One term down, seventeen to go.
Something I was often told during Freshers’ Week (or Freshers’ Fortnight for the medics) was that my six years at Imperial will fly by. I saw no truth whatsoever to that statement at the time.
However, now that the winter holidays are finally upon us and January exams are alarmingly close- where exactly has first term gone? Honestly- what happened? The wrath of medical school interviews have begun for brave souls across the country, and it’s odd to think that it’s been a year since I was in that position!
After much procrastination and a degree of reflection, I finally pull myself together enough to write up my very first blog about my past 11 weeks at Imperial before it all becomes a blur to me.
To start the year off with a bang, the med student union planned about a thousand (2 weeks worth of) events for the freshers. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of activities on offer rather than just generic club events offered at most unis. To future Imperial medics- do attend the Reynolds Show, so worth it!
Admittedly, I did not make it past the first 5-6 events before Freshers Flu hit me- and it hit me bad. It was a good week or so of synchronised coughing from all the dying Freshers during lectures- which was pretty amusing. Maybe not for the lecturers.
So many lectures. *cries* Thank goodness for Panopto- pretty much all our lectures are uploaded onto there and it’s an absolute life-saver. The work load in term one hasn’t been massive, but I would definitely not say I’m quite up to speed just yet. It’s going to be a long, painful Christmas.
Something I quickly realised was to learn to love acronyms because you’ll be bombarded with them. Here are some Imperial specific ones which got me through first term-
- ICSM: Imperial College School of Medicine
Freshers’ Fortnight was low-key spent chanting this acronym wherever we went and whenever we felt the time was right. Imperial pride, yes!
- SAF/SAFB: Sir Alexander Fleming Building
Located in the South Kensington campus- where the first years go for lectures, tutorials, labs and PBL sessions. Oh, and Horizons too.
- CXRB: Charing Cross Reynolds Building
Situated in Charing Cross hospital- which isn’t even in CX, but close to Hammersmith. (I’m not sure why either) Site of lectures as well as FCA sessions and anatomy starting second term (YAY!). Plus home to the Imperial medics’ infamous Reynolds Bar.
- MCD: Molecules, Cells and Diseases
This module is the absolute bane of my existence. Although I see the relevance and importance of it, there’s just so much content and detail. Don’t get me wrong, some people on my course enjoy it but I thought I’d be done with the Krebs cycle after A-levels.
- FCP/FOCP: Foundations of Clinical Practice
Another module- more clinical than MCD. As its name suggests, this gets us started with the more social side to healthcare.
– FCA: First Clinical Attachment
My favourite part of the course by far- you get given a partner and the two of you are assigned to a patient whom you will have the opportunity to visit.
– EIP: Epidemiology in Practice
Where are certain diseases more prevalent? Why? What have the trends been for this illness? What do we predict? All that jazz.
- ICA: In Course Assessment(s)
Yay. Lab write ups. Referencing. Critical appraisals of scientific journals. Reflecting on patient visits. Etc.
No joke- this is the reaction of non-medics, like my roommate, when they hear us talking about anything course related because we sprinkle our acronyms everywhere.
My roommate studies Maths (scary, I know) and it’s interesting how her week compares to mine. Her timetable practically never changes week-to-week. Whereas my Fridays always tend to be the busiest with labs and tutorials on top of lectures; but apart from that, we’re always in for a surprise! I find the change really refreshing to be honest! It’s easy to access our timetables- which can be downloaded right onto our phone calendars, so that’s never really an issue.
To keep me sane- it hasn’t all just been medicine for me this term. Some other things I’ve thrown myself into include:
- ICSM Drama (love of my life- also inspired me to use GIFs)
- Teddy Bear Hospital (Bless kids- they are the absolute cutest.)
- Paediatrics/ Play team (Playing with kids some more- yes!)
- President’s Ambassador Scheme (Campus tours for days)
- Horizons (Hallo, ich heiße Alexandra und ich lerne Deutsch im Moment.)
- Curly fries at the Union (Yaass. Get in my tummy!)
Sending love and festive wishes for the holiday season!