USC students Mark Yakoub and Akhil Singh have a few things in common. They both graduated from North Lakes State College last year with OP1 tertiary entrance scores, they're both enrolled in USC's Bachelor of Medical Science – and they were both inspired to study medicine after life-changing experiences with doctors.
In January, Mark and Akhil jumped at the chance to be among only 20 school-leavers from across Australia admitted to USC's first cohort of Medical Science students.
The three-year degree offers provisional direct entry into Griffith University’s Doctor of Medicine at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital – an exciting prospect for the two aspiring doctors.
Akhil moved with his family to Australia from South Africa in 2006 and says he has wanted to become a doctor since his father was diagnosed with, and later cleared of, a brain tumour in 2009.
“It was cool seeing the doctors working together to solve it. It’s completely gone now,” Akhhil said.
“Doctors have a kind of superhero status for me now. I want to find a way to help people while applying the sciences.”
Though he has a pharmacist, an optometrist, and a dentist among his uncles, he is personally attracted to surgical work.
Mark Yakoub moved with his family from Egypt in 2011 and says a car crash that injured his family cemented his appreciation for doctors.
“In the accident, I broke my leg, my dad broke his jaw and some ribs, mum broke her hand and my brother got stitches. I barely have any memory of it but I am really thankful for those doctors,” Mark said.
“It just seems like a cool job. It offers hands-on experience and the chance to change someone’s life.”
Mark has also been inspired by his brother, who is studying medicine in Townsville.
The degree will include subjects in anatomy, biochemistry, chemistry, disease, health, ethics, genetics, law, microbiology, pharmacology, psychology and physiology.
Griffith University is expected to enrol the first Doctor of Medicine students on the Sunshine Coast in 2019, subject to satisfying the accreditation requirements of the Australian Medical Council.
USC Head of School of Health and Sport Sciences Professor Lowe said that applicants who were unsuccessful in gaining placement in the USC Bachelor of Medical Science could still qualify for the Griffith placements through the Bachelor of Biomedical Science, which required an additional Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).
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