine clinical care, education and research through different lenses to develop a deep and critical understanding of meaning, value and purpose. The new perspectives created have fostered close and meaningful relationships amongst doctors, patients and colleagues, enriching existing multi-disciplinary collaborations and encouraging the formation of new ones.

We have adopted a 4-pronged approach: communication, co-operation, content curation and community-building. The team has worked with existing partners such as the Residency Programs and Medical Schools to curate resources and courses. The ultimate goal is to build a community that learns and shares through experiences. We have already reached out on social media, curated a large collection of verse in our doctor-writers’ repository, raised thousands of dollars through concerts and art exhibitions for our disadvantaged patients, and supported clinical care with humanities content on inpatient iPads. There have also been collaborations with the National Gallery and Singapore Art Museum.

Join in our journey to connect sensitively with everyday healthcare experiences and reinvigorate the joy of caring by reminding ourselves of what inspired us to join this profession.

For all enquiries, kindly email us at


Dr Anantham Devanand

Director, Medical Humanities, Medicine (ACP)
Senior Consultant, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, SGH

Dr Anantham Devanand is also the Head of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Lung Centre and Vice Chair of the National Medical Ethics Committee of Singapore. He is also a part-time PhD student at the National University of Singapore. His interests are in professional ethics, informed consent and the ethics of pandemic resource allocation. Dr Devanand was appointed as the Director of the Office of Medical Humanities in August 2018.

Dr Devanand’s professional profile can be found here.

Dr Crystal Lim

Member, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Master Medical Social Worker, Medical Social Services, SGH
​Dr Crystal Lim attained her Ph.D. Social Work and M.A. Bioethics from the University of Pittsburgh, and her M.S.W. degree from the University of Washington. Her clinical experience includes bioethics; transplant social work; grief, loss and bereavement support; nephrology social work and family violence intervention. Her enthusiasm for the Medical Humanities germinated during her M.A. Bioethics training; they resonated with her belief that harnessing the doctor’s compassion for human suffering in illness and communicating that compassion is important. An engaging trainer, Dr Lim has extensive experience in developing and teaching undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programmes in social work, as well as training healthcare professionals in bioethics and patient communication. Dr Lim has received several awards in recognition of her clinical contributions and commitment.
Ms Joanna Phone Ko

Member, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Senior Staff Nurse (APN), Nursing Division, Department of Specialty Nursing, SGH

Joanna is an Advanced Practice nurse in Acute Care (Medical ICU). Her experiences in managing ICU patients include both ends of the spectrum- Aggressive and rapid interventions for the acutely and critically ill, as well as supportive and palliative approaches for dying patients and their loved ones. Her latter role is where Medical Humanities comes alive and is ever relevant. Joanna also helps to co-chair monthly interdisciplinary meetings with the Palliative and Rehab departments.

Joanna is also an SGH Scholar, graduating with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) at National University of Singapore and a Master in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programme at University of Pennsylvania.​ ​ ​

Dr Ong Eng Koon

Member, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Consultant, Division of Supportive and Palliative Care, National Cancer Centre Singapore, SGH

​Dr Ong is a palliative care physician at the Division of Supportive and Palliative Care, National Cancer Centre Singapore. He has keen interests in medical education, professionalism, empathy and burnout. He stumbled onto the Medical Humanities while looking into ways to teach empathy and decrease physician burnout and conceptualised the Humanism Aspirations as a Propellor for Professional development in Palliative medicine Education (HAPPE) project in 2017, using literature to facilitate discussions on empathy and patient-centered care for junior doctors. He has not looked back since and is always excited to develop future projects in this field with like-minded friends both old and new.

Dr Ong’s professional profile can be found here.

Dr Foo Yang Yann

Member, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Assistant Professor, Academic Medicine Education Institute, Duke-Nus Medical School

Dr Foo is a PhD educator involved in faculty development work at Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM•EI), which is part of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre in Singapore. A qualitative researcher specialising in Narrative Inquiry, she designs and facilitates educational research and scholarship workshops for health care professionals. Her research interests include narrative medicine, reflective practice, team science, and inter-professional education and collaborative practice.​ ​ ​

Dr Janet Ong Kheng Hwee

Member, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Resident Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, SGH

​Dr Janet Ong has been working with the Advance Care Planning Team in SGH since 2015. Prior to that she had been working with an NPO in Hong Kong coordinating their outreach projects in Asia and personnel training. Engaging with people in need has always drawn her interest. ​ ​

Ms Dian Handayani

Member, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Art Therapist, Department of Psychology, SGH

​ ​Ms Dian is an art therapist at Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) Department of Psychology. Before working in health care, she developed products for renowned furniture designers in the United Kingdom (UK). Her career at SGH began in the Eating Disorders unit, where she was the Deputy Director of the program. Dian’s passion in the field of trauma and sexual health led her to graduate from University of Sydney’s MSc in Medicine: HIV, STIs and Sexual Health (Counselling) program in 2018. Dian hopes to use her background in design, arts, mental and sexual health to enrich the Medical Humanities Office and its contributions to whole person care in medicine.


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Ms Nur Suhaila Binte Ishak

Team Lead, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Senior Executive, Education, Division of Medicine and Medicine ACP

Ms Latashni D/O Gobi Nathan

Communications Lead, Medical Humanities, Medicine ACP
Executive, Communications, Division of Medicine and Medicine ACP