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2011-2012 Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School

Discussion in 'China and Eastern Asia' started by Kyoichi, 09.03.11.

  1. hajime12

    hajime12

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    That's great spirit you got! And I totally agree:) Yeah, keep us posted about group activities...definitely helps to make sense of one's chances.

    All the best at med sch!
  2. Secondwind

    Secondwind

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    Regarding the issue of securing residency, I would guess that Duke-nus students have an advantage over NUS and upcoming NTU mbbs grads. Your portfolio would definitely be of greater quality given your existing publications. The 3rd yr in the duke-nus program further adds to one's chances.

    One area thats not mentioned is what happens post-residency. I could be mistaken but to become a consultant u need to go thru fellowship training e.g. internal med assoc consultant to cardiologist consultant. There is a further bond if you go via the Health Manpower Development Programme scholarship. My estimate is 4 yrs MD + 1 yr HO + 5 yr bond (concurrent with residency) + 1yr fellowship + 2 yr HMDP bond.

    p.s For those that extrapolate- if your kid bolts illegally from NS, he can never step foot on singapore again because he will be arrested at changi airport- govt takes NS defaulting very seriously. Maybe one day NS will be scrapped
  3. outsider89

    outsider89

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    Likewise - selling my MCAT books! Selling the Princeton Review 2011-2012, Kaplan 2011-2012, and Princeton review elite (45) 2011-2012. Let me know if you're interested - it's the complete package!
  4. sweetsecrets

    sweetsecrets

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    Just a suggestion - duke-nus actually loans out books to prospective students. i think those books are donated by students. if you guys are not that tight in cash maybe you guys can consider donating your books? i think you can benefit alot of students in need. i understand the books are not cheap, but yeah, just my humble opinion. there have been many selling posts so I am just wondering if you guys know about the option of donating your books to duke-nus.
  5. sourcat

    sourcat

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    To all re-applicants: Why bother? You know how the policy is like in Singapore. Foreigners over locals. If you're taking a gap year I suggest you move on instead.

    It's funny how our local masters students are rejected, yet the foreigners who come in want financial aid, security in Singapore etc, but are afraid of having their sons serve the military and give back the security what they have enjoyed studying and working here. Yet these people are preferred over good locals, so you just can't win.

    Make sure you have a real backup plan in life
  6. keepontrying

    keepontrying

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    I don't see why it's an issue that foreigners such as myself have concerns as we commit ourselves to study and work in a foreign country for 10 years. This has nothing against Singapore in particular - we would all have concerns if we study in other foreign countries as well. If you have to go through the same process as us - say you apply to a medical school in US - you would also be concerned what life would be like AFTER graduation. I don't know if Singapore really prefers foreigners over locals so I cannot comment on that, but I'm pretty sure international students are accepted not just because we are foreigners but because we are qualified. Also, not everyone who applies will get an acceptance letter. Local students with master degrees would not make them great applicants automatically. Medicine is competitive EVERYWHERE - most applicants have to apply multiple times before they receive the good news. With such fierce competition, luck is also a factor as well. I agree with you that re-applicants need to have a good backup plan, but your discouraging tone is unnecessary.
  7. xm105

    xm105

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    what you've said is very logical and prudent, but this is perhaps an unique aspect of singapore that non-residents are not aware of. every country should have some degree of protectionism for its own citizens, like how most US unis would require a foreign student asking for financial aid to be more qualified. the problem here is that singapore is 'equal-opportunity' and singaporeans who are just as qualified (no matter how you define this) miss out while a foreigner gets in and enjoys basically the same benefits. you can't blame people for feeling betrayed especially for guys who served NS.
    compared to australia where foreigners pay way more than locals and are not guaranteed internship, foreigners in singapore pay almost the same as locals and are only bonded for a extra year i think?
  8. keepontrying

    keepontrying

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    I totally understand what you've said xm105. I admit I was insensitive when I asked about the NS issue and I apologize for that. Having said that, it's not like the school is composed of mainly international students. There are only a few of us and I believe locals do have some advantage in applying as I assume the school prefers those who are more likely to stay for life in Singapore (locals). I just don't appreciate the tone as if us international students are stealing the spots and using that as a reason to discourage other re-applicants from applying.
  9. outsider89

    outsider89

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    Being an international accepted applicant (re-applicant at that too) to Duke-NUS, and being aware of the recent political maturation of Singaporean society, it is important to acknowledge that in general, Singaporeans do feel a bit slighted by international individuals taking high authority and leadership positions in Singapore. While this started in the 1990s to encourage the growth of Singapore by importing talent in academia and medicine, it seems that as free speech has become more 'accepted' (although it is not 'accepted' as such when compared to other 'democracies'), Singaporeans have become more protective over their own positions and rights to 'their' positions. They are right to think so, but should also recognize that many top Singaporean students are studying abroad in top universities (and therefore taking positions away from top american/australian etc applicants who would otherwise get those positions). If you can be open to being a Singaporean and sending your children to Harvard, Stanford, etc.. then surely you should be open to the reciprocal gesture?

    On an slightly more (admittedly so) controversial note, the quality of the international applicants helps to:
    1) improve the quality of local Singaporean doctors
    2) encourage dialogue about issues that Singaporeans don't normally participate in
    3) improve the health care of individuals like 'sourcat'

    I ask you - how many of the active doctors in Singapore are:
    a) International citizens
    b) Singaporeans who received their medical education abroad through the generous aid of international donors and tax payers

    Oops...

    Oh and last point.. Are you differentiating between naturalized Singaporean citizens and those who were born here? This could be an issue...
    Last edited: 04.29.12
  10. sweetsecrets

    sweetsecrets

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    Reapplicant over here, with alot of courage given to me by people who loved and believed in me, and still do. i just wanna share that it's not really about winning... and chasing your dreams isn't quite a competition with others (locals/foreigners). I appreciate and completely understand where you're coming from, having heard the same from my parents - the whole idea of how foreigners > locals and how it's best to go for my pHd and what not. But one thing i know - that when countless setbacks never caused you to waiver in any bit for once, then you know this dream is worth chasing for. It doesn't matter who gets in - locals or foreigners, but i sure as hell hope that they're going to do something good for the world as doctors. So for me, it doesn't matter if duke-NUS takes in more foreigners than locals, cause if they are truly deserving, then they're going to make good doctors and that's what really matters. And for me, it's about fighting for my own dreams against time, not against fellow medical doctors who're in for a good reason. I hope this motivates you, if you're considering to be a reapplicant. And thanks, it's always good to have someone do a reality check for you. :')
  11. DoctorFlower

    DoctorFlower

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    Well I think the YLLSOM does not really take internationals and neither does the NTU one? Duke-NUS is a special one and I believe that they use the same criteria in evaluating local and internationals.
  12. outsider89

    outsider89

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    That's incorrect - both NTU-imperial and YLLSOM take international applicants!
  13. sourcat

    sourcat

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    Well I hope you've voted appropriately...would be pretty sad to see if you've shot yourself in the foot. Anyway I'm not discouraging anyone from reapplying. I'm just saying that you should have alternate plans and keep your eyes wide open. Taking long gap years hoping to get in really isn't smart. Don't be fooled into thinking "oh there's 54 spaces, I can get in...." In reality, probably 90% of the spaces are reserved for foreigners and you're fighting for maybe the 5-10 spots available. That's how it works here in Singapore and people familiar with the system can verify it. I think this thread has proven that there are strong local masters students rejected for foreigners with weaker grades, and that's just how it works around here. The foreign applicants probably do not know what they are getting themselves into too. When they find out that it will cost them 100x more to buy a house equivalent to what they lived in back at home (only a slight exaggeration), 5x more to buy a car, their sons having to serve two years of military...etc, they will all just love to leave. In fact the government already stated they know foreigners are just using Singapore as a stepping stone, but are recruiting them en masse hoping to retain 20% of them. It's annoying when you know the local capable students are here to stay. So sweetsecrets, take a break if you have too, but don't hang your life up on this.
  14. Smurfedmcat

    Smurfedmcat

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    Rofl...I dont know what point you are trying to get across...but for your info, 90% of the people in the class of 2016 are Singaporeans and NEWS FLASH: they all got in not because they are Singaporeans but because of their stellar credentials)....so be proud of your fellow country men instead of bashing the internationals...Duke-NUS has a nondiscriminatory policy (Duke Uni is quite serious about it).....I am not aware much of the politics in Singapore...but I dont see why a government would favor foreigners over locals unless they are cheaper...but that wont make sense as you already mentioned they are given the same treatment...Oh as far as YLLSOM, they have an international quota where every year they interview around 50-60 for 4-5.....

    Edit: We foreigners wanted to blend in...but it seems sourcat has already alienated us...
    Last edited: 04.29.12
  15. sweetsecrets

    sweetsecrets

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    mm... i'm not sure if you're referring to voting as in political voting. But yea I trust I've voted correctly. it's abit sensitive and dangerous to divulge more about my political vote so I shall not comment more. :X A gap year is perfect for a break, for me, especially cause Pharmacy has been known to be one of the very intense courses. I'm going to pursue alot of my other interests I haven't got the chance to. Are you an applicant for the class this year? i hope you'd consider reapplying if you didn't make it in this year. it's a great school i find, have faith in them. :)
  16. Smurfedmcat

    Smurfedmcat

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    ..Sweetsecrets...thats the spirit......

    ..Sourcat..my apologies if my words were harsh..but just to dispel some myths you have about admission....
  17. katcat

    katcat

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    wow.. i think its important to take things into perspective here.. well while prestigious schools all around the world like Oxford Imperial etc do take in international students, we should also understand that the tuition fee rates are wayyyyyy higher than the local students and there is a quota (well there may be for Duke-NUS but its not revealed). i guess that's one of the things about Duke-NUS some people aren't happy about. but then again, we all have to understand Singapore and more importantly Duke-NUS situation - if you are a capable pre-med american student who has decent grades and great problem solving skills etc, what is going to attract you to Duke-NUS? sure i know the style of learning is pretty unique etc but money plays an important role in this time and age (not to sound too brash hehe) and remember another thing.. the reason why locals pay wayyy lower tuition rates in other countries like the UK and Australia is because their taxes are pretty high so you can't get the best of both worlds.

    and outsider89 is right with his question which has been 'strangely' ignored. Singaporeans I know who have been rejected by YLLSOM etc and gone overseas for their medical education hardly or rather never come back and Duke-NUS may be taking a risk by accepting quite a number (but certainly not 90%) of international students but with such competition even within the international community and if this helps to improve Singapore's healthcare then won't it all be for the good of the country and people? And if you think about it, aren't we all (Singaporeans) immigrants in our own right?

    And all this NS crap is what it is - crap.. NS is something you make of it. you can have a fulfilling time or just waste away your two years and grumble about it after that. Sure, mistakes and incidents do happen and some things are never in your control, but that's life and NS is a very real way to get your kid to be a better man. He may be 2 years behind academically but he would be many years ahead in terms of experience and values.
  18. katcat

    katcat

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    btw no offence to people who didn't do NS haha.. just wanted to give future parents some insight
  19. RunnersHigh

    RunnersHigh

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    Last edited: 10.15.12
  20. Myopes

    Myopes

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    Hi Sourcat,

    I think political votes and Duke-NUS admissions are not related? Even if it is, it would certainly be the establishment of Duke-NUS and the increase in admission size over the years. And I believe it would be a huge exaggeration to say that 90% of the admissions are foreign students. That is simply not true.

    One of the core visions of Duke-NUS is diversity and respect. Because of the team base learning model of Duke-NUS curriculum, you would want a more diverse background among the student population. You want different ideas and perspective from people of various cultures and academic background. And you want the students to be able to RESPECT each other for it. At the end of the day, this diversity and mutual respect will certainly benefit the medical profession one day.

    On the issue of local masters students being rejected for foreign students with "weaker" grades, Duke-NUS admission does not look just into your academic grades itself. Having a graduate degree, high GPA, and MCAT scores certainly gives you the extra edge. But essays, interviews and extra curricula are all the more important as well. For the reapplicants, it is also about how much effort have they put in to improve their application, and this translate into their eagerness to gain acceptance, which I'm sure the admission committee appreciates. I find it particularly distasteful to judge that the foreign applicants that got in as "weaker" when you do not see what the admission committee see in full. It is also particularly insulting to other local applicants who got admitted when they did not do graduate studies in the first place.

    Do know that the issue of brain drain does not necessarily come from foreign students. As you read this forum, some locals too would like to travel far and abroad due to their various circumstances. This is why policies are made to make it difficult and or to further encourage talented individuals to stay. An example would be the service commitment that all entrants have to serve once they graduate.

    On the subject of the cost of living and NS liabilities in Singapore, it is only understandable that the many foreign students have apprehensions and concerns as they are new to it. Hopefully as time pass, they will appreciate and even grown to like the culture here in Singapore.

    And yes it is often wise to apply to multiple schools. That I agree and many medical-student-wannabes do that. We also explore alternative career plans, and a common interview question is "If in the unfortunate event that you are unable to pursue a medical education, what other plans do you have."

    To conclude, I guess like sweetsecret said, ultimately you're not fighting with other people, you're fighting to better yourself, to chase a dream of geting into a medical school of your dream.

    Sincerely,
    A local, who did NS, and does not have a Masters or PhD.
  21. medtopia

    medtopia Member

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    I second what Sweetsecrets has said. There really shouldn't be a debate on whether international students or locals are getting into the medical school. Ultimately, whether you are international or local students, you are going to provide relief to our fellow human beings through medicine and love, in short, a humble servant to our mankind. I'm a pure-bred Singaporean. If you have seen what I have posted earlier on, I honestly thought I was not going to make it as all the other candidates were really outstanding. I was just being myself, and I guess they saw something in me that they believed I would be a good addition to the class and to the humanity. Even till today, it is still surreal for me.

    Regarding the issue on ACGME-I not being recognised in other parts of the world other than Singapore...A good number of local medical students I know live an American dream. Trust me, if ACGME-I were recognized elsewhere in bigger countries, especially the western part of the world, you can imagine how many locally-trained doctors are going to flock there for good. Why bother if it is recognized globally or not when you have set your heart to serve people? Are there going to be any differences whether you are serving a white or your own people or even people from the less privileged part of the world? For me, I'm staying here for good. I want to serve my people and the less privileged.

    I feel compiled to post something when I see statements that have been made are making international students feel uncomfortable. To those incoming international students, (keepontrying, outsider89...etc) we are welcoming you with open arms. You guys are going to bring in the diversity in the class and share the experiences which most of us would not have. We are really more than happy to have you here. We are all going to work hand-in-hand for the betterment of the world.

    By the way, Sweetsecrets, hang on there! As long as you have not given up in the pursuit of your dream, you stand a very good chance. With that attitude of yours, you are going to get very far.:D
  22. medtopia

    medtopia Member

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    And, I find this statement disturbing, 'strong local masters students rejected for foreigners with weaker grades'. This statement is flawed for many reasons. 1) Like what some have shared, medical school is not all about having straight 'As' and all. The motivation, the aptitude, the attitude, all of which matters. 2) How many local masters students do you know that have gotten rejected? Is it just an incredibly small sample size like 1 or 2 or 3? 3) There is not even a platform for comparison. 4) Labelling foreign students as having 'weaker grades' that have gotten into medical school, are you undermining the judging ability of the admission committee? And I'm definitely ashamed at the kind of respect you have shown to our international friends.
  23. keepontrying

    keepontrying

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    Thank you for taking a neutral stance. I'm the only accepted international applicant who has posted mediocre stats and so I believe sourcat was referring to me as the foreigner with weaker grades. Yes my undergrad gpa blows, and I wish I could redo my undergrad if I have a chance. But I learn to move on and try to show my academic capability in other ways to the admission committee. I am proud of what I have done in my life thus far and I appreciate the opportunity that Duke NUS has given me. I was hoping my story could inspire reapplicants to persevere for their ultimate goals, but too bad sourcat could not see it that way.
  24. RunnersHigh

    RunnersHigh

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    Last edited: 10.15.12
  25. xm105

    xm105

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    i am not aware of any country that provides subsidized medical education for non-residents, apart from austria perhaps but they've got really weird admissions criteria. i know of singaporeans with aussie PR paying reduced-fees here but that's because they're considered local.

    and of course naturalization is an issue. as you might have already noticed, NS is a big issue in singapore, even young PRs have to do NS or leave. and its not just 2 years either, there's annual recurrent training till 40 (or 50 if you're an officer, i.e. all male singaporean doctors). when one is naturalized as an adult he bypasses all of these, which is ironic when the government hails NS as a brotherhood/cohesion-building exercise and new citizens are encouraged to embrace singaporean culture.
  26. sweetsecrets

    sweetsecrets

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    Hmm. personally i think we should end this here? It doesn't really reflect very well on each and everyone of us i feel, whether it's taking defense or hurling back at another or taking sides. And i just thought i'd share what i have already shared with some of you who became personal friends of mine through this application process, and through this forum...

    Having worked 4 years at the clinic... it did give me alot of insights as to how emotions are very important for doctors to take note of, and how it had built in me alot of character. It's natural that we all get defensive when we're wronged, when someone comes in and yell at us or make claims that may not be true to us. It wasn't long when I started working that I got to meet certain patients... and I started to feel very jaded why are these patients particularly impatient especially because it's not as if they cannot see i'm trying my best to dispense the medications as quickly as I can. Having them come to you, raising their voice (in a busy clinic), and saying how "you are taking your own sweet time and you should hurry up" just isn't the nicest feedback you can receive when you're super stressed up. I took it very personally, and I thought that these patients are just not very nice people.

    And then came one day my doctor sat me down and talked to me about one of these people I have "blacklisted" after she left. My doctor asked if I noticed how she was particularly agitated, not just with me, but with him as well. You can hear her even outside the consultation room. And he told me she has Grave's disease (my very first encounter with grave's disease with no prior background, therefore I couldn't tell from even her distinct facial features like her eyes), therefore she is very prone to moodswings and is, evidently, very easily agitated all the time. While it does not speak for all the other "blacklisted" patients, this one patient alone humbled me so much that I started to see all the patients very differently. That even if they were to yell at me unreasonably, insist on the strangest thing like how ibuprofen is different from nurofen just because one syrup's orange colour's intensity is deeper than the other and therefore the one from the pediatric clinic is more superior compared to ours which explains why the drug from our clinic is not working, or even when they come in demanding for sleeping pills over the counter, I always remind myself how they may not be feeling well physically and emotionally, and that because I have the physical and emotional capacity, I should look past that and instead, learn to empathize. It doesn't have to be the patient himself, it could be an agitated mom insisting on how the syrup we gave her is less potent than that she got from the pediatric clinic and how her child is not recovering. Even so, I think it's very important we empathize with her too.

    What i'm trying to say is that empathy is a virtue doctors should have and we can all take home something from here. The application process has pretty much completed... and some may not take negative outcomes as well as the rest of us did. Some of us made it in, and while celebrating the good news it's hard for us to empathize with how others might feel, their frustrations and what not. While I don't think it's fair to bring in the whole issue about foreigners vs locals just because one isn't particularly pleased with the outcome of this application cycle, I don't think it reflects very nicely that the rest of us got defensive as well. I was just thinking that maybe sourcat got the impression that there're more foreigners than locals who are admitted because most of us over here (at this forum) who got admitted are indeed, foreigners, and it does seem like most of the locals got rejected? And this alone may have given him the wrong idea and the subsequent negative conclusions, especially with how this issue of foreigners in Singapore has been in debate for years, even in the political scene. But that's not to say that we don't welcome foreigners. Singapore itself is multi-racial to begin with. If there's anywhere that foreigners can fit in easily, I think Singapore would be one. We have great food, and we respect different cultures and religions. So please don't feel "alienated" cause I can promise you the bulk of us are very neutral (if not positive) about it.

    As for sourcat, I think there's a reason why you're in this forum and likewise, a reason why you are feeling so frustrated about the outcome of this whole application cycle. If anything I hope to encourage you not to be discouraged by setbacks. Your dream is worth so much more. Backup plans are important, but for someone like me I can't focus on two things, so I choose to focus only on one and dream about it. It may amount to nothing, but it can make the difference too. I have made full use of my gap year once, so I trust that I will again. How much is a year's time worth is how much you think it's worth. :)
  27. huddy

    huddy

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    I never expected that people would talk about NS here.
    By the way, I'm seriously thinking about getting singapore citizenship. Does anybody know by when I should serve the military service if I get citizenship in singapore? Is there any age limitation?
  28. xm105

    xm105

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    there's no official 'threshold'. i've had a friend who's 25 when he naturalized and was exempt from NS
  29. Myopes

    Myopes

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    Hmmm according to the ICA website, all who become a Singapore PR under the PTS or Investor scheme are exempted from NS...
  30. sweetsecrets

    sweetsecrets

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    you got in? :D congrats!
  31. huddy

    huddy

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    no i didn't... but i don't mind living in singapore coz my fiancee is from singapore and i have a lot of singaporean friends too.
    btw, any news recently???
  32. sweetsecrets

    sweetsecrets

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    not that i know of. are you reapplying if things don't go well this year? :X you're very welcome to come to Singapore. :D
  33. golfer91

    golfer91

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    Hi guys! I am new to this forum and happened to stumble upon this thread while doing some research for Duke-NUS.

    I am applying in the next cycle and was wondering how many of you are going to be reapplying in addition to retaking your mcats. I will be taking the mcats for the first time this august and was hoping i could possibly find some study buddies! i would greatly appreciate any advice you could share with me with regards to the application process and mcats! :)
  34. Secondwind

    Secondwind

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    This is correct. First generation pr to citizens will not have to serve ns. Second generation i.e. your child will have to.
  35. justdoooit

    justdoooit

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    I was thinking of finding a research position or taking a course in Singapore if I don't get in, but I don't really know where to look, any suggestions?
  36. SuperCJT

    SuperCJT

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    Same here. Just wondering if it's necessary to go for the early acceptance as a first time applicant?
  37. Myopes

    Myopes

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    Well... early acceptance improves chances due to the rolling admission policy at Duke-NUS.
  38. Myopes

    Myopes

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    Uhms... I don't really have much advice that is tested and proven. But I guess do your best for MCAT and get a good GPA.

    You'll need around 3 recommendation letters... so the best people to get it from are your professors, your boss, and if you've done clinical shadowing etc, the consultant. This will take time. So start collecting as soon as possible.

    As for the application essays, it is a good time to market yourself. Think along the lines of job interviews: how would you add to the profession, why should they pick you and how would you fit in. Good time to review what is the medical school you're applying for is all about.

    Extra curricula can gain you an additional advantage. Research experience and medicine related volunteer activities are a plus plus. I guess publications in medical research are big big bonuses.

    If all things goes well, you'll find an email one day that invites you to applicant day and you know you're halfway there! If you're local, it is best to know a little about the Singapore healthcare system and what are the problems that we face. If you have time, you can pop by the SGH museum, read up SMC's annual publications. Familiarize yourself with what the profession is all about, there are plenty of biographies written by doctors all over the world, couldn't hurt to grab one and read for leisure. Some can be quite entertaining! And above all, know what you wrote for your application. Wouldn't look good to go in and unable to answer what your honors research project was about. Above all, RELAX.

    After that it is all about the wait, staying sane while keeping your fingers crossed.

    Good luck and all the best. And may you receive that offer letter through email! (check that spam/junk box) :luck:
  39. keepontrying

    keepontrying

    Joined:
    05.25.10
    Messages:
    100
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    All good advice from Myopes. Also, for research and clinical volunteering, it's important to pick the ones that you are actually interested in. Interviewers will ask deeper questions about your experience and if you are not passionate about what you have done, you'll have a hard time describing without sounding robotic. Unless of course you are a great speaker/actor haha.

    Number is still king in the grand scheme of things, so focus on your gpa (especially) and mcat. You can always improve your extracurriculars and mcat score, but it's hard to fix a poor gpa.

    For the interview, yes you should relax but also keep in mind that an interview should not be like a conversation. Be concise, clear, and speak with confidence. At the end of the day, you want to look professional and not some guy who's very laid back. Prepare it like it's the only shot you get. Don't think that "oh if I don't get in, I'll just reapply next year". No, prepare hard and work your ass off practicing with friends and family. If you are not a good speaker naturally, get more opportunities to do so like talking to random strangers in a cafe or do more presentations. Think of the interview as your first date. You would want to present yourself well right?
    Last edited: 05.03.12
  40. outsider89

    outsider89

    Joined:
    04.13.12
    Messages:
    18
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I don't agree entirely - an interview should in fact be like a conversation. Both of my interviews were very conversational.
  41. golfer91

    golfer91

    Joined:
    05.01.12
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Wow thanks a lot Myopes! I will only be graduating next June, but am hoping that my application will be strong enough to at least warrant an interview. Aren't we allowed to have up to 5 letters? I have 3 letters from my various professors and was thinking about adding another 2 non-academic references (the doctor i shadowed at sgh & the lady who oversees the unpaid tuition i give to a tbi patient).

    I am definitely lacking in the EC department especially with regards to research experience with only shadowing and a number of non-medical related volunteer work to speak of. I am currently trying to help my professor write a review article and one of his new research papers by doing literature research for him. Although that does not seem very ideal it seemed to be the best thing i could find. What would be your suggestion for me? Does aiding my professor by doing literature research translate to research experience? (i understand this could be a potentially redundant question, but i really am unsure)

    I am definitely worried about the interview, but at this present moment even more so about having a strong enough application to be given the opportunity to interview. Haha unfortunately/fortunately (depending on how you look at it) I am not local, but have spent the bulk of my life in Singapore. I really like it there and hope to be able to stay there for the rest of my life:)
  42. suc

    suc

    Joined:
    10.19.11
    Messages:
    10
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    If you don't mind sharing, what are you currently majoring in? If you can, you should try to get some research experience in whatever field you are in because literature research alone may not be sufficient....

    I think non-medical volunteer work is ok... the purpose of volunteer work/shadowing in the ECs is to demonstrate that the applicant knows what s/he is asking for, and is able to learn from the experiences that will make him/her a good doctor :D

    As for recommendation letters, yes you will need a minimum of 3. In addition to academic/medical references, you might want to consider including a personal recommendation letter from someone (older and wiser) who knows you well/long enough - the logic being that your stats and academic references already speak of your academic abilities, so this letter should reflect who you are as a person.

    Since you haven't sat for the mcat, I would advise that you aim for a minimum of 10 for every section to be competitive. Anything more than that would be a bonus, but less might be a challenge unless your ECs and GPA are fantastic....

    I would also suggest that you take the time to find out more about the medical profession and healthcare in singapore NOW, and not just before the interview :p My interviews were conversational (all that was missing was perhaps a cuppa coffee), but I suppose it depends on the personalities of you and your interviewer.

    Hope this helps! :)
  43. Myopes

    Myopes

    Joined:
    04.04.12
    Messages:
    31
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hmm.. I agree with Suc that lit reviews may not be sufficient. As a certain prof I know once said "even my grandmother can do a lit review". But he was arrogant. And you may never know if his grandmother is also a PhD. But I digress.

    In my opinion, clinical research helps a lot because it helps you understand the concept of "bench to bedside" or "bedside to bench" thing that is going around. Not many people appreciate this but speaking from experience really helps at interviews. Furthermore one of Duke-NUS purpose is to groom clinician scientists. Clinician first of course.

    As for other forms of research... Translational research comes next then finally basic science research... I suggest you try organizations such as (in no order of importance), National Cancer Centre, Singapore (NCCS), National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), Defense Medical and Environmental Research Institute (DMERI), Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), Duke-NUS, SGH and NUHS.

    Go to their websites, look for their research initiatives, find out who the program directors are, email them with your CV and ask if there is any availability or slots that you can jump in and do an attachment or sorts. They are usually open to having free labor so you may get lucky. Having a boss with a huge title (e.g. director, asst director etc.) helps heaps too. Since his/her recommendation has some weight, and if the organization is small enough, they usually are free enough to guide the young med-student-wannabes along, maybe even show you a few surgeries.

    Tip though, be clear on what kind of attachment you want. What you expect out of it. And do your homework know what the lab is about and if it is what you want to do, but more importantly tailor your CV to match it.

    I'm not sure if anyone has shown you this website http://www.geraldtan.com/premed/index.html but I think it has quite a bit of resource to help pre-meds.
  44. keane28

    keane28

    Joined:
    08.21.07
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Congrats to all new admissions for the incoming class (Class of 2016)! I am a Duke-NUS senior who is looking to sell off my first year text books. I have most of the first year books in nearly brand new condition, prices are very reasonable (and negotiable too).

    Pls pm me if anyone's interested, and look forward to seeing you all around school in July! :)
  45. ncrassa

    ncrassa

    Joined:
    05.10.11
    Messages:
    109
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Research IS important for Duke-NUS. The curriculum sets aside a year for research and the aim is clearly to produce academic physicians who are sorely needed in Singapore. As the others have said, a literature search is certainly an entry into research but is no substitute for empirical work at the bench or in a clinical setting. Do go ahead and seek out research opportunities and get your feet wet.

    As for the interview, neither of mine was conversational. In a 30 minute window, both interviewers attempted to ask as many questions as possible and it was quite intense but by no means interrogative.

    These are some of the questions I faced:

    1. Why medicine? Why not a PhD? Another healthcare field?
    2. Why graduate medical school rather than direct entry? Advantages of this system? Disadvantages? Why are you better suited for the former?
    3. How have your clinical experiences led you to medicine? What have you gained from research? How will these experiences guide you in medicine?
    4. What are the challenges facing Singapore's healthcare system? How would you solve them?
    5. What does it mean to be a good physician? What are some of the weaknesses of physicians you have interacted with?
    6. Do you know much about the lifestyle of a physician? Are you prepared for its rigour? What is your support system? What will keep you motivated through the emotional troughs?
    7. How do you envision your future?
    8. Why Duke-NUS? What is so attractive about its particular education model [think curriculum, small class size, TeamLEAD].

    These are common enough questions and I recommend all interviewees to prepare for them. One of my interviewers asked pretty quirky questions (i.e., give me an example of how you are analytical, creative), but they were very manageable.

    If you are a person who is reasonably introspective, you will have ready answers to these questions and you will fare well in your interviews.

    Good luck to all of you and please don't worry about NS! [Funnily enough ALL my U.S. interviewers wanted to talk about NS but NEITHER of my Duke-NUS interviewers even broached the subject.]
  46. golfer91

    golfer91

    Joined:
    05.01.12
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I don't mind sharing at all. I am currently majoirng in bio-chemistry with minors in biology and chinese (just thought it would be a good idea to be profficient in english, malay, bahasa indonesia and chinese since a majority of the people in singapore speak one language or the other, might consider learning tamil in the future). The problem with securing research experience in my school is that i am currently a sophomore who has junior standing, meaning that i will only have 1 year to commit to the labs and most professors do not see that as appealing.

    My non-medical ECs are pretty decent but i am really worried my lack of research experience will hurt me. i have actually had an internship at the Department of Medical Oncology (DMO) at NCCS last summer, but all i did was to learn the basic techniques and was not a part of any significant research thus i do not consider it to be a true research experience. I was initially set on applying for a lab position at NCCS again this coming summer, but i have to decided to focus on my MCATs and give my application to Duke-NUS the time and attention it deserves. Hopefully i will be able to secure a decent MCAT score on my first try so that if (hopefully not) i get rejected this cycle i will at least know what to spend my gap year doing (research).

    i definitely need to learn more about the singapore healthcare system, do you have any advice on how i could do this?

    Finally, i have just turned down the literature research opportunity as i have just been voted in as president of an hons society. The major activities associated with this society is the implementation of various volunteering opportunities, and truth be told having a direct impact in helping other peoples' lives is a far more appealing prospect than doing literature research. i hope this decision won't come back to haunt me come application time. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply me everyone:)
  47. DrBroker

    DrBroker

    Joined:
    03.28.12
    Messages:
    29
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Hi everyone! just to give you guys an update, there are currently 64 members in the online group but 7 of them are administrators and about 5 are senior students. those on the waiting list, don't lose hope!! i would say there are several spots left. The fact that you are still on the waiting list means that you are almost there! :luck:
  48. justdoooit

    justdoooit

    Joined:
    12.05.11
    Messages:
    39
    Status:
    Pre-Medical

    the class got filled up so quickly! chances not looking good for us waitlisted applicants....
  49. DrBroker

    DrBroker

    Joined:
    03.28.12
    Messages:
    29
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I don't think there are many people on the waitlist. should be fine :xf:
  50. justdoooit

    justdoooit

    Joined:
    12.05.11
    Messages:
    39
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    i am just praying everyday that i get lucky haha :xf:

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