Motivational / Non-Fiction / Under 450 words

Dr Sara Hassan’s Story

not impossible“Many, many years ago I was a fresh-faced VCE graduate who was shattered to learn that I had not received an offer to study undergraduate Medicine. I was faced with the prospect of not doing what I had always dreamt of doing with my life, and it was such a shock to the system to have to re-evaluate my hopes and dreams.


Life took me down a different path. I started and completed a Science degree, and in a burst of newly found optimism started a research PhD with the hopes of becoming the next Florey, Dougherty or Burnett. Nothing taught me more about failure than those 3.5 years when experiments failed, morale was low, and the light at the end of the tunnel seemed to be a freight train barrelling down towards me at rocket speed.


goal-settingI met and married the love of my existence, and had two beautiful children. It was only then that I really learnt the meaning of patience. My youngest shunned the company of others, avoided eye contact, and struggled with her receptive and expressive language. The diagnosis almost destroyed me, but I learnt new lessons in tenacity, acceptance and empathy. It made me stronger, wiser and a much better person than I would have been otherwise.


Yesterday I finally achieved that childhood dream of becoming a Medical doctor. Yes, it took longer than I had ever hoped. Yes, I took a massive detour on the way. But the lessons I’ve learnt over the years were invaluable, and I have no doubt that I will be a better doctor because of them and the battles I’ve fought to stand here today.


road to successIf this mother of two, one with significant special needs, can fulfil this dream, then let this be a lesson to all my family and friends that anything is possible if you have the passion and support. Never let the voices telling you ‘you can’t’ drown out the voices screaming that ‘you can’. Because each of you has the ability and the potential to achieve much more than you think possible.

To my parents, husband, siblings and children: I will never forget your unfailing love and support. Yes, it is my name alone inscribed upon the testamur, but your names are engraved with love upon my heart.



[ Written by Dr Sara Hassan MBBS PhD(Paediatrics) BSc(Hons), reproduced here with permission from Dr Sara Hassan]

December 15, 2013

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