Science alumni in Duke-NUS admission talk


On 16 September 2016, the Special Programme in Science (SPS), Faculty of Science and Duke-NUS Medical School jointly organised an admission talk and a panel discussion. Attended by 115 students from all faculties in NUS and outside, the talk was a great success.


The event comprised three segments. It started with a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Medicine (MD)/Ph.D. admission talk by Prof Silke VOGEL, Associate Dean of the Duke-NUS Ph.D. and MD/Ph.D programme, followed by an admission talk to the MD programme by Prof London Lucien OOI, Associate Dean of the Duke-NUS MD programme. The third and last session was a panel discussion, featuring our alumni and current Duke-NUS students, moderated by Mr Andreas DEWANTO, Assistant Director of SPS.


Two SPS alumni joined the panel, Mr Arthur YONG and Mr Adrian NG Chang Zhi, and a Life Sciences alumnus, Ms Ashwati VIPIN. Arthur recently won the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Prize 2016, which is awarded to graduate students for excellence in research. He is now in his first year in the Duke-NUS MD-Ph.D. programme. Given the long duration of the seven-year MD-Ph.D. programme, Andreas asked Arthur why he chose the programme, instead of a shorter Ph.D. programme or a more popular MD track. His answer was inspiring and insightful: he believes that the world does not lack practicing doctors, but it is short of practicing doctors with clinical science training. The latter is needed when one is looking for solutions to eradicate disease permanently, and not to merely cure the disease temporarily. This is what Arthur envisages himself doing - curing not only patients he will be seeing, but also patients he will never see in generations to come.


Adrian served as the SPS Head Mentor in Academic Year 2013/2014. He graduated in 2014, but only secured a place in Duke-NUS MD Programme after his application was rejected twice. Thus he had to wait for another two years upon graduation before he embarked on his dream programme. Adrian shared that he had always aspired to be a medical doctor. He had applied to Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine every year, even when he was still doing his undergraduate studies. After he graduated, he continued applying for Duke-NUS MD Programme every year. In the meantime, he took up research-assistantship to further his research interest and to boost his experience. It was sheer grit and perseverance that eventually won him the place in Duke-NUS; he had proven to the admission committee that he never gave up his dream despite the many setbacks over the years.


Last but not least, Ashwati, currently in her third-year Ph.D. programme at Duke-NUS, shared that she opted to do her Ph.D. with Duke-NUS, instead of with other equally prestigious schools because of her interest in neuroscience, which is one of Duke-NUS’ five signature research programmes.


The event concluded with a sumptuous buffet dinner.


1.SPS Duke 1

Mr Dewanto welcomed attendees to the event


1.SPS Duke 2

Prof Vogel delivered a talk on the Duke-NUS Ph.D. and MD-Ph.D. programme


1.SPS Duke 3

Prof Ooi shared on the Duke-NUS MD programme


1.SPS Duke 4

The panel discussion with Science alumni cum current Duke-NUS students
From left: Panel discussion moderator Mr Dewanto, Adrian, Arthur and Ashwati


Adapted from the Special Programme in Science (SPS)