For some students their interest in a particular area of medical science is sparked early on in their studies, even before they get to medical school. This was the case for Celine Olivia, recipient of the 2019 Parkinson's ACT George Webb Memorial Award.
Celine says, “I remember sitting in a lecture theatre, when I was an undergraduate student, listening to neuroscientists explaining the basal ganglia and being fascinated by the complexity of our nervous system. It was then I was introduced to Parkinson’s disease as a progressive neurodegenerative disease.”
That interest continued to grow for Celine, particularly when working with patients during her clinical placement at Calvary Hospital in 2019. “I’ve come to understand that Parkinson’s disease manifests beyond its motor symptoms with non-motor symptoms such as sleep disturbances, which significantly affects the person’s quality of life.” Celine is mindful of the lived experiences of the patients she has already encountered and acknowledges that it is extremely important and that treatment for Parkinson’s goes beyond simply administering the neurotransmitter dopamine.
This year, Celine has chosen neurology as an elective to gain a deeper understanding of Parkinson’s disease. She hopes to be able to encounter more patients with Parkinson’s through clinical placements with the aim of gaining a holistic understanding of the disease.
“I would like to thank Parkinson’s ACT for this generous support and the prize. It highly motivates me to further my interests in Parkinson’s disease and I truly look forward to completing my neurology elective this year.”