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Student perspectives

Read our interview with Year 4 MBBS Medicine student, Zibad, to discover more about life as a medical student.

Zibad outside in the sunshineWhat is your favourite thing about your degree?

Medicine is a hugely rewarding and stimulating degree. My favourite thing about studying medicine is the vast variety of topics we can learn about. Learning about the anatomy, physiology and microanatomy of different organs spanning across several medical and surgical specialities has always amazed me and kept my passion for medicine alight. Early patient contact and clinical skills practice from my first semester in year 1 has given life to a medical science that was previously confined to my text books.

Moreover, the structure of our course is diverse, i.e. it entails both PBL and traditional lectures, interspersed with teaching on anatomy and histology. This variety in teaching methods in conjunction with our spiral curriculum has allowed me to adopt learning strategies best suited to me whilst continually consolidating all that the school has taught.

Another valuable part of my degree are the student-selected components (SSCs). Flexibility with SSCs has given me the opportunity to undertake dissection of the human body - something that I found very exciting as it made learning anatomy so easy and became the seed from which my interest in surgery would grow!

What do you enjoy most about studying at Queen Mary in London?

The vibrant and diverse environment of Queen Mary means that no day is the same as another.

As a medical student at Queen Mary, we are mainly based at Whitechapel and West Smithfield. The diversity, hustle and bustle of Whitechapel has many benefits, from being able to enjoy delicious food from all over the world to seeing an array of different patients during your placements in the area. On the contrary, our campus in West Smithfield and Charterhouse Square gives a beautiful traditional feel to our university and highlights some of the ground-breaking research that takes place there, with the 100,000 Genomes Project to name just one!

In addition to this, students and staff at Queen Mary are very supportive and incredibly kind. The approachability of students and members of staff alike help form a highly positive atmosphere - one that has given me so many opportunities to prosper. Our close knit community creates an open and fair study environment from which I have been able to participate in numerous roles from course representative and student ambassador to SAMDA society president!

What do you think of the facilities available on our campuses?

Being based in Mile End, Whitechapel, West Smithfield and Charterhouse Square means that we have access to a multitude of resources and facilities. Each campus provides access to a library, meaning that wherever your teaching is taking place you are not far from a computer and set of textbooks to refer to during your study time!

Whether you are a keen sports person, enthusiastic volunteer or interested in academia and teaching, there is something for everyone to get involved with. QMotion in Mile End and the Fitness to Practice Gym in Charterhouse Square allow you to keep fit regardless of the campus you are at.

Additionally, the Turnbull Centre in Mile End has access to an anatomy practical lab, dissecting room and multi-disciplinary laboratory. Equipped with the latest technologies, prosections, models and radiographic imaging, the Turnbull Centre provides us with the means to learn basic medical science through practical and kinaesthetic methods.

How do you expect your degree will help you in your future career?

Obtaining a degree from a highly prestigious university will broaden my horizons and open doors to success and opportunity for my future career as a doctor.

Our medical curriculum is thorough, where we learn about bodily systems in health and disease, followed by clinical placements in general practice and hospitals. Exposure to numerous specialties at hospitals spread across East, North East London and Essex is helping me extend my understanding of disease and its impact on physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing in people of differing cultures and background.

The warm and inclusive environment at the medical school has enabled me to flourish and grow and allowed me to give back to my university and community through taking part in societies and taking up roles within the students union such as student ambassador and course representative. Through these roles I have learnt many new and refined several existing skills that will equip me well in the future to become the skilled, dedicated and well-rounded doctor I aspire to be.

If you were asked by a prospective student about student life at Queen Mary, what would you recommend to them?

Queen Mary University of London provides its students with an open and inclusive environment whereby students and staff are well connected with each other. This is reflected by our strong support system where staff are always present to hear our concerns and opinions. Queen Mary represents its students fairly and considerately where students of any culture or belief have equal opportunity to maximise their time at university and fulfil their potential.

Are there any hints or tips about studying and living at Queen Mary in London that you wish you’d known before you started your degree?

• Studying for medical school exams is considerably challenging. Although the information you need to learn is vast, you will only be tested on the content within your lectures and that outlined in your learning objectives.
• Keeping on top of the workload can seem tough in your early years but remember to take time out to follow your interests and hobbies. Take part in a sporting or volunteering society, get involved!
• It may feel difficult to settle into a new environment with new people and ever-increasing independence and self-directed learning. Connect with students in older years to gather advice and strategies on how to best survive medical school!

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