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Trainee doctor wins scholarship

A 29-year-old trainee doctor proved that age was no barrier after he won a three-year medical scholarship.

Matthew Sinclair was awarded the JJ Soares Medical Scholarship to help fund his studies at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Mr Sinclair, who is due to start his third year in medicine, said that the scholarship would provide him with $10,000 a year for three years.

He added that the bursary was one of the few scholarships that he was eligible for because of his age.

Mr Sinclair said: “A lot of the scholarships are limited so you have to be young or over 35, so this is kind of a grey area.

“There are many older students now in medical school so I don't necessarily feel that I'm much older, but many scholarships have age restrictions, usually around 25.”

Mr Sinclair, from Pembroke, first pursued a career in business after he graduated from William & Mary University in the United States in 2013.

However, after he worked with insurance firm Hiscox for a year and Mount Saint Agnes Academy for two years, he realised that he had made the wrong choice.

Mr Sinclair explained: “I was working at a desk and it just wasn't very fulfilling.”

He said his interest in medicine was sparked when he signed up with L'Arche International, an organisation that works with people with mental disabilities, in Cape Breton, Canada, for two years.

Mr Sinclair explained that the programme allowed people to live alongside people with mental disabilities to help them through day-to-day life.

The experience reminded him how much he enjoyed helping others and reaffirmed his interests in medicine, particularly in the field of care of the dying and care of the elderly.

Mr Sinclair said: “A lot of medicine is curative, which I think is awesome, but I like geriatric and palliative care because you're really focusing on quality of life.

“You can make simple adjustments that have a big impact on their lives.”

He added: “The whole idea of being well rounded is very important to me and I think that's what caused the shift towards medicine.

“It's not just the relational aspects of medicine but also the fact that medicine is ever changing, ever-evolving and that there's so much to learn.”

Helping hand: J.J. Soares presents Matthew Sinclair with a three-year bursary to help fund his medical studies in Limerick (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 19, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated August 19, 2019 at 8:58 am)

Trainee doctor wins scholarship

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