Student portrait of Hannah Gaffa

Lifelong dream becomes reality for Medicine student Hannah

Ever since she was a young girl, Hannah Gafa knew that one day she wanted to be a doctor.
“From the age of about nine, I just always knew it was what I wanted to do. It was liked something clicked and I stayed on that path because I kept discovering more reasons that I loved it,” she said.

Hannah, 18, is originally from Malta and is the first generation in her family to go to university in the UK.

“I don’t have anyone from a medical background in my family. I’ve always loved science, solving problems and helping people and I feel that medicine is a perfect fit. Because of that, I’ve always been very driven to knuckle down to achieve it.

“After wanting something for so long, it feels great to finally be doing it.”

Having relocated to from Malta to Bedfordshire when she was a child, Hannah remained focused throughout her school years on pursuing her dream career.

She said: “I remember my mum calling my school because I was so unsure about what subjects I should be taking to put me on the right path. I had to watch videos on YouTube to help me write my personal statement and I think that’s something that a lot of students who don’t have connections to the field have to figure out for themselves and it can be really tough.”

Reflecting on the beginning of her journey to studying Medicine at Edge Hill, she said: “I attended an Aimhigher event where there was a long list of medical schools to visit. I went to every stall and sadly with most of them, I felt like they didn’t have much time for me. Then when I arrived at the Edge Hill stall, they sat me down and had an in-depth conversation with me about the programme.

“The first time I visited the campus for an Open Day, I just had a gut feeling that it was the place for me, it felt like home. I love the greenery and the lakes on the campus and the whole place had a very friendly atmosphere.”

Now working her way towards her dream career, Hannah offered her advice to other students who want to pursue a degree in Medicine. She said: “Do your research in advance. By doing background research, I found that I really enjoyed the community focus of the Medicine programme here at Edge Hill. I also like the fact that they have small cohort sizes too, as I think I would have found a large class size quite overwhelming at the beginning of my studies.

“I think it’s also really important to have a good level of self-awareness when applying to Medicine. It’s a very competitive field, so you have to prepare yourself for that and be confident in your abilities. If you work hard and apply yourself then you can achieve what you want, and it will feel amazing once you get there.”