Radiation Therapy – Probably Singapore’s Most Unique Degree Course

With the small cohort, Jaslyn Tan enjoys an incredible bonding with her course mates.

Why did you choose the scholarship?
I chose this scholarship because MOH Holdings Pte Ltd (MOHH) is known for its supportive talent development. I wanted something more than just getting stipends and ­maintaining a GPA. I wanted to be able to discover my potential and contribute back to society. I hope that this scholarship can help me achieve these goals.

Are there unconventional ways the company uses to select its scholars?
I really loved my interview experience. It was more like an engaging and light-hearted conversation. I answered the questions with honesty and even laughed with the interview panel. I even wished that the interview could go on or that I could do this again (but that could mean I failed the interview, hahaha). I guess what they were looking for is more than just stellar grades and achievements. They were looking for a safe, rational and passionate ­candidates who can serve with excellence in healthcare.

What degree are you pursuing? Why did you choose this?
I’m currently reading Radiation Therapy at SIT. I wanted to do something other than rehabilitation, something more critical. I have known people with cancer and it requires a lot of support and hope. I want to journey with patients who are battling cancer. Patients on radiotherapy usually come in for treatment daily from one to six weeks. They need support and rapport with their healthcare providers. In this work, there is ample patient interaction which I like.

What are the most memorable things that happened in your university life?
There are only 13 people in my Radiation Therapy course. Well, you cannot find other degree courses in Singapore that has such a small number of people. I love that closeness we share. The relationship with one another becomes very authentic. We joked about how we could squeeze the entire ­cohort in one lift.

I excelled in Mathematics and ­Economics back in JC, so having to take ­Anatomy and Physiology in university is tough. I ­always joke with my friends, ‘You do not know yourself totally until you’ve taken A&P.’ I can now better understand my own body and its functions.

Describe some challenges of this profession?
It gets pretty annoying when someone realised that I am studying Radiation Therapy and goes, ‘Won’t you absorb that ­radiation? You can’t get pregnant right?’ I wish I could blast out that obviously we are not in the same room with our patients while they are being treated. We are safe as we keep track of our radiation dosages and take extra precaution to protect ourselves. In fact, we are even more protected than the public who does not even know how much radiation they are absorbing. The irony!

What kinds of career and personal developmental opportunities does your organisation provide for its scholars?
MOHH ensures its scholars be put through a holistic development ­programme. I personally found the healthcare induction camp and talks with senior managements from various health ­clusters very appealing and useful. Furthermore, there are many local and overseas ­community involvement programmes for us to ­contribute back to society. Or, if you’re looking to hang out with people who share similar interests, MOHH has ­bonding sessions such as ­dragonboat rowing, ­cook-offs and even ­dialect classes.

What are your personal interests? How do you balance it with university life?

I love to work out and spend time ­hunting for the best coffee. I could sit alone in a cafe with great food and coffee all day and feel that it is time well spent.. In all ­honesty, university life can be a struggle at times, ­especially when we are in such a specialised course that is both heavy in contents and practice. I love to sieve out some breaks in between classes to the gym with my ­uni-buddy. (I actually managed to lose 5 kg since uni started). When classes ended earlier in the day, my coffee adventure begins, and ­occasionally with my reading materials for revision.

What do you see are life’s most important values and why?

To me, I hold humility close to my heart. It is a powerful value that can allow other values to grow. When I’m in the wrong, I apologise and reconcile and not persistently argue my way through. This is a relationship ­builder and is an essential tool especially in the healthcare sector. Patients’ lives are at stake and we certainly cannot allow pride to come in the way and hinder the team from working together. By being humble, I find that people around me open up and share their hearts with me. It is very endearing to see the fruits borne from being humble.

In all that I do, I always remind myself to put others before self even when it means giving up benefits for myself. It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive.

Any words of advice for aspiring scholars?
If I had to name some of the greatest decisions I made in the last 21 years of my life, choosing to be part of the healthcare community will definitely be one.

What can be better than studying what you are passionate about, getting supported financially for your education and having an exciting and prospective career ahead? I’m already anticipating the greater journey ahead and I cannot wait to see others with the same zeal join the healthcare family!

Jaslyn Tan Jia Min
Healthcare Merit Award
www.healthcaresscholarships.sg
Age: 21
Now: 2nd year pursuing BSc (Hons) in Radiation Therapy at Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
From: Jurong JC

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