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Case Study

Sam Dobson

MBChB Medicine

Sam Dobson has always dreamed of being a doctor. Studying at the University of Sunderland is the first step in achieving this goal, and he has settled into studying quickly due to the great academic resources available and friendly community!

I chose to study MBChB Medicine at the University of Sunderland because I wanted to fulfil my dream of becoming a doctor. Medicine is a career that will enable me to achieve these dreams and will always challenge me to get the best out of me as a person. I see medicine as a truly rewarding career, as it is a privilege and honour to be able to listen to someone’s worries and concerns as well as helping them to live the best life possible.

Studying at the University of Sunderland is exciting due to the vast opportunities and fantastic resources for medical students. For example, the John Dawson Sciences Complex has everything a student needs to excel in their studies. There is also the Anatomy Centre with the Anatomage table, which has helped me to better understand the complexities of the human body as well as preparing me for prosection in the cadaveric labs. Sunderland also teach through problem-based learning alongside interprofessional learning which helps to develop your knowledge and understanding about a particular subject. Finally, one of the main reasons I chose Sunderland was because they took a holistic approach during the application process. This was important to me, as I wanted a university that not only acknowledged my academia, but also valued my vast amount of work experience, shown through the roles and responsibilities form, which is an opportunity for students to boast about their work experiences and achievements. As well as academic resources, Sunderland as a place also has a lot to offer, such as the shops, bars and beaches!

Before I came to study at Sunderland, I took a gap year and worked in my local care home for a year as a health care assistant, which was an invaluable experience for me. My work experience also gave me confidence that I had made the right choice to apply for medicine, as it is a life-long investment, and gaining experience helped me understand the role of a doctor as well as the environment they work in. Furthermore, taking a gap year gave me the opportunity to reflect on being unsuccessful my first time applying for medical school (where I didn’t even get one interview), as I was able to work on improving my application, which led to my success!

One of my favourite parts of studying my course is being able to go on placement early, as I enjoy learning from other health care professionals, and it allows me to put what I have learned during lectures into practice. However, the most exciting thing about placement is being able to interact with patients, as I find this a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience. It has shown me that a textbook can’t teach you everything in medicine, as every person is different. Therefore, it is crucial you take an individualistic approach when caring for a patient.

My advice to prospective students is to keep on top of your work, always ask questions if you are unsure of a particular topic and most importantly learn to accept you are not going to know everything about a topic. It is also important to give yourself time to rest. 

I believe that Sunderland has a warm and friendly community which welcomes each person with open arms, allowing me to settle into university life relatively quickly."

Published 22 June 2023

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