On the 11th-12th December I took over the Imperial College instagram and snapchat accounts (@imperialcollege) to give a peak into my day as a 5th year medical student here! It involves our Medics Winter Ball (Snow Ball) and a glimpse into my paediatrics rotation at Chelsea and Westminster! Broadcasting to over 30k people meant there were quite a few nervous bloopers that I am sure I will share soon too!!
I was thinking today about the advice that I wish I had known before I had started applying for medicine. It really is a bit of a long road to get into medical school and takes a lot of determination and work to get there. You have hurdles with work experience, entrance tests like BMAT, writing your personal statement, getting your grades (and predicted grades), securing an interview, doing well at interview… the list is pretty long. But it is so, so worth it so don’t let this put you off at all cause it all does make sense!
Broadly…medical schools are looking for:
- A genuinely kind person who wants to be a doctor
- Someone who is smart and willing to put in the work when they don’t understand concepts
- Someone who they would want on their team/want them to be their doctor
Right so let’s break this down a bit and show where the above hurdles come in!
I have some really exciting news- I found out that I am graduating my intercalated BSc in Global Health with a 2.1! I am so relieved and happy! I am now a few weeks into 5th year (yeah don’t ask…we only got 4 weeks of summer).
So with graduation in mind I thought it would be quite timely to discuss how Imperial celebrates its students here…
The medics have our own bits and bobs- we have arts dinner and a sports dinner where we award club of the year/team of the year. Netball won club of the year this year which is so cool!
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.
I am halfway through this 6 year degree- woah. And I am having a bit uncertainty as to where to go from here, especially as pretty much all my school friends are graduating now and starting real life. Questions have popped up like what do I want to do for a BSc project, what shall I do for money in 5th and 6th year, what speciality am I thinking that I eventually want to train in and ultimately…is medicine for me still?
People have doubts in life, and it really is not uncommon to have doubts about whether medicine is the right career path for you (especially when you are racking up a huge debt for it).
These last 10 weeks have been amazing.
In Year 3 you spend 3 x 10 week attachments at hospitals. I was at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital the last 10 weeks and I had such a fantastic time. I learnt a lot but also overcame a lot of anxiety!
Starting clinical placements was really tricky for me. I thought as a talkative happy person I would really enjoy being on the wards for the first proper time as a medical student. However, my first day was a disaster. I had my stethoscope round my neck and my medical student badge on, and I walked confidently up to my ward.
So it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. With holidays, assignments and exams out the way I could finally write about a topic I’ve wanted to for quite a long time: procrastination. It’s something we all do a lot, and it’s something we should all do a lot less. But it’s hard. The truth in that lies in the fact I’ve been trying to write this post for over five six weeks…but every time I come to write it I get distracted and procrastinate. Maybe you could say I’m doing research for the post, more likely you could say I’m lazy…
So a little bit of procrastination can be quite healthy, it helps you relax from the work you have to do.
I haven’t written much lately, work and various other things has gotten in the way. Right now I find myself in bed back home for the weekend after catching the flu, perhaps or perhaps not related to an eventful trip to Amsterdam last week. The trip was for ICSM RAG, the ‘raising and giving’ society, essentially raising money for charity. I have honestly no idea how a trip to Amsterdam raises money for charity. But I’m not complaining.Pretty much me on the coach home infecting everyone around me.
Back to this post. Anatomy. I’ve wanted to talk about this since I started anatomy last month.
I was chatting with my friends about PBL today and it got me thinking about the different views I had on PBL before I came to ICSM and how its changed.
PBL is Problem Based Learning. At Imperial I have been taught in this way for one of my modules (funnily enough the module is called…PBL). It is basically a 2-3 hour session every 2 weeks in which you meet up with your extended tutor group of 10 people and a tutor and go through a case.
In the first session we all read through the case below and talk about it…
“Mrs Iron has come to A & E with a swollen red hand after doing some domestic jobs.
I really was not one of those people that “wanted to study medicine since I was 2 years old and had a toy doctors set from my parents”. In fact, I wanted to be a librarian/café owner/ hotel owner for the early years. As I grew older (not taller), I managed to build up a giant selection of teddies. These were soon to become my unexpected patients. My teddies and dolls went though the most horrific traumas and it was my absolute joy to care for them. Granted, the traumas were normally part of some sort of crazy game me and my siblings would play: for example one time there was a “fire” in the bedroom and we had to “evacuate” all the teddies.