Lilly Steinberg’s career prescription was obvious from the start.
The 19-year-old graduated last week with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science from Bond University, but is staying at university to study medicine, building on a history that has already seen both her parents and a grandparent work as doctors, and her older sister also study medicine at Bond.
Ms Steinberg, from Brisbane, came to Bond in 2018 on a Vice Chancellor’s Elite Scholarship, and said her decision to move into the medical field was not as influenced by her parents’ profession as some might think.
“Ever since I was very young, I always had an interest in medicine, and that stayed with me as I got older. When I finished school, mum and dad said ‘are you sure you want to do medicine, there has to be something else you want to do’, I think they felt that they had somehow made me want to do medicine.
“Growing up in a household where they would sometimes talk about what they do at work and seeing how their lives ran, I think it did give me some insight into what my life as a doctor might look like.”
In her time at university, Ms Steinberg has already taken out the Vice Chancellor’s Dux award twice, as well as being named Dux of her faculty in her very first semester.
Despite this, she said academic awards were not something she strived for.
“I’m not much of a prize-driven person, it was more that I had a goal to achieve and along the way I was lucky enough to pick up these prizes, and it was nice to have some recognition of my work.”
Ms Steinberg had some high-level help at the start of her studies, being supported by double Olympic swimming gold medalist and fellow Bond medical student Melanie Wright, through the Vice Chancellor’s Mentor Program.
“I originally met her when I was about 12 and I was a competitive swimmer, and her being the great swimmer she was, she came to our swimming club one day.
“I really admire her as an individual, she’s done so much in such a short space of time, she’s a really great role model for all young people in sport, or in health science in general,” Ms Steinberg said.
Ms Steinberg is not yet sure what her future career holds beyond completing her medicine studies, although “immunology, haematology or oncology and anything with interesting technology” has appeal.
As with anyone looking to build a career in medicine, the shadow of COVID-19 is impossible to ignore.
“It’s interesting to see, particularly with people having to wear masks, the principles they teach you about hand hygiene and how to properly put on and off gloves to protect yourself and others, it’s really important information in a pandemic and it’s interesting to see how that crosses over into the public space,” Ms Steinberg said.
The pandemic has also made for heavily restricted graduation ceremonies this year.
While grateful for the chance to celebrate with friends and family last week, Ms Steinberg wasn’t able to party too much – true-to-form, the high achiever had class to attend after graduation, and end-of-semester exams to prepare for.