Entry to medical school was tough as I had to self-study and take gruelling medical school entry exams while working full time to accumulate funds for my school fees.
I was accepted by two medical schools in Australia. I choose the School of Medicine at the Flinders University of South Australia as it was the pioneer of graduate entry medicine and problem-based learning in Australia and it also had an excellent teaching faculty with a proven record of nurturing aspiring medical students.
I had fond memories of my medical school life in Adelaide.
I began the first day of my course in the medical ward, taking medical history from patients (yes, that’s is the emphasis that Flinders medical school placed on communication skills and bedside manners).
I enjoyed studying hard but I also choose to work harder so as to minimise the financial burden on my aging parents.
Back then, there was no government subsidy for overseas medical students. I was delivering pizzas on cold winter nights, digging fence trenches manually with a hoe for 8 hours straight a day during hot summers – a day before my school exams, conducting first aid courses on weekends, while staying in a tiny bedsit with possums running on the roof.
But, no matter how tough it was, my wife and my family were always there for me.
Those were the days!