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.
It has been a busy end to the term and it really is getting close to the end now- I only have 4 weeks of clinical time left on the wards after Christmas before finals. There is so much going on right now. I have been busy at interviews for my foundation programme, getting my final competencies done on wards and we recently did the Situational Judgement Exam (which counts 50% to allocations for junior doctor training)! However, this term I have also been feeling how close we are to becoming actual doctors (hopefully). This was made even more clear a few weeks ago when I did CPR for the first time.
Final year is going at full speed- with only (gulp!) 7 months to go until our finals exams are done. We have received our GMC numbers now and from Monday will have our account details to apply for our first job in the NHS.
So as the real life stuff is ramping up, so is the training to help us be junior doctors. I am currently on my emergency medicine attachment and as part of this we had a simulation day based at West Middlesex Hospital. It was fantastic!
The aim of the day was to give us experience handling emergency situations in a “safe” environment.
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).
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.
I had one of the most fantastic days on Wednesday as I graduated with my intercalated BSc! Imperial graduations occur at the Royal Albert Hall, which is just such a beautiful venue to celebrate in. The graduation ceremony for the School of Medicine was at lunchtime, so I could get to campus mid-morning to collect my gown and have some photos done with my family. The ceremony itself was so grand and we were all smiles and cheers watching our friends cross the stage with their degrees!
Going onto the stage was terrifying, and I really thought my gown was all wonky…but once you are up there it flashes by so fast.
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!
So, interviews have started. Yipee!! We have seen lots of fresh faced applicants wandering around SAF and it has been pretty exciting. I was having a think about things that I wish I had known when I was getting ready for my interview and I hope that this will help you guys (this is only my opinion though!).
1) Why do you actually want to do medicine? No seriously. We know you like people and that you hope the world will be cured by your skills…but that’s not a full answer. Come up with something original and really think about it.
I haven’t blogged all year so I thought I would have a bit of a catch up (that was definitely funnier in my head). The oven in ground floor kitchen has been fixed! Wahey! In other “new year news” that only I probably care about, my last (“Beyoncé-minded”) post got me up to a total of over 2,500 page views. Shout out to my mum for refreshing the page a few thousand times. A great cup of tea is heading your way.
Of course, a lot of those views were probably accidental clicks. Apologies to those of you that have stumbled onto my blog by accident and are a few seconds away from clicking the “x” button on your top right.