This month’s feature is by a medical student from King’s College London who is about to start Graduate entry medicine.
What made you want to pursue medicine?
The decision to apply to medical school was not really inspired by one defining moment for me. From a young age, I always had an interest in all things medical and watched a lot of documentaries, which my parents argued I was too young to watch. Most notably perhaps explaining the process of male to female gender reassignment surgery to my mum at age 6.
I went through a lot of different career options as a teenager but medicine was never in the forefront of my mind. Coming from a family where no one has a medical career it just wasn’t something that crossed my mind as a possibility.
In secondary school I saw an advert for medical work experience abroad and signed up out of the blue! Then I spent 6 weeks in India at age 16 shadowing doctors, and watching surgeries and helping out in the hospital. I knew from then I could not see myself doing anything else.
How was the process of applying? (Any tips)
The process of applying was a long and winding road for me. I applied at age 18 straight from school but did not achieve the grades I needed. I moved to London with my boyfriend as he was lucky enough to be starting medical school. Then I spent a year working as a teaching assistant in a special needs school before studying for 3 years at Kingston University where I achieved my 1st class degree in Medical Biology.
I had one more failed application attempt where I did not do as well as I needed to in the UKCAT and BMAT and then finally 3rd time lucky I got two interviews and 2 offers!
My biggest piece of advice is to remember that although there might be ups and downs along the way if you want it enough then you can get there All the hoops you have to jump through can be positives, so embrace the journey and you might find a better (but not necessarily shorter) route to the destination.
What is your medical school like?
I have not started yet but I am so excited! I have already started packing my bag like it’s the first day of school and yes I will get my partner to take a photograph of me going off to the train on my first day!
My medical school is a beautiful small campus with trees and grass tucked away under The Shard in central London. I am so excited to be back in the centre of London everyday and all the opportunities that will be open to me studying in the big smoke.
My medical school focuses a lot of cadaveric dissection and as a graduate I will be doing this intensively for the first two weeks of the course.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Our biggest plans for the future is that we want to use our jobs for travel. I don’t think we would want to move permanently abroad but we definitely have the travel bug! I would also like to further my academic studies and potentially study a masters at some point. I am remaining open minded to working in all aspects of medicine and hope one will come along and sweep me off my feet at some point during med school.
Any last comments/tips for future medical students?
The only thing I would say is be yourself, work hard and you can achieve anything. Find your own way to do things and have fun!
If you would like to feature on this blog next month then feel free to get in touch with me.