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Hannah Boyle


Year: First (At time of interview: March 2017)
Hometown: Bracknell
Education: BSc in Biomedical Science at Keele University

What work experience had you gained before coming here?

The majority of my experience was from being a respite care worker for children aged 3-18. This was a job I loved doing and it gave me exposure to many different disorders and disabilities. I also had a lot of volunteer work with children. Don’t underestimate anything you have that shows you in a caring capacity. My only clinical experience was a week of bedside play in year 11 and then a few days shadowing a GP.

Why did you choose Warwick?

Firstly, the post-grad cohort is great. It means that everyone here wants to be here and wants to work, which is a great atmosphere to be in. You also have people of all ages, backgrounds and life experiences. Another benefit of the 4-year course is the difference in finance, which was a consideration for me.

A major pull for me with Warwick was how quickly you start clinical placements. You start patient interviews in the community in term 1, and in term 2 you spend half a day with a consultant taking histories and performing examinations on patients in the wards.

Also it’s a good location for transport links for me, easy to head central or to the Midlands.

How have you found the MB ChB so far?

It's been hard. There's a lot of content to learn and you really do hit the ground running. It can sometimes be overwhelming but it's really great to know you’re never alone. Both staff and students are so willing to offer support. Students in higher years run seminars and lecturers and are happy to be e-mailed questions.

How have you found your experiences of going into clinic?

So far I’ve been on ward with a consultant a handful of times. Initially it felt quite scary but I quickly realised that the best way to learn is to throw yourself into it. You’re always in a group when you go to see a patient, so it's quite relaxed as you can support each other. All of the patients have volunteered so they’re really encouraging and always emphasise they want to help us learn.

What are you particularly enjoying about your course?

For me, my favourite days are Fridays, which are spent at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. Whilst it’s a long day (8.00am - 4.00pm) I really enjoy it and find it a welcome break from the normal style of teaching. The day involves a lecture, clinical skills practice, visualisation seminar, anatomy seminar and teaching in the anatomy suite. For me these days really help to link the knowledge from lectures into a better clinical understanding.

I also really enjoy the CBL (case-based learning) process. It gives you a group to be part of from the very start of the course and the opportunity to re-explore lecture content in a new way.

Have you been involved in any extra-curricular activities this year?

For me it has been quite a shift, as I used to be very involved in societies at my old uni but there’s not as much time with this course. I have been part of Paediatric Society and the Christian Medics society. Lots of the medical societies are very relaxed and don’t meet weekly, as they understand the high workload. I have also been to the Christian Union on main campus and for sport I've been part of the frisbee team. Whilst it's great to mix with people outside of medicine, it can be hard to be in a non-medic sports team as many practices are during our lecture hours.

Do you have any idea at this stage what you'd like to specialise in in the future?

I came into medicine with the aim of becoming a paediatrician. I love working with children and it’s definitely the area I’m most interested in.

Do you have any advice for people considering applying?

Go for it! There are so many people in my cohort who assumed they couldn’t possibly qualify for medicine but they’re here and they’re thriving! If it's something you know you really want to do, keep going for it.

When applying, don’t be afraid to show 'you' in your application. You may get some fantastic suggestions of “phrases med schools love”, but if it's not something you’d ever say in real life, don’t say it! Similarly, in an interview always be honest and don’t be afraid to answer with “I don’t know, but after this I’ll go and find out”.

Good luck!