Frances Dixon ends year one at medical school

So, one year of medical school finished, just five more to go. What have I learnt this year? As well as a load of useful medical things, and how to do my own washing and cooking, I have learnt some things they don’t tell you about in the prospectus…

  • That it is entirely possible to be a little bit disgusted and fascinated at the same time (thank you, anatomy class)…,
  • …but that doesn’t mean most people want to hear all about it during dinner (sorry, mum),
  • Cramming an entire year’s worth of work into five days of exams is both possible, and seen as the best course of action by the exam board – obviously,
  • The general public is eager to help medical students in any way, whether it is being a simulated patient, or giving us money during RAG week,
  • Lots of lovely new words like dyspnoea, amenorrhoea, haematuria and steatorrhoea,
  • How to spell diarrhoea (finally).
  • That the more diseases we learn about, the more of a hypochondriac I become.
  • That the first question everyone asks when they find out you are studying medicine is, “Do you know what you want to specialise in?” For the record, no I don’t!
  • Scrubs are excellent outerwear for snowball fights.
  • Medical students can be kind of cliquey, but as long as I’m in the clique I don’t mind.
  • That it is probably a good thing that the medics’ bar is next door to the A&E department.

Most of all I have learnt that medical school is definitely where I belong (well I passed my exams, at least), and I can’t wait for the next 5 years.

Frances Dixon is a medical student at Imperial College School of Medicine, London.