Shondell’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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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.

From: Exmouth, WA

Undergraduate Major: Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biomedical Science at UWA

Expected year of graduation: 2024

Interested in: Pathology and Infectious Disease


What did you study before medicine?

Before medicine I studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biomedical Science, specialising in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

I moved to Perth in 2015 and knew I wanted to study health and disease but didn’t know what exact path I wanted to go on. I think that’s why I chose to study such a broad double major - I was exposed to most areas of medicine and got to choose one to specialise in that I really enjoyed.

My journey into medicine has not been the easiest. At what was meant to be the end of my undergrad degree in 2017 I had to go in for brain surgery to remove a cyst that had been growing in my third ventricle. I had quite a few complications from the surgery (including a stroke!) and my recovery was pretty long.

My memory was majorly impacted from the surgery (still isn’t what it used to be) so I slowly finished off my undergrad degree after that, doing three units over two years. I then started medicine in 2020, the year of covid, which unfortunately didn’t go well and I ended up repeating my first year.

Fortunately, I did much better the second time around, enjoying the restructure of the course, and now am into second year and now planning on going to Esperance for RCS next year!

What do you do when you’re not studying? 

If I’m not studying or working you can probably find me at the beach (if
it’s not too cold!) or spending time outdoors.

Growing up in Exmouth kind of spoilt me and I’m a bit of a beach snob now, but I still enjoy the Perth beaches.

I’m really looking forward to discovering the Esperance beaches next year!

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

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Sim’s Story

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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.