Nur­tur­ing a ge­nius

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Higher Education -

GRAD­U­AT­ING from Tay­lor’s Uni­ver­sity’s School of Medicine, 19-year-old Sha­nine Chan is ex­pected to be the youngest doc­tor in Malaysia and con­sid­ered by many as a “child ge­nius”.

But when asked if she con­sid­ers her­self so, Chan dis­agrees. “I put in a lot of my own ef­fort to­wards achieve­ments,” said Chan.

But she also ac­knowl­edged her friends, lec­tur­ers, fam­ily for help­ing her with many op­por­tu­ni­ties to suc­ceed.

At the age of seven, Chan would watch videos of mi­nor surg­eries on­line. A year later, her mother de­vel­oped breast cancer, which got her in­ter­ested to know more and sparked her in­ter­est in bi­ol­ogy.

From Stan­dards 1 to 3, she stud­ied in a pri­mary Chi­nese school in Kuala Lumpur, where she quickly sur­passed the syl­labus.

Her fa­ther trans­ferred her to an in­ter­na­tional school, where she com­pleted five years of high school ed­u­ca­tion within a year. She fin­ished O-Lev­els within two months and com­pleted the en­tire high school syl­labus within a year. She was also the youngest to com­plete the AUSMAT pro­gramme in 2011.

Chan has a high level of con­cen­tra­tion and fo­cus since young; she en­joys read­ing and has her own li­brary at home.

Like other young­sters she also en­joys watch­ing the tele­vi­sion, cit­ing Myth­busters as one of her favourite pro­grammes.

Con­trary to the per­cep­tion that to en­gage a ge­nius, one needs a cer­tain level of se­ri­ous­ness, Chan is friendly with a girl-next-door per­son­al­ity.

Be­ing named the youngest doc­tor in Malaysia can come with pres­sures from all sides but Chan said she does not dwell on that – she is happy just be­ing able to grad­u­ate.

She said she put in the same amount of ef­fort and trained as hard as other doc­tors do dur­ing her five years at Tay­lor’s.

Cou­pled with her ma­tu­rity and con­fi­dence, she is not wor­ried that pa­tients or hospi­tals be­ing un­cer­tain about her skills.

“Peo­ple should not dis­crim­i­nate against some­one young,” she said. Though she in­tends to spe­cialise later on, Chan has yet to de­cide on the field to delve into. “I will un­dergo in­tern­ship first,” she said.

‘Youngest doc­tor in Malaysia’:

Many have ques­tioned Chan’s par­ents on whether she was raised dif­fer­ently, but they said she had a nor­mal up­bring­ing and shared that she’s an avid reader since young.

“My par­ents gave me a lot of free­dom to do what­ever I want. They are sup­port­ive of

Parental guid­ance:

my hob­bies and in­ter­ests.”

She would fin­ish her home­work quickly, and then en­joy read­ing and play­ing games af­ter that.

“Be­ing in Chi­nese school means a lot of home­work, but I fin­ish that usu­ally in an hour,” she ex­plained.

While most par­ents would send their gifted chil­dren to study abroad, Chan’s par­ents were wor­ried about send­ing her over­seas alone. Chan’s fa­ther Robert, an en­gi­neer, and mother Joyce, an ac­coun­tant, felt that Chan was still too young to go abroad on her own as she was just 15 then.

They then de­cided to send her to Tay­lor’s Uni­ver­sity in­stead – a de­ci­sion made to­gether with Chan af­ter her own re­search. She spent five years in Tay­lor’s, which has helped her ma­ture in her think­ing and en­cour­aged her to ac­cept more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

The uni­ver­sity also turned her an ex­tro­vert when pre­vi­ously she used to be quite an in­tro­vert.

When she com­pares her­self with her 24-year-old peers, she said she is at ease with them be­cause of her ma­tu­rity. She added that be­ing in med­i­cal school is stress­ful as the job is tough.

The one who in­flu­enced her the most is her mother, who is also her pil­lar of strength. Her mother bat­tled against breast cancer and taught Chan to be strong and brave in the face of ad­ver­sity.

Chan is also cre­ative and sporty – her pas­sions in­clude pot­tery, piano, roller­skat­ing, and rock-climb­ing, with pot­tery be­ing her favourite. She also en­joys ac­tiv­i­ties where she can ex­press her­self, such as de­bat­ing and pub­lic speak­ing with the Toast­mas­ters.

Tay­lor’s Uni­ver­sity pro­vides Chan with the en­vi­ron­ment to nur­ture her po­ten­tial and blos­som into the per­son she is to­day.

Tay­lor’s views ed­u­ca­tion more than a ne­ces­sity to achieve ca­reer goals – that the stu­dents’ ex­pe­ri­ence is more than just en­rolling to study in an ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion.

It be­lieves this in­trin­sic value ex­tends be­yond classes, lec­tur­ers and course­mates.

It pro­vides stu­dents with con­nec­tions that en­rich their fu­tures – with its global net­work of part­ners to world-class aca­demic staff.

Tay­lor’s goes be­yond to en­sure stu­dents have op­por­tu­ni­ties to achieve suc­cess.

‘Tay­lor’-ed per­fec­tion:

■ To find out more about Tay­lor’s Uni­ver­sity, e-mail ad­mis­sions@tay­, call 03-5629 5000 or log on to www.tay­ my for a chat to­day.

Tay­lor’s Uni­ver­sity pro­vides Chan with the en­vi­ron­ment to nur­ture her po­ten­tial and blos­som into the per­son she is to­day.

‘Peo­ple should not dis­crim­i­nate against some­one young,’ says 19-year-old Chan who could be the youngest doc­tor in Malaysia.

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