The lockdown and the uncertainty of the current climate have taken a toll on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. Some managed to cope impressively well with the situation whereas others might be slightly or seriously struggling. Social media has proven vital to remain in touch with family and friends with whom you don’t live. But, it can be detrimental to one’s ability to cope as it encourages people to compare themselves with others.
If you are managing to remain motivated and productive during these trying times, then this is absolutely commendable regardless of what is motivating you to work. Motivation can take many forms: wanting to self-improve, trying to fill free time and/or trying to escape the current climate.
Disclaimer: This is not an official statement from Imperial College. This is just me deciding to write a blog to update people as I ran out of things to do during isolation 🙂
Imperial has been responding vigilantly to the COVID19 crisis. The Faculty of Medicine had been emailing us updates over the past few days detailing how we should proceed during these uncertain times. We are all trying to adapt to this fast-changing situation the best we can.
Difficult decisions were made. Clinical exams were duly cancelled. All teaching will be delivered remotely for the rest of the academic year.
Cadaveric dissection is becoming obsolete among medical schools. It used to feel like a rite of passage but as part of the curriculum update at Imperial, 1st year students solely use prosections for their anatomy learning.
Whether you have seen a dead body before or not, it seldom prepares you to what you will see in the dissection room (DR). Over the last four terms of medical school, we dissected the entire human body so I decided to write a free-form reflection on my experience emotionally.
The reactions from students in the first session ranged from being absolutely fine to fainting.
Interview season is upon us. Although exciting, it can be really daunting as an applicant as you each medical school interviews differently so you don’t know what to expect. This year, Imperial is using MMIs (Multiple Mini-Interviews) instead of the traditional panel interview. Therefore, I decided to write this blog so people know what to expect and feel more at ease.
“The interview is not intended to be an intimidating experience and staff will try to put candidates at ease while evaluating the following:
Motivation and realistic approach to medicine as a career
Capacity to deal with stressful situations
Evidence of commitment to the values of the NHS constitution
Evidence of working as a leader and a team member
Ability to multitask
Likely contribution to university life
Communication skills and maturity of character”
The above list is directly taken from the Imperial website.
It has been two weeks since I finished my first ever hospital placement or firms as we call them at Imperial. 2nd year has been going at full speed, so it was really nice to spend the last three weeks of term in hospitals seeing and talking to patients as opposed to lectures or tutorials.
I was based in the acute stroke unit in Charing Cross Hospital with three other students. Although, we had a general induction from Imperial the day before we started and a Charing-Cross-Hospital-specific induction on the first day of firms. It still felt daunting to go into the ward as we all felt that we didn’t belong there yet.
My 2nd Year of Medical School was a rollercoaster to say the least. I’m going to use a couple of words to describe what was probably the most interesting year of my life so far.
2nd Year was such a blur to me. I remember starting the year off by becoming a ‘medic parent’ to my lovely children who were 1st Year medics. It’s a great tradition we have here at Imperial (and quite a few other unis) where you’re given the option to have parents in the year above you who guide you through the year and can act as a support system especially in those first few weeks of university.
I’d love to say I’ve spent all of my easter break revising super efficiently for my exams, but sadly this is not the case. I’ve spent way too much time ‘relaxing’ and was lucky enough to spend a couple of days in Paris. The second year of my course, medicine, is rumoured to be the hardest year of them all. Not necessarily because the content is particularly tricky, but because of the timing. Second year so far has been a whirlwind, and now we’ve got three summative exams in the space of five days in early May.
This blog post was never going to be me telling you how to revise for your exams in medical school- I’m simply not qualified to give advice on studying, (especially advice I can’t even stick to) as it truly is very subjective and depends on your own learning style and what works best for you.
Earlier this month on the 12th March, I had the privilege of being on the committee of the 2019 ICSM RAG Fashion Show and it was an incredible experience. Our theme ‘You Know My Name’ (abbreviated to YKMN) was centred very much on the concept of identity and the perception others hold of you. We all form preconceptions of people based on their name, they way the dress, what their hair is like etcetera. One of the aims of our theme was to try and deconstruct these stereotypes we apply to people and appreciate how much more there can be to an individual.
Being at home away from the busy life of London has given me time to reflect on my fourth term at Imperial. It was a really hectic term that ended on a high with a great firms placement. If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here where I share my thoughts on being on the hospital wards for the first time. My holiday consisted of me generally relaxing (watching a lot of Netflix), spending time with family and drinking various Christmas flavoured hot chocolate. I’m back in London now feeling somewhat relaxed and ready to get back in to the swing of a new academic term.
After a long and cold term of lectures in second year Medicine, you have this new and exciting thing called a Firm. The light at the end of the Pharm-Endo-Neuro-MCD tunnel. Basically, it’s an introductory three week placement in an allocated speciality in a hospital in London (is Hounslow really London?!) You are assigned in groups of five or so, and are given NHS ID cards for your respective hospital (major perk here). I’m going to run you through my time on my firm in the Acute Medical Unit at my hospital.
The first thing to do is get lost in your chosen hospital.