She’s headed for medical school
This article first appeared in The Straits Times on May 16, 2012.
Next time you are at Clementi Polyclinic for a blood test or a heart rhythm check, the one doing it might well be a petite, fresh-faced young woman named Koh Shi Min.
But the holder of a diploma in biomedical science from Singapore Polytechnic (SP) will be there only until August, which is when she enters the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine of the National University of Singapore (NUS).
SP’s top graduate this year with a near-perfect Grade Point Average of 3.984 and one of three SP winners of the Lee Kuan Yew award for top students, the 19-year-old is only the third polytechnic student to win a place in the medical school.
“Honestly, I was quite thrilled when I got into NUS, but the thought of funding was stressful,” said the daughter of a taxi driver and sales promoter, who is applying for a scholarship.
Her parents make just slightly more than $2,000 a month, and home for the three-child family is a four-room Sengkang flat.
Ms Koh said she chose a polytechnic education over a junior college one precisely because she would be able to work part-time to spare her parents the burden of supporting her; she also won a scholarship.
The former student from SP’s School of Chemical & Life Sciences said she was thankful to her lecturers for writing letters of recommendation for her medical school application. It was during her internship at the polyclinic in her second year at SP that she was certain she wanted to be a doctor, she said.