Different ways to becoming a doctor

18 May 2022

Medicine looked very human when two recent Old Boys and trainee doctors fronted for the latest Career Convos session, outlining how to navigate the path into medical studies.

Luke Gellen (14294) and Anthony Goh (14296), both 24, recounted their experiences at the University of Sydney and the University of Otago, respectively, assuring the attentive students that while medicine remained very competitive, there were many entry pathways.

“The important thing is that if you don’t get in the first year, don’t give up. Do a degree and try again,” they told the boys.

Luke, who left school in 2015, is in his third year of a four-year degree in Sydney. He chose to study in Australia because it offered more funding for medicine and greater opportunities.

He said that the University of Sydney’s medical programme included overseas partnerships, incredible learning experiences, and access to amazing simulation dummies and remote surgical robots, among other impressive features.

Luke’s medical studies began with a BSc at Otago University.

The projects and programmes available during his first three years in Australia had been “ideal for self-driven learners”, he said, providing great preparation for being a doctor, and the opportunity to spend time in hospitals, working with qualified professionals across a wide range of specialist areas.

He is undecided about his field of specialisation, but is relishing the chance to experience every area.

Anthony Goh, now a sixth-year training intern, did Health Sciences at Otago before going into medicine. He took time – between his third and fourth years – to gain a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours. That qualification has resulted in his research being published, and the offer of speaking engagements at international conferences.

He said studying in New Zealand meant access to interest-free student loans, ready job opportunities, and a great chance to spend your study years with your friends.

“The first year is big. It’s completely different, living away from home, and the learning is much more independent. The onus is on you,” he told the boys.

Anthony said that English was a great subject to take for medical studies, along with Mathematics and the three Sciences.

There were plenty of questions afterwards. The two young medical students will remain in touch with any boys keen for advice down the track.

Future Career Convos will feature other sectors. Any young Old Boy in architecture, engineering, or software engineering is urged to get in touch with the email hidden; JavaScript is required to register an interest in participating.