Monday lectures are mainly focused on the human body, including subjects like pathology, human physiology and anatomy. I find these very interesting as they relate to many things that I learned in my first degree in nursing. Having seen a lot of pathological conditions as a nurse, the lectures give me more understanding of these conditions at the microscopic level.
In the afternoon, we break into smaller groups for seminars. Today we have pathology, and we get to see different histology slides digitally and learn how to identify the pathological cell/tissue. These sessions also allow me to have more direct contact with the lecturers and to ask questions on any previous lectures that I didn’t understand too well.
In the evening, I go to the gym with my flatmates and enjoy dinner with them. Afterwards, we make some revision flashcards. It’s really nice living with fellow medical students as we can study together. My flatmates are biomedical science graduates and they help me a lot with any of the scientific topics I struggle with.
Tuesdays are focused on the clinical and community practice module. In the morning, we have a clinical practice lecture on various topics like reflective practice, communication skills, conflict management and professionalism. I really enjoy this module because I can integrate many things that I have learnt from nursing. It has also made me better informed on how to initiate a patient consultation, take patient histories and understand the principles of patient-centred healthcare. We then break into small groups with our individual clinical practice facilitators and expand on the lecture topic.
In the afternoon we have clinical placements, which can vary from GP to a community placement. I’m with a local community nursing team, visiting patients in their home, where I get the chance to interact with a diabetic patient about their insulin management. We can also have workshops such as inclusion and exclusion, family study and history taking.
In the evening, I go shopping in town with my best friend, then we go to her place for dinner.
In the morning, we have a group meeting with our individual academic tutors – sometimes these are individualised so that we can personally discuss our individual academic progress and challenges.These meetings help us with scientific essay writing, numeracy and presentation skills. I do a presentation on the treatment and management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease (COPD) to my tutor group.
Researching on this topic has made me more informed on the latest research on COPD management and presenting helps my confidence in public speaking.
Despite our busy workload, BSMS believes that it is vital for us to engage in social activities outside of study, so we have Wednesday afternoons off for extra curricularactivities. I go for a run with friends, then go to the gym.
I spend the evening relaxing and going through my dissection room (DR) notes for the session the next day.
In the morning, we have a symposium on health and disease. Symposiums are like long lectures where we get to discuss various topics in greater depth, and sometimes patients are invited to talk to us about their condition and management. Today’s is on the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), and we have the opportunity to meet a few patients living with CLL and ask them personal questions regarding the condition.
At lunch I have a quick anatomy quiz with my friends in preparation for the DR. BSMS was one of my top choice medical schools because of their early patient contact programme and the dissection component of anatomy learning. The DR sessions allow us to visualise everything we learn in the anatomy lectures on a real human body and thereby help us to understand our notes in greater depth. I am ever so thankful to the amazing people who have donated their bodies for our learning.
On Thursday evening, I go to yoga. At BSMS, you can join many societies, activities and sports at both universities. I’m a member of the Afro Caribbean society, the Islamic society, women’s rugby, dance society, table tennis society and the feminist society.
Finally, the last day of the week! We have a mix of lectures including one on the psychology of aging.
In the afternoon, I have a practical session on microbiology, where we stain different bacteria and assess their morphology. As a nurse, I took blood cultures from patients and sent them to microbiology, but I never knew much about how the actual blood culture is done in the lab and how antibiotics sensitivity is identified. The microbiology session has enlightened me on these!
In the evening I head out for dinner with friends.