Recent leaver Melissa Torkizadeh has spoken about how her time at Worth played a pivotal role in her journey to become a doctor.
Melissa, who was in St Catherine’s and left in 2017, has passed her final exams after completing degrees from two prestigious London universities, King’s College London and Imperial College School of Medicine.
She is now looking forward to an exciting future, but also has an eye on her past at Worth and how it helped her to where she is now. Melissa said: “Whilst I was pretty certain I wanted to pursue Medicine at university, I had no insight into the NHS and how hospital medicine works. Dr Pring, Worth’s careers advisor at the time, utilised his many contacts and secured me some work experience in orthopaedic surgery. It was this experience and the contacts I made which affirmed my decision to apply for medical school.”
Melissa has also spoken about how life at Worth encouraged her to value the work-life balance. She said: “Time management is a core skill that I will take forward throughout the rest of my career to ensure I don’t get burnt out. I even continue to play lacrosse, which I was introduced to at Worth.”
Above all, it was the culture at Worth that Melissa says encouraged the confidence, humility and kindness that she approaches all her patients with today. She added: “With Worth being an international boarding school, I was exposed to multiple cultures, languages and people from a range of backgrounds which changed my outlook.”
As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, Melissa said: “Despite the NHS being in crisis and junior doctor morale being low, I am excited for the next chapter and being able to make a difference. I’m working towards becoming an advocate in the field of women in medicine, particularly surgery – sectors where women are under-represented and aim to break down barriers and show what’s possible.”
Melissa has also recently been awarded a Worth Society Global Action Award to help fund her medical elective which she has chosen to do overseas and is now volunteering in the A&E Department of the Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal.
The Global Action Awards were established in 2000 by Worth Society, our alumni association, to offer grants to Worthians proposing to spend an extended period of time in unpaid work for the good of others. To date, a total of £33,780 has been awarded to Worthians participating in voluntary work for good causes.
Talking of her project in Nepal, Melissa said: “I know this whole experience will make me more grateful for what I have, evoke humility on my journey to inner peace and inspire me to want to continue giving back to communities as I progress in my career.”
As many alumni do, Melissa has offered herself as a mentor to current students who are interested in medicine or volunteering.
Many congratulations Melissa, we are proud of what you have achieved.
Worth Society is the School’s thriving alumni association that enables former pupils and staff to stay in touch with one another for business and social networking purposes, providing careers advice, support and lifelong guidance.