An opportunity to shadow a gastroenterologist after the completion of her A Levels at a Junior College in Singapore sparked Tey Kai Rou’s interest in medicine, especially in the field of gastroenterology. This interest resulted in the start of her medical studies at the International Medical University in 2007. Five years later, she graduated with a MBBS (IMU). After obtaining her degree, she did her housemanship in Kuantan while preparing to sit for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Commenting on her decision to go to US, Kai Rou said, “Before coming to US, I heard about how the postgraduate training in United States is very structured, and I feel that the most important part of my training is the first few years after graduating from medical school. There were 3 examinations that one need to undergo before applying for residency training here. I took it one step at a time, the process definitely was not easy, because I did it by myself, while the rest of my classmates from IMU were all settled down in housemanship. I was not disappointed after coming here. Training here in University of Arizona College of Medicine gave me a new perspective in medicine, where evidence based medicine is strongly emphasised.”’ She added, “I am fortunate to be in an academic setting, and had the opportunity to work with many inspiring mentors. Under their mentorship, I engage in a few clinical research and quality improvement projects. These were recognised by the University and I was awarded a few scholarships, including Resident Excellence and Leadership Scholarship that entailed $5000 fund, Academic Achievement Award, Outstanding Resident in Gastroenterology for two consecutive years 2015 and 2016. I also presented my research finding in American College of Physicians National Meeting In Washington, DC, and was one of the winners in the research category.” Kai Rou recently received the news that she is one of the recipients of the Emerging Liver Scholar Award that was given by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). She will be attending the Liver Meeting at Boston at the end of the year (2016), accompanied by her mentor. In addition to travel expenses, the emerging scholars will attend workshops on career development, clinical research, and transplant surgery. This would be a fantastic opportunity for her. “The day to day clinical work, interaction with patients, constantly fueled my motivation to do better,” said Kai Rou, who intends to pursue a career in transplant hepatology.
Her advice to students inspiring to be doctors is “The journey is definitely not easy, but it is a rewarding career”.
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