Being An Imperial Medicine Student
So, having loved my last blog on the Imperial Medicine interview process, you’ve come back for more eh?! I don’t blame you… Hopefully, you’ve prepped for the dreaded day, and fingers crossed come October all that hard work and blog reading will have paid off and you’ll be starting on the Imperial Medicine course yourself! So ‘what happens next – what is Medicine like at Imperial?’ I hear you all ask! Well, let me tell you…
What to expect as an Imperial Medicine student
I’m in second year, and currently the focus of the Imperial Medicine course is very much pre-clinical knowledge. This means that there is a lot of science (woo!) and anatomy (yay!), with little bits of clinical medicine (hurrah!) dotted around here and there.
Generally, my day starts at 9am. By this I mean my day is supposed to start at 9am. There’s two places this can be. Most commonly for second years, this is the campus at Charring Cross Hospital in Hammersmith. Living a ten minute walk from here, you can imagine that this is my preferred place of study – well, apart from my bed. The other place for teaching is at Imperial’s main campus in South Kensington. This is where most Imperial Medicine teaching takes place in first year. Nestled in between the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall, it’s an amazing place to be. However, when you have to commute there and have to battle through crowds of tourists, it’s harder to see the appeal.
A normal day of the Imperial Medicine course mostly starts with lectures. After the room fills up (more likely partially fills up) with sufficiently caffeinated students, the lecture begins. Lectures vary considerably depending on the module and the lecturer. There are those few amazing lecturers that everyone in the year loves, but for the rest it really comes down to personal taste. Personally I can get intensely distracted and so have to make the effort to engage with the lecture so that I don’t end up browsing gumtree or looking for places to eat falafel.
Tutorials normally follow lectures. This is usually in a group of 10-20 people with an Imperial Medicine tutor looking through example cases involving the material covered in the previous lecture. It’s a really good way to consolidate what you’ve learnt, helping to both pick out the most important points and to take the depth of knowledge a little bit further. Using example cases also makes the material a lot more interesting as you can see the clinical relevance. Tutorials are much more self-involved with the tutor asking the group questions. Personally, I do try to contribute but that really depends on how much sleep I’ve had, and whether I spent the previous lecture browsing gumtree or not.
Lunch is a time to recaffeinate and catch up with friends. If there’s any sort of deadline due that day then you might also find yourself in a computer suite, frantically typing away cursing yourself for choosing the Imperial Medicine course that, shockingly, has deadlines for work! Like, who does that? Luckily however deadlines are few and far between!
After lunch you normally have a repeat of the morning’s format, now covering a different topic. You might also find yourself in labs or PBL (yes, we do actually do ‘some’ PBL at Imperial). The Imperial Medicine Anatomy learning differs slightly, with students normally split between a morning and afternoon session.
When lectures finish I’ll make my way back home, at which point my day diverges slightly. If I’m feeling super tired then I’ll likely just collapse into my bed. If I’m feeling super keen or super scared by how little I understood that day, then I might go back over the day’s material. And if I’m feeling super energetic then I’ll probably head back into central London with some friends.
How to have fun
With Imperial being right in the heart of London, boredom is a very easy thing to avoid. Remember, it’s very important that you find the right work-play balance for you. Personally, this balance is something I’m still looking for, leaning a little too much towards the play side 😉 .
Jokes aside, having such a variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, galleries and museums means you can always escape your Imperial Medicine studies if need be by having a day trip to an oriental palace, or spontaneously learning how to fire dance. What I’m really trying to say is that in a subject like Medicine, where you spend so much time studying life, it’s important to take the time out to enjoy your own!
Uploaded by Daniel on the 22nd January, 2016