Hometown: Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
Education: BA in History of Art from the University of Warwick
What work experience had you gained before coming here?
I had spent time caring for disabled children, volunteering with St John's Ambulance and volunteering at Riding for the Disabled Association. I had also done some work experience in adult intensive care in a London teaching hospital, and volunteered at a local hospice.
Why did you choose Warwick?
I chose Warwick for a few reasons. Firstly, I had completed my Art History degree here and absolutely loved it. On a practical level, Warwick has great links to both London and the north and the campus is just a lovely place to live and study. Secondly, I was enticed by the idea of an all-graduate programme. We're all in the same boat and have all taken the decision to go back to university, despite the sacrifices that entails. We're all here because we're passionate about becoming doctors, and that makes studying all the more enjoyable. Thirdly, I liked the idea of Case-Based Learning. It teaches you the true meaning of working as a team and improves your problem-solving skills.
How have you found the MB ChB so far?
Hard work! But undeniably the best decision of my life. I've had more fun in the past two years than I've had in all the years I’ve been in education. No two days are the same and it's a privilege to be allowed an insight into the lives of patients when they are at their most vulnerable. As an accelerated graduate programme, the MB ChB certainly promotes self-directed learning, but the academic and clinical staff are wonderfully supportive and a real inspiration.
How have you found going into clinic?
My time in the clinical environment so far has been great. You can't be a doctor without putting in the hours in the library, but hospital, GP and community placements are where I feel I am really learning. I underestimated how gracious and willing patients would be to enable our learning. Observing and practising clinical skills makes the knowledge all the more memorable and, after a long slog in the library, it reminds you of the end goal.
What's your favourite thing about the course?
Warwick is a fairly modern medical school, and that is reflected in the course. I loved how early we had contact with patients and how, in a swamped NHS, the importance of community medicine is promoted. I enjoy having a large amount of autonomy over my own timetable and learning and the variety of each week being totally different from the last.
Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities during your time here?
I've been involved with Warwick Wilderness Medicine since first year and am currently on the committee. We organise trips to various destinations around the UK to trek, train, camp and generally have a weekend of escapism. The society organises pre-hospital/ wilderness training, talks and trips for those interested in emergency, pre-hospital and wilderness medicine. Outside of university, I'm training for the London Marathon and London Triathlon.
Do you have any idea at this stage what you'd like to specialise in?
I'm really not sure what I want to specialise in yet. No doubt in years to come I will read this and laugh, but at the moment I like neonatology, anaesthetics and general practice in equal measure for different reasons!
Do you have any advice for people applying?
My advice would be: don't let ANYTHING put you off. We have people from all walks of life, ages and experiences here - it's never too late if it's what you want to do. Practically if you are applying for Warwick I would recommend studying hard for the UKCAT and then for interview swatting up on what the Medical School/ GMC/ BMA expect of a junior doctor. Rather than interrogating your knowledge, Warwick interviews focus on getting to know you and seeing if you have the right qualities to be a doctor. Show your enthusiasm and commitment and you’ll be fine. It's certainly the best decision I ever made. Good luck!