Hometown: Singapore

About you

Tell us a little about yourself such as your hobbies/interests that are related or not related to your course of study.

Personally, I enjoy volunteering and I help out on a weekly basis at a care home. I am passionate about volunteering, as it not only helps others, it allows me to discover more about myself. It also gives me a great sense of satisfaction as I see the positive difference I can make in the lives of others.

During my free time, I go to the University gym to exercise or take walks at the beach. I also spend time catching up on current affairs back home to keep me updated about the things going on in Singapore, as well as the rest of the world.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

I chose podiatry as I wanted to be in the healthcare sector. It also ties with my passion for helping others. My first option was to study medicine locally, but as I was looking at other healthcare professions, I chanced upon podiatry and realised how similar a podiatrist functions as a medical doctor, except in a less stressful work environment. Hence, I decided to give it a go.

I chose QMU as it is a small university which focuses mainly on health sciences. QMU podiatry is also given high student ratings which attracted me to the school.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I wanted to study in the UK as there is so much for me to explore. It also gives me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, given how far away I am from home. I wanted to take this chance to discover the other side of the world and experience different cultures and at the same time develop myself as a person.

There is no particular reason why I chose Edinburgh/ Scotland as there are not a lot of schools in the UK offering podiatry. However, I was convinced to come to Scotland to study because of its people and its natural landscape. Friends and families back home assured me that people in Scotland are very polite and courteous, and I couldn’t agree more! Scotland is also known for its natural beauty and the highlands. Being a nature enthusiast, I am amazed by how picturesque every corner of the county is.

Living Away from Home

If you are living in halls what’s the best part?

The convenience of having the university just 2 min away from halls gives me plenty of time to sleep. Also, in my year 1 of studies, there are times when we have really long breaks in between lessons and that gives me the time to go back home to fix my lunch or just take a good nap before the next lesson. Besides, the university gym is located on campus and hence, I can just use the gym whenever I feel like. The University has 24/7 library and security which ensures late night studying in the reading rooms is safe. I have never felt unsafe staying in school halls before because I know I can seek help from the security guards should there be a need to.

Life in Edinburgh – what’s the best experience you’ve had so far in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?

My best experience so far has been my daily encounters with Scottish people. I really love the culture, as well as the courtesy and politeness of the locals, especially when they greet and thank the bus drivers. It may seem as a small gesture, but it is such small things that warm the heart. I have never really felt uncomfortable in Scotland before as people are kind and sincere.

"The highlight of the course has been my clinical studies. We began clinicals as early as week two, semester one, and starting treating our first patient in late November. The early clinical start - compared to all other courses in the university as well as other podiatry schools in UK - has given me the confidence in dealing with patients. The early exposure also gives us the opportunity to see a greater variety of patients and prepares us for future encounters."
Yifen Ong

The Course

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?

The highlight of the course has been my clinical studies. We began clinicals as early as week two semester one and starting treating our first patient in late 2015. The early clinical start,- compared to all other courses in the university as well as other podiatry schools in UK - has given me the confidence in dealing with patients. The early exposure also gives us the opportunity to see a greater variety of patients and prepares us for future encounters. Having weekly clinical placements also helps us apply the things we have been taught in school. The two week block placements, at the end of the academic year, also help us reinforce our clinical skills and further boost our confidence in patient treatment.

My tutors have been extremely patient with us despite the heavy amount of workload they have. They take time to explain clinical concepts and medical terms to us, and guide us through our clinical presentations should we find problems diagnosing or presenting certain clinical information. They are reassuring and do not put us in a state of panic should we make any mistakes, Instead, they teach us how we can avoid making similar mistakes in future.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

I would think it is wise to know exactly what podiatry is,and not just plunge into the course without knowing what you are going to be facing in future. The course itself can be rather content- heavy, but it is really interesting if you are really passionate about podiatry.

Any future plans after graduation?

I am going back home to work as a podiatrist.

Life as a tudent at QMU

Are you a member of a QMU club or society? If so, what was the reason behind your choice and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am a volunteer within the School of Health Sciences which involves me in helping out with events on an ad hoc basis, such as going to local primary or high schools to spread awareness about podiatry to the students/ general public. Podiatry is still quite a niche field in the healthcare sector, and many do not know what a podiatrist does unless they have already used their services. I am therefore passionate about sharing information about what a podiatrist is and what services they provide.

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

Being a health-science student, modules can be rather content heavy and you may not get much free time during the week. Personally, I have classes everyday except weekends. I would advise consistent studying and attending lectures.

 

Story published 2016 - 2017