Meet Karen who is studying International Graduate Medicine (MBBS4) with St George;s, University of London.
What made you want to study medicine?
I come from a public policy background, so the drive of really wanting to make a difference in people's lives is what brought me to study medicine. Alleviating suffering and improving quality of life is really what studying medicine is about for me. Studying at St George's has allowed me to combine studying the biological, social, and psychological factors of illness and disease to come to a holistic understanding of how people can be healthy and live better lives.
What do you enjoy most about studying medicine?
There's always new discoveries and advancements taking place in the field so there is always constant learning going on. Studying medicine is a very rewarding challenge. What I especially like about the course I'm on at St George's is the curriculum. It's structured around problems and cases, not just memorization, so we are challenged to develop a broad range of skills: intellectual, practical, social, and clinical.
What have you been learning on the course so far?
We recently finished a module on the life cycle which was wonderful because we were able to see how growth and development changes throughout a person's life. We not only studied the physiology and biology of development but also the psychology of childhood and aging, which really tied everything together.
What kind of medicine do you think you would like to specialise in?
I am really interested in community health so I can see myself working as a General Practitioner. I really enjoy working with all types of patients and would like to work in a specialty that allows me to treat them through the continuum of their care.
What would you say to international students who want to study medicine?
St George's is a really supportive, well-rounded environment to study medicine in if you are an international student. Studying medicine is one of the most rewarding and difficult degrees you can pursue, but St George's will work with you to make sure you get where you need to be.
What’s the most interesting thing you have done on the course so far?
The GP visits have been really interesting because you get to take what you learn in the lectures and study groups into a real clinical setting. It's a great opportunity to interact with patients and use your clinical skills. Just this week I was able to clerk for my GP tutor which involved taking patient histories, checking vital signs, and assisting the doctor in their practice.
Are you looking forward to anything in particular on the course?
Every week there are new challenges, experiences, and things that I would never have expected to happen in medical school. Just this past week we began immunology, which involved everything from culturing bacteria in the lab, to studying epidemiology, to identifying signs and symptoms in a patient who presents with meningitis. There is always something new to learn and the way the course is structured around cases and problems, not just theories and facts, always ensures we're challenged by new experiences!