Dr Benjamin Sachdev Manjit Singh

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Honours) (2010)

If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you have done differently? That is a question frequently asked when we reminisce. One significant event for me was joining Monash University as a medical student in 2006, which was about 12 years ago. I had completed my medical degree in 2010, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and subsequently worked in the Malaysian Health Care system. I went on to pursue a specialty in Internal Medicine and am now gazetting as a Medical Specialist after obtaining the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) [MRCP (UK)] in 2016.

All these successes would not be possible without a strong foundation. I credit my strong foundations in clinical knowledge and skills to my time at Monash. I had the privilege of learning from some of the best clinicians in medicine who not only imparted knowledge but also their passion for their patients. My time at Monash also allowed me to gain experience in two health systems both in Australia and Malaysia which has broadened my perspectives in medicine.

Currently, my practice is influenced by lessons learnt in my formative years. One characteristic of my practice is to provide holistic patient care. The strong emphasis on patient welfare taught me to not only treat the “patients’ illness” but to treat the “patient who has the illness”. The nature of my practice requires encounters with patients at palliative stages or extreme sickness. In this area, holistic care is vital, true to the aphorism “To cure sometimes, relieve often and comfort always”. It means that special effort is taken into looking at all aspects of the patient’s care, be it socially, emotionally or spiritually.

Apart from studying, I remember that we were always encouraged to explore and develop other areas of interest by our faculty. One significant milestone personally was developing a sexual health program for children with special needs whilst doing my community based placement. Additionally, I also took part in establishing the Monash University Medicos Society (MUMeds), and then serving for three years on its committee since its inception in 2006. I remember organising our first ever medical school ball during my third year of medical school. These opportunities allowed me to look outside of my area of study and encouraged innovation and fostering leadership skills which are essential in clinical practice.

I treasure the years I spent in Monash as it is there that I truly grew up; not only as a doctor but as an individual. The strong foundation built during my undergraduate years has helped me to be where I am today in my career. Moving on from here I aim to pursue my subspecialty and hope to teach clinical medicine in the future as well, and inspire and sow into the future generation of doctors.