Updated: May 5, 2020
By Varvara Evgeniou
Here’s a bit of history…
Barts and the London (BL) School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) is a faculty within Queen Mary University of London. The medical school was formed from 2 historic schools: the St Bartholomew’s Medical College and the London Hospital Medical College (the first medical school in the UK!). It merged with QMUL in 1995. Currently, Barts Trust is the largest trust in England with over 1.4 million outpatients year.
Your education comes first!
What I truly love about BL is their teaching system. Coming to Barts was an easy choice, as the course structure was the right fit for me. Curriculum is taught in systems; this means that you will be taught the anatomy, physiology, histology etc. of the cardiovascular system, then of the digestive system and so on. This method is practical and has personally allowed me to, not just learn the material, but understand it in a logical way.
At the SMD, you will also get early clinical experience, which I found extremely handy, as it helped me reinforce and intergrade my knowledge into clinical practice – I met a patient on my very first week of first year!
I could start elaborating on how beneficial PBL is, but those are things you already know. Therefore, I will talk about something unique at Barts: the Student Selected Components. Twice every year, students decide what they want to be doing for 2 weeks from a vast list of choices. Popular choices include dissection, yoga, reconstructive surgery at the Royal London or the Malta Exchange Programme. These give students the opportunity to explore an area of Medicine of their interest outside the school’s curriculum. Last year, I shadowed a neurogastroenterologist at the Royal London for 2 weeks and gained experience on the wards, before even going on clinical placements.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Of course, with hard work, comes having a good time. At BL, you are guaranteed to receive top-notch teaching and clinical experience, while also enjoying yourself and having an exciting University life. The Student Union, or the Barts and the London Students Association (BLSA), is the student-led body, elected by students, that provides educational, financial and welfare support, as well us running facilities, events and student groups. You will have the opportunity to choose amongst countless societies within BL, ranging from academic societies, like Paediatric society and Forensic Sciences society, to performing arts societies, like Dance and Drama.
Being part of both Dance and Drama, I can assure you, you will have the time of your life and meet a ton of amazing people on the way. Take a look!
BL has a huge sports community with a wide variety of sports such as Water polo, Rowing, and a lot more. Wednesday afternoons are always free for training, as well as participating in national leagues. Many BL teams compete in the United Hospital Competitions against the other medical schools in London. The biggest sporting event of the year is the Merger Cup, where BL sports team go up against the teams of QMUL. And of course, all sporting achievements are celebrated every Wednesday night at “Tables” at the Griff Inn, the campus bar and events venue.
“Raise And Give” and volunteer
RAG is a long-standing institution at BL that raises money and awareness for 3 main charities throughout the year, through different events and fundraisers. In a previous year, our students raised £5223 for The Barts Guild, Streetdoctors and Rape Crises England and Wales.
BL, also, has a huge number of volunteering opportunities through amazing student groups, such as the Teddy Bear Hospital where our students educate young children on healthy habits. We have a volunteering rewards scheme , with the first certificate for volunteering after only 10 hours.
I mean… it’s London!
Coming from a small country, living in London was a dream and going to Barts ensured this. The Whitechapel campus is right next to the Royal London Hospital (truly inspiring to look at as an aspiring doctor), just a 20-minute walk from Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, and a 10-minute tube trip from Stratford. The Charterhouse Square Campus is right next to St Paul’s Cathedral and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, right in the heart of Central London. London is a magnificent city where you will never run out of things to do. Over the past 2 years I’ve lived in London, I got to watch musicals on West End, concerts at the O2, went to the Royal Observatory of Greenwich and walked in the colourful and picturesque streets of Portobello. I hope the 4 years of my studies I have left will allow me to explore all of London’s beauties, but even that may not be enough to give justice to such an extraordinary city. I may be biased but: London > rest of the world.