Medicine success has Gympie dux feeling great
2 Feb 2021
Victory College senior dux Abigail McAllister says it is a dream come true to be able to start her university journey towards a career as surgeon while still living at home in Gympie.
After achieving an outstanding ATAR of 99.70, Abigail is one of only 20 school leavers Australia-wide to gain a place in USC’s highly competitive Bachelor of Medical Science.
The three-year undergraduate degree provides provisional direct entry to Griffith University’s Doctor of Medicine program at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
“I hope to eventually specialise in obstetrics and neonatal surgery,” Abigail, 17, said. “USC's Medical Science program makes this possible. It gives me a clear pathway to becoming a doctor.
“I am thrilled that as a new school leaver I can stay in my home town and begin my dream degree.
“The campus is so close that I only have to commute an hour each way to the Sunshine Coast.”
Abigail first set her sights on securing a place in USC’s Medical Science degree as a Year 11 student.
Knowing she was competing against some of Australia’s top-performing high school students for a place in the program, Abigail adopted a demanding routine of 30-35 additional hours of study a week outside of school.
“That level of study was never easy, and I can't say I enjoyed it,” she said. “But to see the payoff is such a relief and so exciting.
“I do not necessarily consider myself as smart – just determined and hard working. One of my favourite quotes is by US basketball coach Tim Notke that ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard’.
“I discovered that to achieve your goals, you just need the determination and diligence to push yourself to get there.”
In recognition of her impressive academic performance during senior high school, USC has awarded Abigail a prestigious Thompson Excellence scholarship, valued at $24,000.
Her long list of achievements includes an Australian Institute of Physics Excellence award and subject prizes for physics, chemistry, biology, mathematical methods and specialist mathematics.
When Semester 1 gets underway at USC on March 1, Abigail expects to feel right at home on campus.
“I've visited quite a few times to attend events for school students and Open Days,” she said. “I’ve always loved the friendly, supportive atmosphere and each time I could really picture myself studying there.”
Applications are open to study at USC from Semester 1, starting 1 March.
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