It was a high school exchange that set Caio Christiansen’s journey to the Bond Medical Program in motion. Now, the future doctor is a Grenby Family Beyond Bond Medal winner in Year 2 of his medical studies who aspires to one day practice in a rural community. We spoke to Caio to hear all about his transition from Brazil to Bond, and the pathways he took to get to where he is today.
Caio’s journey to Bond
Caio grew up in Sao Paolo, Brazil, a place he describes as a “massive, wild city full of energy – sometimes too much!” After attending a few different schools in Brazil, he jumped at the opportunity to go on a year-long exchange program at just 16, which saw him move to the Gold Coast and commence his Year 11 studies at Elanora State High school.
“I chose the Gold Coast because I loved the idea of living by the beach, where I could surf and explore nature. I’d also heard great things about the culture, people and lifestyle of the Gold Coast, which made me even more keen to come and live here,” Caio says.
After spending all of 2016 on the Gold Coast, making friends and gaining some independence away from home, Caio was hooked on beachside living – riding his push bike everywhere was just one aspect of the coastal lifestyle that he loved. So, although he returned home to Brazil the following year, Caio knew it wouldn’t be forever. The Gold Coast was calling him, and university studies beckoned near on the horizon.
Caio finished Year 12 in Brazil before he decided to return to Australia to further his education. He’d visited Bond before, and loved the Gold Coast, so it was a no-brainer to ‘come home’ in a sense and enrol at Bond.
“When I was here in Year 11, I actually went to Bond twice for a tour with my school around the campus. The uni had amazing facilities that hooked me in, and importantly, there was a clear pathway to studying medicine.”
“I could complete my Biomedical Science degree in two years and then have the opportunity to apply for entry into the second year of Bond’s Medical Program, or I could apply to study medicine somewhere else afterwards,” Caio says. But, before the Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Caio needed to complete two semesters at Bond University College, where he sharpened his skills and got up to speed with the Australian health science landscape.
“I had a great time at Bond Uni College, and made heaps of friends, experienced uni life and had the opportunity to readjust to life on the Gold Coast without the pressure of a bachelor’s degree,” he says. “This eased my transition from high school to uni, which boosted my confidence ahead of my Biomed degree.”
Studying the Bachelor of Biomedical Science
“I chose to do the Bachelor of Biomedical Science because I was confident it would give me a strong foundation to go into medicine later,” Caio says. “I loved science in school, especially chemistry, so that also drove my decision.”
“My time studying biomed was a period of personal and professional development. Before starting my degree, I had this mindset that I was going to uni just to study, and I’d never really thought of getting involved in extracurricular activities.”
“Biomed was very different because I realised that my future success as a doctor required more than just studying hard. I decided to make the most out of my time at uni by engaging in sports, clubs, work, internships, volunteering and more. These experiences were equally as valuable to me as study was,” he says.
With this mindset, Caio excelled during his time studying biomedical science. He completed two work placements, one at Bond and another at Gold Coast University Hospital, learning about research and receiving one-on-one mentorship from leading scientists.
“These internships were extremely valuable for my professional development. It was great having the opportunity to be mentored by an expert, and ultimately, the result was gratifying as I got to co-author a research paper. This is truly the highlight of my career thus far.”
Pursuing the Medical Program
Now, after his journey at Bond University College and completing the Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Caio successfully applied for lateral entry into Bond Medicine and is in his second year of the program. Boundless hard work and dedication has seen him effortlessly ease into the program, not only pursuing excellence in his studies but in all areas of his life.
“One of my favourite parts of being a Bond med student is that there are so many opportunities to engage with likeminded students. There’s an event almost every night after class. It might be a revision night, clinical skills practice, a clinical simulation night or just a movie night. The clubs and societies at Bond have something for everyone, so I’d recommend anyone get involved. It’s made uni life really fun,” Caio says.
So, what’s next for Caio? The hard-working, tenacious second-year student has some lofty aspirations for his future career in medicine.
“I like the idea of working rurally as it’s a good opportunity to get to know your patients better. Practicing medicine in a rural area would give me the freedom to use my skills to help those who genuinely need support – so if you asked me today what I want to specialise in, I’d say rural general medicine. I also like the idea of being able to work as a flying doctor and seeing the best of Australia while working,” he says.
However, for now he’s content to bask in the satisfaction of having achieved so much in such a short time.
“What I really want right now is to take the time to enjoy med school. I worked really hard to be here, and now I’m exactly where I want to be, doing what I want to do.”
Explore pathways to Medicine
Everyone’s study journey is different. Discover more about studying Bond University’s Medical Program and how to get there.