Sadly, I started blogging slightly late, so this first one is going to have a lot of information in it from what I’ve been up to since undertaking the medlink Course. Firstly, I would like to thank James Ridgeway and all other members of the medlink team as well Nottingham University because with out those conferences I highly doubt I would have as much knowledge about how to go about my medical application as I do now. I would highly recommend that everyone who is interested in medicine apply to medlink because it was well worth doing.
Since Medlink, I have applied at severall care homes and local NHS and i’m waiting for responses on some of them. Currently, I am participating on a children in need and Warrington youth club program called Buddy Up which helps young disadvantaged people in the local area by giving them more social opportunities pairing them with a buddy like my self. To begin volunteering on this program, I had to undergo an 18 week training course where we looked at the basics of child protection and safeguarding as well understanding certain disabilities in more depth and how to be a good buddy. I am really enjoying this at the moment and the volunteering is very rewarding. I have also developed and improved on certain skills and qualities which I believe are integral to becoming a doctor or any career in a caring profession. Firstly, I have developed my understanding of how to communicate with people of different social backgrounds and age groups which I believe will benefit me greatly in my later career especially if I chose to go in to a Pediatric Specialism
I also Referee Junior Football on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I really enjoy refereeing despite it being quite challenging and i really feel i have developed strong leadership skills from this aswell as buddy up. Both of these activities have really helped me develop confidence and i am much more composed in difficult situations. Quite often people will challenge the decisions I make and I am faced with an infringement of the laws of the game where i have to make the correct decision. I believe this is much like being faced with an ill patient where I may have to diagnose a condition or ailment then create an appropriate course of action or prognosis for them to follow.
Another thing i have done in preparation for my medical school application is participated on the national citizen service. I participated on NCS over the first four weeks of my last Summer after year 11. During this time, I went on a residential to a Kingswood Centre in Colomendy where we did several team building exercises and had a very enjoyable time. The second week we stayed at the Peace Centre which is a centre in my home town of Warrington which was built as a memmorail for two young boys who were killed in IRA bombings. In this week, we had to cook, interact with a charity whom we would later be helping and develop ideas how we could help this charity. We helped a charity called Papyrus which aim to help with the prevention of young suicide. This is something i am very passionate about and really felt pleased that I was able to contribute in some way. The next two weeks we carried out our action plan which involved raising money through various events then spending the money in a way to help the charity develop. My team did seveal things over these two weeks including running a Fun Day, making a stall at Winwick Carnival where we had a lucky Dip, Cakes to Sell, sponge toss and many more exciting things. We used the money we raised to buy equipment for the charity which was greatly appreciated. I made some very good friends whom i’m still in contact with and really developed my social and team working skills. Before hand, i was quite shy but NCS really helped me develop my confidence and self appreciation.
I am also completing my Gold D of E award which I hope to complete before finishing my second year of college. For the volunteering section, I am doing Buddy Up, for the Physical section, I play Basketball for a local team called Northwich Royals, for the skill, I play drums and Guitar to grade 6 standard, the expedition i am doing through the college and for the residential I plan to go to Tanzania Morogoro with GapMedics. Many of these things I do for my own enjoyment so the opportunity to complete the DofE reward and be recognized for doing these things is something which really appealed to me. Playing musical instruments is something I enjoy a lot and have done so for a while. At my High School- Penketh High School, I played in the Samba and African Percussion bands and in partnership with Thomas Boteler High School, we set the record for the largest assembled Samba Band.
In the first two weeks of this Summer i will be doing a two week placement in a Tanzanian Hospital and i am very excited and can not wait for this to happen. I hope to learn lots of new skills and believe developing these in a clinical setting will be incredibly useful. I will do several rotations during these two weeks to get a real flavor of what working in a hospital will be like. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to observe Surgeries and observe how professionals interact with patients and improve my understanding of good practice
In partnership with some other local colleges, Priestley College, which is where i attend have organised masterclasses with Cambridge University, which I participate in every couple of weeks. Previously we looked at how the occurrence of natural disasters effects biological variation, the applications of mass Spectrometry in both clinical and mechanical applications and how electronic configuration and hybridization effects molecular shape. All of these classes have been very interesting and i feel very privileged to be apart of them.
Another thing, my college arranged for me and other students to participate in was a Model UN debating conference. I was a member of the economic and social council and we debated on some interesting topics. I wrote a resolution based on improving the rights of Woman and the resolution I suggested and put forth received 10 votes in favor; enough that it reached the general assembly part of the debate. Later this month i plan to go to Birmingham and debate in the national Model UN. As a Scientist and because all my subjects are closely linked, I look forward to the opportunity to show my interest in other topics and debating skills. In my opinion, events such as the model UN are very useful and debating skills really are transferable to the health care profession. It allows you and other professional to examine a patient and make a diagnosis, then evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of different courses of action eventually coming to an agreement which is in the patients best interest.
Something else I would recommend to all interested Scientists is Future Learn which provides lots of interesting online courses to further your Scientific knowledge. So far, I have done a course on Ebola: signs and symptoms, and i am just beginning a Course about Cancer. It also provides Courses for other topics and I’m currently considering signing up to a course which takes you through building an app.
I have applied for work experience at my local Hospital; Warrington and Halton general, but i’m still waiting for a response to my application. I have also applied for experience at several care homes and i’m waiting to here back from them also. About a week ago, I sent in my Nuffield Application Form and i would very much like to conduct my own research in a clinical setting and the experience i could gain from this i believe would be very useful. A health care profession is currently what I wish to pursue but I am very passionate about Physics and if i received a placement involving Physics, this to would be very interesting.
I took part in a one day course provided by Manchester University going through basic anatomy and first aid procedures This was quite interesting and informative also. At the moment, the wider reading i have done is not that extensive however i have several books lined up which i will likely post about later once i have had a chance to read them.