Off to medical school!

This summer I had a great time in Italy and Portugal, I passed my driving test first time and I was so happy to get A*A*A in my A levels. Now this Saturday I’m going to start medical school! I’m so excited and can’t believe it’s happening at last.

I’ve been very busy for the last few weeks seeing friends from Malawi who are studying over here too, going out with friends from school and getting everything I need for uni. I wish everyone lots of luck with their applications to medical school and I hope that you find this blog useful.

Another Invitation for Interview!

I’m really happy because I just heard today that I’ve been invited for an interview at one of my other medical school choices. It’s at the end of this month, so not too far away. This one is more of a traditional interview with a panel of 2 interviewers and will last about 20 minutes, while the first one is MMI (multiple mini interviews) with 6 stations each lasting 6 minutes. I hope I hear from my other choices soon too.

Yesterday I had a mock interview at school, with three of my teachers. It was really good practice and I got some good feedback. They gave me some role play questions, some ethical dilemmas and some traditional questions. I was quite nervous and my mouth went dry really quickly, so I’ll make sure that I take a bottle of water with me for the real thing! I didn’t realise how long 6 minutes is until I had to pretend I’d hit the interviewer’s car and had to role play what I’d do. Some of the answers I gave were too long though, so I’ll have to try to time them better.

image from http://img.allvoices.com/thumbs/image/609/609/93594083-medical-ethics.jpg

The Student room have posted information about what to expect at interviews at all the different medical schools. You can see what to expect here.

Here are some good interview questions that I found on the web. They have all been asked at medical school interviews recently.

University Open Days

Tomorrow I’m going to a university fair at Staffordshire University, where there will be lots of talks about different courses and representatives from different universities. I’m hoping to get some useful information about the different types of medical courses on offer.

image from http://www.southampton.ac.uk/studentadmin/appeals/images_appeals/DSCF1453-0.jpg

In the summer I shall be visiting several universities on their Open Days to find out more about their medical courses and what they offer. Below are some of the days I’m looking at so far. If you want to find out more, click on the name of the university to link to their Open Day page.

Saturday 15th June: Sheffield

Thursday 20th June: Birmingham

Friday 21st June: Manchester

Saturday 22nd June: Liverpool

Thursday 27th June: UCL

Saturday 29th June: Nottingham

Saturday 6th July: Southampton

Saturday 7th September: Cardiff

Saturday 14th September: Bristol

Saturday 28th September: Newcastle

image from http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/cornwall/homepagesplashimages/cornwall3students.jpg

Work experience – Day 3

I started off today by going to Medical School, to listen to a lecture about chronic kidney disease. The lecture was very interesting and I managed to understand most of it.  I found that it was a really valuable experience, because I was able to see a part of the university, and also appreciate what the medical lectures are actually like. I realised you have to be very organised, because there is so much more information to learn every day, at a much quicker pace and you have to keep on top of all the work.  After the lecture, I spent the morning in Cardiology, in an Adult Congenital Clinic, shadowing a registrar. She explained to me about some congenital heart defects. The first patient we saw had had a mustard procedure as a baby, because their pulmonary artery and her aorta were attached to the wrong chambers of the heart, and so their body hadn’t been supplied with enough oxygen. The mustard procedure helps by using tubes to direct the blood into a double circuit. I was able to listen to some of the patients’ hearts, look at their echo tests and watch their examinations which I found really fascinating and informative.  I found learning about congenital heart conditions fascinating, and it was also interesting to hear the doctor talk with the patients about the possibility of future pregnancies which could be risky because during pregnancy the heart has to work much harder. It is a sensitive issue which showed me that doctors need to be empathetic and good at communicating with their patients.  There were a couple of patients we saw in the afternoon who had Downs Syndrome. Children with Downs Syndrome have a much higher risk of congenital heart disease. One of the patients had come in to have a stent put in and was quite nervous. The patient needed to have some blood taken and so the doctors used numbing cream, so that it wouldn’t hurt the patient, who was very anxious. I had a chance to talk to one of the specialist nurses, who told me some of the ways they prepare children with Downs Syndrome for their time in hospital and make sure that they are really comfortable.   It was a fascinating day, and I learnt a lot about congenital heart disease, and was able to speak to patients with a variety of different conditions.