Miss Gayathri Vairaperumal, 22, will fulfil her childhood aspirations when she starts a four-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) graduate programme at The University of Queensland (UQ) this month.
She graduated last year from the three-year Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biomedical Science degree course at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).
Getting the degree enabled her to fulfil one of the entry requirements of the MD programme.
MDIS was the first local private education institution to introduce a life sciences division, setting up the School of Life Sciences in 2001.
Currently, its undergraduate courses focus mostly on biomedical science and biotechnology.
Dr Kelvin Wong, the head of MDIS School of Life Sciences, says: “Students will gain practical experience in the school’s well-equipped laboratories and have the opportunity to work on projects that are designed in-house, as well as industrial research projects.”
Awarded by Northumbria University in the United Kingdom, the Bachelor of Science degree Miss Gayathri pursued covered a wide range of topics and explored them in depth, so coping with the first year of the MD programme will be comparatively easier for her.
She says: “My learning journey in MDIS was enriching and something I value greatly. I give credit to my lecturers who come from various academic backgrounds, and range from researchers to medical doctors.”
It was not all plain sailing for Miss Gayathri. She was unable to get into the undergraduate medical courses here, but she did not give up.
“You have a second chance at entering medical school as a graduate.”
“With effort and patience, you may land a place in a reputed medical school in Singapore or anywhere in the world,” she says.
Miss Gayathri says: “Even though I took the longer path to studying medicine, my determination simply increased with time and I became more appreciative of the field.”
Nurturing a love for life sciences
Other than going on to take a postgraduate course in medicine, graduates of the MDIS School of Life Sciences can look forward to other careers.
They can get jobs as research scientists, laboratory managers, laboratory technicians, product specialists and science writers.
Adds Dr Wong: “Graduates may pursue careers in research and clinical laboratories, in health and safety areas, as well as in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, biologics, biotechnological, healthcare, medical technology and personalised medicine fields, or other avant garde biomedical industries.”
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 23, 2019.