Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.
HKU has the longest history among all the universities in Hong Kong. The network of HKU alumni doctors is vast, and there are lots of resource back-ups provided by both the Faculty and the University. Apart from Problem-based learning (PBL), another feature that I appreciate HKU most is the Medical Humanities Module - the curriculum does not include academic components only, but also different lectures and workshops that teach us how to be a good doctor or a good human being.
As a medical student, I am very keen at having early clinical exposure. Throughout the MBBS curriculum, I am able to have clinical skills session, Patient Care Project, and learn about Professionalism in Practice. With the 6-year curriculum, MBBS students are entailed more free time than the 5-year curriculum. This allows medical students to taste the campus life in HKU, e.g. living in halls, being an executive committee member of a society. The Faculty is relatively liberal too. It allows me to take leave from school in order to join a pre-clinical exchange to Melbourne! he Faculty also finds a lot of exchange opportunities for students, e.g. the ones to University of British Columbia, Tsing Hua University, etc. In Summer 2014, I have joined a summer programme to University of Cambridge (PKP) which was offered by the Office of Internationsl Student Exchange (OISE) of HKU.
It is still too early to determine which specialty (or even more simply, entering the Medicine or the Surgery stream) at pre-clinical years. While my current career goal is to be a neurosurgeon, because I love surgery and nuero-medical field is a relatively unexplored area at the moment. Yet, I expect there would be some changes to my career goal as I am exposed more in senior years. If possible, I would also like to participate in some researches in my future career. I would like to further study in overseas, so I am actively joining some exchange programmes to prepare myself and broaden my perspective.
In terms of Social Service, I would say as a pre-clinical student, there is not much that we can help in terms of providing professional medical care (that would have to leave till clinical years). Yet, I reckon that social service at a younger age is crucial to cultivate a heart to serve, and a sense of altruism or humanitarianism which are very important values for a healthcare professional. It would be a good opportunity to learn how to take up and fulfill a responsibility. The planning of an event, to holding one and the evaluation afterwards are all great learning opportunities. Also being in a student society gives you more connection with your seniors or your juniors.
In Summer 2015, I have joined a service trip to Takeo Province, Cambodia organized by Medical Outreachers, a service learning student body. The medical service trip to Cambodia provided me an opportunity to turn words on textbooks into actions that truly benefited the local community. Helping the people in Takeo Province to obtain clean water did not make me feel superior, but made me feel blessed to be part of the change.