Gaby’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.

Are you a WAMSS member or alumnus? Tell us your story by filling out this form!

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'...

From: Johannesburg, South Africa

Undergraduate Major: Bachelor of Biomedical Science, majoring in Medical Sciences and Psychology

Expected year of graduation: 2022

Interested in: Trauma surgery


What did you study before medicine?

I was your typical “crazy horse girl” at school. I competed at an international level and always wanted to become a vet. I soon realised that this was not the best career choice when I brought home a rescue dog on my first day of job-shadowing in year 12.

I explored the possibility of medicine and took a long shot by applying to UWA on the other side of the world. I was accustomed to lions running around but the idea of kangaroos seemed intriguing, exciting and new.

Not thinking too much of it, though, I submitted the application with my new doggo, Max, lying at my feet.

What do you do when you're not studying?

I never thought my standard introduction would be “Yes, that’s me. I am the student who was on the zoom screen at 2am local time, because I was working in a hospital in Cape Town.”

What many don’t know is that medicine itself is actually the most boring part of my life.

I am an avid adventurer and spend more time than I should preparing for high altitude mountaineering expeditions or extreme trail races around the world.

Throughout my degree I would often be in one country on a Thursday afternoon, another over the weekend and be back at 8am sharp for that first tutorial of the week.

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.