(Janneke Kaatee, 22, third-year medical student)

“Even as a child. Weird, isn’t it? My Mum says I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. I used to play doctors and nurses with my friends when I was young. But I think my love for medicine was really born when my brother was admitted to Erasmus MC ten years ago due to a severe brain injury. He’d been hit in the temple by a hockey ball and was transported to the IC unit by helicopter. He received such wonderful care here, and we, his family, received the most wonderful support. That’s when I really realised there was nothing I’d rather do than become a doctor.

It was touch-and-go for a while. As an adolescent I suffered chronic headaches, and suddenly I was the one who was regularly being admitted to hospital. I was a VWO student, but due to my headaches, I had to drop back to HAVO. My parents believed that would be the end of my doctor dreams, but I always remained optimistic myself. I’m now a third-year medical student. I hope to do my internship at the paediatric oncology ward next year. Oncology is a field in which much remains to be learned, and I’m the kind of person who never stops learning. And children, well, they make me happy. They’re so delightfully optimistic and eager to fight. And the hospital did so much for my parents back in the day. I want to be able to pass that on to other parents.

As for the piano, I’ve played ever since I was twelve. I generally play classical music, but here in this hall I’ll play better known pieces. I find it so relaxing! Isn’t it wonderful to have such a great instrument sitting in such sterile surroundings? Someone’s always playing it, and other people are always listening. Music ties people together!

Oh, and as for my brother, he made a full recovery. He’s a pilot now!’

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