SIP: The Significance of the ‘Handy Stamp’

To combat the complaint that house officers (interns) often show up on the first day of work unprepared for the rigours of ward work, the YLL SOM had since created the Student Internship Program (SIP) where the students understudy the house officers and work as part of the medical or surgical team. There are currently two four-week SIP programs: medical and surgical. each with slightly different emphases. For instance, a surgical intern would be required to be competent at pre-operative assessment and post-operative care.

“Oh, big deal!”, some say. While it is true that many overseas institutions have their students spend all their clinical years doing exactly that, in Singapore, it doesn’t happen that way. And hence the first two clinical years (years 3 and 4) are spent accumulating knowledge and learning to diagnose instead of the nitty-gritty ward work.

So when the briefing came less than one week before the start of [the first batch’s] Medicine SIP, the medics were elated to receive:

The Handy Stamp
Handy Stamp in Cover

Prior to the SIP briefing, many medics were taking the stamp out of its cover to admire, marveling at the facts that their names, their identities, would actually be considered unique enough warrant having a Handy Stamp. To them, the stamp was the mark of acceptance: an acknowledgement that they would no longer be the lowliest parasites in the hospitals (that honour being bestowed upon the new clinical students) and would actually be truly contributing to patient care.

Handy Stamp with Instructions
Handy Stamp with Instructions

Some students decided to start the ball rolling by using the stamps on their fellow medical students. Truly, some things never change, and a repeat of the previous year’s activities (as told to us by a senior) of “Haha, I stamped you. You belong to me now.” were inevitable.

Handy Stamp Ready for Action

To the medical students, the ‘Handy Stamp’ is the mark of a new progression in their medical education and their medical careers, similar to how owning stethoscopes or putting on labcoats for the first time felt.

In time, they’ll wonder why they felt the way they did at the start. Hopefully then, they’ll just take out the Handy Stamp, ‘chop’ it on a friend (or enemy’s forehead) and scream, “Hahahaha, I own you now!”.


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