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Duke-NUS Vice-Dean's message on why you should study medicine at Duke-NUS

Vice-Dean's Message

Assoc Prof Shiva Sarraf-YazdiDuke-NUS Medical School is a vibrant community of learning and research set in one of the world’s most effervescent cities. To give you a flavour for our community, consider some of the things that distinguish us.

Our education ethos focuses on equipping our graduates with the capabilities to think beyond practising medicine to improving the practice of medicine. In this way, we seek to train the next clinical leaders and innovators.

We are situated in an exceptionally facilitative ecosystem. We are located on the campus of Singapore’s largest hospital, Singapore General Hospital, and have forged the ambitious SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre with our strategic partner, and the nation’s largest healthcare cluster, SingHealth, to deliver excellence in clinical care, research, education and innovation. And Singapore is at the forefront of a formidable population health movement to improve and sustain the health of the nation.

We were born of a partnership between two leading universities, the National University of Singapore and Duke University. We embody cross-border academic medical collaboration, and its capacity for mutual enrichment and improvement through interchange of perspectives and practices. Our Doctor of Medicine (MD) students have the privilege of receiving graduate degrees from both these top global universities.

We are Singapore’s only graduate-entry medical school, our students are drawn from a global applicant pool and are unusually diverse, coming to us after completing their undergraduate—and sometimes even Master’s and PhD—degrees. We have students from 32 countries coming together in our learning and research community.

Our curriculum includes an important component of research and scholarly work. While this idea dates back to the 1960s at Duke, it is particularly relevant today with technological disruptions, sociodemographic shifts and challenges in healthcare delivery. For students who foresee scientific inquiry in their professional future, this is a unique curricular advantage.

On the other hand, students drawn to clinical leadership and healthcare innovation will distinguish themselves in the future with the skills of critical thinking, analysis, complex problem-solving and active learning honed in a concentrated engagement with research and scholarship.

More generally, given our unique curricular structure, a uniquely broad range of professional paths and identities are open to our graduates, including as clinician-leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, scholars, academicians, educators or any combination of these.

Our curriculum also includes a vital non-scientific component. As students undertake clinical rotations, they periodically return to campus for a series of longitudinal, guided programmes which supplement clinical skills with ethics, professionalism, communication, critical thinking, guided reflective practice, teamwork and patient safety. These programmes also allow students to explore public and population health, innovation and design thinking as ways in which physicians and together with experts from other disciplines can improve health and promote wellness in the community and population.

If you have the right type of motivation, the right level of discipline, and a drive to do the right thing, we provide the right learning and supportive environment for you to thrive as a student and succeed as a leader in the pursuit of medicine as a profoundly fulfilling life of purpose.

Associate Professor Shiva Sarraf-Yazdi
Interim Vice-Dean, Education