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Dedicated to Saving Lives – a Journey from Biomedical Science to Medicine

04 May 2021

As a child, when I was asked what my ambition was, the first proper answer I ever gave was to be a paediatrician. Then, I generalised it to a doctor. By the end of high school, I had considered “doctor”, “author”, and “psychologist”, as possible ambitions, but I could not decide. I told everyone that while I did not know what profession I wanted to pursue, I knew what I did not want, or so I thought. That initially included practising medicine as a doctor, but I wanted to stay somehow close to it, and so I decided to study Biomedical Science at the International Medical University (IMU).

I decided sometime during my first semester that I had made a great decision. It was very much tied in with my interest of biological science, and though not directly, I could still help people through research, which was what I thought I would go into following my degree. My first semester was very important to me because it was then that I started volunteering at Klinik Derma Sivasanta, a non-profit clinic that was run by volunteers and with the help of donations. It was perhaps going there once a week at least which planted the seed for me wanting to pursue medicine as a career.

Seeing the doctors who were so passionate about helping people, that they often rushed from their day jobs, or travelled long distances just to serve people for a couple of hours, made me realise that that was what I had subconsciously envisioned all those years ago when I was asked of my ambition by adults.

Joining the Student Ambassadors (SA) programme
While I was in IMU, I joined the Student Ambassadors (SA) programme. This made all the difference in improving my soft skills, for it served as a chance to constantly challenge myself with opportunities I would have never taken. It made me bolder, and I became less introverted.

The last year of my degree also played an important role in solidifying my decision to study medicine. In my fifth semester, I was attached to the National Heart Institute (IJN) to collect data required for my final year project. This opportunity contributed to making one of the toughest decisions I ever made, easier. After all, most people would have expected that I venture on to do further studies in biomedical science itself.

While studying my degree, I also completed an internship in Dr Su Xin Yi’s translational retinal therapy laboratory at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR in Singapore. It was there that I realised the extent of the best of both biomedical science and medicine, as many of the researchers I came across were also medical doctors.

Biomedical science gave me the opportunity to venture into many different fields, as it taught me the basic building blocks I needed to learn even more. I recognised my love of learning the science of medicine and a career as a doctor though biomedical science. Now, as a first-year medical student in Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM), I am excited to see what the future holds for me. Written by Shiroshini A/P Periasamyn (IMU Alumna from BM1/17) Related article: An Amazing Internship Experience in Singapore for an IMU Biomedical Science Student

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