So long, and not farewell, to the graduating Duke-NUS Class of 2017!

Graduation 2017

On 3 June 2017, a total of 61 Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) graduates received their degrees from Dean of Duke-NUS, Professor Thomas Coffman and Guest-of-Honour, Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence. During their time at Duke-NUS, they excelled in their studies, made time to give back to the community through various community service projects and had the drive to research and publish 85 papers.

Duke-NUS graduated its seventh class of MD students and third class of MD/PhD and PhD students. The joyous occasion that celebrated the many years Duke-NUS students spent studying, researching and training was held at the Academia, on the Singapore General Hospital campus, and was graced by proud mentors, families and friends.

This year, speakers and guests all acknowledged a universally held belief about Duke-NUS students and alumni - that they bring with them a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, which only enhances their practice of medicine and research.

In his speech, Minister Ong also recognised the special space that Duke-NUS graduates occupy in the Singapore healthcare landscape, bolstered by a collaboration between the National University of Singapore and Duke and a partnership with the largest healthcare provider in Singapore, SingHealth. He remarked, “The graduates of Duke-NUS therefore are both medical professionals as well as clinician-scientists, who will intertwine professional practice with medical research.”

Over 12 years have passed since the start of Duke-NUS, which made it fitting that the keynote speaker for this year’s graduation was Duke-NUS founding Dean, Professor Sanders Williams, now President of the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. In his message to the class, he predicted that new technologies and the unique curriculum at Duke-NUS will enable the graduates to shorten the time needed to develop new gene therapies to help treat diseases, such as dementia.

It was a touching ceremony that saw class speaker Dr Esther Gan (PhD 2017) reminding her labmates of the journey they had just taken and how it was only a start to another one. Class speaker Dr Alicia Ong (MD 2017) recounted her interactions with patients and faculty and how this had shaped her and her classmates.

Dean Coffman reminded the Class of 2017 that they always have a home, as Duke-NUS alumni, “As you go forth to complete your training and in your future efforts to transform medicine and improve patients’ lives, we at Duke-NUS will be celebrating your victories and accomplishments alongside you.”