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Jessica Yuhoi 2019 thumbnail

Pacific Heritage: Samoan

Currently Studying: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

Talofa lava, my name is Jessica Yuhoi. My dad is half Chinese half Samoan and my mum is full Samoan, they were both born and raised in Samoa. I have two older brothers and we were all born in Wellington Hospital and raised in Porirua.

I knew I wanted to come to Otago and study Medicine when I was in year 12, when the course coordinator at my high school sat down with me and we went over options for my future. We talked about what my favourite subjects were and what I enjoyed doing. I grew up seeing my grandparents go in and out of hospital and attending numerous GP appointments, where a variation of health professionals would make different decisions on how they could improve my grandparent's health. I knew my favourite subject in high school was science and I was sure that I wanted to do something that would help others in the future. Medicine seemed to be the perfect fit and was a goal that I aimed for. It wasn't an easy decision coming down to Otago, but it was the best decision I had made looking back on it now.

I am currently based in Dunedin heading into my 5th year of Medicine in 2019, but over the Summer I decided to a do Studentship back home in Wellington. My studentship is based on the Preferences study for Benzathine Penicillin G as secondary prophylaxis for Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease. I am looking at the perspectives, experiences and preferences of specifically the health professionals. I have enjoyed doing this studentship and was able to gain skills that will be relevant in the future.

What I like the most about medicine is being able to talk to a variety of patients each day. I have enjoyed not only learning about the medical condition they may have but to be able to connect with them and their families. Seeing the benefits that medicine has contributed to patient's lives has been a privilege to experience and I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had so far.

For someone who is thinking of doing medicine, or any other pathway they decide on taking, is to put in all your effort in everything that you do no matter how big or small the assignment, exam, test or scholarship application may be. There is a lot of commitment involved with medicine and the journey won't be easy, so it helps to remember the support you have along the way. Whether that be your faith, family, friends, mentors and/or your community.

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