Student profiles

Tessa Neilson Yu Heng Lau Georgia McCaughan Anne Selikowitz

Tessa Neilson
Year 3, BMus Studies/MBBS

“The combined Music/Medicine degree allows me to pursue my two passions without compromise. It feels like a special opportunity, especially because it’s being offered here at the University of Sydney for the first time in the world.

"Studying at the Conservatorium of Music enables me to reach my potential as a musician and study an extensive variety of subjects from all areas of music and from other faculties, whilst knowing medicine is on the horizon. As part of the combined program, I also study physics, chemistry and biology over the initial three years, as well as some elective subjects from the Sydney Medical School. This makes for an interesting range of subjects overall and prepares me for the medical course.

"As I have chosen to study piano performance as part of my music degree, the skills that I am developing such as memory and concentration I am sure will benefit me in my medical studies. I feel very lucky to be part of a unique degree. It has offered me the chance to study within the two fields I am most interested in, music and medicine.”

Yu Heng Lau
Year 3, BSc/MBBS

"I chose the combined degree because I have an interest in science and I wanted to pursue that as well as medicine; this course means that I didn’t have to sacrifice that interest to do medicine. And although it sounds like a long time (the Combined degree takes seven years ) it’s only a year more than a straight-from–school-medicine degree.

"I like the flexibility of the course best and the opportunity to keep my options open. Within the science component I can choose non-medically related science if I want and next year I’ll be studying maths which I probably won’t use very much in medicine but I enjoy it."

The Combined program also allows Yu Heng to take advantage of the study abroad options open to him in the Science degree. "I’ve applied to go to Berkeley in second semester this year which is only possible in the Science component of the degree.

"The unique experiences of the course include the zero credit point units, which are a compulsory part of the degree but don’t count toward your marks. They help to ensure that we’re still in touch with medicine while doing the science part of the degree program. We went to Dubbo and looked at how the hospital works and even sat in on surgery."

Georgia McCaughan
Year 3, BMedSc/MBBS

"I chose to do a combined degree because it gave me more choice for the first few years out of school. The University of Sydney has a great reputation too and I really liked the idea of getting a medicine degree from Sydney, even if not straight away.

"I like most the flexibility of the program. I row for the University and doing a Science degree first allows me to travel to national and international competitions. It wouldn’t be as easy to do that in a straight-from-school-medicine degree.

"The other thing I really like are the tutorials which allow us to interact with different members of the Medical School and with different people involved in health administration in a small group environment.

"I’m not really sure what I’d like to do when I finish. I’d like to specialise and at the moment I’m interested in neurosurgery and emergency medicine but that’s what’s going on right now."

Anne Selikowitz
Year 3, BA/MBBS

"I chose the Combined Arts/ Medicine program because it allows me to follow my passion for the humanities, specifically French and English, with my future career direction as a doctor. And the liberal education that the degree provides will be beneficial for me in the practise of medicine and give me a richer experience than a straight from school medicine degree might.

"I think the most unique thing about the program is the opportunity to combine such a diverse range of subjects. At the moment I'm studying French language and cinema, and a biology unit and in second semester we’ll start the zero credit point subjects such as effective team communication which also serve to keep you in touch with other Combined Medicine students.

"And being part of a small group is also rewarding (there are currently five students enrolled in Arts/Med and Music/Med programs). It’s a chance to get to know people with similar and very unique interests".

Even though she’s only just started the Combined degree Anne is very clear about where she’s heading, "I hope to specialise and work as a paediatrician like my father".