Year: Third (At time of interview: January 2018)
Hometown: Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Education: BSc Psychology, Durham University
What work experience had you gained before coming here?
I came straight from my undergraduate so I didn’t have as much experience as some. However, I did volunteering for the charity Mindwise in Northern Ireland as a ‘befriender’. I also did a week's experience in Stoke Mandeville hospital where I was working alongside Macmillan to collect information about patient experiences in the hospital, conducting and collating patient surveys. I also had the opportunity to shadow my local GP for a couple of days.
Why did you choose Warwick?
Having already done my undergraduate, I knew I wanted to do a postgraduate course as the training is shorter and I preferred to be around people of my own age. When looking for universities it was important to find ones which incorporated clinical work early in the process. Additionally the area appealed to me geographically, as each hospital is fairly close to each other and there aren’t huge distances to travel for placements. Furthermore, the location of the university means you can experience work in larger hospitals such as Coventry, as well as more rural areas.
How are you finding the MB ChB so far?
So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed the course, and it has gone very quickly. In the first year it can be quite intense and full-on but is made better by holidays in between. From second year onwards, the clinical placements make it much more enjoyable. I enjoyed learning in a much more practical way, getting to know the patients and being able to put theory from a textbook into practice.
Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities during your time here?
I've attended Warwick Medical School Football and Netball Club. I also ran some student seminars in my second year.
Do you have any ideas at this stage about what you’d like to specialise in in the future?
At this stage, I think I would specialise in GP as it allows for more varied cases, and arguably an easier work-life balance.
Do you have any advice for people applying?
I would advise them to get some experience in a hospital to see exactly what the job entails. This experience will help you gain confidence in your communication, something which I think is key for the interview process. Gaining other experiences in other areas is also a good idea - I benefited from doing work with mental health as it gave a different viewpoint to just hospital-based medicine. So get whatever experience you can, really!
And in general, I would advise anyone who wants to do medicine to apply for it! Being here at Warwick, it's wonderful to meet people from such varied backgrounds, ages and life experiences. This should encourage anyone to apply, regardless of their previous degree etc.