HKUMed News (Vol 27 | Issue 1)

The academic leaders portrayed on these pages have all faced a major early test in their new roles with COVID-19. Their responses offer welcome insights into their resilience and their ability to think outside the box and discover new pathways. They have embraced opportunities to innovate in teaching through technology. Dr To’s 3D-printed head is one example, as is the use of virtual reality in Ophthalmology. ‘This is giving students exposure that would have been impossible in traditional face-to-face training,’ Professor Christopher Leung said. ‘Wherever there is danger, there lurks opportunity.’ Dr Chan’s take on COVID-19 is that it has spurred people to pursue new directions. ‘I don’t see it reducing morale, but rather encouraging creativity, teamwork and dedication. Every day the situation is slightly different and people are working together and thinking of new ways to handle all these challenges.’ All Chairpersons acknowledge that the pandemic has been stressful for everyone, particularly in Psychiatry where it directly affects mental health. But even here there have been some upsides, Dr Chang said, as the need to work through Zoom has strengthened students’ interview skills, which are necessary for diagnosing and treating patients. The experience has also been unifying for staff, said Professor Leung Wing-hang. ‘Morale remains high because we know that working together, we can beat the situation,’ he said – something to which Dr To, as a microbiologist, can attest. ‘Pandemics all eventually go away. Our normal life will be restored and become better than before. So we should stay positive,’ he said. COVID-19: Finding Hope and Inspiration Since 2020 all professional examinations (written and clinical) conducted at HKUMed were of the same high standard as preCOVID-19. FEATURE 18