London → Cardiff
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.
Twitter: @malamawkin | Instagram: @malamawkin
This week marks the 70th anniversary of the NHS and the celebrations are really inspiring. A couple of years ago when the junior doctor contract strikes occurred in my 3rd year the outlook felt quite bleak for a career in the NHS. Many of my friends considered switching career paths and I think we all felt quite unsure of how our working life would be shaped by the changes. However, 2 years on and now about to start final year…there really is a different mood in the air.
We know that the life of a junior doctor is going to be hard, and we know that it will be a shock from medical school life.
Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin
As you know, Imperial gives all of us medical students an iPad which we use to get a whole range of resources. This includes eBooks for modules, we complete our sign offs for hospital placements on it and even have revision tools on it. However, this was the first time I have completed an actual end-of-year summative exam on the iPad and it was really interesting.
So the exam was the Pathology exam (5th year exam) on Monday which covered Microbiology, Immunology, Haematology, Histopathology, Chemical Pathology and Ethics & Law. It was 175 questions with 50 of them being very short answer questions (vsa).
As the academic year comes to an end, I thought I’d reflect on my first year at university.
Here’s the thing- we all have a tendency to sugarcoat. We share all the good, but seldom the ‘bad’ times. Sure, there’s the occasional (or frequent) posts about workload and stress; but how many of us actually openly share our experiences when the goings get really tough? Following my last blogpost, I’d really like to keep the honesty streak going.
First term was a bit of a nightmare for me- it was almost a process of trying to rediscover myself in a sense.
This is the one where I open up.
“Imposter syndrome is a recognised phenomenon, first identified by psychologists in 1978, and describes a feeling that your achievements are undeserved and the fear of being exposed as a fraud. Those with imposter syndrome tend to feel that luck rather than ability lies behind their successes.” (1)
Getting into Imperial was a massive deal for me. I had not planned to apply at all- but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life looking back with what ifs.
I didn’t think I was smart enough. I’ve always had a fluctuating impression of myself; ranging from borderline conceited to possessing a pretty low self esteem.
Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin
It really is that time of year again…the stress levels are rising and 5th year exams are approaching. We have about 6 weeks left until our first exam and although that sounds a while away still, there is a lot to cover. On top of this, we are still attending our hospital attachments daily.
I wanted to share with you a few resources that I am using to help me through this revision period this year, hopefully it can help anyone else revising for clinical exams and not sure where to start!
- Brainscape: Imperial Medicine students past and present have made flashcards on this amazing app that is a great revision tool.
This is how I’ve been wasting my time.
As the holidays came to a start- my initial mindset was, “Oh, I’ve got looaaddss of time. I definitely deserve a break. One more season of this show on Netflix won’t hurt.” It must have slipped my mind that the exam on the day I go back is not a mock. Now that I’m about 70% through my Easter/Spring break, I am filled with regret and drowning in revision. :’)
- Watching a season of Hell’s Kitchen
The first thing I did was binge watch as soon as the term ended. Personally a big Gordon Ramsay fan, even though he’s not a believer in Vegetarianism/Veganism cries.
Coming to you from mid-way through play week.
Picking up where I left off in the last blog post; as the Autumn Play was happening, Freshers’ Play was also a thing! So each year, older years in drama get together to direct (and sometimes even write) 3 short plays featuring the freshers. I remember genuinely freaking out because one of the plays were improv meaning the audition would be too. Honestly ended up having an absolute blast- and got one of the leads. I played a (largely-drunken) drama fresher who was couch-surfing because she had been kicked out of halls. Good times.
Drama is the macrophage, and I the pathogen. It has engulfed and destroyed me. (In all the best possible ways)
Welcome to part one of your insight into Imperial College School of Medicine (ICSM) Drama– the best medic society at Imperial. I promise I’m not biased.
The start of the journey brings us back to Freshers at Freshers’ Fair- where 370+ clubs and societies are showcased across campus to try and spark your interest in joining them. Standing right by the entrance to the medicine building was Gen, who is all types of lovely plus she’s also president of the society.