Whilst my first two years at Imperial could be largely summed up by my extra curricular activities, coming into third year I have decided to focus my attention on my degree in order to secure that 2.1. (I’m not that academic :/ )
With this in mind, my first step was to decide what activities I would continue into final year, and what would sadly have to face the chop. Having been elected President of MathSoc, I knew that this would be my biggest focus and would take up most of my free time.
One of the hardest parts of being a penultimate year student is juggling applications for internships alongside academic studies. Having just been through this process, I wanted to share my journey and also some top tips on how to survive this time-consuming task successfully! In this first post I will talk about the general process and my top tips!
The general steps in the application process
Online Application – This usually involves providing your personal details, answering some questions about your motivations for this career, listing your previous work experiences. Sometimes you will be asked to provide a CV and cover letter
Online Assessments – Either with your application or sometimes if you make it through the first round, you will be asked to complete some online assessments.
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).
The people you meet in 3rd year on the wards of hospitals are weird and wonderful. Every student is so different and approaches the clinical year in a really unique way. However, there are quite a few people we all tend to see wondering about on the wards, and here they are:
The common room greeter
This guy/girl is always in the student common room. They always seem to have their teaching cancelled, moved or “cut short”. Their consultants normally don’t really turn up and so they are left with a heavy heart and a coffee sitting in the common room waiting for a potential teaching opportunity.
So ironic. I honestly cannot believe the amount of times I have come down with something this year as a clinical student. Maybe it is to do with picking stuff up at hospitals, or perhaps it is due to my increase in trips to the dodgy takeaway places this year. Either way, I am not doing too well at the moment and it is SOOOOO FRUSTRATING.
I have had this minor cough for a few weeks, then on Monday morning I woke up ready for uni but I couldn’t speak. My throat was so swollen ( I actually cried because I couldn’t talk…that’s bad.).
At Imperial we are really lucky that everyone gets a guaranteed place on an intercalated BSc course, hence why we are here for a hefty 6 years.
During an intercalated BSc all medical students take a step away from the normal day-to-day life of a medical student and enter the realm of essays and deadlines for a year in 4th year. At the end of year 4 we all gain a BSc in the course of our choice. Pretty cool. We spend September-Feb in lectures and then have our exams, and then we get to complete a research project (or a short course) for a few months.
So this term I have been extremely lucky to have been doing Surgery at Ealing. It really is a fantastic hospital to work at. Thankfully even though it is quite far away, it is a straight bus from my house in Brook Green to Ealing Hospital- I LOVE the 607.
I was working on colorectal surgery at Ealing for 5 weeks- it was so gross but so interesting. I saw some surgeries during my attachment that honestly my stomach was not prepared to see, and I can normally cope! For example, the first surgery when my scrubs got tarnished with faecal material I really did reconsider my career path.
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.