A Worthwhile Pursuit

rsz_a_worthwhile_pursuit_1The balancing act of juggling medical training, research and personal interests while still setting aside time for her loved ones is not easy. Natalia Sutiman had to forgo some of her passions in her pursuit of medicine, but it was all worthwhile.

The final-year Duke-NUS student, a recipient under the Indonesian Scholars Programme, said, “The past two years have taught me the powers of a strong will, prudent time management and a strong network of support in making things happen. While the heavy academic workload and increased expectations throughout our clinical training can sometimes make us question and doubt ourselves, overcoming the negativity has enabled me to learn, grow and develop the courage and resilience to face the challenges that come with patient care responsibilities.”

“My peers, mentors and the faculty at Duke-NUS have been a huge source of support and inspiration throughout my academic journey, and I hope I will be able to do the same for others in time to come.”

Having been given an opportunity of a lifetime through the Indonesian Scholars Programme, Natalia came to realise that giving is not an end, but the continuation of a cycle.

rsz_a_worthwhile_pursuit_2“I used to believe that making a difference through philanthropic efforts entails ‘systemic’ changes – direct changes to policy to address deep-rooted problems in society. I have come to realise that investing resources in the right people and giving them support, financial or otherwise, can have just as great, if not greater, impact. Because they can then go on to make a difference to others, in their attempts to pay forward what they have been given,” said Natalia.

“Maya Angelou, an American poet and civil rights activist, once said: ‘You shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands, you need to be able to throw something back.’ With great blessings comes the responsibility to channel our knowledge, gifts and time into improving the lives of others and to be a catalyst for good in the world. That has helped me stay inspired through the struggles in my own journey,” she concluded.