Monday, 23 September 2013

My first week at Medical School

My first day at Barts as a real medic. I pre-booked an enrolment session because I had experienced QMUL's enrolment process before. After enrolment I headed over to Whitechapel for an introductory lecture and then the opportunity to meet my new Barts 'mum' and 'dad'. This is a brilliant scheme where two older students will take a fresher under their wing. I was unfortunately abandoned by my originally assigned parents, but was quickly adopted by two amazing third years. They took me under their wing and we headed off to Spoons. After several free drinks, we made a pit stop at someone's house for shots then headed over to the student union (The Griffin). More alcohol ensued. Good night. Bed.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Official Reading List for Medicine at Barts and the Royal London 2012/2013

UPDATE: I've finished my first year as a medical student at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. I have subsequently reviewed the official reading list HERE.

Things are starting to move quickly now. I've just completed my pre-enrolment requirements online and I've received an induction timetable. I've booked some fresher events (we get a boat ball and a toga party!) I've also been given a reading list. I'm excited and surprised at some of the choices. See below (all links are to Amazon, I tried to do some fancy pictures but the formatting threw it all over the place).

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A-Level Results Day 2013

So today is A-Level Results Day. It's also the day that Barts told UCAS that I now hold an unconditional offer to study Medicine at Barts. This is the epitome of official. UCAS knows. Barts knows. Everyone I've ever spoken to knows.

Congratulations to everyone who got what they wanted today. It's a wonderful feeling to know that your hard work paid off!

Monday, 12 August 2013

My First Medical Student Timetable: FunMed

UPDATE: If you want a review of my first year as a medical student at medical school, have a look HERE

So after the vague details I got a few weeks ago, I've been updated by a friend at Barts with a more detailed timetable for the first part of my degree, FunMed. FunMed is short for Fundamental Medicine and appears to be aimed at getting everyone to a level playing field. It's a ten week period right at the beginning of the course where you are bombarded with overviews of every part of medicine and expected to pass a two-part test (written and spotter) at the end. This is where I'll have my second opportunity to use the dissection labs at Queen Mary and was a key reason in choosing Barts as my medical school.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Moving house and other stuff

So I have officially moved house. As I have mentioned before, this always fills me with fear. Yet I have struck gold. I found a private landlord who is organised, responsible and not going to screw me over. Me and two of my housemates have moved to Leyton to a house that is B-E-A-utiful.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Can I see some ID?

2:1. It’s official. The confirmation email came through on Wednesday and my university cannot take my grade away from me now. With my degree sorted and my place at Barts and the London Medical School (pretty much) confirmed, it’s triggered a number of things for me to do.

First, with my result confirmed I know that I am staying in London so I need to house hunt. I hate house hunting. With a passion. It figuratively/literally fills me with dread. Renting a property has so many issues and finding a good landlord is like a needle in a London haystack. Plus one of my housemates is off to Colombia next week until September. This adds stress that I’m trying to ignore right now. I’m looking at Whitechapel and Stratford if anyone knows any good three beds (Do I sound desperate?).

Secondly, meeting the academic requirement is just part of the offer. I have to divulge my criminal and medical status so that I can get GMC approval and the medical school can make adjustments for any disabilities etc. What this means is I need to undergo a CRB check and show my vaccination history. Sound straightforward right? Wrong. Pre-empting my acceptance to Barts (risky I know), I gave my GP the vaccination form nearly three weeks ago to complete. She said it would be a simple job and done by the next day. Several phone calls later and a visit to Glastonbury festival, it was still not done. Finally after three weeks I get the phone call saying its ready. Turns out I’d only had the MMR jab and chicken pops so I’m not even sure what took so long. The plot thickens. Barts would like me to start a Hep B vaccination course. But living in a small town, means everything takes time. Apparently my town has run out of vaccinations this week and I should phone back next week for an appointment. I forgave them though because they gave me a lollypop. Seriously.

Moving on to the CRB check. Not only is it going to cost £50 (can someone confirm this right, I feel like I’m being ripped off), it requires me to show three forms of ID. I thought at first that it was some error. That they meant I had to show one of three forms of ID. Nope. Phoned up and checked. They need to see my birth certificate, passport and driving licence. Bit over the top in my opinion. I’m not even applying for a job, but I guess I’ll be working in a hospital/GP clinic from the get go so they need to check this stuff.

So it’s a bit of a busy time at the moment. Graduation is next Friday. I finally get to throw my mortar cap into the air. I cannot wait! My parents are going to come and stay the night. They’ve booked a hotel and we’ve got tickets for the Shard’s viewing platform. It’ll be a day to remember and it marks the start of an exciting new journey in my life.

Glastonbury '13

Glastonbury is my favourite festival. This is the third time I’ve gone. It is the pinnacle festival and represents music (both undiscovered and cliche) to me.  With the unbelievable headliners The Rolling Stones, I felt the excitement build in the weeks before hand. I live in a very small seaside town in the West Country so Glastonbury is a hop, skip and jump away from me.

This time I went to Glastonbury with three of my friends from university. We camped in Bushy Ground. It’s my favourite field and the best in my opinion. You’ve got a slope; you’re close to John Peel and the Dance Village (now renamed but I refuse to call it anything but the Dance Village); and some of the nicest toilets around.

I won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of who I saw but I will mention some highlights. Haim were the first act I saw on the pyramid stage, a justified decision. They had a brilliant stage presence even after their bassist had a diabetic attack. MS MR, a favourite band of mine, played on John Peel and gave an intimate set. Their vocals held strong and I’m glad that they can sing live. Lastly, Rolling Stones. I would never declare myself a super fan, or even a fan. For a pub quiz I could only name a handful of songs. Yet as they churned out the set list, I realised that the Rolling Stones are so systemic in British society that I’ve heard all the songs and most, enough to sing along. I was definitely there to say I had seen them. Judging by the size of the crowd, I wasn’t the only one. The atmosphere was electric. I was dancing around with strangers and chatting to long lost friends. This is Glastonbury. This is why I go. When I compare it to more commercial festivals (cough Reading), I can’t imagine going anywhere else now.
South West's largest twister board
I say I go for the music, but in reality its really food. It’s like a mecca for food options. I always have the hog roast. I always go to the place that gives free garlic bread with its pasta. Recently I’ve added ostrich burger to must eat. This year I discovered a Spanish tapas bar. For £7 you get a tray bigger than a baby loaded with my favourite Spanish foods: chorizo, potato bravos, chicken skewer, couscous, garlic mayo dip, salsa, olives, pasta with parmesan and grilled red peppers. Mouth watering? We walked past this place so many times that I started to have dreams about it before we finally passed at a mealtime. To top it off, I found a place open at 4am selling churros and chocolate. My Spanish day of food could only be topped by my evening spent in a Mexican day of the dead nightclub.

Glastonbury is amazing. If you haven’t been, you should.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Timetable of a med student

UPDATE:  A more detail post about my first medical student timetable can be found HERE.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

It's actually happened. Here I come med school!

Every post starts with an apology. I got a little busy and forgot about this blog….

…but it was worth it because I got in!!!!
I finished my exams in May, got my results back this week and I got a 2:1. I’m going to Barts and the Royal London Medical School in September.

At the moment I’m too excited. I’m not sure what to write. Let me know if you’ve got questions in the comments.