A great learning experience for Jacinta Paardekooper with Flinders Medical Science


A great learning experience with Flinders Medical Science

Excited by the ability to help others, Jacinta Paardekooper embarked on a Bachelor of Medical Science (Laboratory Medicine) at Flinders University.

“The field of laboratory medicine excites me because it is an ever-changing field through the implementation of automation,” said Jacinta.

“As seen over the past 3 years with the COVID-19 pandemic, diagnostic labs played a critical role in keeping people safe and it is exciting to think that I could be part of a team that can deliver a similar service one day.”

A variety of study opportunities

A combination of theoretical studies, practicals and real-world experience provides Medical Science students with the understanding and skill to start their career.

For Jacinta, the first two years of her course focused on learning the basics of anatomy and human physiology. Her third year took a deeper dive into molecular processes within the body such as genetics, biochemistry and haematology.

As she prepares to enter the fourth and final year of her degree, Jacinta is excited to be undertaking a rural placement.

“Our fourth year involves two 12-week industry placements with companies such as SA Pathology or Clinpath Pathology. In this we are able to get more hands-on experience with real patient samples and get a good idea of what working in a diagnostic lab is really like.”

“This enables us to grow those fundamental skills and make connections between what we learn in the classroom to real world practices.”

Insights from experts a highlight

Being taught by outstanding lecturers, researchers and academics in different fields has given Jacinta a great learning experience at Flinders.

“By learning from professionals in different fields it gives students an idea of the scope of practice and where this degree can really take us.

“Hearing from researchers throughout the degree was also particularly interesting as it kept us up to date with current research and gave us an insight into how the field of pathology may develop in the future.”

Jacinta feels that these relationships and the ability to make industry connections while still being at university is a huge advantage when it comes to entering the workplace.

“You get the opportunity to learn content at a deeper level and then connect it to real world practices while developing fundamental skills that will support you throughout your career.”

Future plans to improve care for patients

At this stage of her degree, Jacinta is interested in haematology and blood transfusion and hopes that she can integrate those interests into her future career.

“At the end of my degree I would like to gain a position in a diagnostic laboratory.

“I am excited about a career in Laboratory Medicine so that I can help people through processing samples that could lead to a diagnosis for the patient.”

Having also learnt a lot about research practices, Jacinta could also choose to follow that path.

“In the future I may get involved with research if the passion arises as I feel my degree has prepared me to be able to do that.”


If you are interested in making a difference, consider studying Medical Science at Flinders University.

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