Tutoring students and expanding their professional network: How medical school graduates mentor Singapore’s future doctors

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Duke-NUS Medical School alumni are also paying it forward by supporting their juniors in clinical rotations and providing feedback towards curriculum enhancements

Medicine is one of the most challenging courses of study and having an engaged mentor is a big help for any doctor-in-training. This is why Duke-NUS Medical School values its mentoring culture, with many of its graduates lending their time and knowledge to current students.

“It’s important to have a strong sense of community with those who have walked the same path before,” says Dr Mara McAdams, Associate Dean of Alumni Relations at Duke-NUS. “We're a new and small school, and we’re doing medicine differently.”

Alumni are heavily involved in what Dr McAdams calls direct teaching — alumni who come back to mentor students by holding tutoring sessions on the weekends or after school, as well as workshops to give students more specialised training in areas like suturing.

The Office of Alumni Relations also works with lecturers to identify students who could benefit from more support in certain areas, and assigns them alumni to act as academic mentors. Students are also welcome to request alumni support, Dr McAdams adds.

Passing on the torch

Clinical rotations for Duke-NUS students start in their second year in the SingHealth group, the school's academic medicine partner. With most Duke-NUS graduates doing their postgraduate training in hospitals under SingHealth, current students can expect to receive support from their seniors during their clinical rotations.

“Every student goes into their posting with clearly outlined learning objectives such as performing certain procedures like blood drawing, or attending to specific patient cases,” says Duke-NUS alumna Dr Anu Pandey, associate consultant at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Children’s Emergency department.

“It’s common for seniors on the same ward team, or even just passing by ...

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