Chern Lim: Embracing Adventure and Forging a New Path in Expedition Medicine

17 May 2024

Contributors

Chern Lim – GP

Chern is a Malaysian GP who boldly transitioned from her UK practice to expedition medicine after a life-changing wilderness course. Through intense preparation, including ultra-marathon training, tropical medicine qualifications, and a personal training diploma, Chern has embraced new experiences and stepped out of her comfort zone.

Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Chern, a general practitioner whose journey has taken her from the bustling streets of Malaysia to the rugged landscapes of expedition medicine. 

Her story is one of courage, curiosity, and a willingness to step out of her comfort zone in pursuit of her passions.

 

Roots in Malaysia

Chern’s journey began in the vibrant city of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, where she grew up. “I grew up in Petaling Jaya, which is a little town near Kuala Lumpur, the capital,” she shares. It was here that the seeds of her adventurous spirit were sown, nurtured by parents who, while they may not have had the same opportunities, instilled in her a sense of curiosity and a love for the unknown.

 

The Call of Medicine

Despite an early interest in law enforcement, Chern’s path ultimately led her to medicine. “I sat down with my mom, who was my chemistry teacher at that point, and we had a discussion about my career… I was tossing up between law and medicine,” she recalls. A growing interest in working with people and a few key experiences solidified her decision to pursue a career in medicine.

 

A New Chapter in the UK

Chern’s medical journey took her to the United Kingdom, where she completed her training. After finishing her GP training, she found herself at a crossroads. It was a wilderness medicine course that would change the trajectory of her career. “I went on one of the one-week World Extreme Medicine courses in the Lake District last year, and that has changed the course of my life completely. Because I met very inspiring people, heard about careers that I never imagined possible,” she shares.

 

Stepping into the Unknown

Inspired by her experiences and the incredible people she met, Chern made the bold decision to leave her job as a GP partner and embark on a new journey in expedition medicine. “I left my job at that point as a GP partner and decided that I’m just gonna leave this career path that I know,” she recalls. This leap of faith would open up a world of new opportunities and challenges.

 

Preparing for the Journey Ahead

Chern’s journey into expedition medicine has been one of intense preparation and personal growth. From improving her fitness through ultra-marathon training to gaining new qualifications in tropical medicine, she has thrown herself wholeheartedly into this new chapter. “I decided that I wanted to increase my fitness levels, just in case I wanted to go on an expedition. So I’ve been focusing on that… and on the back of that, actually, I did a diploma in personal training as well,” she shares.

 

Embracing New Experiences

One of the most striking aspects of Chern’s journey is her willingness to embrace new experiences and step out of her comfort zone. From taking on the challenge of an ultra-marathon to performing at open mic nights, she has consistently pushed herself to grow and develop in new ways. “If I’m going to put myself out there, I’m going to sing, I’m going to play an instrument and just go for it, and I think that has really helped me in my day-to-day as well,” she reflects.

 

It’s Never Too Late

For Chern, one of the most important lessons of her journey so far has been that it’s never too late to start. “I think as compared to most of you, I am quite late to the game… but it is never too late to start. And just go for it,” she encourages. Her story is a powerful reminder that our paths are never fixed and that with courage and determination, we can always forge a new way forward.

 

A Beacon of Possibility

Through her intrepid spirit and unwavering commitment to personal growth, Chern is a shining example of what’s possible when we dare to dream big and embrace the unknown. Her journey is a testament to the power of curiosity, the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones, and the incredible adventures that await us when we do.

 

As she continues to prepare for the opportunities ahead, Chern’s example serves as a beacon of possibility and an inspiration to us all. Her story reminds us that the greatest adventures often lie just beyond our fears and that with courage and determination, we can all become the explorers of our own lives.


→ Learn more about Chern’s experiences by listening to the Diversity Podcast Special now.

→ Kick-start your career in expedition medicine by joining one of our courses. 

→ Join us at The 2024 World Extreme Medicine Conference.

Diversity Week Podcast Special: Diversity in Expedition Medicine

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