My name is Saleha Khan, and I am honoured to be the GPSN National Chair for Australia in 2022. I now stand as a fifth-year medical student studying at Bond university and can’t wait to work towards career in General Practice or Psychiatry in the future.

During the last 4 years, I have served as the Undergraduate Academic Year Representative, collaborated with student leadership networks including the General Practice Student Network at a local and national level and am soon to publish a Research Project for my MD that studies the effects of ‘Transcranial magnetic stimulation’ on patients with Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder.

This year, I am also travelling to Central Queensland to gain exposure to rural medicine by doing my placement at Roma Hospital that stands to be 477.6km from Brisbane in the outback. I hope these experiences will make me a better doctor to serve my patients with quality and integrity.

Getting selected to study in a medical program, is one of the most exhilarating and life-changing moments. It means you are about to embark on a life-long journey of endless learning, countless experiences, and the opportunity to give back to others. Whether it is assisting in the delivery of a newborn baby or suturing on an open wound in surgery, the vast skill set and knowledge you acquire is invaluable.

Often such great responsibility can be overwhelming. It is easy to feel like the whole world rests on your shoulders and this can, at times, play a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. Whilst you may find yourself completely immersed in your books and at times sacrificing your social gatherings to maintain your grades, the best advice I can provide is to join a club or society whilst in your journey to becoming a doctor.

Being a part of a club provides the unique privilege to meet like-minded individuals and facilitate another way of sharing similar ideas and passions for shared interests. Not only does this offer a range of strong communication, teamwork and time-management skills that you can use in your everyday life, but it makes your university experience so much more enriching and fulfilling.

Not long ago, I was in a very similar situation, trying to find my way around the inner workings of medicine. Whilst in my search for choosing which society to join, I stumbled upon The General Practice Students Network (GPSN), and this is when my adventure began!

In my first year of medicine, when I joined as Events Coordinator of GPSN within my local university, I never would have foreseen the incredible experiences that came my way. That’s part of the brilliance in GPSN – there is so much room to grow and develop, and you never know where this organisation will lead you.

From organising GP career nights, to OSCE nights and running unique Clinical Skill Events, GPSN was a committee that stood true to service, leadership and academics that lied very closely to my core principles. This budding society has always pushed its boundaries against the norm, and I am extremely humbled to have witnessed it through my years in medical school.

I take pride in becoming a GPSN member, being able to progress from an Events coordinator to Chair of my local university and then stepping up to being National Events Officer and now National Chair.

It was a huge part of my medical journey that made it very special, as I got the opportunity to continue within the club to a national level over the past 4 years. I could not think of a better way to end my medical school journey with GPSN.