mala

3rd year MBBS Medicine

speech bubble
student

mala

3rd year MBBS Medicine

Latest posts

Intercalated BSc in Global Health at Imperial!

I.e. the best intercalated BSc to choose

I have absolutely loved this year so far. I have been doing a BSc in Global Health here at Imperial- so essentially taking a compulsory “year out” of medicine to learn in depth about a topic that interests you. My module 1 focused on Global Infectious Diseases, Module 2 focused on Global Non- infectious diseases and now I am doing Module 3 which is essentially everything else (health systems, technology..)! The whole degree is very student led, with a lot of our teaching time being interactive. We have debates on global mental health issues, have discussions about the history of sex workers and their health, and then we also learn how to critically appraise and analyse the global health learnings and research.

My essays this year have been on really broad topics, with my module 2 coursework giving us the freedom to write about any non-communicable disease in any country! I chose to do Birth Asphyxia in India. It really has been as enjoyable as a BSc year can be and I am so glad I chose Global Health.

Now I am just kicking off with revision season, and things are getting intense. However, it’s my 4th year of these medical exams and it really is just a case of getting through them! BSc revision is different to any type I have done before as it revolves around depth of revision and thus reading around the topics a lot.

Once exams are done in end of February I am so excited to begin my 10 week research project! Just got to get through these tests first…

For anyone thinking of medicine 6 years vs 5 years, or anyone thinking of intercalating I cannot recommend more highly that you should do a BSc, and that you should think about doing it in Global Health! It really does make you think more holistically about illnesses, and has been a true asset to my time here at Imperial.

I AM HALFWAY THERE!

Halfway Dinner 2016

Wahoo I am halfway through medical school, officially! We had our ICSM Class of 2019 Halfway Dinner on my birthday (15th October if you need to put in diary for next year).

It was such a lovely evening, we had the whole year group come down to a hotel in London. Everyone looked so good in black tie, and the venue was so well decorated! It was all organised by a committee of people in our year group, and I can’t believe what they managed to pull off.

Evening started off with a drinks reception. It was so bizarre seeing the whole year together in black tie… like a REALLY formal lecture.

We then went inside for 3 courses of delicious food, speeches and dancing.

During the speeches (we even had THE Sohag Saleh give us a speech!) I found out I had been awarded, by our alumni, a St Marys Hospital Association Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Medical School. I was in tears, as you can imagine, as I was one of the 3 people selected from my year group of 300+ for contribution to the Imperial College Medical School in the first 3/6 years of study. #halfway

I didn’t have long to gather myself though, as our drinks tokens expired after speeches…just in time for the dancefloor. Imperial Medical Students, I have to say, are so talented! We had our own year group band performing on the stage- they put it all together themselves of the talented musicians in our year. I was screaming along to Justin Bieber songs in the front row, watching my mates concert. Was awesome.

The night was one of the best nights I have had at medical school. I honestly can’t believe how quickly the time is going here. I am half a doctor!

Friends!

Receiving the award!

Receiving the award!

I have friends!

I have friends!

Look at our band/dancemoves!

Look at our band/dancemoves!

hwd1

Pretty table

Drinks reception!

Drinks reception!

That time Imperial turned me into a hologram!

Imperial is so cool.

Earlier this year Imperial got thinking about how they could celebrate some of our alumni’s notable achievements. We honestly have some amazing alumni! Dennis Gabor, who worked at Imperial, actually invented holography and won the Nobel Prize for Physics for it in 1971. His work formed the basis of the holograms that are in use today.

The student recruitment and outreach team contacted me to let me know that they were purchasing a Musion EyeSay hologram to temporarily be placed in the Main Imperial College Entrance. They asked me if I would like to be the face and voice of the hologram…of course I said yes that is so ridiculous. I called my parents up straight away.

I had to rehearse a script and stand SO STILL in a recording room for the morning as they filmed me say the same phrases on loop. It was brilliant.

This all happened in June… and on the September open day I finally saw virtual me come to life.

See photos and videos below…it is so weird. Imperial is so cool.

13501960_10157043860670322_5759825305882451972_n

hologram

Travel Tips for New London Students

Few things you can do to make sure your travelling experience is safe and cheap in London!

So there is a brand new cohort of thousands of students starting at Imperial. Imperial has buildings all over London (Halls, hospitals, research labs…!) and so it can get a bit daunting to have to leave the luxury of your mum and dads car to now travelling by yourself through London.

So I have come up with some top tips for students travelling around London!

Number 1: Make sure you download CityMapper! It honestly will save your life when you are lost on the “blue line” and 30 minutes late for something. It will get your location and let you know how/how long it will take you to get to your destination. The app even explains which exit to leave out of so you don’t get lost outside tube stations- amazing! Great app and really recommend!

Number 2: Make sure you have sorted out your 18+ student oyster card. I always say this one but really important you get your photocard sorted from the TFL website. You can also combine your oyster with your student railcard for some discounts!

Number 3: Download UBER…before you need it! Ordering a taxi when you are leaving a nightclub at 2am, leaving the library at 5am or late for lectures at 10am…it can be a difficult task. Having UBER on your phone ready to go from day 1 at university will be a life saver. All you have to do is download the app onto your phone, plug in your card details so you are ready to go from that point on and then when you need your first ride you are set up. No faffing about outside a nightclub, just safely can order and track your ubers arrival, journey and price estimates! If you use the code: IMPERIALUK you can get £15 off your first ride- really good deal!! Anyone in UK can use that code by the way, not just Imperial students!

Number 4: Travel in groups if you can, and try not to travel on your own too late. Safety first in London, it really isn’t worth the risk!

Number 5: Use the shuttle busses that Imperial provide from campus to campus- check them out online they are super helpful and save you a lot of money in the long run.

Number 6:  Just remember, you do NOT need to tap out of a bus with your oyster card! Navigating around the oyster card system can be hard to pick up at the start so do not be afraid to ask TFL people and other students for advice. I would recommend getting a travelcard if you are spending a lot of time on public transport as you will save yourself a lot in long run.

Number 7: Try alternate, healthier modes of transport. I, believe it or not, actually walked 40 minutes every morning for a while into one of my hospital sites. Was really refreshing and saved loads of money. Some people even cycle- make sure you get a good lock and get a feel for safe places to park your bike though! Even give Boris biking a go!

 

There you are! London is a really fun place to explore, but make sure you are safe and be efficient with your spending!

Mala

uber

 

The cost of a medical degree

Warning: This is what I have gathered from this all. I could have bits and bobs completely wrong here, so please do correct me.

Warning: This is what I have gathered from this all. I could have bits and bobs completely wrong here, so please do correct me.

So today I was on student finance England, trying to work out how much debt I was in. Luckily for me, if you log into www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk you can check it out.

The below is a very honest account of my debt, hopefully will be able to lay it out honestly for prospective students about what they are facing.

So, I have a grand total of: £45,274.67 debt after just 3 years of studying, and 3.9 interest rate.

Wow. I am only halfway through.

So let’s work this out numbers wise. Between my maintenance loan and my tuition fee loan over the last 3 years (+ interest) I have this devastatingly big number for a 21 year old. Luckily for us, NHS England will cover years 5 and 6 tuition fee (maintenance loan is a different story..).

-I have worked every summer holiday, and during term times to fund this degree

-I haven’t gone travelling on some expensive trip around the globe, nor bought myself a pirate ship. I have just been spending normally!

-I have been trying to save up…sigh. But am still struggling to just cover rent with my summer jobs.

So I looked a bit further into how I am going to have to pay this off. Let’s assume I have a salary of £30,000, and I will be paying off my loan on “plan 2” as my fees were the 9K ones.

This is, according to student finance, how I will repay:

  1. Take away £21,000 from your annual salary before tax
  2. Work out 9% of the remainder
  3. Divide that figure by 12
  4. Round down to the nearest pound

For example, if you were earning £30,000 per year:

  1. 30,000 – 21,000 = 9,000
  2. 9% of 9,000 = 810
  3. 810 / 12 = 67.5
  4. Round down

So your monthly student loan repayment would be £67.

In real life terms, that is £810 a year. Now lets say I have a loan of 14k year 4, 2.5k year 5, 2.5k year 6. This means that at the end of medical school I will have: approximately £71,779 (assuming interest rates stay the same, they won’t). This means it would take me 89 years to pay off my medical degree on a £30k salary. This is…without interest.

Interest rates will be completely dependent on RPI, and in 2012/2013 that was 3.6% which meant that it was a 6.6% interest rate on loans. In 2015/2016 its been 0.9% so an interest rate of 3.9%. Yeah…did you know our loans increase with interest WHILST we are at uni, not just when we are working! Heaven help us. If the interest rate stays the same, on graduation I will be gaining debt of £2.8k a year in interest for my first year. I will therefore need to be earning over £52.1k a year to ensure that my debt does not get bigger each year.

Let’s say I earn 30k as a grad in my first year, it means that my debt will increase by just around £2k, so the salary I now need in my second year of being a grad to make sure that I break even and don’t increase my debt is now £52.9k. Gulp. I need to be paying back the interest rate to make sure I break even and don’t increase my debt. This 9% over my 21k base salary therefore needs to be more than the interest that my debt is earning. Let’s assume I don’t get a pay rise from Mr J Hunt, this could rack up.

I actually have zero idea how, when I have got another 3 years of debt, how I am going to pay this off. This repayment plan means that if I ever want to save up for a house or anything I have to find a savings account that gives more than my student loan interest. Otherwise, I need to pay off this loan asap before I start saving.

Is there any way out? According to student finance you don’t have to pay it off if:

-30 years after you become eligible to repay

-if you become disabled and permanently unable to work

-if you die

Is this degree worth it? 100%. Education is always a good investment in my eyes.

Are there ways for anyone struggling to get some financial help? Always. Imperial is awesome at this. If you ever find yourself in financial need the medical school, and imperial in general, have some great hardship funds and some great sources of money. Check it all out online.

Until then, I am closing my browser and making sure that I try and figure out a way to win the lottery!

Please excuse if I have made any errors here, this is all a bit confusing to understand!! Had a bit of help on this from one of my engineering mates who calmed me about this all!