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Undergraduate Elective Programme

The Education Office coordinates the activities of medical students during their electives/attachments. Our mission is to identify the individual needs of each student and create a dynamic and engaging learning environment.

Students will be assigned a consultant pathologist as mentor, and will be able to observe the following:

1. Specimen prosection

2. Microscopy

3. Frozen section

4. Cytology

5. Molecular pathology

Students are encouraged to participate in a research project; this requires prior arrangement with the mentor. The research project can be presented at the annual Research Day, and students are encouraged to submit their projects for publication. By special arrangement, students may also observe the following clinical pathology services - microbiology, clinical biochemistry and cytogenetics.

Here is a list of ongoing projects in Pathology ACP.

Hear it from our past elective students:

Dr Derrick Lian.jpg

Dr Derrick Lian
Associate Consultant, KKH Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine

Associate Programme Director, SingHealth Pathology Residency Programme

“They say people fall in love in mysterious ways. Truth be told, in my early medical student years, I never wanted to be a pathologist - I was attracted simultaneously by the hands-on, fast-paced lifestyle of a surgeon and the more cerebral and holistic approach to patient care that internists embody. The contact I had with pathologists was minimal, mostly in the form of lectures and tutorials on the University campus, during which I was hardly awake.

When the time came to choose local electives during my third year of medical school, a group of friends and I decided that we were going to go for what we thought was the slackest elective possible, and, we chose an elective in pathology.

It was a relaxing time. Ironically, the freedom to wander around in the laboratory allowed me to see what Pathology was all about - and it was a lot more than delivering lectures and tutorials to disinterested medical students. I still remember vividly my aha moment, the first time I stepped into the Trimming Room, a factory of sorts, where parts of patients such as colons, breasts, lungs, livers, etc. were being examined and cut up. I realised that I was enthralled by the spectrum of disease, and Pathology was where you could see all the patients in the hospital at once (at least parts of them anyway). I had found my place in the universe.

The pathology elective these days (unfortunately) are no longer opportunities to pursue your extracurricular hobbies! Apart from discovering for yourself what pathologists do to keep themselves gainfully employed, you will get an opportunity to do some research with the aim of publication in a medical journal”


Derrick completed a project with the department:

Project Title: Phyllodes tumour with intraductal growth: a rare cause of nipple discharge.

Mentor: Prof Tan Puay Hoon,SGH

Publication status: Published in Histopathology (Lian D et al) Phyllodes tumour with intraductal growth: a rare cause of nipple discharge. Histopathol 2007; 50(5): 666-669)

Aw Sze Jet.jpg

Dr Aw Sze Jet

SingHealth Pathology Resident

"To me, the work and workplace of a pathologist are highly misunderstood by medical students, and I would strongly recommend an elective, especially to those who seek hands-on work and enjoy graphic interpretation. As for an elective with SingHealth, I can confidently say that the staff truly care about your learning - where you are given close guidance in visual appreciation, but at the same time freedom to explore any subject you desire. And needless to say, the vast case spectrum is pretty much incomparable.''


Sze Jet completed a project with the department:

Project title: “Novel karyotypes and cyclin D1 immunoreactivity in clear cell sarcoma of the kidney”

Mentor: Dr Kenneth Chang, KKH

Publication status: Published (E-pub ahead of print in Paediatric and Developmental Pathology). This project also won the Best Platform Presentation Award (medical student category) at the 1st SingHealth Pathology Residents ‘and Trainees’ Day in November 2014.

Jaslyn Lee.jpg

Jaslyn Lee Jie Lin

Fourth-Year Medical Student,

NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

"I spent a month with the Department of Pathology, working on a short research project and experiencing the daily work of the pathologists. The doctors and trainees were all friendly, and kindly took the initiative to show me cases and explain to me anything I did not understand. They also gave me insightful advice about choosing pathology as a career. Of course, the environment and new facilities at Academia were also very conducive for learning! In all, I had a meaningful time with the department, and was able to get a good idea of what Pathology is all about.''


Jaslyn completed a project with the department:

Project title: “Cardiac myxomas: a retrospective review of 60 cases in a tertiary centre in Singapore”

Mentor: Dr Lai Siang Hui, SGH

Publication status: Manuscript submitted; poster presentation at 1st SingHealth Pathology Residents’ and Trainees’ Day.

Wong Kok Loon.jpg

Wong Kok Loon

Fourth-Year Medical Student,

Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School

“I did a two-week elective with the microbiology department as an elective. I was particularly interested to see how pathogens seen in the wards were identified in the laboratory.

The first week was focused on bacteriology, where highly skilled laboratory technicians took me through the process of identification of bacterial pathogens through microscopy, culture and high tech identification methods using a mass spectrometer. I also got to see how antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed.

The second week was focused on virology, parasitology and mycology. Technicians took me through various methods of identifying different pathogens. I also got to see samples of roundworms, tapeworms and fungi which can be quite a memorable experience. I followed microbiology consultants and doctors in the verification process and also answering calls of ward doctors for advice on the laboratory results.

Overall, it was a very interesting elective, especially if you like infectious disease/microbes and are curious about how the laboratory results you see in the wards are being generated”

Ernest Wong.jpg

Ernest Wong

Third-Year Medical Student,

Cardiff Medical School

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory in KKH. The staff members were very approachable and always willing to teach me what they knew. My time at KKH added a new level of depth not covered in medical school. Medicine is not just about the wards, what happens "behind the scenes" in the laboratory is equally important! ”

Please direct enquiries and applications to:

Ms Cai Huiling,

SingHealth Pathology Academic Clinical Programme

Department of Pathology, Singapore General Hospital

Academia, Diagnostics Tower, Level 7

20 College Road, Singapore 169856


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