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A/Prof. Reshma A. Merchant

Head of Division Geriatric Medicine, University Medicine Cluster

Head of Division, National University of Singapore


In addition to being head of division, Associate Professor Reshma A Merchant is also the Geriatric Education Director for Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh and obtained her postgraduate qualification from Royal College of Physician London in 1999 where she worked for several years before returning to Singapore in 2001. She is currently a Fellow of Academy of Medicine Singapore and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh.A/Prof Reshma Merchant has been the head of division of Advanced Internal Medicine for 7 years before September 2016 and under her leadership, the division has made great progress in care integration, care coordination and now looking at using data and technology as an enabler to improve productivity, quality and accessibility. She is actively involved in improving quality of care for hospitalised elderly, and together with nursing team have introduced Eldercare Bundle hospital-wide. She also holds many leadership positions in national professional organisations and advisory boards including National Kidney Foundation. Her main area of research interest is in sarcopenia, cognitive frailty and successful ageing in the community.Besides clinical service and research, she is also a very enthusiastic teacher and has won multiple teaching awards including the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2007 and the Passionate Teacher Award in 2014. She has conducted many workshops on using innovation e.g. flipped classroom for teaching.


Oasis of calm for patients with delirium
Straits Times

October 19, 2017

In the bustle of National University Hospital's (NUH) various wards, the Silver Unit is an oasis of calm. Set up to cater to elderly patients with delirium, the six-bed unit's closed doors and attached activity room set it apart from the rest of the hospital.Its staff pride themselves on not using restraints as far as possible, which is not always easy as such patients can be confused and easily agitated. "In the past, some of the patients were restrained, or they would try to abscond (from the ward)," said Associate Professor Reshma Merchant, head of NUH's geriatric medicine division. "It was a conscious effort to say: 'What can we do to not use restraints?'"Apart from the peaceful environment, one of the secrets of the Silver Unit's success is making sure that night and day are clearly defined for patients.

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Happy hour helps seniors delay frailty and disability
Straits Times

August 24, 2017

Listening intently to the lead volunteer, a group of 30 seniors marched on the spot while playing a memory game matching parts of their body with letters of the alphabet.These seniors at Choa Chu Kang Fei Yue Retirees Centre yesterday were participating in a programme designed to help seniors delay frailty and disability.Called Healthy Ageing Promotion Programme For You (Happy), it was prompted by findings from a local study in which more than one-third of 1,051 participants aged 65 and above from Bukit Panjang were considered "pre-frail" or on the verge of becoming frail. Six per cent of participants were frail.

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NUS GGS: Strategies for healthy ageing and longevity
National University of Singapore

August 22, 2017

“Health is wealth!” Associate Professor Lau Tang Ching opened the National University of Singapore (NUS) Greater Good Series event titled: Strategies for Healthy Ageing and Longevity with the age-old mantra.The Senior Consultant at the Division of Rheumatology, National University Health System and Vice Dean (Education) at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine chaired the afternoon’s programme where speakers shared strategies adopted to strengthen the health of Singapore’s ageing population.According to Associate Professor Reshma Merchant, Head of Geriatric Medicine at the National University Hospital (NUH), studies revealed that the prevalence of frailty and prefrailty in the local community is close to 50%. Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome that embodies an elevated risk of decline in health and function among the elderly.“We can intervene before disability sets in. The goal is to prolong healthy living with good healthy ageing programmes,” Assoc Prof Merchant informed.

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Age of golden workers: Many seniors working into 80s and 90s to stay active
The Straits Times

April 30, 2017

'Associate Professor Reshma A. Merchant, head of National University Hospital’s division of geriatric medicine, notes that of people aged 65 to 69, only 3 per cent are considered “frail” and 63 per cent are considered “robust and healthy”. This is based on her research on the prevalence of frailty in the western region of Singapore. Of those aged 75 and older, only 9 per cent are considered “frail”.'

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Mum and Dad are 'best teachers': Tan Chuan-Jin
The Straits Times

September 15, 2013

'"If I'm not feeling relaxed, I'm worried that I may have a mental blackout during exams," said Azeem, who hopes to be a doctor like his mother, Dr Reshma A. Merchant.'

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Use of drugs with anticholinegic effects and cognitive impairment in community-living older persons
Age Ageing

2008Many drugs with anticholinergic effects are often prescribed for the elderly for various therapeutic reasons such as Parkinson's disease, urge incontinence and mood disturbances. Various reports estimated that drugs with anticholinergic effects are used by between 13.7% and 27% of the community-living elderly [1–3] and as much as 60% in nursing homes residents.

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Area of Expertise

Academic Administration

Care Continuum

Cognitive Frailty




Internal Medicine

Long Term Care

Long-Term Care

Long-term Care


Successful Ageing in the Community




Health and Wellness


Royal College of Physician London :

University of Edinburgh :

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