Adian’s Journey

There's a story behind every medical student. Read about some of the inspiring journeys others have made from applicant to medical student to future physician.

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This week we have Adian Izwan, who has a love of dogs and big cats, which has somehow taken him to South Africa as part of his previous studies...

From: Perth, WA

Undergraduate Major: Bachelor of Science, majoring in Anatomy and Physiology at UWA

Expected year of graduation: 2023

Interested in: Anaesthesia


What did you study before medicine?

I was always interested in studying medicine, but I was a pretty poor student in high school, so my grades were never good enough to get in straight away.

Regardless, I was still interested in studying something biology related. I ended up in a science degree majoring in Anatomy and Physiology, before stumbling my way through an honours year where I tried to figure out a way of cooling very hot people in a slightly quicker way.

Being a cool researcher for a year, I figured I quite liked it and wanted to pursue it further. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to do my PhD in Physiology and thought my life of research and academia was set.

Turns out, the research life is a pretty tough gig and wasn’t entirely for me, though I did manage to squeeze out a passable thesis that legally allows me to say “not that kind of doctor” to all my confused relatives.

But in all fairness, those years, despite being the toughest of my life (so far), were also the most rewarding, allowing me to mature as a human being and providing me with some perspective on what’s truly important in life.

Plus, it helped me get into medicine so that I can (eventually, hopefully) say “I am that kind of doctor” to all my soon-to-be unconfused relatives.

What do you do when you're not studying?

I spend most of my free time chilling with my partner and our dog. I also love watching movies, reading comic books, and playing video games. I also edit, and produce the 1PM podcast along with fellow MD students JT, Daniel, and Jason.

But on the bright side, it gave me a lot more time to study. I also love watching movies, reading comic books and playing video games (all of which I can now do guilt-free for the next 3 weeks).

I try to balance out all the sitting down by hitting the gym, though it also serves a dual purpose as my sanctuary space, somewhere I can turn off my brain for an hour a day and still feel productive-ish.

What is your most treasured memory?

As part of my PhD, I was fortunate enough to get to travel to South Africa for a few months to study some wild antelope with an international team of scientists.

Working alongside the literal world experts on cardiorespiratory physiology, closer to animals that most people only get to see on a screen, was a truly priceless experience.

But more importantly, I got to play with some rescued cheetah cubs, so that probably takes the cake

Journey to Medicine is an initiative by WAMSS to share medical students' personal stories about their journey into medicine, as well as their colourful lives outside of medicine.

For many of us, the journey to studying medicine isn't linear. The goal is to inspire and empower students who are thinking about pursuing a career in medicine.

Read more of our other stories:

Gaby’s Journey

This week we have Gaby, who’s story shows us that you can still maintain a life outside of medicine, adventuring, mountaineering, and being that ‘crazy horse girl’…

Sim’s Story

Sim has been travelling in parallel with the medical field: in bioengineering, cancer genetics, and heart regeneration research. Even after such diverse opportunities, she decided that it was time to revisit her interest in medicine.

Nathan’s Journey

Nathan’s journey started with a rush! 14 days before the start of the semester while relaxing in the Texas sun, his offer letter for UWA came in…

Adian’s Journey

This week we have Adian Izwan, who has a love of dogs and big cats, which has somehow taken him to South Africa as part of his previous studies…

Shondell’s Journey

Shondell’s story is truly an inspirational one, coming from the northern beaches of Exmouth, to having her medical degree interrupted by a life-changing surgery.

Sam’s Journey

With a previous life of working 40 hours as a software engineer not enough to satisfy his curiosity, Sam made the huge leap of quitting his job and embarking on his journey to medicine.

Caitlin’s Journey

Caitlin’s experiences from the labs of Barry Marshall to the depths of the swimming pool have equipped her with a toolbox of skills to adapt and thrive in different medical environments.

Brendan’s Journey

Brendan is a mature-aged student who has really gone through the journey of academia, from completing a science degree, to a PhD, then becoming a teacher, and now finally graduating as a doctor! Learn more about his story and why he wants to pursue a career in Paediatric endocrinology in his feature.

Alexander’s Journey

Alexander’s journey is truly a windy one: starting off in a Bachelor of Arts before finding his passion (for now?) in pathology and microbiology. Danke schön for sharing!

Ella’s Journey

For our first ever feature, we have Ella Forkin sharing her story about moving from Kalgoorlie to being actively involved in college, and now spending her time adventuring in Kununurra.