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The Duke-NUS Story

The Singapore Government’s vision to develop a world-class medical institution to nurture and train competent clinicians capable of becoming future leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists, resulted in the successful Duke-NUS Medical School.

The unique graduate entry medical school plays an integral and strategic role in the Singapore healthcare ecosystem through its translational and clinical research excellence, its training of medical talents and its Academic Medicine collaboration with SingHealth, in the largest medical and health cluster in the country.

Although Duke-NUS is already transforming medicine and improving lives in Singapore and beyond, the beginnings of the Duke-NUS medical school can be traced to the year 2000, when Singapore launched an ambitious Biomedical Sciences Initiative to make the country the biomedical hub of Asia, and to attract both research and health-sector manufacturing capabilities to Singapore.

In 2001, a Medical Education Review Panel chaired by Lord Oxburgh of England evaluated the plan and recommended that Singapore establish a graduate medical school to produce highly-trained medical leaders to support the Biomedical Sciences Initiative.

According to the Ministry of Education, the establishment of a graduate-entry medical school would increase the supply of doctors practising in Singapore, give the country the flexibility to produce more physicians to meet future needs, and expose doctors to clinical research, thus increasing the nation's capacity to develop a vibrant biomedical hub.

In April 2005, Duke University and the National University of Singapore signed a formal agreement under which the two institutions would partner to establish a new medical school for graduates in Singapore, to complement the National University of Singapore's existing undergraduate medical school. Under the agreement, the Singapore government would contribute significant investment over the first seven years to establish Duke-NUS as part of Singapore’s strategy to become a leading centre for medical research and education.

On 30 November 2010, following exceptionally strong progress in the first five-year phase, the Singapore government signalled their resounding support by extending the Duke and NUS strategic collaboration by another five years. Subsequently, On 2 June 2016, the stakeholders extended this collaboration through a third five-year agreement. 

Duke-NUS’ curriculum is patterned after that of the renowned Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. The School is part of the National University of Singapore system, but it is unique in that it is overseen by a Governing Board, including a Duke representative who has veto power over any academic decision made by the Board.

For more information on Duke University, please click here.
For more information on National University of Singapore, please click here.