Through speaking to current medical students at the university and doing lots of research, I chose to study MBChB Medicine at the University of Sunderland due to the wide variety of facilities and resources available.
The teaching method of problem-based learning allows me work together with my peers and offers a different perspective to learning alongside lectures, clinical teaching, workshops, and practicals. The Anatomy Lab is great, as the facilities allow us to use pro-sections in cadaveric anatomy and Anatomage tables to learn about the intricacies of the human body. Also, in Year 1, we had GP and mental health placements which were very enjoyable. The communication skills teaching has also been extremely beneficial where we are able to practice our skills with volunteers from the community.
During my time at school, I had a particular interest in the sciences when I completed a course on cardiovascular disease and its implications on future healthcare. My personal, work and volunteering experiences led me to pursue a career in medicine where I would be able to combine interpersonal skills and knowledge to help improve the lives of others. Before I started my medical studies in Sunderland, I took a gap year after my A-levels, where I worked as a healthcare assistant in a general medicine ward at a hospital. This was a very valuable experience where I was able to learn about a variety of medical conditions and work together as a multidisciplinary team with other healthcare professionals to provide the best patient care. I also volunteered on the wards and lymphedema clinics at a local hospice where I was able to communicate with patients at the end of their life and learn more about the role of doctors in settings outside of a hospital. I volunteered at a primary school, and at food banks where I cooked food and hosted evenings for the community.
My favourite part of studying medicine at the university is the early patient contact in GP placements. Consulting with patients early in the course, has not only allowed me to learn about medical conditions and develop my verbal and non-verbal communication skills, but it has also allowed me to learn about the importance of taking a holistic approach to medicine and patient care. I was able to use my skills learnt in the communication skills sessions in patient consultations.
My advice to prospective students would be to always engage in your work and don’t be afraid to ask questions! The staff at the university have been so helpful and willing to answer any queries. With the vast amount of content in the course, it can seem very overwhelming, so it is important to relax and enjoy activities outside of medicine.
After graduating, I hope to stay in the North East as I would like to give back to my community and I love the North! I am unsure what specialty I will choose, but I am certain that my experiences in future clinical placements will aid my decision.
My experience of studying medicine at the University of Sunderland has been amazing! I am enjoying the course content and the friendly community has been so welcoming. I have felt very supported from the beginning, and I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring!"
Published 26 June 2023