Ascham Old Girls Honour Their Grandfathers to Study Medicine

Striving for ambitious goals, being aspirational and maintaining a true sense of determination are traits that are commonly found in Ascham students. The principles of collaboration, responsibility, reflection and independence are the bedrock of Ascham’s educational framework, The Dalton Plan, and students carry these principles with them long after they leave school.

In recent years, at least seven Ascham Old Girls have displayed enormous determination in successfully gaining entry to very competitive Medicine degrees, after either not being accepted the first time around, or studying other degrees first and then giving Medicine a shot. Several have been former Ascham boarders, and more than one has cited their grandfather as an inspiration for treading a medical path.

Former Ascham boarder Susannah Cooke of Yass (Class of 2015) started studying Medicine as a second degree at the University of Newcastle last year. Having a grandfather who was an inspiring doctor was an influence on Susannah’s decision. ‘I have a few doctors in my family,’ she said, ‘and hearing stories from my grandfather planted the seed in my mind from a young age. After school I wasn’t 100 per cent sure I wanted to go into Medicine, but I’ve always had a passion for sport and health, which led me to study sports science. Everything I learned there, alongside my own sports journey, made me excited at the opportunity to study Medicine and delve deeper into human physiology and sports medicine.’ After completing a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Sydney, Suzannah sat the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in 2019 and was accepted into Medicine at Newcastle.

This year former Ascham boarder and proud Aboriginal woman Tiffany Ayres-Munro (Class of 2018) transferred into Medicine from Biomedical Science at Bond University on the Gold Coast. Tiffany has the desire to give back to the community, especially Indigenous communities. ‘Throughout my Biomedical Science degree my passion for Medicine slowly began to flourish,’ said Tiffany. ‘In my last semester, I decided to apply for Medicine because I wanted to continue my studies in this area and fulfill my new-found dream of going into Indigenous healthcare.’ She says that watching the care the doctors gave her grandfather in late 2019 as his health failed from Parkinson’s disease was a particular inspiration. ‘This experience helped me to realise that as a doctor there are so many ways that I can help fellow Australians with their healthcare, particularly fellow Indigenous Australians. I will always be doing medicine for myself but also for the memory of my Pop,’ said Tiffany.

Giving their all to pursue their medical ambitions has certainly paid off for these talented and determined Ascham Old Girls.

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