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'Superhero' doctors inspire USC's first medical science students from Moreton Bay

Photo: Mark (left) and Akhil (right).
Life-changing encounters with doctors have inspired two high-achieving students from Moreton Bay to sign up for the University of the Sunshine Coast’s new Bachelor of Medical Science.

Mark Yakoub of Griffin and Akhil Singh of North Lakes both graduated from North Lakes State College last year with OP1 tertiary entrance scores and jumped at the chance to be among only 20 school-leavers from across Australia admitted to the USC degree this year.

This three-year study program offers provisional direct entry into Griffith University’s Doctor of Medicine at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital – an exciting prospect for the two aspiring doctors.

Akhil moved with his family to Australia from South Africa in 2006 and says he has wanted to become a doctor since his father was diagnosed with, and later cleared of, a brain tumour in 2009.
“It was cool seeing the doctors working together to solve it. It’s completely gone now,” Akhhil said.

“Doctors have a kind of superhero status for me now. I want to find a way to help people while applying the sciences.”

Though he has a pharmacist, an optometrist, and a dentist among his uncles, he is personally attracted to surgical work.

Mark Yakoub moved with his family from Egypt in 2011 and says a car crash that injured his family cemented his appreciation for doctors.

“In the accident, I broke my leg, my dad broke his jaw and some ribs, mum broke her hand and my brother got stitches. I barely have any memory of it but I am really thankful for those doctors,” Mark said.

“It just seems like a cool job. It offers hands-on experience and the chance to change someone’s life.”

Mark has also been inspired by his brother who is studying medicine in Townsville.

USC Head of School of Health and Sport Sciences Professor John Lowe said the Medical Science program had attracted high-achieving school-leavers from around the state and the country.

“We don’t make these offers lightly, and we are pleased to see so many students of such a high calibre apply to this course in its first year,” Professor Lowe said.

“As well as being exposed to one of the newest and most state-of-the-art hospitals in Australia, they will be exposed to world-class researchers and educators.

“USC is one of Australia’s fastest growing regional universities, but this really is a game-changer because we are attracting so many more students with exceptional OP scores.” 

The degree will include subjects in anatomy, biochemistry, chemistry, disease, health, ethics, genetics, law, microbiology, pharmacology, psychology and physiology.

Griffith University is expected to enrol the first Doctor of Medicine students on the Sunshine Coast in 2019, subject to satisfying the accreditation requirements of the Australian Medical Council.

Professor Lowe said that applicants who were unsuccessful in gaining placement in the USC Bachelor of Medical Science could still qualify for the Griffith placements through the Bachelor of Biomedical Science, which required an additional Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

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