Dr Shreya Rana (CC2010) attended the Cornish campus of St Leonard’s College from 2005 to 2008 before completing her VCE studies in 2010. Since then, she has enjoyed a wealth of scholarly and early career opportunities within the discipline of medicine, reflecting upon the impact ‘The Cornish Experience’ has had on her motivations and interests.

I am currently a junior doctor in the third year of my early career, working across Monash Medical Centre, Dandenong Hospital, and the Monash Children’s Hospital. Following Year 12, I commenced a five-year course at Monash University’s Medical School before deciding to take a ‘lateral step’ and dipping my toes into research. This initial scholarly curiosity culminated in a four-year commitment, resulting in a PhD. Beyond that point, I sought to complete my final year of medical school and move into work as a doctor at Peninsula Health. Medicine is certainly a rewarding career, but it can prove to be physically and emotionally demanding. And while there is a greater focus on mental health among medical professionals and associated changes to support networks, there is still a long way to go.

I am currently working towards a career in paediatric surgery. That said, medicine is quite unique in that there is adequate scope to ‘pivot’ and investigate different areas of specialisation in order to find the best fit – so who knows where I might end up. I feel incredibly lucky to have had ‘The Cornish Experience’ for my secondary schooling. What stands out in my mind is the encouragement and development of lateral thinking, fostering a drive to ‘make a difference’, and the opportunity to engage in a range of subjects. A particular stand-out for me was the Indigenous Studies class taught by Chris Grummet.

While a maths-minded student, I also harboured a keen interest in music. I thought that such an interest would remain a hobby-level, extracurricular activity, but the performance opportunities at Cornish gave me the encouragement and confidence to continue music at the VCE level. For me, Cornish was truly a formative experience, not simply in schooling, but in developing a sense of self and has significantly shaped the person I am today.