Different ways to becoming a doctor

07 Apr 2022

Medicine looked very human today 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 and Anthony Goh, both 24, recounted their experiences to date, Luke through Sydney University and Anthony through Otago University, assuring the attentive students that while medicine is very competitive, there are many pathways into it.

“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 Gellen left school in 2015 and is now in his third year of a four-year degree at the University of Sydney.

He chose to study in Australia because being a much larger country, it offered more funding and greater opportunities; Sydney University’s medical programme included overseas partnerships, incredible learning experiences, and access to amazing simulation dummies and remote surgical robots, among other impressive features, he said.

Luke’s medical studies began with a BSc at Otago University followed by a year of dentistry.

The projects and programmes available to him during his first three years in Australia have been “ideal for self-driven learners”, he said, and provided him with great preparation for being a doctor, much time being spent in hospitals working with qualified professionals across a wide range of specialist areas. He is still undecided a field of specialisation, and is relishing the chance to experience every area he can.

Anthony Goh, now a sixth-year training intern, did a Health Science degree at Otago before going into medicine. He took a year between his third and fourth years to gain a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours, an extra qualification which has resulted in his research being published, and him receiving 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 studying years with your mates.

“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.

English was a great subject to take for medical studies, because you needed to be able to write, he said. Mathematics and the three Sciences were also good choices.

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


Future Career Convos will feature other sectors and 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.