prosection

Most recent reality check

I called my family the other day to check in and when I talked with my grandmother she offhandedly told me she had intended to give me her brain in her living will so I could learn more about the family.

I was touched, I was honored, and then I was deeply saddened.

I’ve seen many cadavers, prosected many bodies, and forgot just how desensitized it made me sometimes.

I know in my heart I could never prosect someone I knew and loved. I would never be asked to but the though rang strong in my mind.

As I move forward in healthcare I will try my best to keep this memory strong to mitigate a tendency toward becoming jaded.

Feel free to share similar stories.

Some advice on interviews...

I recently answered an ask privately, however I feel that posting about interviews might still be useful, as I know that there are still interviews going on at this time of year.

Interviews are scary, but you can get through them because they can be prepared for. Good luck for yours, and please don’t feel bad if you have a bad one; I’ve had some scary ones in my time, and I still got through in the end! Each university can have different ways of approaching interview; some are very good cop/bad cop whilst others are more informal and friendly; don’t let a surly interviewer put you off!

Myself, I wish that i had put more time and effort into crafting mock answers for the most common questions. You don’t know what they will ask you, but you do know that there are plenty of questions that are pretty easy to ask everyone. things like ‘why medicine’, 'why not research/nursing/dentistry etc’. Read through other students’ experiences online and you’ll get a pretty good idea of the kinds of general questions that might come up. These won’t be everything, there will certainly be questions more specifically tailored to your application and personal statement that will be hard to predict.

Also, prepare for the questions you don’t want to be asked. If there are any weaknesses in your application (a stray grade, not enough work experience, a weaker score on an entrance exam), it pays to have prepared a good explanation as to why this is. There may be questions that you really, really hope they won’t ask you, but experience teaches me that they probably will go there. And you need to be prepared if they do.

I wish that the first time I applied, I had realised that they don’t just want to know what you did, but rather what skills you learned or demonstrated. Any question at interview is basically about you being able to demonstrate the skills that are needed for an aspiring and indeed practicing doctor. Something I’ve written at greater length about if you hit my ukmedschoolfaq hashtag. Have a good think about what these skills are (hint: here’s a list of a few of them) and craft answers relating to experiences you have had. For example, think of times during your societies, or volunteering, or when you’ve demonstrated teamwork, or leadership

If you are shy, it is even more important to practice mock interviews. Take any opportunities your school or university give you for mock interviews. There are also various courses out there, some more affordable than others, and books that might be helpful in suggesting the kinds of questions that can come up, and how to prepare for them.

In the run up before your interview, keep an eye on the medical topics or stories about the NHS that are in the news; universities have been known to ask questions about topical subjects. And it is always a good idea to know what is going on in medicine if you are choosing to enter it. Read through your personal statement and application; they will know it well so make sure you have not forgotten it!  Read the university prospectus; it is amazing if you have something interesting to answer to the infamous ’ so, any questions?’ question, but do not ask anything that you could have found on their website, because that makes it look like you haven’t tried.

You may be ecstatic if any medical school were to offer you a place, but they want to see that you’re enthusiastic about their university. You will only have applied to 4 medical schools in the UK, which means that you can afford to do a little bit of research into those four. Get an idea of what this medical school is about; are they very into PBL or traditional teaching? Dissection or prosections or models for anatomy? Are they famed for producing surgeons or particular doctors or conditions historically? What kind of area does their hospitals serve? These are the kind of things I didn’t know enough about when I first applied, because it hadn’t occurred to me how different various medical schools are. Of course, these days there is a lot more information on the net.

When it comes to dressing, stick on the smarter side, and make sure you actually like your outfit; it should make you feel confident, and preferably comfortable too. Make sure that you leave yourself a good amount of time before your interview; running late for an interview is one of the worst feelings you can have as a student and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If you arrive in good time, take a little time to walk around and feel more comfortable with your vicinity. Bring a book or newspaper with you for the waiting room or find some other way of distracting yourself before you go in. Don’t skip breakfast; fainting is not what you need. Remember to go to the toilet; simple but seriously important.

And above all, try not to take it personally. These people don’t know you, they see only an application. One of hundreds, if not thousands. If you aren’t successful, remember that there are ways of working on your application, and that a weaker application doesn’t reflect on you as a person.

4

Sooo, I had my very first ever drawing session at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. ,,It’s such a privilege’’, my coursemates told me, so I felt like I must cease this opportunity to do anatomy studies from primary source, which was fascinating, though, I had to overcome this huge psychological bareer, since, those who met me, know that I am a person with very fragile nerves and a wild imagination when it comes to creepy dead people, let alone chopped body parts with no skin. I am so happy to have made it to the dissection drawing session and I hope my visit was one of many to come. Thanks to my rainbros, the best coursemates ever who convinced me to give it a go. Much appreciate this!