Making a difference with medicine: Scholarship recipient inspired to pursue a career in patient care

Posted: Thu, 29th June 2017 | Written by: The Team at Western Chances

Aoun Rizvi is a talented and motivated medical student, and Western Chances Scholarship Recipient, who just returned from an overseas medical exchange.

Making a difference with medicine: Scholarship recipient inspired to pursue a career in patient care

Growing up in Melbourne and New Zealand, Aoun was awarded his first Western Chances Scholarship in 2010, as a year 11 student. Like many of our scholarship recipients, it was a supportive teacher who spotted Aoun’s talent.

“One of my teachers was kind enough to have nominated me, and I am grateful for it!”

Now, Aoun is studying medicine at the University of Melbourne. A passionate and dedicated student, Aoun’s dream of working in medicine stems from a fascination with the human body.

“There are so many things that could go wrong in human development, it’s mind boggling that anyone is ever even born! And to think that one can manipulate things even further to mitigate disease and prolong life is something I find really interesting, and I think to myself, why shouldn’t I be part of that process?”

For Aoun, the ability to pursue his dreams was not easy and he credits his Western Chances scholarships with some of his success.

“Over the years, the scholarships have helped me, by allowing me to concentrate on my studies, and without them , entry into medicine may not have become a reality.”

During Aoun’s overseas medical exchange in Nepal he was able to experience what the medical system was like in a developing nation.

“I was posted in Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), and was involved in the Gastro and Neuro teams, both medical and surgical. Although TUTH was a public hospital, I was amazed at the level of care that they provide. They had highly experienced consultant doctors in each team, and expert surgeons performing complicated surgeries in one of their numerous theatres.

“That being said, it is still different to Western hospitals in many ways. It is more crowded, hence privacy is a big issue. Often outpatient clinics would have 2-3 patients with family members in the room, although only one of them was being seen. Most things are not absolutely free, but offered at affordable prices. I was quite surprised to see that even needles and syringes needed to be purchased by patients’ family members from the pharmacy before blood was drawn or medication administered.”

Through his medical studies, Aoun has learned a lot. But he says that the most important skill he has learned is how to be a good listener.

“A doctor patient relationship is only as good as how openly a patient can discuss his or her issues with the practitioner, and how comfortable they are talking about their mental, physical and social health. Things like, eye contact, positive body language and verbal reinforcements are essential in this process.”

With that in mind, Aoun said his ultimate career goal is to become a GP so that he can provide a continuity of care for his patient as well as providing preventative health services and early detection of illness.

“I’d love to have my own clinic with a multitude of services for my patients. The other benefit of being a GP is that working hours are a bit more flexible, and I’d like to maximise time with family later in life.”

We think that anyone lucky enough to be Aoun’s patients in the future will be in good hands!

Do you want to support Melbourne’s next generation of doctors, like Aoun? Become a Big Dreams monthly donor and from as little as $10 a month you can help make Big Dreams come true.

Image courtesy Aoun Rizvi

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