Harrison Sheehy is a second year Doctor of Medicine Student who hopes to bring his foundation of care and compassion – role modelled by his mother, a nurse – to his future career as a doctor.
After spending his first two years at university completing the Bachelor of Medical Science, Harrison took the next step into the Doctor of Medicine. When he looks to the future, Harrison says his goal is simple.
“Whenever I’m asked what type of doctor I want to be in the future, I tend to reply with “a good one”.
“I may not know what speciality I want to pursue at the moment, but I do know that whatever pathway I choose, I hope to become a compassionate and knowledgeable doctor whose practice is guided by strong ethics and equity. I hope to take all the experiences and lessons I have had acquired, and continue to acquire, through my time at Griffith to help me attain this goal.
“A career as a medical professional combines my compassion for humanity and my love for science. It is a profession that lends a direct pathway to helping those in need, which I believe is one of the most profound means of enriching your life purpose. My mother, who is a registered nurse of over twenty years, taught me this by telling me stories of her work and the deep sense of gratification you reap by devoting your career to supporting people in their most vulnerable times.
“In addition to the humanitarian aspect, I have always been fascinated by the intricate workings of the human body which further galvanised me towards a career in medicine. I would beg my parents for anatomical organ models and medical atlases for birthday presents, allowing my natural fascination of the human body to mature to what it is today!”
After living in four different Australian states as a child, Harrison said he chose Griffith University for his studies based on the support he knew Griffith provided students, something he was particularly aware of based on the difficult path that can be faced on the road to becoming a doctor.
“After moving around a lot, I was fortunate my parents chose to stay on the Gold Coast for my high school years,” Harrison explains.
“I was very cognisant of Griffith’s globally recognised health programs that nurture and support students in becoming the next generation of healthcare leaders. Today, I continue to see Griffith University as a vehicle for achieving my goals, making the arduous and demanding road ahead a little smoother.
“Over the past few years as a student, I have developed strong relationships with leading academics, engaged in rewarding projects on the local and international stage, and made use of state-of-the-art facilities and technologies.
“The most insightful experience I have had with Griffith University so far was volunteering with the Griffith Honours College in Cambodia in late 2018, where we helped build a small dwelling and also taught at a local primary school. It was through developing relationships with the people I encountered on this trip from all walks of life that I realised that we as humans, regardless of how we may look or how we may speak, are bounded together by our innate capacity to feel.”
Harrison extends this belief to his volunteer role on several Griffith University committees – the Griffith Equity Committee, the Griffith Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Griffith Pride Committee.
“Through being on these committees, I have developed an immense appreciation for the stories and struggles that students from a range backgrounds experience in their everyday lives,” Harrison says.
“It has truly been eye-opening to listen to students from a diverse range of cultures, disabilities, gender identities, races and sexual orientations, all united by a common desire to receive equal treatment in a society that so quickly marginalises those who deviate from the norm. It has been inspirational to witness the intricate high-level workings that trickle down throughout the university to support the lives of these students. I hope to take this appreciation and understanding into my future career as a doctor to support myself in empathising with patients from all walks of life.
“Fairness is a fundamental cornerstone to morality. I was brought up to champion the notion that one’s capacity to achieve or even simply live should not be impaired by unjust prejudice – a belief I hope to think is common to most of us.
“For any students attending or wanting to attend Griffith, I highly recommend being involved in those extracurricular activities that draw your interest, as it’s an easy way of building an experience or skill, engaging in something you find interesting and making friendships with like-minded people. I particularly recommend those activities that facilitate international experiences, such as those offered by the Griffith Honours College.”
If like Harrison you’re considering a career in medicine, Griffith has several pathways to help you get there. High-achieving high school students can apply for the Bachelor of Medical Science, an accelerated two-year undergraduate program with provisional entry into the Doctor of Medicine. Other popular undergraduates on a pathway to medicine include the Bachelor of Health Science and the Bachelor of Biomedical Science.