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Old 04-11-2016, 04:29 PM   #1
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Duke-NUS Post Grad Med

Hello, anyone is a current student at Duke-NUS or was from there? Is it possible to give me an outline of what a post grad med student would be likely to face?

Currently studying uniSIM BSc Psychology. I want to know the chances of me getting in and how well should I get for MCAT?

What is an average week for a Duke-NUS student to have?
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:39 PM   #2
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I can't provide you the perspective of a medical student in Duke-NUS but I will try to do my best to give you a short outline of Duke-NUS.

Like you,I am still in my undergraduate phase(NUS science),but I have been researching about Duke-NUS over the past 2-3years.My physical contact with the campus started since last year as the campus provides opportunities to borrow MCAT books.(2weeks,which can be renewed online to a month) It has a really amazing infrastructure(a library with an arsenal of the essential medical books for students,numerous study spaces) and a lively community.(doctors/nurses walking in/out the campus to drop by for breakfast or lunch)

Anyway,I managed to make a friend there and interacted with different medical students~They came from a variety of backgrounds:business,sciences and etc.


For Yr 1:you will be learning the fundamentals of sciences(human body,etc.) and small snippets of clinical practice(physical examination)
For Yr 2:The fun officially begins,as you get more practical!(You get your clinical rotations,learn about different medical fields)
For Yr 3:Research Yr>The trademark of the MD programme to groom you to be a clinician scientist(doctors who research and treat diseases at the same time)
For Yr 4:You go back to clinical rotations again,ending your medical journey with a capstone exercise to sum up your medical school experience

It's a long route and it's very tough>I knew of my dad's friend's bro who was a student there.Basically,he was in the campus from morning to night fairly often! I guess at times like that,it is really passion that carries each individual on.If you were made to study from morning to night or do rotations from morning to night while your friends out there are getting a decent income salary,will you do it and not complain??

Do you mind the competition within the system? Trust me,it's rather competitive,there's a final yr med student girl who did her medical studies there in her final yr and she illustrated to me how stressful it gets and the numerous sacrifices/dedications that she had,in order to graduate as a doctor.Even after that,it still doesn't get any easier

The admission criteria for academics is on their website:

Average(median) Gpa: 3.61/4.0>>That's like a 4.25/5.0 in the local universities scale
Average(median) Mcat: 511/528

This is the 50th percentile so if you don't fare exactly well in one,make sure the other puts you up since it's a combined total.

Academics is one thing,but I believe the killer is your recommendation letters,your research experience and your interviews.

So,I have again,based on experience,spoken to a friend there,so here is how it goes:300 applies for Duke-NUS(surprising as this includes like international students,guess medical enthusiasts in Sg gave up along the way,perhaps??) and 100 interviewed(the 200 got phased out for their recommendation letters,research or academics,either one)

Last edited by gohjedrek; 05-11-2016 at 05:01 PM..
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:01 PM   #3
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Of the 100 interviewed,only 60 matriculates.(they are judged based on their leadership,interaction skills)

To add to the big headache,a number of students are re-applicants with few yrs of work exp.,so it makes it harder,lol. Another observation is that students who are studying undergrad studies in prestigious universities overseas re-apply back.(This is coming from students whose A levels are already eligible for medical school,but probably didn't get through interviews and decided to do some soul-searching in an undergrad degree overseas before coming back to Singapore.)

Sadly,I can't post a link with the insufficient post counts,but you can check it out in the Duke-NUS upbeat blog on 7 things to know before applying to Duke-NUS.

All of this shows that the moment you enter uni,you are already facing against a massive competition(people with extraordinary CCA contributions and achievements,more established and recognized than the people applying for undergrad school since they have an average of 4yrs in uni )

Did I scared you enough or are you more determined? That is for you to decide

To end off,I am actually not considering Duke-NUS as my main school, frankly speaking. I am trying for medical schools in Australia>it has a more relaxed curriculum structure and I prefer venturing to overseas education after so much time spent in Singapore. Although,I have a concrete plan of getting in there(lots of support around me and the right strategies) but I am directing that plan to be used for Australian med. schools instead

Forgot to add one last piece of bad news for you,as much as I hate saying it,I have to tell you the real stuff. There's a pre-medical programme in Duke-NUS for NUS/NTU students and students who have already qualified for that programme,stand a huge advantage.I was considering about joining this programme,though I am headed towards overseas medical school.(It should be about 20 or more people from both unis combined)

If you need any help with MCAT or anything else related to med school,do ask,I will try to help if I can

Last edited by gohjedrek; 05-11-2016 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:19 PM   #4
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Hello, anyone is a current student at Duke-NUS or was from there? Is it possible to give me an outline of what a post grad med student would be likely to face?

Currently studying uniSIM BSc Psychology. I want to know the chances of me getting in and how well should I get for MCAT?

What is an average week for a Duke-NUS student to have?

Firstly, this being a singapore medical school, your unisim degree will not make the cut unless, you did REALLY well, and more importantly have outstanding recommendation letters and strong motivation.
I supervise dukies, and i havent seen anyone with a degree from a uni lesser than SMU. I had seen dodgy students from brown uni, but no good ones from SIM, SUT etc. Sad fact, but true.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:33 PM   #5
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Firstly, this being a singapore medical school, your unisim degree will not make the cut unless, you did REALLY well, and more importantly have outstanding recommendation letters and strong motivation.
I supervise dukies, and i havent seen anyone with a degree from a uni lesser than SMU. I had seen dodgy students from brown uni, but no good ones from SIM, SUT etc. Sad fact, but true.
I think it is understandable, the newer schools need more time to establish themselves.

I believe sutd only had 1 or 2 graduating cohort. SIT and UniSIM still do not have any fulltime graduates.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:40 PM   #6
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Firstly, this being a singapore medical school, your unisim degree will not make the cut unless, you did REALLY well, and more importantly have outstanding recommendation letters and strong motivation.
I supervise dukies, and i havent seen anyone with a degree from a uni lesser than SMU. I had seen dodgy students from brown uni, but no good ones from SIM, SUT etc. Sad fact, but true.
Maybe Australia might be a good option for poster
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:26 PM   #7
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Maybe Australia might be a good option for poster
The thought about applying to Aus did occur to me. However, I read from other forums that uniSIM is not recognised there. If that's the case, I would not be able to apply for it.

Another factor is Money. I do not have the resources to study abroad. Isn't there a cap to how much you can borrow from banks?
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:27 PM   #8
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I can't provide you the perspective of a medical student in Duke-NUS but I will try to do my best to give you a short outline of Duke-NUS.

Like you,I am still in my undergraduate phase(NUS science),but I have been researching about Duke-NUS over the past 2-3years.My physical contact with the campus started since last year as the campus provides opportunities to borrow MCAT books.(2weeks,which can be renewed online to a month) It has a really amazing infrastructure(a library with an arsenal of the essential medical books for students,numerous study spaces) and a lively community.(doctors/nurses walking in/out the campus to drop by for breakfast or lunch)

Anyway,I managed to make a friend there and interacted with different medical students~They came from a variety of backgrounds:business,sciences and etc.


For Yr 1:you will be learning the fundamentals of sciences(human body,etc.) and small snippets of clinical practice(physical examination)
For Yr 2:The fun officially begins,as you get more practical!(You get your clinical rotations,learn about different medical fields)
For Yr 3:Research Yr>The trademark of the MD programme to groom you to be a clinician scientist(doctors who research and treat diseases at the same time)
For Yr 4:You go back to clinical rotations again,ending your medical journey with a capstone exercise to sum up your medical school experience

It's a long route and it's very tough>I knew of my dad's friend's bro who was a student there.Basically,he was in the campus from morning to night fairly often! I guess at times like that,it is really passion that carries each individual on.If you were made to study from morning to night or do rotations from morning to night while your friends out there are getting a decent income salary,will you do it and not complain??

Do you mind the competition within the system? Trust me,it's rather competitive,there's a final yr med student girl who did her medical studies there in her final yr and she illustrated to me how stressful it gets and the numerous sacrifices/dedications that she had,in order to graduate as a doctor.Even after that,it still doesn't get any easier

The admission criteria for academics is on their website:

Average(median) Gpa: 3.61/4.0>>That's like a 4.25/5.0 in the local universities scale
Average(median) Mcat: 511/528

This is the 50th percentile so if you don't fare exactly well in one,make sure the other puts you up since it's a combined total.

Academics is one thing,but I believe the killer is your recommendation letters,your research experience and your interviews.

So,I have again,based on experience,spoken to a friend there,so here is how it goes:300 applies for Duke-NUS(surprising as this includes like international students,guess medical enthusiasts in Sg gave up along the way,perhaps??) and 100 interviewed(the 200 got phased out for their recommendation letters,research or academics,either one)
You mentioned about the research experience. How do I go about doing this? I believe organisations will not be willing to just hire me to help with their research. How do I even start working on this area?
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:18 AM   #9
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Firstly, this being a singapore medical school, your unisim degree will not make the cut unless, you did REALLY well, and more importantly have outstanding recommendation letters and strong motivation.
I supervise dukies, and i havent seen anyone with a degree from a uni lesser than SMU. I had seen dodgy students from brown uni, but no good ones from SIM, SUT etc. Sad fact, but true.
I recognize your profile name from pagingdr,you got to post-graduate med in Australia? Anyway,yes what cosycatus is mentioning,is indeed valid.Your degree will be seen as of lower parity to NUS/NTU/SMU.So,you have to attain higher results than expected.Even so,I think preference is still towards universities that are more recognized.

Another reason that might be less speculative and more practical,is students who get to Duke-NUS really go the extra mile in their extra-curriculars(some are presidents of Science Club,Residential College,some have amazing research portfolios(international publications) and some have contributed to society in their acts of kindness.All of them have probably won an award(academic/non-academic) throughout their 3-4yrs in university.

The thought about applying to Aus did occur to me. However, I read from other forums that uniSIM is not recognised there. If that's the case, I would not be able to apply for it.

Another factor is Money. I do not have the resources to study abroad. Isn't there a cap to how much you can borrow from banks?
How long is your degree in uniSIM? If it's 3 or more yrs,it is recognised throughout and you can apply at ease.However,if it's a 2year intercalated programme,it is a little tricky.
The school that definitely allows:Australia National University. The rest of the unis that are recognised by Sg,you have to check it out with the university.

I know Monash and Melbourne University only recognise degrees with bio-related field. So,I guess you need to check out on these 4 universities only:Western Australia,Queensland,Sydney and Flinders.

Not really,if you can show evidences that you can pay back the bank in XX years,I think it should be possible.So,just to give you an eg. of how my friends' parents finance 2 of their children to 5yr undergraduate medical programmes in Australia.(They are not as rich as you think) They ask for help from their external family,they take up additional jobs to ensure that their child can become doctors.

Alternatively,you can always choose to work for a yr or two,before applying to medical school. If your passion is there,then go for it.$$ shouldn't be holding you back.

You mentioned about the research experience. How do I go about doing this? I believe organisations will not be willing to just hire me to help with their research. How do I even start working on this area?
There you have it,I guess Uni-SIM doesn't have research programmes for psychology? In that case,try to get to summer research programme attached to NUS/NTU or if you have additional $$,try for overseas research programme. If you are desperate,you can always go personally to ask the school department Asking doesn't hurt
Although,I doubt that is necessary,you can try going to your school's laboratory and ask your prof.(unless my first question is legitimate,you have to rely on the second option,that is seek research opportunities outside campus.)

All in all,overseas is easier and you don't need research experience,community service and what not. However,all of these will materialise as interview questions for overseas medical school(in Australia) ,but rest assured if you take this pathway,you do not need to worry about getting XX certificate/award to prove your worth. Interviews in Australia are surprisingly meant to test your integrity,if you genuinely want to do medicine,you don't need XX certificate/award/recommendation letters,you just require enormous amounts of dedication and passion.

Last edited by gohjedrek; 09-11-2016 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:58 PM   #10
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How long is your degree in uniSIM? If it's 3 or more yrs,it is recognised throughout and you can apply at ease.However,if it's a 2year intercalated programme,it is a little tricky.
The school that definitely allows:Australia National University. The rest of the unis that are recognised by Sg,you have to check it out with the university.
Mine is a part-time studies in Psychology which I can take up to 8 years to complete. However, I need a minimal of 3 years to complete the required credits stipulated by uniSIM. I believe this allows me to apply to overseas uni?
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:03 PM   #11
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That should be fine,if you can complete the degree in 3yrs. However,I still recommend you checking with the various universities,drop them an email of inquiry and that should probably do the trick.
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Old 30-11-2016, 03:40 PM   #12
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Mine is a part-time studies in Psychology which I can take up to 8 years to complete. However, I need a minimal of 3 years to complete the required credits stipulated by uniSIM. I believe this allows me to apply to overseas uni?
You might want to consider taking up Masters programme in NUS/NTU that involves doing some research work and writing a thesis. In my honest opinion, I would recommend taking up this route because you will be killing two birds with one stone. Firstly, it is a degree from a well-recognised university. Secondly, you get to do research and possibly earn publications. You might even get to do a PhD with the school if your performance is truly outstanding.

Other than that, like what gohjedrek has mentioned before, volunteering to do research at NUS/NTU/A*Star will probably help in your application for Duke-NUS. However, you most likely won't be paid (you have already recognised this fact) as the PIs are doing you a favour by training you and giving you a recommendation letter in return (Note that you have to do sufficiently well to be eligible to request for the letter).

Recommended MCAT score will be around 508, which is pretty much the same percentile ranking as the old MCAT score of 30 (The school say this is the minimum score that you should score, but I have seen people getting in with scores lesser than that). Alternatively, you can consider taking up GAMSAT instead of MCAT, which is recently accepted by Duke-NUS as a admission criteria.

You really need to start building up your resume by taking up clinical attachments and voluntary work. Package yourself well for your first time application and apply for early admission cycle, where majority of the applicants will be offered admission letters. This is because subsequent applications after your first rejection will be even tougher than before. So I would recommend you to go in with one single try.

Also, there is a studentdoctor forum for Duke-NUS applicants. People post their application stats there (2013-2014, 2014-2015 has more) for comparisons. You can go in and take a look, but don't take them too seriously.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:49 PM   #13
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Is the MD a once a year intake? When is the intake for first year, July or January?
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:13 PM   #14
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Is the MD a once a year intake? When is the intake for first year, July or January?
One intake per year. School starts around July-Aug if i'm not wrong?
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:47 PM   #15
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so did anyone end up applying for this school?
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