Graduate profile: Dr Tasnim Hasan

Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) graduate

Tasnim Hasan says studying Medicine at Western Sydney University gave her an ability to better understand and empathise with her patients.

Tasnim was one of the first cohort of students to study and graduate from the University's Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. She grew up in Baulkham Hills and, as a student at North Sydney Girls High School she says she didn't have much access to the greater Western Sydney region.

"Western Sydney is so diverse. Studying at Campbelltown, and doing ongoing rotations at Blacktown Hospital, I have definitely been exposed to people from all walks of life and have developed a greater understanding of the challenges that people face," says Tasnim.

"Being at Western Sydney, learning that there are different approaches – not just to medicine, but to life – it helps you understand different people, different perspectives and different aspects to life. This element of my education was so vital – because it is so important to be able to relate to your patients, and to have that empathy and understanding.

"I also think it's important for the health system to service populations that are not as privileged. Throughout my career I will be working to improve access to health services for the people of Western Sydney."

Tasnim is now working as an infectious diseases advanced trainee at Westmead Hospital, where she treats patients with a range of illnesses, such as HIV and tuberculosis. It's a role that keeps Tasnim on her toes.

"Western Sydney has such a large migrant population, and international travel is so common – through the hospital we see a lot of patients, who are bringing to Australia a range of infectious diseases. These conditions are certainly not rare."

Tasnim had a round-about way of embarking on her medical career. She says she didn't want to be a doctor when I left school and initially enrolled in other university degree. It wasn't until she took some science and physiology subjects that she realised where her passion lay.

"I realised how much I loved it and thought I'd give medicine a go. I've never looked back since – I absolutely love medicine and I absolutely love what it has to offer."

Tasnim says studying at Western Sydney University didn't have that 'big university' feel.

"It was an amazing feeling, because we had a cohort of about 100 students who had the opportunity to become really good friends, and years on we are all still really good friends.

"Going back to Blacktown as an intern, resident and registrar – and as an advanced trainee – there's always those mentors that we had in medical school, who trained us and supported us, and they always still take the time to stop us in the corridors, have a chat with us, ask us how we're going – not just in medicine, but in our lives in general. And they've become not just long-lasting mentors, but friends and colleagues in this journey."

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