Helena Xiang: Snapshot of my journey through Med School.

Medical school. The term itself brings images of piles of work, great responsibility, and basically anything that means “hard work”. But this was the path I wanted to take. For all you prospective students out there, I’m not writing this post to deter you, but rather show you the fun sides of the journey to becoming a Medical professional.

 University isn’t all study, study, study, and Medical school is no exception… Although sometimes it can seem like it. Work gets piled up, and assignments are due, but studying medicine isn’t all about reading books. You also need to immerse yourself into learning about other people’s (patients’) cultures. Sometimes the material can seem dry, but other times it’s quite exciting and interesting, like the cultural immersion that I had just recently.

 The James Cook University MBBS program differs from other schools as it puts a lot of focus on rural, remote, and Indigenous health (which was one of the reasons why I chose to attend this university). Because of this, the school provides students with opportunities to experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Just recently, my entire cohort went on a trip to Charter’s Towers for a cultural immersion. It was an extremely fun and worthwhile experience that isn’t offered by many other schools. I won’t say too much about it so people can look forward to a little bit of a surprise when it’s their turn to go.

 Students stayed at Charter’s Towers for 2 days and 1 night, and spent time learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through different activities. We watched amazing cultural dances (even learnt some of them), saw beautiful Aboriginal artworks, learnt basket weaving, among other things. It was an experience that I never imagined I would have done, and it allowed me to learn more about another culture other than the one I’m from and the one I live in.

 So far this entire experience has been great. Although exams can be tiring and honestly not fun, there were other things that made this entire year amazing. 🙂

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