Updated: May 7, 2020
By Sharan Reghu
Applying to Medical school
The decision to apply to medical school was not one I took lightly. Growing up, I had always wanted to be a footballer, like Steven Gerrard (yeah, I’m a Liverpool fan) or a WWE superstar, like Jeff Hardy, or maybe even both. I idolised such individuals and had posters of them in my bedroom. However, throughout my time in school, I realised that a career in science was really what I wanted. Despite attending many university open days and speaking to medical students at different universities, I was still not fully convinced a career in medicine was what I wanted. Words such as “life-long learning”, “constant exams”, “sacrifice” and “long hours” raised red flags in my head. Whilst medicine seemed fascinating and unique, I had other passions: football and violin. Though I was passionate and interested in medicine, was I willing to sacrifice the things I loved to do? This worried me. Did I have the potential to become a medical student that Manchester (or any other medical school) would be proud to have?
The Application Process
Starting with sitting the UKCAT to receiving the offer from Manchester, the whole application process seems like a rollercoaster ride. From only being predicted a B in Biology to getting a B in Chemistry on results day (though it did go up to an A after the remark, thankfully!), it is vital to stay calm throughout the process. Through the many ups and downs you are likely to face, it is important to remember that everyone’s journey is different. It is this unique journey that makes you stand out. Though I was elated that my dream might just become a reality, I was still unsure if I had made the right decision. Questions like “is Manchester the right medical school for me?” and “is Manchester the right city for me?” were always in the back of my mind.
My First 2 years of Medical School
Being originally from Singapore but having grown up in London, the journey up the M6 to Manchester was something I was initially very nervous about. Additionally, having a stutter, I have always been an introverted person and have found it difficult to meet new people. However, my fears were soon erased within the first few weeks of university life. Manchester is an ethnically diverse city and welcomes everyone, regardless of race, religion or language, with open arms. Though many people often worry about making friends and fitting in at university, the people I have met at university have been nothing short of awesome. I have been privileged to meet people from all over the globe. From trying Ethiopian food to joining Hindu society, I have met some truly remarkable people, made amazing friends and have had many enriching experiences.
By beginning each week with a PBL case, there is a new journey each week to embark on. Though the stops may be similar (anatomy, communication skills, physpharm), there are new diseases, new treatments and even new BSS models (how fun) to learn. From budding surgeons all the way to future radiographers, there is always something exciting for everyone to look forward to. Though it can be easy to feel like you’ve not done enough, with many of my peers often pulling all-nighters in the library, it is vital to allocate time to the things you enjoy. I am part of the football team, have continued to learn the violin and I’ve even danced at a cultural show. Despite these, my love for medicine has only grown. Through my experiences and placements, I have been able to appreciate the impact an individual (such as myself) can have on a patient and their families.
Furthermore, by working with other medics, I am not only able to learn more, but am able to learn more efficiently. From quizzing one another to drawing anatomical diagrams, I have enjoyed my time in medical school so far, making me realise that medicine is an art where teamwork makes dreams work. Though this year has been cut short, due to the pandemic we currently find ourselves in, I am truly looking forward to both building on and learning new concepts as I continue my journey.