Applying to Medicine in Trinity College Dublin

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am Emily Tan from Penang. I am currently studying medicine in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. I am now in my second year. I previously did my A-levels in Taylor’s College Subang Jaya.

What was included in the application process to your university?
The application process is relatively easy compared to UCAS. Basically, there is a specific application form when applying to Ireland universities. I had to rank the universities of my choice, namely Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork and National University of Galway. I also had to send in a resume regarding my scholastic achievements and extra-curricular activities.

Did you perform any attachment?
I shadowed an orthopaedic surgeon in Penang General Hospital for a week. That experience was truly the defining moment for me to pursue medicine as my lifelong ambition. I have gained insights on the working life of a doctor and how important the doctor-patient relationship is, besides having knowledge on your respective field of work.

What are the ECAs that you think helped your application?
Music has played a huge role in my life as I have been playing the piano and violin since young. I channelled my passion into actively participating in the music scene in high school and also in college. Besides it being my passion, it is also another way for me to unwind and de-stress after a long day.

How was the interview session?
Successful applicants are shortlisted for an interview depending on which university you get into. I was interviewed by two Trinity representatives. It was more of a conversation/discussion rather than a formal interview. It was basically an interview to get to know you better. The questions posed were rather conventional, such as “Why did you choose medicine?” and they were more focused on my resume, so re-read your resume and thoroughly know what you wrote. Most of the time, the interviewers questioned more deeply into my response, so really know what you are going to say, but most importantly, just be yourself.

What advice would you give to future applicants?
Choose a field which you are most certainly passionate about. If you are uncertain about it, do attachments or talk to seniors to gain insights on what that particular “life” is all about. Do not be afraid to approach people who have already gone through this process. Good luck!

Here’s my email, etan@tcd.ie if there are any queries on anything.


Emily TanEmily Tan Chiao Wei is currently chasing her dreams of being a medical practitioner in Trinity College Dublin. She has amazing patience and this meticulous character that compliments her friendliness so well. That aside, she also loves music and dogs as much as medicine, if not more.

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