A Career In Medical Social Work

Considering herself to have lived a blessed and happy life, Ong Choo Chin wishes to spread the happiness around.

Why did you choose the scholarship?
I took up this scholarship ­because I really wanted to do ­Medical ­Social Work. And the MOH Holdings ­Healthcare Merit Award is one of the most prominent scholarships that could pave the way towards this profession. Social Work is a ­career that strongly resonates with my own ­personal values and beliefs. As a Social Worker, I would be expressing my gratitude for my own life and the happiness brought by those around me. I hope to share this ­happiness with that less ­fortunate, ­provide them with some help, and make a ­difference in their lives, no matter how small.

Deciding on doing Social Work in the medical setting stems from my interest and passion towards serving the elderly. I am compassionate towards the elderly ­because I feel that it is unfortunate that society ­places negative labels on older adults, and I really hope that we can rebuild a close-knit society and value our seniors because they are no less important than anyone of us.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I see myself working as a Medical ­Social Worker at Changi General Hospital in the next few years, involved in providing ­assistance to patients and their family, to help them cope and function better with the stresses they are facing. Even though I am learning about the difficulties related to ­working in this field, I am looking forward to taking up the challenge.

Who or what influenced you most to take up this scholarship?
My parents had the greatest ­influence on me to take up the challenge and ­apply for this scholarship. They have been ­supportive of me and allowed me to make my own decisions including choosing this route despite Social Work being a less-taken route. They have been a huge source of encouragement and guided me through the challenges I have faced. I would definitely not be who I am today if not for them.

How has the scholarship suited your personality and interests and what opportunities has it given you?

On top of reducing the financial burden on my parents, MOH Holdings also provides scholars with a wide myriad of ­opportunities that facilitates both personal growth and growth as an allied health professional. I personally value continual growth and ­development, and I am extremely appreciative of the opportunities given by the ­scholarship, to step out of my own comfort zone and test my own boundaries.

Most of all, I am grateful for the ­opportunity to go on Overseas Community Involvement Project to Bhakunde Besi, ­Nepal, to provide health screening services for the locals and hold educational talks for the children there. It was an extremely fun, wonderful and memorable learning ­experience. I have learnt so much more through this service-learning as compared to others I have taken part before. And the experience of living in a less developed country, albeit just for a week, broadened my views about the world outside of my own, and had definitely reinforced my sense of gratefulness, and ­strengthened my ­passion and purpose to serve my community.

Additionally, I feel that the MOH ­Holdings scholarship officers are very ­approachable and friendly, always patient to provide assistance with school-related matters or personal ones. They do go beyond simply managing scholars and I see them as people I can count on and talk to when I am in need.

What do you think are your strengths that land you the scholarship?
I would believe that it is the passion to help others, which is extremely ­important when working in the healthcare sector. Also, you need to have a positive attitude toward learning and personal growth. ­Perhaps to be honest and to maintain a firm stand about my passion and values also help.

What qualities are essential to have if a student is interested in the scholarship?
Definitely a genuine passion towards serving the community, and having an interest in healthcare. Also, be clear of your own goals and actively take steps towards them.

Ong Choo Chin
Healthcare Merit Award (HMA) by MOH Holdings
www.healthcarescholarships.sg
Age: 22
Now: Fourth-year doing Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Social Work at NUS
From: Dunman High School

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