Two aspiring doctors from Moreton Bay are thrilled to have been accepted into USC’s Bachelor of Medical Science, among this year’s intake of just 20 students.
Leroy Christian of North Lakes and Connor Stewart of Redcliffe each earned an ATAR of 99.60 in their final year of high school to secure the coveted positions, and they are set to begin their studies on 1 March at USC’s Sunshine Coast campus.
Leroy, who was 2020 Dux of Mueller College, said he knew from an early age that he wanted to study medicine, particularly hearing stories from his mother, Parul, who is a specialist doctor.
“She would come home from work and tell me about the amazing and very real impact she was able to have on people’s lives and that made a profound impact on me,” Leroy said.
“Early in my life, I knew that I wanted to use my skills and talents for the betterment of others. The fact that I’m also incredibly drawn to the field of science and the intricacies of the human body meant that medicine was the perfect option for me. In particular, I am really intrigued by the brain and hope to one day make my mark on neurology.”
Leroy said despite facing challenges caused by COVID-19 and being in the first Year 12 cohort in Queensland to use the ATAR grading scheme, he has remained highly motivated.
“My motto is to keep your eyes on the prize and never look back. This idea of always putting your best foot forward and relentlessly pursuing your goals is something that my father Gary instilled in me from a very young age and is a principle that I continue to live by every day.”
When USC introduced its Medical Science degree in 2018, Leroy made this his number one goal, knowing that USC would soon have a campus at Moreton Bay where he could do some of his study while still balancing his extracurricular and social activities.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity. Often, in such a competitive field like medicine, it can feel like you are stuck in the mud – struggling to the take that next step towards becoming a doctor. But now, knowing that I’ve made it into the program, I can rise and shine every day knowing that I am one step closer to realising my dreams.”
Connor Stewart, a St Patrick’s College graduate, said he had heard great things about USC’s Medical Science program from a former schoolmate who is currently studying the degree.
“He told me the program was really good, so I’ve been looking at this course since the end of Year 11,” said Connor, who has gained a prestigious Thompson Excellence Scholarship from USC.
“Once I learned this, it opened up many new doors for me. And the small cohort means I can have more of a personal experience with my peers and lecturers.”
He decided at a young age that medicine was the right path for him after experiencing surgery when he was in Year 6 and seeing other family members who had been helped by doctors.
“No one in my family is in the medical industry, but I’m keen to forge my own path,” said Connor, who has a particular interest in neurology and cardiology.
“I’ve always wanted the opportunity to help other people and go into a field where there is always something new to learn. You can never plateau in medicine because there is always new research.”
While he said completing Year 12 from home was difficult at first during COVID restrictions last year, Connor found that creating his own timetable allowed him to focus more on areas where he needed to work harder.
He plans to live at home with his parents, Brett and Fiona Stewart, while studying and will eventually move to the Sunshine Coast and maintain his love of basketball, athletics, soccer and debating.
“I would also love to travel and learn about how the medical systems work in other countries because it will be useful to get new perspectives on what I learn at university,” he said.
USC’s Bachelor of Medical Science offers provisional direct entry into Griffith University’s Doctor of Medicine program at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute, providing an accessible pathway for a career in medicine.
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