Final Year Medical Student Reflection

Twitter: @malamawkin | Instagram: @malamawkin

It has been a busy end to the term and it really is getting close to the end now- I only have 4 weeks of clinical time left on the wards after Christmas before finals. There is so much going on right now. I have been busy at interviews for my foundation programme, getting my final competencies done on wards and we recently did the Situational Judgement Exam (which counts 50% to allocations for junior doctor training)! However, this term I have also been feeling how close we are to becoming actual doctors (hopefully). This was made even more clear a few weeks ago when I did CPR for the first time.

I think medical school prepares you so well for clinical practice, but really nothing can prepare you to the emotional toll of watching a patient pass away. As a final year medical student you can no longer take a huge step backwards when they ask “can you help with chest compressions”. Instead, if you don’t take the chance to help the team, the next time you are faced with this could be when you are the doctor responsible. I can’t begin to tell you how many thoughts were going through my head when the consultant asked for our help. But the “autopilot” mode steps in and all of the 6 years of training suddenly comes to life. We had a de-brief after we stopped chest compressions- an opportunity for the members of the team working on the patient to come together and touch base which was hugely supportive.

I was also lucky enough to work for 3 weeks with the Health Inequalities Team at Imperial. The insight into homeless medicine, prison medicine and refugee medicine was eye opening into the impact health inequalities really has on patients’ lives.

Homeless Health Conference

The patients, the family, the wider team. Getting nearer to the end of medical school makes me think about how much of a privilege it is to work in the NHS. I am nervous for what 2019 will bring- finals, elective, being a real doctor. But also I am comforted by the fact that Imperial has got us to this place. I look back on my 5.5 years so far at Imperial and I can’t believe how far our year has come and how far we are yet to go.

For current and future med students: Take all the opportunities you can. Build a good support network. Make the most of the whole medical school journey (clubs, societies, wards, lectures….). Medical school really flies by.

Finals are in only 80 days

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