Q&A With Duke-Singapore Scholar Alumni

Past recipients of the Duke-Singapore Student Scholar Fellowship share their experiences and impressions of Singapore and Duke-NUS.

Duke-Singapore Student Scholar in SingaporeClare Parker


What motivated you to do your Third Year research in Singapore?

I am interested in both global and public health, so the opportunity to spend a year doing research in one of the world’s most efficient health care systems was an easy sell. I knew I wanted to use the opportunity to learn more about global diseases and learn how their health care system functions so effectively. Also, I love to travel and Singapore’s access to affordable adventure is hard to beat.


What was the title of your research project?

Predicting Hospital Admission at Emergency Department Triage: A Novel, Big Data-Driven Model


Have you benefitted personally, professionally and/or academically from spending your research year in Singapore?

Academically, I learned a whole new set of diseases that are prevalent in many parts of the world outside Durham (TB, HepB, etc). Professionally, I was able to learn to analyze big data from Singapore’s very large and forward-thinking data repository. I built a skill set that I will be able to use for the rest of my career. Personally, I significantly improved my cross-cultural competency (i.e. learning how to do a sensitive physical exam on a woman wearing a hijab, learning to collaborate on projects with a culturally diverse group, etc). I also got to explore a whole new part of the world and traveled through 10 different countries during my stay.


What will you miss about Singapore or Duke-NUS?

I will absolutely miss the food. The Duke cafeteria doesn’t hold a candle to the huge variety of delicious cheap food available close to Singapore General Hospital! I will also miss being able to take cheap weekend trips to Bali (can life get any better for a med student?!). Lastly, I will miss the wonderful Singaporeans I worked with and who looked out for me.


Singapore is famous for its food scene, so we would like to know what your favorite Singaporean dishes and eateries are.

I ate predominantly at hawker centers because they are delicious, convenient, and impressively cheap. If you work near Duke-NUS, you will get to go regularly to my favorite Singapore hawker center: Tiong Bahru Market (aka TBM). You need to try the rojak and the chwee kueh. I also had many a great meal at Maxwell’s and Lau Pa Sat hawker centers. I am already missing nasi lemak and thosai for lunch.