Making the decision to study medicine is an exciting one, but it’s the start of a journey of several months (if not years for some) of hard work to perfect an application. That journey will involve getting the right qualifications; whether that’s A-Levels or degrees, sitting entrance exams such as the UCAT, BMAT or GAMSAT, perfecting personal statements and so on. We spend a lot of time trying to convince medical schools we’re right for them, but we also have to ask ourselves “Which medical school is right for us?”.
A big part of answering the question above is attending Open Days. This time last year, universities across the UK were opening their doors to applicants, giving an insight into the lives of their medical students. It was an opportunity for applicants to directly ask medics questions, find out honest opinions as well as application tips. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Open Days have either been cancelled altogether or are happening online.
Medical students in this community however have come together during this pandemic, to create resources for applicants as support during this difficult application cycle. One of those students is the creator of LifeofaMedic.com, who has kindly set up a “Virtual Medicine Open Day” for medical applicants. For each medical school across the UK, blog posts are being published over on LifeofaMedic.com by medical students studying at each medical school, including me! This is then followed up by an interactive Q&A session for all to get involved.
I’d just like to say a big thanks to LifeofaMedic.com for inviting me to write the guest post for “What’s it really like to study medicine at Hull York?”. I really enjoyed reflecting back on my time as a Phase I medical student, which felt like ages ago. Feel free to check out the Hull York Q&A over on her website, and explore her other posts too!
I’m MyMedicLife and I am a final year student doctor from England, UK. I will be graduating in summer 2021, having studied medicine for five years and a total of eight years at university. People ask me if it’s felt like a long time coming but it’s going by in the blink of an eye. So, here’s my capturing a piece of it.
I’ll start with a regret; that I wished I’d documented my journey earlier in medical school. Before this all started four years ago, I wrote a final closing post on an old blog. It was a blog preparing for medical school, with more posts than readers but it was mine to grow. Once I’d got my acceptance, I guess I thought my old blog served its purpose. I thought I’d done all the reflecting I’d needed, only all throughout medical school I’ve been doing just that minus the recording. I’ve come a long way since 2016, yet I haven’t really written personally since. But that’s okay. Some blogs like my old one are fleeting. And some I hope are here to stay.
I created this blog for a few reasons:
1. For myself. Medicine consumes a lot of time and effort. With final year ahead and beyond, I want a healthy outlet of creativity to channel energy into alongside final year studies. If my Photoshop and writing skills also improve, that’s also a big bonus.
2. For future medics. I’ve had lots of individual conversations with so many of you. Whether through working as an e-mentor, by helping relatives or friends, or Q&As through my Instagram. I find it really rewarding to share parts of my journey, but I do think blogs have potential for bigger reach.
3. For medics. Medicine is reflective practice; if that’s learning from one’s own experience, through friends’, or others’ in wider circles. It’s a journey of emotional intensities we all collectively feel, but also very differently. Only in sharing these do we celebrate this. Medicine isn’t just all thinking and no doing however, so I will be sharing practical tips too.
I’ll keep this short & simple – thanks for reading!