Sian Brownlow

Sian was one of those lucky people who always knew what she wanted to do; become a doctor. After graduating from Caulfield Grammar as Dux in 2012 Sian began studying a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne. She excelled in this course and was awarded a Chancellor’s Scholarship that gave her a guaranteed place in the graduate medicine program. This meant that Sian did not have to sit the dreaded admissions test (GAMSAT) and was able to proceed straight to the Doctor of Medicine course.


Now in her sixth year of full-time study Sian is looking forward to finishing her final year of university and realising her dream of working as a doctor. Not one to sugar coat things Sian says “you have to be extremely committed to work in medicine. I will be 35 years old by the time I’m finished and this is the fastest possible way I could have completed it.”


Her love of medicine comes from the opportunity it offers to be a source of support for people who are struggling. When your work is literally life and death it is very easy to find meaning in every single day. Despite this Sian acknowledges that it is incredibly emotional and challenging at times. “Medicine is not like it looks on TV. I’m too busy to gossip in the breakroom or always eat lunch, there is no “Mc-dreamy’, and I spend a lot of time covered in bodily fluids”.


Sian emphasises the importance of building connections with your peers as a way to develop a support structure. Having friends to rely on and study with is one of the key things that has helped her with the pressure and uncertainty of studying medicine. “In the first week of university nobody really knows anyone so it is incredibly important to put yourself out there.”


Outside of her studies, Sian has a keen interest in global health and participating in peer teaching programs for medical students through the Melbourne University Health Initiative (MUHI). Sian also works as a policy writer for the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA). Through her participation in such organisations Sian has developed a passion for women’s health, and obstetrics and gynaecology. “There are so many drugs and procedures that have never been tested on women so medical professionals don’t know how women’s bodies will react”, she says.


Originally Sian thought she would hate obstetrics and gynaecology. She is now considering specialising in this field, however, and it will be the topic of her six-month research project next year. “I feel very passionate about looking after women at all stages of their life”. For this reason Sian believes you should “keep your mind open and don’t pigeonhole yourself or you will miss amazing opportunities”.


In her spare time, Sian enjoys cooking, practising Yoga and learning Italian. Sian also regularly presents at School career breakfasts so that she can pass her advice on to others interested in studying medicine. To those looking to get into the field she says it’s important to “find your own path, don’t let anyone else tell you what to do. Do what’s right for you. Take care of yourself and set goals.”


Want to connect with Sian? You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Keep reading to find out about Barbara Iakovidis, another Grammarian with an established career in medicine.

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