Before you ask, no, we don’t pull all-nighters in the dissection lab or burn the midnight oil every day. But a day as a medical student is exciting, work-laden and fun in equal measure.
We usually start out day at 9, rushing in with our cups of coffee (or hot chocolate for the caffeine-averse) and we go through dissection, lectures and a tutorial.
A dissection session lasts for 2 hours, where we explore a region of the body according to our lectures. We have an anatomy demonstrator who guides our dissection skills using instruments like the scalpel and forceps. Usually, we revise content covered in our lectures whilst engaging our practical skills. (Look out for the medical students who hold the scalpel so naturally as though that’s the only thing they have been doing their entire life!)
After soaking in the smell of formaldehyde (don’t worry, everyone smells too! That’s how people know who the medics are!), we have a break before our lectures. If it is a Tuesday, the farmer’s market will gather in the quad in New Hunt’s House and we can feast on paella, naan, and even cakes. Otherwise, we go to the oh-so-famous-but-always-busy “Shed” where we can a meal deal with paninis, sandwiches, a drink and crisps. I either lounge on the comfortable sofas or play a game of table tennis with my friends in the shed.
Walking to Greenwood theatre for lectures is always fun as you get to go through Guy’s Hospital, or the new cancer research centre. As a medical student, it is always good to acclimatise yourself to a hospital setting, before going to your clinical years.
After lectures, we have tutorials where we are previously given a problem sheet to solve. The enriching discussion we have in tutorials or workshops further solidifies our understanding of content covered in lectures and gives us the opportunity to raise questions with our tutor.
At the end of the day, everyone usually disperses to their various extra-curriculars. If it is a Wednesday, we only have half a day of lectures for our sports training. Alternatively, some students volunteer with schools or charity organisations. But what we really look forward to on this hump day, is Sports Nights at Guy’s Bar! Holding a drink in hand, showing off our best grooves to 90s jams, and dancing our busy lives away is always the best thing to do on a Wednesday night. If you are not in Guys bar, you are either revising for an examination the next day, or you are not a medical student!
On other days where we have a quiet evening, you can see some of us hunched forward in the Gordan Museum, looking at specimens with interesting pathologies. Or attending talks by various medical societies. Just last week, I attended a talk about technological advancements in transplant surgery. So there is always something to do, friends to meet and pints to down!
But at the end of any day, we always remain grateful for the friends we have, and are excited for upcoming adventures – academic and otherwise!
Sharmila Devi Devi
Hi, This is Sharmila and I am a first year medical student. I am an Indian national, but I’ve lived in Singapore for the entirety of my life! I have always loved to write – medical content, personal experiences and the like. I am also interested in the use of artificial intelligence in surgeries. In my spare time, I love to volunteer with youths at high-crime-risk neighbourhoods. In the future, I hope to merge my passion in teaching and academic interests in medicine to reach out to more people and form deeper relationships with them!