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Stephanie Soyombo

Fourth (at time of interview: July 2020)

Hometown: London
Education: BSc Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol

What work experience had you gained before coming here?

I enjoy variety (and was a keen volunteer!). I obtained work experience with children, in Care homes, in my local community by doing dementia befriending, and in hospital by being a meal time volunteer, in addition to doing placements (for example, in paediatrics and cardiology). I also worked as a carer before starting Medical School. Familiarising myself with the spectrum of healthcare needs and conditions proved to be inordinately helpful.

Why did you choose Warwick?

Warwick offers a graduate-only course and I loved the idea of being surrounded by people from all walks of life! I was also curious about Warwick’s ‘Case Based Learning’ as the structured approach appealed to me. I think the people that I have met have truly enriched my experience. Warwick also has a good feedback system, and so the course is constantly adapting to suit the needs of its current and future cohorts.

How are you finding the MB ChB so far? How have your clinical placements been?

Graduating in the midst of a pandemic has felt surreal. But overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Warwick! The staff have been incredibly supportive, and even though I was initially quite shy during my clinical placements, I learnt to take advantage of every opportunity and to ask endless amounts of questions. Specialist placements in third year were particularly useful, and demonstrated, yet again, that there is vast world of medicine to explore.

What do you most enjoy about the course?

I think the early clinical placements were a highlight of the course. It gave the lectures context, and made it far easier to understand and retain concepts. I also think Warwick is particularly admirable for its peer support and student led seminars. I relied heavily on those throughout my first and second year, and it enhanced my teaching skills when I ran seminars for the lower years too.

Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities during your time here?

Absolutely! I joined the Medic’s Football and Netball teams, and also did Dance through the main campus. Initially, the workload in first year felt insurmountable, but I think it is crucial to obtain a balance and actively seek to do non-academic activities which aid your well-being. Moreover, it’s a great way to meet new people!

Do you have any idea at this stage about which specialty you’d like to pursue?

Not at all…In fact, I probably have a better idea of what I do not want to pursue! But I am keen to remain open-minded and try as many different experiences as possible, before making a decision.

Do you have any advice for people applying to the MB ChB at Warwick?

Do not hold yourself back! Each individual brings a unique skillset to medicine. Use your work experience to explore and establish breadth – the specialising comes much later. In addition, academic prowess is simply one dimension of being a medical professional. Organise yourself so that you feel well-prepared for the entrance exams and interviews, and never lose sight of the kindness, compassion and empathy that underpins medical practice.

Finally, what three words would you use to describe your experience studying at Medical School so far?

Challenging, Incomparable, Rewarding.