By: Andrew Lyu 

I first heard about Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) from Dr. Doyle Graham during a Durham NC applicant day. Dr Graham, who is a Course Director at Duke-NUS, shared a great deal of information on Duke-NUS ranging from the campus building, students’ diversity, TeamLEAD curriculum and his own personal experiences of living abroad in Singapore. At that point, I knew I had to spend some time in Duke-NUS in the future, as a visiting student, staff or otherwise.

In 2011, shortly after starting medical school in Philadelphia, I found myself wanting to gain some experience abroad before committing myself to the pursuit of my medical education journey. Fortunately, I discovered an internship opportunity at the Duke-NUS Office of Education where I could help out with educational research and student affairs matters. In particular, my brief personal experience of being a medical student seemed especially relevant to understanding the student experience at Duke-NUS and conducting research studies on student well-being and empathy. So, after a few months and several Skype interviews, I moved halfway across the world and joined the Education team at Duke-NUS.
My main responsibilities within the Office of Education ranged from helping out with the activities/events at the Student Affairs department, to conducting a research project on medical student empathy with the MERE department. I had a great time working with the Duke-NUS staff, faculty and administrators – friendly individuals who were always excited to be there and eager to help!
During my year at Duke-NUS, it was an honor to work on the Class of 2012 Graduation Celebration Event and Awards Gala Dinner. Having some prior experience in stage production as part of my co-curricular activities in high school and University, I acted as a liaison between the event staff/external contractors and the different Duke-NUS departments. I am ecstatic to be part of this milestone in the graduating students’ journey. 
Andrew Lyu (2nd from left) is a talented violinist.

I also had a great time performing in an ensemble at the quarterly town hall session (TGIF) in June 2012. Thanks to my enthusiastic colleague Dina Ho from the Student Recruitment department who let slip that I played the violin, I got to join an instrumental trio with two other researchers – Grace Snow from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Program and Chris Asplund from the Neuroscience & Behavioral Disorders Program (pictured above). Hopefully, Dina will get to show off her own musical prowess on the piano at a future TGIF! My other memorable experiences in Singapore include traveling to roughly 10 different countries and sampling absolutely delectable hawker favorites all over the country and region (favorite hawker food: Char Kway Teow)!

Singapore has an amazing mix of cultures, and the friends that I have made this year are definitely some of the most interesting people I have ever met. I hope I too have made a significant impact on the individuals that I met this year, in the same ways that they have impacted me. Most importantly, my year in Singapore has left me with a broader worldview, a renewed desire to practice medicine, as well as some insightful thoughts for international medical development work in my future career.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work in Singapore, and I hope that I may be so lucky to cross paths with institutions like Duke-NUS in the future.

Andrew's food and travel adventures in Asia

The Insider: Andrew Lyu was attached to the Office of Education as an Educational Research Executive from July 2011 to July 2012 and he will be dearly missed.