Imperial is world renowned for its cutting-edge research output, which became all the more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the MBBS programme has research skills embedded throughout its curriculum in order to instil the importance of evidence-based clinical practice within us as future doctors. This year, I am undertaking an intercalated BSc, a mandatory component of the Imperial Medicine course with my subject area being Pharmacology. While this is certainly the most research heavy year of my degree so far, I have been fortunate enough to take part in numerous projects during my earlier years as well.
The first substantive research initiative I was involved with stemmed from the project I undertook during my Clinical Research and Innovation (CRI) module in second year.
Read Research opportunities as an Imperial Medical student in full
With Easter having come and gone there’s one word which everyone has started hearing a bit more frequently- exams. While the style and timing of exams vary from course to course, every university student invariably faces some form of assessment year on year. They’re not fun. No one likes doing them. What’s even the point of them?
That question is one I’ve definitely asked at some point- albeit usually as exam season starts looming. After all, isn’t the purpose of higher education to develop skills rather than smash through multiple choice questions accurately? You can’t blame a student from feeling somewhat resentful that their ability and dedication to a subject across a whole year is gauged based on an exam sat within a few hours.
Read What’s the Point of Exams Anyway? in full
Most people choose which degree they want to study in sixth form and then don’t need to think about another one until they graduate. Medicine at Imperial is a little bit different. One, in my opinion, asset of the medical programme at Imperial is that it gives us the opportunity to undertake an intercalated BSc. This basically means that our fourth year at university is spent studying another subject within which we then receive a BSc (Hons) degree. Seems like a pretty good deal for just one extra year of work.
However, I’m discovering one problem with studying for an MBBS (BSc) programme.
Read Picking my Degree: Round 2 in full
At university, student societies make up as much, if not more, of your overall experience than the degree you choose to study. On balance, they can also take up just as much of your time. For the past few years, I have been a particularly active member of ICSM Surgical Society (SurgSoc). This year I had the privilege of being tasked with organising the annual ‘Plastics Skills Day’ conference. I say annual, but the truth is that this event had not taken place in-person since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, no SurgSoc conference had happened in person since 2020.
Read Organising a Plastic Surgery Skills Day Conference as a Medical Student in full
At Imperial, Medicine is not coarsely divided into ‘pre-clinical’ and ‘clinical’ blocks but instead we are exposed to a clinical environment from our first term at medical school. However, during first and second year this exposure is scattered throughout the year which makes third year the first purely clinical year of the degree.
I have just finished my first of three placements during which I was based in General Surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. Therefore, I felt now would be a pertinent time to share a couple of reflections on my most substantial clinical placement to date.
While I had already been primed to expect third year to be less structured than first and second year, no longer being in my comfort zone of a lecture theatre still took some getting used to.
Read Clinical Medicine- what’s it all about? in full
A couple of weeks ago, a family friend asked if I could look over their medical personal statement. This made me realise that it has been three years since I submitted my own UCAS application. Three years feels like a pretty long time. Hence, I thought now would be a fitting time to refresh my memory on my application experience as it was ultimately what led me to Imperial. Seeing as the UCAS deadline has been and gone and any prospective students will have already sat the BMAT, I’ll focus this post on the interview and see if I can give you a few tips or tricks which might make the experience feel a little less daunting.
Read A Few Top Tips for Medical School Interviews in full
Seeing as A-Level results’ day has now passed, and a whole new cohort of students will be eagerly waiting to start at Imperial in October, I thought now would be a pertinent time to offer some advice on what you DON’T need to bring with you to university. Most freshers have the basics covered pretty well, but often end up grossly overestimating what they’ll need to survive university life. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on five things you can probably just leave at home.
- Excessive kitchenware You may think you’ll need a pizza cutter, toastie maker and corkscrew when you’re at uni, and you may well not be wrong.
Read What NOT to Bring with you to Uni in full
London is renowned for being a city bursting with activity and opportunities. Equally, it is also notorious for being rather pricey. If, like me, you have the summer holiday stretching long ahead and the UK’s capital at your fingertips, here are a few suggestions for fun days out without breaking the bank.
1. Visit some incredible museums If you’ve ever been to an Imperial open day you may have heard the phrase ‘you have some of the best museums right on your doorstep’ used as a selling point. It’s true- stacked along Exhibition Road besides Imperial’s South Kensington campus are several world-famous museums.
Read Things to do in London without Spending a Penny in full
Most people associate medicine with white coats, stethoscopes and hospital wards. Whilst clinical medicine certainly is a big part of the subject it is not the only one. Today, alongside their clinical duties, doctors are also expected to engage in teaching or mentoring, and many choose to undertake research of their own.
Research skills are fundamental in medicine. Their utility is not restricted to those who conduct their own research but extends to every practicing doctor. Doctors need to ensure the care they provide is evidence based and constantly evolves in line with new data that emerges. Appraising scientific literature is crucial but is also a learnt skill.
Read Research or Medicine- here’s why you don’t need to choose in full
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges. Among these is a complete upheaval of the education system. In years gone by the university application process had been largely predictable. I had taken this for granted during my time. You applied via UCAS with your GCSE grades, wrote a personal statement, sat any admissions tests, took interviews if necessary and received offers or rejections based upon them. Then you sat your A-Level exams and hoped you got the grades needed to meet your offer requirements on results day. I’m not saying the process wasn’t stressful or hard work, and I certainly did my fair share of complaining, but compared to the situation now I realise we had it easy.
Read Applying to University without Open Days in full