News Release

Latter-day Saint Mission Shapes Medical School Decision

“I felt that a career in medicine would give me the opportunity to make a difference to lives, as I did as a missionary”

Joshua Perrett, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), graduated from Auckland University’s School of Medicine this week.

He says he approached his six years of rigorous medical training with confidence because of three factors. His experience as a Mormon missionary in Singapore and Malaysia, the encouragement of his parents and friends, and the spiritual influence of his faith.

Perrett’s mother and father, Jasmine and Guy Parrett, have been a constant and strong force in his life.

“As Joshua's parents we are very proud of his work ethic and dedication during the heavy study and sacrifice that was required to complete his medical degree,” Guy Perrett said.

Reflecting on his decision to become a doctor, Joshua said, “Growing up I was never interested in becoming a doctor. In high school I was mainly interested in playing sport. But my parents always encouraged me to be diligent in my studies.”

“When I finished school I prepared for my mission and wasn’t sure what I would do after. I thought I might like to do engineering. However, as a missionary in Singapore and Malaysia I had a number of experiences which changed my perspective. One of the missionaries I served with was born with some serious health problems, including a heart defect. As a child he had surgery to fix these problems.

“I went with him to see the surgeon that had operated on him, for a follow up appointment. I was amazed at how the actions of the surgeon had not only saved this young man but enabled him to live a productive and full life and to serve a mission.”

Perrett’s two year mission also taught him, he says, “The worth of souls is great and increased my compassion for my brothers and sisters. I loved being a positive part of people’s lives and being able to bring joy to others through the gospel.”

“Some parts of my mission were very poor and I felt a desire to be able to help these people physically as well as spiritually,” he said.

Because he experienced many life-changing events as a missionary, Perrett decided, “As I came home from my mission I felt that a career in medicine would give me the opportunity to make a difference to lives as I did as a missionary and to feel the joy of service.”

“My mission also blessed me with a vision for the potential I have as a son of God and taught me the skills necessary to be successful in my life.”

The challenge of attending medical school and successfully completing its challenging curriculum can be great. This was not different for Perrett. Reflecting on this week’s graduation, he said, “Over the last six years of medical school when times have been tough I have questioned whether all the study was worth it. Having supportive family and friends and relying on the Lord helped me to get through.”

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