Message from the Interim Vice Dean

Dear Applicants,

Thank you for your interest in Duke-NUS Medical School. The world-wide medical profession is facing many challenges. The increased expectations of patients, a rapidly ageing population, rising healthcare costs, increasing globalisation of health care needs, ever enhancing technologies that perform doctor’s roles and a myriad of other factors are all forcing physicians to relook healthcare practice and how physicians contribute to the health of their patients. This also means that medical schools need to re-look at how they train their physicians for the future. 

Duke-NUS started with that goal in mind – how to train the best physicians for the future?  We began by creating a graduate entry program. This would enable us bring individuals from diverse background who could broaden the interdisciplinary and inter-professional experiences of our future physicians. This allows our future physicians to see medicine through many different lenses and explore unique and creative solutions to problems.

Next, we created key Signature Research Programs focusing on the important health care issues of Southeast Asia while being strongly partnered to the rich and global medical research efforts at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. We also partnered with several of the largest public hospitals in Singapore. These partnerships enables our student to engage with top medical scientists to learn about the cutting edge medical science but also see the real patient experiences and how that science is translated into improved patient care. 

With the ever increasing use of technology, ironically future of the medical profession has to be even more so about communication and caring about the patient. This is one of the areas we believe our unique curriculum excels. Our first year basic science courses use TeamLEAD, our version of an interactive, engaging, and teambuilding learning strategy that blends individual accountability with team communication and peer learning. Running parallel to the basic science courses is our clinical skills course that focuses not only on taking basic history and performing physical exam maneuvers but it emphasises the value and importance of the patient interaction and effective communications with all they encounter.

So who are the students who would excel in our program? Those who have a curious mind and not settling for just average and status quo – but who are asking – “Why is this happening, is this the best we can do, and how can we make improvements for our patients, our organisation, and our self?” Those who want to be leaders to change and impact the world for the better, and see “success” as more than making money. Leadership can take many shapes and be in many areas – research, clinical care, health care policy, education, pharmaceutical, medical device innovation, etc. – don’t limit your view of an impactful medical career.

Duke-NUS is unlike any other school in the world, with its innovative approach to education and world-class research opportunities. I encourage you explore our website to find out more about us and how we can shape your passions into skills that will enable you to touch lives and truly make a difference in this world.

Sandy Cook, PhD
Interim Vice Dean, Education