While most 20-year-olds are still wondering which degree course is the best for their career plans, this young prodigy from Malaysia is already in her final year in medical school!
Meet Chan Hao Shan, the fresh-faced medical student who just turned 20 years old this year and she is set to become the youngest doctor in Malaysia when she graduates with her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from Taylor’s University this year.
In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Chan said that her interest in studying medicine started when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 8 years old
That was how she became intrigued by how human body functions.
“I was curious with the functions of a human body. For instance, I was curious about what really happens in the throat when humans swallow something,” she said.
She also attributed her astonishing achievement to her exceptionally long attention span and her passion for reading. Since she was a young child, she loves to visit bookstores and that she would read anything that comes before her, especially books that are related to living organisms and science.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve developed a deep passion for reading. I wouldn’t stop reading as there is a huge library in my home,” Chan said
Chan attended a Chinese primary school in Kuala Lumpur as her parents wanted her to have a strong foundation in Mandarin. It only took her three years to be proficient in Mandarin. Her parents then decided to transfer her to an international school where completed the remaining years of her primary school syllabus.
At the age of 13, Chan managed to complete her secondary school syllabus and O-level in less than a year!
She only spent two months to complete Form 1 and Form 2 syllabus and another two months to finish her Form 3 and O-level syllabus
Normally, it takes five years for secondary students to complete the syllabus.
“I love to challenge myself, which enabled me to skip years in school. I felt bored in class as the progress was too slow, and the teachers kept repeating the same thing. In just a few days, I’ve finished studying the whole textbook.”
Chan later proceeded to enroll in the Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) programme at a private college when she was 14 years old. Again, she managed to complete her matriculation programme within a year and became the youngest graduate in the graduation ceremony!
However, she admitted that studying for MBBS programme was a challenge for her as it was a very demanding programme and she felt the pressure just like her coursemates.
When asked how she feels about becoming the youngest doctor in the country, Chan said: “Honestly, there’s not much to it. I just can’t wait to graduate as I have worked really hard for the past 5 years”
Chan also said that she has no plans of stopping after graduating with an MBBS degree as she plans to become a specialist.
“That is my ultimate goal,” Chan said.
Chan definitely proves that nothing is possible if you put your hearts and minds to achieve your goals. We wish her all the best for her final year and we are looking forward to seeing her as a specialist one day!