Amy Burrows graduated from the MB ChB at Warwick Medical School in 2016. She's currently in the second year of the Foundation Programme and recently came back to WMS to participate in our Essentials of Clinical Education module. We caught up with her to find out about life since graduation and how she's finding working as a doctor.
Thinking back to when you were applying to study medicine, why did you choose Warwick?
I really liked the idea of a graduate-only programme with a mixed cohort of people with different backgrounds and skills. The course sold itself as very people-focused and had a heavy groupwork/CBL-based component. The Medical School Building is purpose-built and feels very friendly.
How did you find the MB ChB?
The non-clinical elements are taught by passionate staff in an interesting way which allows you to integrate knowledge into clinical practice from the beginning. There is a strong focus on clinical attachments and I had a wide exposure to specialties in a mixture of settings. The course has prepared me very well for work and had student-selected components to allow me to tailor it to my interests. I was also lucky enough to go to Grenada during my second year to undertake an intensive anatomy and dissection course through the Medical School.
Where are your working now?
I'm working in Brighton as a Foundation Year 2 doctor on a busy Gastroenterology ward, enjoying the coast (and getting paid). Some rotations can keep you really busy, but others are flexible - I've managed to travel a lot this year. I feel like I've learnt so much since graduation and my confidence grows with every job rotation. I love ward-based medicine and am aiming to apply for Core Medical Training after some time out. I've also done a lot of teaching and have set up my own teaching programmes on the south coast.
Has anything surprised you about your career so far?
How quickly it's going! My friends are applying for run-through training jobs this week and will soon know where they are training from now until becoming a consultant. I've also been surprised by how varied the foundation jobs can be and how adaptable you have to be - they don't let you forget anything after medical school! But it's all totally do-able.
Do you feel that your time at Warwick prepared you well for life as a doctor?
Yes, we had access to a great teaching hospital and numerous smaller district hospitals and community placements, so I saw and experienced a wide selection of medicine. Warwick teaches fantastic communication skills and how to treat patients hollistically, which I really value. You have to be able to work well in a team and be self-motivated.
Do you have any advice for MB ChB students graduating next summer?
Enjoy the break...rest, travel, see your friends... and then throw yourself into your third freshers' week! Everyone makes some great friends in FY1 because you're all experiencing the same thing. Make sure you socialise often and don't let work take over. At work be friendly and ask for help often. If something upsets you, find someone to talk to about it.
Why did you choose to study the Essentials of Clinical Education module?
WMS kindly offered me a free postgraduate module as a bursary for graduating with Honours, which was an incentive to travel back from the south. I chose this module because I'm planning on pursuing a career in medical education alongside clinical practice. I wanted to learn more about planning and delivering teaching in a structured and efficient way to engage students. Having undertaken the module at Warwick and enjoyed it, I would come back to complete the PG Certificate and eventually the Masters course here because it was taught in a very user-friendly and open way.
How do you think this module will help you in your career?
I've started teaching in various capacities including lecturing, and this course will help my academic portfolio when I want to take on bigger projects. The coursework is so helpful in practice as I've been forced to analyse the way I teach, collect and give feedback, my use of technology in teaching and the efficacy of what I do. It will help me to demonstrate a wider appreciation of academia and professionalism.
Why do you think taking professional modules like this is important?
Postgraduate study is really important for your professional development. You can be a clinician but still have an interest in another area (education, sports medicine, event medicine, wilderness medicine) and modules like this are a way to show your interest in interview and also develop your skills. You have the opportunity to mix with healthcare professionals from lots of different disciplines to share ideas and techniques, which helps broaden your knowledge-base and experience.