By bridging the science lab and hospital ward, students at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School experience a new cross-disciplinary learning programme that will train them to deliver medical breakthroughs and improve patient medical care. A generous gift of S$3 million from Ngee Ann Kongsi to the School in December 2009 will provide up to two scholarships annually to Singaporean and permanent resident students and is aimed at helping Singapore become a leading biomedical centre.
The School, established in partnership with Duke University School of Medicine, aims to train a new kind of physician – one who is equipped with biomedical and clinical research skills. These physician scientists are needed in Singapore to lead the development of biomedical initiatives and will also help fill a serious demand for doctors.
Dr Craig Stenberg, Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Admissions at Duke-NUS, says: “The goal is to develop future leaders in medicine and medical research who will change and improve the practice of medicine. Our TeamLEAD curriculum helps prepare our students to be clinician scientists able to bridge between the laboratory and the bedside. We want our students to be advocates for their patients and for society. To be innovators, they will need strong critical and creative thinking skills as well as the ability to communicate effectively.”
Says Ngee Ann Kongsi’s President Dr Lim Kee Ming: “Whether the future doctors serve the public in the wards, clinics, or by making breakthrough discoveries in the scientific laboratories, Ngee Ann Kongsi is committed, as much as the school is, to grooming these future medical leaders.”
The scholarships, valued at S$50,000 per annum each, will help medical students with the cost of tuition fees and living expenses over their four-year training. The first Scholarship will be awarded from the next academic year in 2010.
Prof David M. Virshup, Director of the Programme in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, says: “We need to see the potential clinical impact of basic science advances. I hope to help students to better understand the mechanisms of disease and make new discoveries that Ph.D. scientists could not have done.”
Asst Prof Mei Wang, a biochemist and medical doctor who works with final year stu-dents adds: “Duke-NUS medical students benefit from the perspectives achieved through exposure to both clinical medicine and biomedical research. The research experience provides them with in-depth understanding of disease processes and me-chanisms of therapy, while the observation of human suffering provides strong moti-vation and drive for research in the quest to develop better care and therapy.”
Duke-NUS students build on their passions and knowledge from their primary degrees, like Singaporean Sara Tan who hopes to specialise in Paediatric Oncology. Sara says: “Being able to combine clinical care and clinical science allows me to use my talents and clinical background to do meaningful research that will help patients. I want to be able to do more patient work and be helpful to patients day in and day out – working with them in the real world and on real issues.”
Help support the transformative education that Duke-NUS students receive by making a gift to the Duke-NUS Colleges & Student Society Help Fund. Your gift will allow them to take part in student programmes such as community service projects, which contribute to their holistic education at Duke-NUS.