MOH Holdings helps Chiam ShiQi further her passion for a specialised field in healthcare.
Why did you choose the scholarship? Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Who or what influenced you most to take up this scholarship?
Since I was young, my passion has always revolved around the healthcare sector. One of the biggest determining factors of why I decided to become a podiatrist was my grandmother. My grandmother had lived with diabetes for many years and I grew up witnessing how her condition had deteriorated throughout the years – from having an innocent foot infection to finally having to amputate her toes.
Throughout the years, I accompanied her to follow-ups with the podiatrist regarding her wound management and that is how I came to know about Podiatry. Ever since then, I have aspired to be like them. When I chanced upon the Healthcare Merit Award Scholarship offered by MOH Holdings (MOHH), I was elated as I was able to pursue the study of my dreams!
Given that Podiatry is not a course available in Singapore, taking up the scholarship would allow me to pursue my studies without having to worry about the financial aspects. In five years’ time, I see myself working towards becoming a senior podiatrist, forging good relations with my colleagues and other allied health professionals, as well as helping raise awareness for Podiatry in Singapore.
What do you think makes the scholarship stand out from the other scholarships on the market? What fundamental questions did you have in mind to make the comparisons needed for your decision?
One of the most obvious reasons why the scholarship offered by MOHH particularly stood out to me was because Podiatry is a niche field and very few organisations provide scholarships for it. Additionally, it is a full-term scholarship which would relieve a huge financial burden off me and my family. This would allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about the hefty amounts of school fees.
Moreover, I felt that the scholarship would provide me with ample opportunities for personal and professional development – MOHH supports scholars to attend conferences, seminars and workshops to gain greater insights into their profession and participate in community involvement programmes to give back to the society. Lastly, I feel that the scholarship values every individual scholar, as each one of us is assigned to a scholarship officer to guide us in this journey, whom we could turn to in times of need. All in all, these are the factors I have taken into consideration before deciding that the scholarship offered by MOHH is the most appealing one.
What do you think are your strengths that land you the scholarship?
I have always been a believer in the value of experiential learning. During my last year in Temasek Polytechnic, there was a module called Haematology which piqued my interest. I was interested in finding out more about this topic and hence took up a
phlebotomy course. To further relate the knowledge I have previously learnt in Polytechnic, I went on to work as a part-time phlebotomist. My ability to apply what I have learnt into my job is perhaps why I was chosen for this scholarship.
What are the most challenging responsibilities you have and how do you cope with them?
One of the challenges I faced as a health student studying abroad is the difference in education systems. As I was so used to studying mainly theories in Singapore, I struggled during clinical sessions as I had to observe a physical condition, analyse and give an on-the-spot diagnosis. From this, I learnt that a condition can manifest in different forms and what the textbook teaches you does not always correlate with the physical observations.
Hence, I collated a series of manifestations which could arise from a clinical condition and attempted to list every possible diagnosis when I see a patient. Some of my diagnosis may not be accurate, but I have learnt that it is all right to make mistakes now. Making mistakes is also a way of learning, as I will learn something new when my supervisor corrects me for an inappropriate diagnosis. I believe that with more experience and exposure, I will be more proficient in giving an accurate diagnosis.
What are your interests? How do you balance it with your studies?
I am an active member of taekwondo and I train up to two times a week. With an extra co-curricular activity, having priorities and time management are essential. Hence, I try to minimise my time spent on social media and make use of the time between classes and on the bus to study. Honestly, there are times when I am really worn out from juggling between the two and would lose motivation but thankfully, I am lucky enough to have a group of friends who are ready for impromptu meet-ups which lift my spirits up!
What qualities are essential to have if a student is interested in the scholarship?
Passion, diligence and resilience are some qualities essential for students who are interested in the scholarship. More often than not, passion is the main driving force in the pursuit of one’s goal. I feel that with passion, anyone will give it their best, enjoy what they do, and eventually perform well. For those who are unsure of where their passion lies, exploring the different fields through job shadowing will be a good way to start.
Ultimately, nothing beats the first-hand experience. There is no doubt this journey is going to be tedious but with hard work and diligence, anyone can pull through. Being resilient is another important quality. Most of the health disciplines offered by MOHH are specialised fields and they tend to be pretty intensive. There are bound to be times when you struggle and feel demoralised, but you need to persevere and overcome these challenges because, at the end of the day, that is how everyone grows.
Healthcare Merit Award
Attained: Diploma in Biomedical Science, Temasek Polytechnic
Now: Year 2, Queensland University of Technology, Bachelor of Podiatry
From: Temasek Polytechnic