#13 - MONDAY DRIVE - The Power of Vulnerability, Mental Fortitude & Digging Deep To Truly Understand
Unknown Speaker 0:00
For this week's Monday drive, I dive into an incredibly insightful conversation with just come on, Gil, just come on who goes by jazz to her friends and family is such an inspiration. She's an inspiration because of the things she's accomplished already at such a young age, her self awareness to know the direction she wants to take her life and self awareness to know the things that can take her off course. And the toolkit she has to help her get back on track. With so many aspects of her life. I admire her vulnerability, which at the same time can be seen and defined as courage to acknowledge what things about herself she feels she needs to focus on, and work on them, and how she sees being uncomfortable as the way to really finding out who you truly are. Jazz is so thoughtful, so introspective, so intelligent, and I'm so glad I'm able to share a conversation with you guys today.
Unknown Speaker 1:05
Welcome to the fit united radio and Podcast where each episode we aim to bring fresh, relevant fitness and health related news content and interviews to help you reach new heights and ultimately become your best and finish sounds. Alright guys in three, two and one. Let's go.
Unknown Speaker 1:35
Alright guys, so very excited to introduce you to today's guest just kamo Gill she's a good friend of mine and a member here at iron alley gym a little bit about her. She finished high school a year early finish undergrad and four and a half years at McGill University in Montreal with a bachelor's of science and pharmacology. She's now in her second year med school and Australia. She's studying at University of Queensland in Brisbane. Back home here she was competing in powerlifting. She did two meats in the past two years. And now that she's in Australia, she's the transition or training for multi sport events now, so she did a sprint distance triathlon. And she's now gearing up for half Ironman later this year in her VBA. So, so happy for I'm so glad I could share this conversation today with you guys. He's just an inspiration. She's experienced so many different things already in her life. And I really hope that you guys can take something out of it. Please share with a friend family member. Super easy to do it. Hope you guys get something out of this one. I want to say thank you to this episode's sponsor fit track. Fit track is a Health app company that is disrupting the health and fitness industry right now. With their smart scale and smartwatch. They provide you with personalized information that is essential to helping you achieve your fitness goals. Now I get it as a personal trainer I know a scale can only tell you so much and just looking at your weight is not the best in indicator of your health. But the track deira scale is different. using advanced dual bioimpedance analysis technology, you were able to track 17 metrics that helped you get a better understanding of your body's composition, sinking it with the fifth track app, the fifth track daris scale tracks measurements such as muscle mass, fat, mass, bone mass, even your hydration levels, and you can see your progress over time. The scale even syncs up to Apple Health and Google Fit. Another great feature is that you're able to create multiple users so that you and your family members can share the scale and track your own individual progress. Now, how cool is that? That this scale even has infant mode, all right, as your little one grows, you can track and monitor their health as well. My son Cruz is now nine months old, and his first few weeks he wasn't gaining the amount of weight as fast as we would have liked. Now this would have been much easier to track if we had the fifth track dare scale at home. Fit track also has a wearable smartwatch called the Tria tracker. It's got everything you need and nothing you don't. As a smartwatch, of course you can receive call and message notifications. But the tree tracker is an all day wearable that tracks your activity, heart rate, and the seven different sport modes depending on the activity you're participating in. You can change music from the watch while you're on a run. You can even use it to take control of your camera and take that all important selfie, it even monitors your quality of sleep. Now on top of all of these features, here's the best one. It has a seven plus day battery life. Now a week without charging will will really allow you to track your activity and sleep on interrupted. Now having the fifth track daris scale and a tree a smartwatch is like having a one two combo and helping you achieve your health goals. What makes the fit track products different than the rest is the impressive quality of the products for such an affordable price point. Fit track believes in their scale and watch so much That they have a 30 day risk free trial period. So if you decide fintrac isn't for you, you can get a full refund. No questions asked the even cover the scale and watch with an optional lifetime warranty. So that means no worries for you. Alright, so how can you get your hands on the fit track scale and smartwatch I'll have a link you can use which I'll put for you guys in the show notes. Right now using the link you can save up to over 60% off the regular price. And if you use the code New Me 20 you can get an extra 20% off. You also get free shipping on your orders for a limited time. Make sure guys you take advantage of this sweet deal of over 60% off the daris scale and a tree a tracker and free shipping. Just click on the link to the fit track site in the show notes. Alright guys, without further ado, here is my interview. My good friend just come on Gill Alright guys, it's Kevin here on FIT UNITED Podcast. I've gotten my guess just common Gil on the show. How are you doing? I'm
Unknown Speaker 6:08
doing well doing well. I'm
Unknown Speaker 6:10
so happy that you're here because you're going back to Australia in a few days. That right also, when are you going back? Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 6:15
I leave on next Saturday. Okay, well, I'm
Unknown Speaker 6:17
kind of sad about that, because we didn't get spent as much time perhaps, as it would like to always see you here at the gym. But I'm happy that we're able to sit down today. I'm really excited about a conversation. So I want to tell everybody a bit about how we met, at least from my recollection, you can correct me. We met here, an iron alley. Yeah, Jim. And my first impressions of you was that you seem really quiet at first. But that changed very quickly. I'll tell you that much. Like just a little bit of getting to know you and just kind of having a couple conversations and all sudden it was like bam. And I think that's one thing that people will learn about you as we start talking. But one thing I really appreciate about you was once you got to know someone, even just on you know, you know a small level, you were able to connect with them and We would have conversations that would go on, Paul could probably go on for hours. And so we should do this. We should have an episode. And we should talk about all of those things that we talked about. So that's why I'm glad that you're here. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. So I want to kind of share the trajectory in your life, how you've gotten to where you are now. And what kind of challenges and things circled around how you were able to get to the point that you're at now in your life?
Unknown Speaker 7:25
Yeah, yeah. Go for it. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 7:26
So I want to start go way back to high school. All right. So I mean, that's not that far back.
Unknown Speaker 7:32
No, no, actually. Yeah, I feel like it was so long ago. But probably it's just been a
Unknown Speaker 7:37
book because so much has transpired since then. Exactly. So from what I understand you finish high school a year early.
Unknown Speaker 7:45
So how did you pull that off?
Unknown Speaker 7:48
Okay, so it was a little out of my control. I was very young and then I'm back in primary school, a teacher of mine told my parents that they thought I was excelling in school, and they're like, we don't think your daughter needs to do grade two. So they're like lettuce, you can skip a grade. And your daughter are like, you know, so I just never went to grade two. That's crazy. Um, and I believe my parents put me into like preschool and kindergarten a little early too. So okay, I ended up graduating high school at 16.
Unknown Speaker 8:21
Okay, yeah. So you you essentially skipped quite early on though, but what was it that was that your teacher at grade two was saying? Or grade one, I guess saying like, hey, skip it all together. Like what was it about you like, what were you excelling in was a certain subject or wasn't
Unknown Speaker 8:35
honestly I'm not sure.
Unknown Speaker 8:38
I'm not too sure. But I had a lot of
Unknown Speaker 8:42
help from my older siblings. They were just, you know, I guess like they got me I was always studying around them. When I was even younger, I'd see them studying. And I'm kind of the kid who just like I would want to sit with them. So I guess it just started like doing whatever a grade one child what do I see? I see near them, but I guess
Unknown Speaker 8:58
yeah, so it helped a lot that you Had older siblings. I know your brother. Yes. And who else is
Unknown Speaker 9:03
I have given prob and Amen. Oh yes. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 9:06
Unknown Speaker 9:08
Yes. Yeah. So yes, I have two older brothers and two older sisters.
Unknown Speaker 9:12
Oh, did not know that. Wow, I should ask you that before. You are the youngest.
Unknown Speaker 9:16
Unknown Speaker 9:18
Okay. Because I know obviously I know Vish because he comes here into the gym. And I feel like he's been a fairly big influence in your life given where you guys are studying right now. So we'll get into that a little bit later. That's why I know so much about fish. Okay, so you finished high school early. How was it being perceived by your friends and no peers because that everyone know that you were younger or you kind of just pulled it off as if whatever I'm same age,
Unknown Speaker 9:42
everyone knew I was younger. But I feel like when you skip a grade so young, you develop at the age and mental level that your peers are developing at. So I was always I wouldn't fit in I'd say with the kids that were actually my age. I would fit in with the kids. That was I was in class with
Unknown Speaker 10:01
yours a year older
Unknown Speaker 10:02
that were a year older essentially. Yeah, so I found that being true throughout high school. No one really cared much about my age, necessarily. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 10:11
Okay. I mean, me going going through elementary school, I remember I did these advanced like math stuff. I mean, I still hate math now. But at the time, I was really good. I think maybe it was grade five or six or something. Anyway, I just remember feeling like I was not outcast, feeling like I was different from a bunch of people, because there was a couple of guys that were in this group of advanced math people. And we were kind of like, oh, who are those nerds? And of course, it was like two or three Asian guys in there. There was you know, whatever. Right. But did you ever feel like you were slightly different than the rest only because you were younger? Did you internally feel that or did people make you feel that way?
Unknown Speaker 10:47
Oh, that's a good question. So I would say I had like an internal conflict, which I still have to date where I feel like I work very hard just to feel like I just Just know that I can fit in. And back in high school for me it was I never wanted to stop working hard, because I wanted to fit in. But I also always I was very type A in high school. I had a hard time socially I feel because I did hang around my brothers a lot. So like with girls, and I know that's a big thing, like being in cliques and stuff. I did find it a little hard to fit in and had some things going on in high school. So I think it was a lot of things but yeah, so high school was like a little rough, I would say was it Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 11:33
well, I was actually was gonna ask you next was how was high school for you? Did you have a solid crew of friends that you could rely on that had your back? Or Well, how was it for you?
Unknown Speaker 11:42
Um, good question. So I had a great group of friends. I still hang out with some of them to date. We catch up whenever we're all back in one place. But I would say things started going bad for me in around grade 11 and 12. I'm sure we'll talk about it later, but I was diagnosed with celiac disease in grade 11, which celiac disease was not a common diagnosis back in the day, I remember my mom and I have to drive to the states to go get me gluten free food and like lo and behold in this current, you know, age and date, it's like, there's aisles dedicated to my gosh,
Unknown Speaker 12:18
yeah. Not that
Unknown Speaker 12:20
not then. Yeah. And it was hard to even convince my, like, family physician to be like, Listen, I think there's something wrong with me. I feel so crappy all the time. So my health was taking a toll and I was competitively swimming then. Okay. And I was I looked quite malnourished, I was very underweight. And, you know, that gets people talking, especially when you're in high school and people will come up with different explanation as to why you've lost so much weight right. So I dealt with a lot of that and I had some good friends to help me through that, but it was all internal once again, and you know, I never really especially when my brother left for university. I was like, fellas Can only child. Um, and then along with that just came like this general anxiety I just like I was always worried about what everybody thought about me I was worried about myself, I wanted to be this perfect person and I kept feeling like I wasn't there, right. Um, and unfortunately like I didn't take care of it or accepted or really know what was happening back in the day. And it wasn't good for it that was sort of like the start of like the toll that like my mental health took. I see. It started in around then. So you know, when I got diagnosed, that was also very hard because I didn't want to be eating gluten free, which sounds so silly right now. But I went all my friends. Like I just wanted to fit in I just wanted that was like my goal in high school was just to be totally normal and accepted. And I just felt like I couldn't write. And, yeah, so good friends, but had so many internal conflicts that were I wouldn't even talk about often I would just sort of struggle quietly. But then around the end of grade 12, it became very aware to a lot of people that I wasn't doing well, right. And I went to a great high school that was very supportive of me. And you know, they just try to help me in whatever way they could. Yeah. So still grateful for the teachers that I had there. That's awesome.
Unknown Speaker 14:17
Yeah, I think teachers have such a huge influence. And I had this conversation with someone the other day, like how memorable some teachers and educators can be. And I don't know if they realize just how memorable some of them can be like, in a good way, in a positive way. Like, I remember my elementary school teachers that, you know, made the biggest impact on me. And I think that's great that despite your challenges in high school, you were able to still have teachers or remember the teachers that were very influential or least helpful to you during those challenging times.
Unknown Speaker 14:45
Unknown Speaker 14:46
Yeah. So going back to your diagnosis, you had to change quite a lot of things. So you're obviously your dietary restrictions that impacted your did that impact your ability to swim competitively. Because your body was changing so much,
Unknown Speaker 15:02
it didn't. I don't know if it had like a direct effect on my swimming, but my body image was all over the place. You know, I, that's when I really started dealing with a lot of body image issues where I was like I went from being, you know, in high school, I feel like we idolize thin people. And it's just because that's what you see on magazines or whatnot. And I was there at one point, in a very unhealthy way. And then to put on weight because I was actually getting healthy, right was something that was very alarming and just didn't sit well with me. I was like, This is not who I am. And, you know, I would all these unhealthy eating habits then build up, which went out of check for years and years. And so
Unknown Speaker 15:41
there's such a huge disconnect with what the the world's perception is, or at least the image that you know, media is putting out there and what's healthy and what actually is healthy. And I think there's going to be an ongoing challenge. But I think you saw that and you were probably at the time struggling with Well, if that's the image of healthy, whatever is on the cover of a magazine, then why am I Being healthy and not looking like that?
Unknown Speaker 16:01
Absolutely, absolutely. Oh, like, it's taken years to be like, oh, everybody's not supposed to look the same. Like I you know, I still struggle with it note without a doubt, but it's I'm getting to a better place with it. So awesome.
Unknown Speaker 16:14
And I think that's, that's why I love your story is that you're constantly improving and you've acknowledged it. So we're going to touch on that a little bit more later. But I think that's so awesome. Now, now that you've finished high school at 16 you now have decided that you're going to go pursue medicine Now how did you transition from I'm going to graduate high or I've graduated high school. I'm gonna go pursue or Well first of all, you were you went to get your undergraduate degree, Gil. So take me there. When did you decide to go to school and what to study?
Unknown Speaker 16:45
Um, I always knew I was gonna go off to university. I feel like my parents really valued education and I knew I wouldn't know what to do with myself. If I hadn't gone off to an undergrad. It was just something that I knew was a right of, not a rite of passage, but you know, I've immigrant parents and nothing mattered more to them than education. Right. And so I went off to McGill, which is a different route than most of my high school friends took because UBC was like a very local and good university to go to, but I decided to take off and I was still 16 at the time 16 throughout my orientation and attend McGill I used to joke around back then being like, Oh, I want to be a doctor. But little did I know like it takes you know, it's a big statement. Of course, of course. Um, but then I am Yeah, so I started studying there and did my bachelor's ended up choosing my major to be pharmacology, okay. Which was, you know, it's like you think you know what you're doing. So you pick something and I went down that route. It was a very interesting route. But I do not believe pursuing pharmacology or pharmacy any further would have been the right choice for me. I see. I see. But
Unknown Speaker 17:59
at the Time it felt like that was the right thing to do.
Unknown Speaker 18:02
Yeah, I think it was interesting. And
Unknown Speaker 18:06
this is just like this embarrassing to admit, but like, I wanted to be unique or like, have an edge to myself. And I was like, Whoa, you know what sounds awesome is doing pharmacology like, you'd be surprised the
Unknown Speaker 18:17
the amount of decisions that are made because you just want to be different. I mean, I make decisions a lot with that in mind all the time. Right? Okay, well, you know, everyone's going one direction, I'm going to go against the grain. So the fact that you'd be that decision probably is beneficial for you in the long run. It may not seem like it right now. But it's pharmacology fairly applicable to what you're doing now. Is there any you know, I'm sure there is.
Unknown Speaker 18:39
Yeah, absolutely. For any of like the science and medical geeks, in pharmacology, you study a lot of pathophysiology. So in order to learn how a drug works, or how you're supposed to create a drug, or put it into effect, you need to understand the mechanism by which a disease happens, right. So what's breaking down on a molecular level? Is it a receptor issue? Is it you know, like, what is it? Is it an imbalance? Is it an enzyme issue? And once you can figure that out, so once you have your background knowledge of why you have a disease, and what's the physiology that gets a person there, then you can start building a drug or something to target. Right? So, pharmacology ended up being so much more about the pathophysiology, which is the entirety of medicine. I feel like you want to know the clinical, you want to know why something goes wrong, you know, so it ended up being like a nice warm up course. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 19:35
yeah. So in hindsight, then you would say it was a good decision.
Unknown Speaker 19:38
It was a, it was a great decision.
Unknown Speaker 19:41
I struggled more at McGill than I do in medical school right now.
Unknown Speaker 19:44
Really, just because
Unknown Speaker 19:46
it taught me how to study by me making a lot of mistakes. Like, it wasn't that it just came to me it was like I had to learn how to study effectively and put things into my brain and understand them without having guidance, right? So having four and a half years to trial and error that I think that's a lot of what undergrad is, it's you trying to find yourself in so many different ways. And one thing it taught me was like things that work for me and things that don't.
Unknown Speaker 20:14
So you're just now much more efficient person because of your experience going to school and going off to McGill and doing those things. Absolutely. I think that's so awesome, because I had another guest. And before that went to school, University of Calgary, and I bounce things off her that I didn't experience myself as in like, I went to school as a few, which is a local school. I didn't have the fortitude, the mental fortitude at 17. Whereas you did at 16. To be like, I'm going to go across the country. I'm going to go study and I'm going to live my life. Like I just had so many things that I felt was tying me down here and I just didn't have that fortitude to be like, I'm going to go and do my own thing and be myself for four or five years, whatever. So I commend you for being able to do that and being able to say, Hey, this is actually what's it was a very formative me what you're saying?
Unknown Speaker 21:01
Yeah. Oh man, it was a learning experience of anything I think.
Unknown Speaker 21:07
Learning how to put your dubay cover on by yourself and like having a FaceTime your mom be like, how do you put this thing on to?
Unknown Speaker 21:13
Unknown Speaker 21:14
Time management is just like you need to eat well, you need to healthy you need to get some exercise and each move and like, that's what undergrad taught me. That's what my bachelor's taught me more than anything life skills, yes, life skills and being efficient at them and like learning how to figuring out what's important for me. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 21:35
So you were there for four and a half years. You came back home for a little while. Yes or no? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 21:41
Yeah, remember? Yeah. So I think an interesting part of this whole story is my story, I guess is I told you in high school, I didn't really deal with my self image issues or my anxiety and it followed me into McGill. I was there on a scholarship When I first started and it was renewable, and I just ended up, I was miserable, I was taken out of a place of a lot of stability. My high school offered me a lot of stability, and so did my home. Right? And I was independent, and I lost control of my own life. And, you know, then some people, some medical professionals told me that I had like a generalized anxiety disorder, which I made a part of my identity. I was like, This is who I am. This is why I'm not capable of doing things. And when I'm failing, you're struggling. It's because of
Unknown Speaker 22:33
this. This was your crutch.
Unknown Speaker 22:34
It was my biggest crutch and I made it a part of my identity. And every time something happened in my life, I had an external thing that I could blame it on. And I did that for two years and around finals of my second year, I looked at my life. And I remember where I was, and I was just so upset at looking at myself from like an omniscient point of view. And I really This isn't who I set out to be. I was like, I need something to change. If I want to keep going. I had dreams before I started up at McGill. Right? And I had some things I wanted to accomplish. And I knew if I kept going down the path that I was going down, I was not going to get anywhere. Yeah. So I talked to some advisors at McGill. And I said, I want to go back to UBC for a year because I knew if I dropped out of school at that point, I would probably not end up going back coming
Unknown Speaker 23:25
Unknown Speaker 23:26
I was like, I knew that was where I was at at that point with with my education with my mental health with everything I knew I could leave right now. And I would never come back because school had become toxic for me in school is education is something I really remember enjoying at one right
Unknown Speaker 23:42
and then all sudden, it's not
Unknown Speaker 23:44
Yeah, and I'm not moving my body, which I knew was something in high school that I love to do. wasn't eating right for my celiac disease, you know, so I was like, malnourished, and there was so many things happening and I remember calling my parents saying, I want to come back. Yeah. So I got everything in order. I took pharmacology courses back at UBC, they have a great program. So I was here for a year. So I did a study away they call it for a year at UBC with transferable credits all the way back to. Exactly, exactly so and then I end up taking some really interesting electives here at UBC, which made me do an extra half semester. But that ended up
Unknown Speaker 24:20
with I was the four and a half.
Unknown Speaker 24:23
Yeah, I took like English courses love it. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 24:27
But see, now you got a breath of knowledge, right? Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 24:29
And I got to enjoy Vancouver and you will see and really know what my UBC friends felt like. And it was tough but interesting in its own way. I had to like make new like, you know,
Unknown Speaker 24:40
starting over again, it is starting over.
Unknown Speaker 24:42
So now that you knowing that you had this experience between UBC and McGill. Was there any part of you that was like, I'm just gonna stay UBC and finish here? Or was there like, Okay, I know I'm gonna go back like what was your mindset at the time to finish?
Unknown Speaker 24:55
I had a lot of thoughts. I was
Unknown Speaker 24:57
like, maybe I should switch into nursing. Maybe just switched Nutrition, maybe pharmacology is not for me. But I knew that my bachelor's was just a part of where I wanted to be. And I knew starting over an entirely new program of for a bachelor's program wasn't what I wanted, right? So I was like, I'm going to tough it out. I'm going to finish it up. And when I went back for my fourth year, I just end up taking a lot of neuro pharmacology, focus courses, neuro anatomy, because I was like, You know what, I might as well just do things I enjoy, right? If I'm going to be finishing up this program, and it ended up working out for the better, and, you know, so I did, I had a lot of thoughts, but I also didn't want to commit more time than I already had to into this bachelor's program. I see.
Unknown Speaker 25:39
Yeah. Okay. I think that's really cool that you made the decision to do something that you know, do classes or whatever that you enjoyed, because I think that was one thing for me that was a big downfall was when I went to school. I was like, Okay, well, these are the things that I need to take. And I mean, there's an element of that that I think is important, but also you don't get a chance to really discover what it is that is good for For you, and what, you know, jobs with you in terms of a class or whatever, like a topic or a subject, and I think it took me longer to discover what it is that I really wanted to do, because I was too much too busy thinking about what I needed to do versus what I felt like I wanted to do. Mm hmm. Right. And so I think you were able to find that partway through.
Unknown Speaker 26:18
Yeah, I mean, the first two years, mine were the same. Like it was just me taking a bunch of required courses like genetics, calculus, physics and me questioning like, why am I doing the Yeah, like, I thought High School was over. But in McGill, they call them filter courses. Okay. Like, they were really to filter out the people that just didn't belong. Right. Right. Right, right.
Unknown Speaker 26:39
Oh, that makes sense. I mean, there's a way to, like, you know, filter, you know, whether you're committed or not do it. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 26:45
it sounds rough. And, you know, I was like, maybe I'm not meant for
Unknown Speaker 26:48
Yeah, but again, mental fortitude. You're able to get yourself through it. Right. Yeah. Despite all the challenges that you were going through now. Now that you finished McGill, you finish your degree I guess I jumped ahead of myself a little bit earlier. But now you're finished. Now we're going to decide where you want to go after finishing. How did you make that decision?
Unknown Speaker 27:09
Yeah, I'm, so I'm trying to decide where I want to go what I want to do with my life. So December 2018, is when I come home and pack up my life for Montreal, and come pack. And I decided I was going to write the MCAT. So I was like, Okay, so the M cats, the medical school admission exam that you need to write for almost every single med school. So I've known from, like, from listening to my peers and my brother and a lot of other people that you need to put a couple of months away for this. Yeah. So I decided to write I didn't prepare you, me. Yeah, study and prepare and it's a consistent effort. And something that I hadn't learned until about my last year at McGill was consistency.
Unknown Speaker 27:50
I also at that time,
Unknown Speaker 27:53
was true, like, was being a little more honest with myself, and I realized I looked at my GP And I'm like, you know what, I'm not sitting at a 4.0. And I looked at the amount of research I had done, or the amount of volunteer work that I had done compared to my peers who were competitive for a Canadian med school. And like, Kev, when I say I was on a high after my McGill edge, like after I finished my last final season, I finally felt like I'd hacked life. I was like, on an education high. I was like, I know how to do well in exams, despite everything someone could throw at me. And I'm like, I need to continue this. I was like, I was like, I need to continue this and I need to do it quick.
Unknown Speaker 28:34
Unknown Speaker 28:35
rolling. So I get home, just did the holidays with my family, and I just start doing from my MCAT. And then I wrote that on April 20. Okay, and there's a quick turnaround for what I'm about to say. So like, I wrote it on May 20. Sorry, April 20. I believe the results came out a month later.
Unknown Speaker 28:53
And that's probably an anxious month.
Unknown Speaker 28:55
Yeah. Well, yeah. So I was getting other things ready. And then You might have to fact check me this on later. But I believe I got accepted into the med school that I'm at on June 1. So it was like, April 20, boom, boom, boom, June 1. Yeah, it was either June 1 or July 1, but I got accepted very quickly and just then there and then I was waiting for some other offers, but my brother was at this med school. So I was like, Okay, I'm not even going to interview Yeah, with I it was the first time in my life. I was like, I'm sorry. Like,
Unknown Speaker 29:29
you're having to turn people down almost
Unknown Speaker 29:31
turn. Yeah, some schools down and
Unknown Speaker 29:35
just choosing this not only because it was simple and easy, but I didn't want to go through decision fatigue. And I was about to like, go down that road. Right. So I was like, my, I already have a sibling in this in this state and like, why I'm just gonna do it. Right. So um, I ended up at University of Queensland.
Unknown Speaker 29:52
Yeah. Which I think is awesome. Again, stepping out of your comfort zone going somewhere completely out of the country now and pursuing You know, medicine. So when you were when you had taken the M cats how what's the process? Obviously a little bit ignorant to this, but you take the MCAT do those results get sent to a bunch of different med schools? Or do you apply for ones that you are hoping to be considered for?
Unknown Speaker 30:15
So how it works is there's the AMC website, and I believe when you are sorry, when you're putting out your score, you can say like, Oh, I want schools to be able to see my score. So they can send me like interested in offers. Gotcha. But the scores get sent through them. You don't actually get to like, it's just like a you're just a third party. Yeah, you know, they want it all to go legally. So like, they send the scores out, everything's very legal,
Unknown Speaker 30:41
like in the schools approach you given based on your scores?
Unknown Speaker 30:45
No, so you apply Oh, but um, every school on their website, you'll see they have like, requirements, or they're like, this is our minimum MCAT score that will so you you have to look at yourself and you have to be like, How well did I do? Do I need to rewrite it? Do I not And then your application matters and your MCAT matters. And then most schools now are interviewing. So then your interview matters, whether that's like a MMI MMI style interview, or that's just, you know, face to face, a Skype interview. All of those things matter. They want to know who you are as a person, they want to see your score, they want to see your GPA from undergrad. And then that transcript is also sent through university you don't open those seals. Yeah, of course, you just sending everything direct, and then you wait to hear back. It's often a very lengthy process. So for me to be accepted so quickly, I actually wasn't ready for that. I was
Unknown Speaker 31:37
just like such a whirlwind of a process. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 31:39
So it's funny because you say you weren't ready because it all happened so quickly, but in a way, I think anybody would probably be more anxious not either not getting accepted that quickly. Or, you know, yeah, because you're just not getting it. All right for a bunch of places. Now. all the places that you had applied to, that you showed interest in, besides University of Queensland Were you accepted at all the other ones as well? Or were there other ones that were like, you know,
Unknown Speaker 32:04
I'm so I don't actually know if I would have I got accepted to another one other university immediately, but I wouldn't know if I did because I was asked to interview okay. And so I declined to interview first I was going to go through it to be like, this is going to provide growth and this suffering will be good experience. But then I was like, No, like this is just stop giving yourself unnecessary stress. Like, a part of me was like, Yo, this would be great. But I was like, No,
Unknown Speaker 32:29
this is not where Yeah, so
Unknown Speaker 32:31
ultimately, you made the decision to go to University, University of Queensland. Yeah. In Australia. And part of the benefit is that your older brother also studied there are studies
Unknown Speaker 32:40
Unknown Speaker 32:41
There Yeah. So now how big of a factor was that? furbish to be you know, studying at the same school
Unknown Speaker 32:49
up huge you know, I would sometimes when I'm really really feeling high and mighty, I try to like, make it feel like he didn't have a huge impact. I'm like, No, I did this all by myself. This is all about But coming home to a loved one being able to grow with somebody I think companionship is the biggest takeaway I think it can come in so many forms. And for my it really developed my brother and my relationship you know, we were at a different point before and now all of a sudden we were seeing every part of each other's
Unknown Speaker 33:19
years almost again right where peers
Unknown Speaker 33:21
and we learned a lot about respecting each other in different forms you know, as as as people who live together but as professionals, because it was valuing each other's opinions and just like knowing when the other person may know more about a topic and whatnot and then also as just my best friend Yeah. And knowing when to trust someone to be like, no, maybe they're right and I'm just so in my head that but that goes with anything, but I think companionship was the biggest thing to have somebody who knows you well enough to know when you're not doing well but you won't speak out about it. Yeah. Or knows when you're about to go put yourself into like the deep end and there like giving you a warning, they're like, Hey, I think you're trying to take too much on your plate. Cuz I know you. So I think maybe you should back off. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 34:06
yeah, that's actually really valuable information that you saying here because I think the interpersonal relationship between siblings, perhaps as kids is so different than in adulthood. Here you are saying that you actually appreciate the feedback he gives you, you know, advice, perhaps that, you know, he provides and just the companionship or the friendship that he that he's there for for you. Whereas as a kid, you're probably like, get out of here, man, you're in my face. Did you ever have that kind of relationship when you were younger?
Unknown Speaker 34:33
Absolutely. I mean, I'd say. I mean, you're making me sound like a very good sibling. Right now. There are times where he'll give me really, really good advice. Or, you know, he'll tell me something and I won't. My immediate reaction will be to put all my walls up and be like, no, like, you don't know what is best. But then a week later, I come back and I'm like, I'm really sorry.
Unknown Speaker 34:54
Yeah. You know, you're right.
Unknown Speaker 34:56
I should Yeah, I should be more open to listening. This is Something I'm working on is just openness and listening to somebody else's opinions, even if it completely different from mine, and listening to them with an open mind, rather than closing myself off and shutting out their argument before they even begin just thinking that, you know, I am the right one. This is my life, of course, I know what's best for you. It might be that, you know, this person who's also going through the same program and is ahead of me, and lives a very similar life to me and like grew up in the same upbringing as I did. Like I'm, you know, so it's I'm learning to have faith and trusting someone else's capabilities. It's just having faith and trusting. I think trust is very difficult. Yeah, yeah. And loyalty, just like interesting. Trust, loyalty, all those things is those are things I've learned recently.
Unknown Speaker 35:45
And that's interesting. You use those words because trust loyalty, those are words that you would use in perhaps a relationship that you have with someone like a romantic relationship, whereas yours you're referring to those words in a sibling relationship and how that changes and grows As adults, especially as you're growing in the medical field and studying same thing,
Unknown Speaker 36:04
Yeah, I am. I think now that I realized that it's just my relationship with my brother is so special that I would say it is my most important relationship in my life. And
Unknown Speaker 36:17
I don't know if it was my relationship with my brother.
Unknown Speaker 36:19
Why not? But she'll be listening later.
Unknown Speaker 36:21
Yeah, I am.
Unknown Speaker 36:25
It was the first time I realized that, too. You have to recognize how much work you want to put into a relationship. Yeah. And sometimes you won't recognize that until it's gone.
Unknown Speaker 36:34
Yeah. Oh, man. It's so true.
Unknown Speaker 36:36
Or until you know, it's ended poorly or something's happened. And then so once you recognize that you also need to be able to put in an effort and it's like the word unconditional love, is like, I don't know if people just toss it around. It is hard. Like to love somebody means so many different things. You know, it's to support them sometimes when you're not agreeing with them. It's just support them when you're tired of your own life, it's to listen to them, even if maybe they haven't listened to you, like, it's to always keep your end of a promise. And learning that with my brother has helped so much in my other relationships, you know, even with my parents and, but he is the one person who have just put in so much effort into that, like, it's just been such a wonderful thing. Right. And that's the one of the biggest things that medical school has given to me so far.
Unknown Speaker 37:26
That's actually really awesome. I think and I think it's mutual. I mean, obviously, when I talk to fish and you're not here, whatever, I think those feelings and those efforts are mutual. And it actually makes me reflect knowing your guys relationship. Obviously, I know a little bit deeper now but my relationship with my sister, I've got a couple steps as the live elsewhere. But my half sister who was you know, Rochelle, I think she's eight years younger than me and I think just because of that age gap. As a child younger I was always feeling like I was this older, you know, whatever. I know everything guy and I was a very protective brother. Right. I've been lucky in that she ends up you know, you know, being with somebody who's you know, her life partner, and made it easy for me. She wasn't the one that was out dating all the time. And I didn't have to worry about it so much. So I'm a little bit of a shout out to my sister, first of all, but the relationship that I had with her when I was younger, I feel like and then seeing your guys relationship and come in comparison to how I've developed mine with my sister, I feel like there's some things that I could take away from how you guys are because not only because you guys are doing things together, but I think just the mutual respect that you have not that don't have mutual respect with my sister. I do a lot now. But I feel like I wish I'd started that sooner because we come from a broken family, I mean, single mom raised by single mom, and that put a lot of strain between us, because I felt like I was that well not felt like but I became the man of the house essentially. And just by virtue of that, I think she felt like I was cracking down on her like I was the other Dad, you know what I'm saying? And so, now in adulthood we can laugh about It, it's great. We have a really good relationship now, but I feel like making up to do. And I think where you guys are at, you know, between you and vicious is a really great place to be. Because now you guys are going to make, you know, big changes in your life and you guys are doing it together, which I think is awesome. And it translates into other things besides med school.
Unknown Speaker 39:16
Absolutely. We're gonna get to an absolutely, no, I think.
Unknown Speaker 39:20
I think that's Yeah, I think when our friends when they see our relationship as siblings, some people are like, how come you guys spend so much time together? Or like, why do you guys you know, it's so cool. Or some people are just like, how do you do it? It's tough. Yeah, but it's just it's one of my most fruitful relationships and one that's just provided me with so many things. And my brother when I was younger, played a very similar role. He played a very father very paternalistic role. Yeah. So for him to also when I arrived in Australia, to realize that I was an adult, and like, realize I was able to, you know, be very competent. It took some it's a very it was a huge adjustment period for him to be like, I need to back off and let her do her life and make her mistakes without always being. So now it's more like we're learning more of how to play a more sibling and a more equal relationship rather than him being so paternalistic because that is what I needed when I was younger, and I, and it was great. And it and it kept me out of so many different troubles that could have run into in my life, you know, having him there do that. But now it was more, I think I know what I'm doing. So, but it was a difficult transition even for me because sometimes I wanted somebody to like, you know, catch me when I fall, but he's like, no, if we're going to do this, we know if we're going to be real siblings, more friends than me have that role. It's going to take a bit of, you know, you need to be okay with being independent. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 40:45
And kind of learning things. Yeah. And yeah. Did you ever go back to high school real quick? Did he let you go to high school dances or did you even care to go to high school dances for school?
Unknown Speaker 40:54
He let me go to high school dances. Okay, um, yeah, he
Unknown Speaker 41:00
Yeah, I think he's, he's funny in that way. I think he's very quiet about his ways that he's protected. Um, he won't like openly speak out about it. But just like if you know him well enough, you'll know when he's just like a little. irked.
Unknown Speaker 41:12
Yeah. Well, I asked you that because I did let my sister go to high school. It was like, No, you don't want to mess with that stuff. The guys that you're going to meet there, guys like me, and you don't want to meet guys like me at the dance? Or shall I know she had a rough? But obviously Things are different now. But yeah, that was really funny. So now obviously, your brother, you guys were kind of going to school together. Obviously, different levels are different. You know, he's obviously for a bit further ahead of him. But the interpersonal aspect of being in med school is something that I was curious about. I think you touched on it when we talked a couple couple of weeks ago in that everyone is so immersed with information and knowledge and you're just bombarded with it. And this all you do is you get to absorb like a sponge. And sometimes it's just so I guess it's it's Yeah, it's overwhelmed. So how is that in terms of how you are with peers that are, you know, studying with you at your level? And I think you mentioned something about, it just felt like, you just have to kind of get your two cents in because otherwise you don't have a chance to express your knowledge and things like that. Like how, how is that relationship with other people that are you studying with?
Unknown Speaker 42:20
Um, Wow, good question. So, I would say the biggest thing was, when you when I entered med school is just you have people of different ages. And everyone's coming in and bringing in different experiences. You know, some have a lot like we have people who was working worked as registered nurses coming back from medical school, so their clinical knowledge is out of this world and like their experience, and then you have other ones were younger than I am even like they're 19 or 20. But these kids are just not even kids. These like men and women are just so smart. And you know, so you feel this constant needs To prove yourself, and I, in the beginning, I felt that, you know, in the beginning, it was sort of, I have to work really hard to feel like so people know that I fit in. So I know that I fit in, right. And to know that this was the right choice for me. And that's hard because even at by the end of the year, you still won't know like, you know, it won't. No one's gonna give you the answer to this is your and that's the thing about medical school is they give you such little feedback. And I learned this from one of the registrar's I was working with in the hospital, he said, when you're doing well, no one will really give you any feedback back. You'll just have to continue and trust yourself and hope you're going down the right path. But he said when you're doing poorly or you do something that's not acceptable, you'll hear back about it right. But until you don't hear back about it, you just have to keep having faith in things you're doing and just keep going down that road. Right. Right. Which is the hard part but that is really what it is like we don't have many, the assessments are all sort of at the same period at the same time. So it's like one game days here that is the only day that you will be assessed yeah so the other 10 months or so that you spend studying you best believe that you were putting in that good consistent effort because it only show for them for the assessments and stuff on that one day,
Unknown Speaker 44:21
right? So there's really no consistent feedback loop where you can be like, test the temperature, okay, where am I at? How am I doing? It's just kind of you have to know in yourself confidently that okay, I've done the work, it'll show in my whatever I'm doing, whether it's testing or you know, application of knowledge in a situation things like that.
Unknown Speaker 44:40
Absolutely. And another thing that I'm like learning very quickly is and I think my brother and most of my friends that I surround myself with, have the same mentality and I'm you know, I'm learning from their mindset is that how well you do on your med school exams is not does not translate to how good of a physician you'll end up being okay? Because getting some nice facts right about x y Zed disease or like knowing this antibiotic by its name and knowing everything about it will not always translate to you being good in a hospital setting you being you providing good care. It's and that was something that's really difficult for me because I am somebody who loves getting good grades. I just like, you know, I get happy like I place so much of myself value and identity in like marks, which I realized how to change like after my first semester first year I was like, This is not sustainable to place so much value in a letter grade or like a number. I'm like, really allow that to dictate how I feel. But
Unknown Speaker 45:49
that's interesting because I think that's just how school systems are. I mean, we're, it's unfortunate about where Yeah, we associated even from grade one even like the letter grade is your your level of intelligence or value you associated value with that letter for me and I was getting like different colored stars like, you know, if you are the highest as a great marketing guy, you are getting red stars when I went to school in the Philippines, but I mean, same thing, you associate these little things with it. But you don't realize how much you know, intelligence or knowledge and stuff is actually not related to what those numbers are are necessarily.
Unknown Speaker 46:25
Absolutely, yeah. Also you went to school in the Philippines? Yeah, I did.
Unknown Speaker 46:29
I grew up in the Philippines until I was seven. And I moved here as a child. And so I know, new story for you. Yeah, so I moved here when I was when I was quite Yeah. Wow. Cool.
Unknown Speaker 46:40
So it's okay, so to answer the question that you initially asked, it's really easy to get into a cutthroat mentality. Yeah, that's really easy to feel like, I need to word vomit a bunch of smart words. Oh,
Unknown Speaker 46:53
Unknown Speaker 46:54
We get these things called cvl, which are case based learning, okay. And it's very easy to feel like oh, maybe I'm not Saying enough in my cvl group or like, maybe they think I'm stupid because I don't speak out enough about, maybe they don't think I've done my work or maybe I'm the lazy person, right? Just, you know, I don't think you want to be labeled as a lazy person when you're in med school, because then no one will want you on there. You know, see,
Unknown Speaker 47:15
I see I'm so being noticed is what you're saying? Like,
Unknown Speaker 47:18
yeah, you want to be you? I think everybody in medical school in a way. I think I tried to run away from identity being tied in school. Because I was like, No, I think this is the classic thing you try to do is you're like, I'm more than a med student. I'm more than a med student. So you keep trying to do more things. But you also needed I also needed to come to the acceptance that like yes, I do study a lot like, but it's a part of my life, like I need to stop trying to run away and shying away from being that kid who studies a lot, which I tried to do, but at the same time, I would want to be the one who knew things. So it's just like you're in this weird conflict with yourself and pull, push and pull of you being like, I want to know things. But then you also being like, I don't want to be the kid knows everything. Yeah. So you got to find a healthy balance. And I truly am starting to think that like, that is what all med school is about is like learning a lifestyle that will work for you once you're out of this protected school environment. And once you're in the workforce,
Unknown Speaker 48:15
Yeah, I was gonna say like, I feel like, you will never stop learning. Of course, that's just a life thing. But also in med school, there's just so much out there that you can literally, you know, stop your brain with all this information and knowledge. You'll never run out of that. So to be able to say, hey, maybe I just don't need to know as much as I feel like I need to know right now and just let that come as I as I progress.
Unknown Speaker 48:36
Absolutely. I'm constantly told this again, again, they're like, just master the fundamentals. No, become really good at your basics. Because if you have a good understanding and a good, like, fundamental basis of medicine, and what it is, you can add to that as you go along in your career onto the parts that you need to, but if you don't have that good core, you know, it's the same thing with like, lift isn't like you can you can apply that to so many things in life is you need to know the basics before you can go off and jump into, like, it sounds really cool to know a lot about like this one very, like nice little thing and like to not be able to have a conversation with somebody else about like the basics right. You know, that's like a fly guessing that's interesting.
Unknown Speaker 49:20
I think that's an interesting point of view. I think a lot of people want to specialize now. I think that's a and I'm going to get to this in a second. But the notion of being specialized, I think that's where people are, are generally veering towards now whereas I always thought it was better to just know a little bit about everything, like a jack of all trades kind of guy, but obviously in medicine, you do end up I mean, unless you're perhaps a GP, but, you know, you end up going in one direction and you want to specialize now, is that kind of where you're leaning right now, you know, early on into your medical career.
Unknown Speaker 49:51
Um, yeah, so I would I'm, I stay away from saying what I want to specialize in because truly I haven't even experienced In some of those fields, I see, but I do believe I want to specialize for various reasons, but I think I will go on to do more than beyond family practice or GP. Oh,
Unknown Speaker 50:12
yeah. Okay. So obviously, you're still exploring and what that may be. That's really interesting
Unknown Speaker 50:15
on different clinical settings, you know, being inside of a operating room versus, you know, being out on the wards and doing more patient based care. So it's like a lot of us seeing the procedural side of it. And then you're seeing more patient like, so I'm learning just by watching right now. And I'm trying to every time I'm in those settings, I'm sort of like, is this something I see myself doing down the road is is something that's sustainable for me, and I think sustainability has become very important to me as a recently.
Unknown Speaker 50:42
Right, right. Yeah. I think that's an interesting perspective that you're still in this discovery stage and that you're not ready to even say what you want to specialize it. So I think I'm glad that you have that perspective on things because it's still it's still early, right? That's right.
Unknown Speaker 50:55
Yeah, yeah. No, I didn't want to be. I didn't want to like put my mind to something. And then shut down the other doors, right?
Unknown Speaker 51:01
Oh, that's true. That's your mind off. So I didn't want
Unknown Speaker 51:03
to, I have some friends who are very certain of what they want to do the moment they enter and they'll focus all their time on that and they'll find doctors to work with. But I am not somebody I haven't found something like that. So I'm just going to keep my options open.
Unknown Speaker 51:16
Yeah, yeah, I wanted I want to transition a little bit to now we've spent you know, talked about, you know, you med school and all that, but I want to talk about your decision to transition and how that's been to living in another country. Obviously, Australia is an English speaking country, so that makes things a little bit easier. Yeah, debatable whether their accent is English. I mean, that's hard to understand. Some guys
Unknown Speaker 51:39
know they have a lot of slang slang
Unknown Speaker 51:40
terms. Yeah, that I know for sure. So packing up and leaving your life and going to Australia to study. How difficult was it for you? I mean, I'm always standing your brother being there already. But was that a relatively easy decision? Um,
Unknown Speaker 51:56
yes and no hard question. I think I've always been very education career driven and focused I, I get told that by a lot of my friends and, and my parents. So when I got accepted to med school, I was just, I was just so happy. I just I didn't see that day ever coming to be completely honest. I felt like nothing that I'd done in my life had ever put me at a point where I would get accepted into med school. I always felt the imposter syndrome I was talking about earlier, but I always just throughout my undergrad, especially in high school, I felt like I belonged. And I felt like I deserved things that I like received. But through undergrad I just felt like I was constantly below the bar. I just felt like I was never doing enough to keep to keep up. So when I got accepted, it was the only thing I could think about, you know, I was like this is I'm getting a second chance. Yeah, I'm getting a chance that I in high school used to joke about that. I want to A doctor, and I'm about to get a chance to be able to do that. Right. So from one perspective, I was like, This is the opportunity that somehow I've been given. Like, at this point, I know that I worked hard for it and whatnot. But you know, in the, in the moment, I was like, this is something I don't deserve. And somehow it's been given to me. So like, I need to go do this.
Unknown Speaker 53:19
So that's actually you said, You felt like this, you were given a second chance. Did you feel like you had a first chance that you lost?
Unknown Speaker 53:25
I felt like
Unknown Speaker 53:27
I could have excelled far greater in my undergrad and in my bachelor's, and I just,
Unknown Speaker 53:33
it's about your I just felt like I never lived up to my potential, which I know it's going to be such a like, controversial thing. If it's me saying if my family members and close friends are going to, you know, I'm very self deprecating and I'm trying to work on that, but I just constantly felt like I didn't do enough on a relationship basis on a academic level on volunteering on you know, any side that you look at it. I didn't feel like did enough or was enough? For those four and a half years?
Unknown Speaker 54:04
I think you could go back and think about all those things and dissect it all you want. But at the end of the day you are where you are because of the things that you did do. And I've learned to accept that the things my shortcomings before are now lessons to me now that I can make sure that I don't make those same mistakes later on.
Unknown Speaker 54:22
So Right, absolutely, yeah. Like, I think I'm very much on the same page. I think those years were. I think how it goes is I think everybody suffers at some point, and everyone gets these points in their life, where will be setbacks, or, and then it's how you decide to move forward. Yeah, man. So I now that I look back at those years, I'm like those years provided me with endless amount of knowledge, and life experience. And I have all these tools and these and I'm going to take all these experiences and now that was my second chance. I was well equipped, whereas when I was 16, I was just a little fish. Yeah, ocean for sure. And now I'm like, this is my chance to redeem what I once wanted to do. And now look at this, like life has taught me all these terrible things. And from these, I've gotten all these. I just knew med school would be easier for me because I just knew I could not I wouldn't go through the same amount of suffering. Like I knew I had
Unknown Speaker 55:18
done the hard work already.
Unknown Speaker 55:19
Exactly. So, and I had a kind of my, my family and I, we joke about this, where I know no matter what comes forward in life, I'm like, oh, it'll never be worse than XYZ time. Like, there were times in my life that were so bad that it's just like, oh, it'll never be worse than this. So like, it only gets better from here. For me, I was at a point in my life in my undergrad where life was so low, that there was nothing worse than that. And so it's just I've been on up since then.
Unknown Speaker 55:49
I think that's an amazing perspective to have now, because, again, I've obviously not pursued med school or anything like that, but perceptually if I were to do it, I would think that it only progressive gets more difficult whether it's life challenges or how difficult you know, the studying gets or all that stuff to me perceptually I feel like it would get more difficult. Whereas you're saying, I've done all the hard work? Well, a lot of the hard work. You're done all the hard work, but you've done a lot of it already. And you're in a great place now that you feel like you can excel and not worry about the little things that you had to learn when you were younger.
Unknown Speaker 56:23
Absolutely, yeah. And I just think I got dealt those cards at a very young age. And some people will get them when they're 40 or 30, you know, so I just got them at a younger age. And that's how I feel about it's not that medical school is easy by any chance. It's just I know how to work hard. Now I know what working hard means. And I'm passionate about it. Rather than being told I have to write this chemistry exam or physics exam. Yeah, you know, it's like this is something I purposely chose to do. So I have a purpose in it. And more so when I get in these really stressful situations. I know how to dig myself out of them. It's like, I'm so self aware at this point that I can keep my mental health. It's just like