This story was originally published in the Blacktown Sun by Harrison Vesey.
Western Sydney University undergraduate and Blacktown Hospital medical student Alice Leung is one of two Australians chosen from 2000 applicants to attend Elsevier Hacks 2017.
She and 15 other students from around the world will work with small teams of developers and programmers to come up with an innovative prototype to help change the face of medicine, within one week.
Ms Leung, 20, said she applied at the last minute after being hit with inspiration while on placement at Blacktown Hospital.
Her idea was to create a smart phone app that medical students could use to quickly study a topic whenever the opportunity arose.
I feel like you shouldn’t put your life on pause just because you have uni, because life’s always going to get busier.
“Quite a lot of [interns] often have spare time on the wards, when there’s quiet lulls and you’re not really doing anything, or you’re waiting for the doctor to come,” she said. “You can’t really whip out a text book, so having something you can study and revise with on your phone would be amazing for those small snippets of time throughout the day.”
Ms Leung, who was born in Hong Kong and raised in The Hills, has moved to Blacktown since being placed there for the past three years. Her mother, Stella Lau, has been a nurse for more than 30 years and based at Blacktown Hospital for the past seven.
The student said the most enjoyable part of her placement so far was the huge range of cases in emergency and critical care, while the biggest challenge was balancing the workload with study and her personal life.
“Of course we want to be dedicating a lot to our placement, making sure we’re putting in the time and effort and dedication needed for us to become excellent doctors so that our patients can have confidence in us,” Ms Leung said.
“But also we need to make sure we’re prioritising time with our family and friends, building that support network so that we’re looking after our mental health and our own wellbeing.
“I feel like you shouldn’t put your life on pause just because you have uni, because life’s always going to get busier.”
Ms Leung will be taking her own advice in August, when she hopes to fit some sight-seeing in among the busy week-long conference.