J ayne Chan has a simple dream – to witness the evolution of science and medicine towards the treatment of diseases, especially a cure for autism. To her, autism is a puzzling disorder that snatches away countless of simple pleasures that we too often take for granted.
Growing up, Jayne had to be a caretaker to her autistic younger brother. “I had asked many ‘whys’, and above all, ‘when’ my brother would ever be healed. Until this day, despite new discoveries and research, John remains autistic. Witnessing first-hand the heart-wrenching plight of John and his caregivers ignited my desire to study medicine. I believe my choice of study will expose me to a broad range of opportunities for championing the autistic community,” she tells us.
Today, Jayne is well on her way to becoming a dedicated medical expert in the field. She is currently pursuing the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), a dream made easier to reach with her bond-free OCBC Public Undergraduate Scholarship.
With her scholarship, Jayne has received financial support in the form of $11,000 per annum to cover part of her hefty tuition fees. “Medicine is a five-year course, and the scholarship has greatly alleviated the financial pressures of my family. It has allowed me to focus on my studies without worrying unduly about tuition fees,” she shares.
Reading medicine at NUS has given her a deeper insight into a medicine career. She managed to shadow an endocrine surgeon during a three-day programme with National University Hospital (NUH). The entire experience allowed her a glimpse into a doctor’s daily work schedule as well as the challenges they are faced with. She muses, “I was also very lucky to shadow the doctors who were on-call, and observed them as they attended to patients in the wee hours of the morning. However, the experience was more than just an exposure to surgeries or clinical knowledge. After a robotic thyroidectomy, I noticed a surgeon holding a patient’s hand and telling her the session went well. The relief on her face made me realise that this was what I wanted to do – to allay worries and make definitive changes in the lives of others.”
Beyond her school curriculum, Jayne has also volunteered at health screening programmes. These programmes enable members of the community to receive free medical checkups – all to increase the awareness of common diseases and prevent their onset.
Jayne Chan Hui Zhen
OCBC Public Undergraduate Scholar
“At these events, my role is to carry out health screenings for residents through blood pressure and glucose level checkups. We also educate the residents on how to lead healthy lifestyles, as well as the warning signs and symptoms of illnesses to look out for. I enjoy interacting with the residents, especially when they share about their experiences and concerns. It is gratifying to know that what I am doing can help them improve their health and lifestyle choices,” Jayne shares.
One OCBC Family
According to Jayne, the bond-free OCBC Scholarship is meant for those who are passionate about their course of study, just as OCBC is passionate about the success of its scholars.
She tells us, “The common bond we all have as OCBC scholars is that each of us is pursuing a field of study in which we are most passionate. In a sense, this bond-free scholarship awards us with an extended family of remarkable and passionate people – all soaring in different fields under one OCBC roof,” says Jayne.
As an OCBC family, all scholars will participate in an OCBC internship, where they will gain first-hand working experience in a bank, as well as in the Scholars Give-Back Programme. This programme comprises the Scholars@CAMP-us, a day camp for scholars to understand the bank and partake in networking sessions, and the Buddy@CAMP-us, where new OCBC scholars are matched with senior scholars to exchange insights. The programme also has a Scholars Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) component, which allows scholars to give back to society. Jayne looks forward to taking part in these activities, adding that “they are wonderful opportunities to learn and serve alongside fellow scholars.”
Jayne quotes Albert Einstein as she iterates, “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” She tells us that this value is aptly evident in the leaders of OCBC. It is OCBC’s belief that every outstanding student deserves a university education regardless of his or her family circumstances. This value of giving is further amplified by the fact that scholars are allowed to make their own career choices after graduation.
“As an OCBC Scholar, I aspire to carry on this precious OCBC value of giving by emulating my benefactor, starting from where I am and with whatever capacity I have. OCBC nurtures a culture of kindness and compassion which results in selfless giving. This is a unique characteristic of passionate people. When we are passionate in our pursuit, we tend to give selflessly and this heart for service ties in with the philosophy behind the OCBC scholarship,” Jayne tells us spiritedly.
At a young age, Jayne has certainly inspired us with her aspirations. She yearns to make meaningful connections between clinical research and clinical expertise. She concludes, “I hope to pose new research questions on autism and its treatments. Medicine is a field fuelled by fast-advancing research for possible treatments and drugs. I find this application of scientific knowledge exciting. I am enthralled by how I would translate my love for science into meaningful applications. This is what I want to do – to bring about new possibilities for the treatment of diseases and in the medical field.”