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.
So, you’ve sent off your personal statement, completed your admissions test and have received an invitation to interview! Equally exciting and daunting, this interview will be the first formal interview for many applicants. Here’s my perspective on how you can prepare and how to approach it.
My admissions experience is admittedly a few years out of date. Do keep this in mind when going through this article! (As in, don’t follow my advice as gospel, do consult other sources)
What do the interviews entail?
(For the official answer you can look here on the Imperial College London website.
“Interviews will be held with academic staff from the department on Wednesday afternoons between November and March.
At 18 during my interview for Mechanical Engineering I quite confidently stated that I intended to pursue a career in consultancy engineering and eventually become a Chartered Engineer. And the basis for this? About 2 weeks shadowing at a consultancy company and thinking that it might be what the interviewer wanted to hear.
Ultimately, the reality is that when you are applying to university, or even during your degree, you may not have a concrete idea on what career path to pursue. There probably is that one person who knows exactly what they were going to be at 5 years old and is on it from Day 1, but rest assured you have time and resources to decide your vocation.
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.
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.
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.
I might be a little early with this article since we are still ages away from the start of a new academic year, though I reckon it might be something worth talking about since I’ve been receiving a lot of questions on my UniBuddy account asking me this exact question. So, here are three things that I would have loved if my 18-year-old self to have understood prior to attending Imperial for my undergraduate degree.
It’s really not that difficult
There may have been a chance where movies, TV series, social media, memes, or “dramatic” people have given you the impression that a typical university student is one who is constantly overworked, stressed out, and struggling to understand the course material.
Before I jump right in, I will start by explaining about why I decided to write this blog post. As Imperial has begun sending their conditional offers to students from all around the world, students have been overly excited on planning their next phases in life. Being a student ambassador from Imperial, I have begun receiving loads of messages from students telling me about their plans, asking about accommodations and life in London in general. On the other hand, there are also students who are anxious about moving into a new city and making new friends. Therefore, I have decided the write this blog post hoping that this can help ease your transition to your new phase in life!
As you go from primary to secondary school, and then GCSEs to A-Levels, the academic expectations keep changing. In response, your study habits also evolve slightly. Going from sixth form to university is no different. In this post I’ll share a few of the study-specific differences I noticed when I made the transition to Imperial.
1. You don’t have textbooks at university When I was doing my GCSEs and A-Levels the exam board specified textbook formed the cornerstone of my study routine. I took great solace from the fact that everything I needed to know for my exams was contained within its covers.
My name is Laura and I am currently a third year student on the Graduate Medicine course at Imperial College London. I believe if being a doctor is really what you envision for yourself, no number of rejections will stop you – take it from me! I’m enjoying this process and wish all medical students out there the courage and wisdom to finish the course and remember why you started in the first place.
Unfortunately, to practice in the field of Medicine, good grades are a must. But for those of us who didn’t quite get there the first time, it’s not something to give up on.