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I never really meant to get into med school. I wanted to be a Vet or an Architect in high school, and couldn’t imagine being the lead actor in the blood and guts of TV medicine. I dressed like an architect – matching colours and structured outfits are still my thing – and loved talking to animals at every opportunity. But somehow, I ended up here at Sydney Medical School. And I’ve loved every minute of it.

So how did I get here?

High school finished and my career indecision continued with a science degree. Then suddenly I wanted to do law and public health and every other degree under the sun. In second-year, I fell in love with anatomy. The lungs inspired me. The muscles really worked. My waxing lyrical about full-body dissection would disturb everyone else at the dinner table. But I didn’t know where to take my new-found love. With no particular life trajectory planned, I decided to sit the GAMSAT. My score was high enough for a guaranteed interview at the University of Sydney.

It was Monday 27 September, 2010. I climbed into my friend’s car, running over the time line of the day for the thousandth time that week. I mentally walked through the University campus that my friend had so kindly introduced days before. And suddenly, it all felt very real. What had seemed a statistical certainty only moments before suddenly seemed overwhelmingly improbable. In traditional Gen Y style, I grabbed my phone and sent an SMS to one of my closest friends. It went something like this, “Oh my expletive, [Name]! What do I do if I don’t get into Med School?”

His response? “You do something else, and you make the best of it, like we do with everything. And it will have been meant to be. And ten years later, you’ll look back and be glad that things happened unexpectedly.”

My worries were unfounded: I got in. Traditionally, a 21st birthday brings keys to a new home. Mine opened up the entire world. In two years, I’ve travelled to the US and Ghana, to Papua New Guinea and to the remote Northern Territory.

I’ve been to regional WA, Adelaide and Melbourne, all for placements and conferences. For something that happened accidently-on-purpose, it’s been an unexpectedly good ride.

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Read a Q&A with Brooke.

Learn more about studying Medicine at Sydney Uni.

Thinking about joining us at Sydney? Start here!

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