Mr Nicholas Chan, 23, is the first Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduate to make it to the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. One of 280 candidates who beat out some 2,000 applicants, Mr Chan’s unconventional route to medicine is one of redemption – showing that tenacity and hard work really can take you places.
Far from being a straight-A student, the rebellious teenager had quit secondary school in his third year, before deciding to take the O levels as a private candidate to qualify for ITE. He then trained as a nursing student in ITE and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), where he earned a near-perfect GPA of 3.91 out of 4. Unfortunately, his application to NUS Medicine last year was rejected. This year, his application to the medical school through its Exceptional Individual Scheme to support his nursing diploma, along with lecturers' testimonials, scored him a coveted position with the faculty.