EMDP Student Ambassador Profiles
Kevin Mcewan (EMDP 3, 4th Year of Study)
I knew that I really enjoyed biology and chemistry and wanted to use what I was studying to make a change to peoples lives. Medicine is one of the few courses which teaches you how to make huge changes to peoples quality of lives and help them when they need it most. I never realised that it was medicine and not one of the other healthcare professions that I wanted to do before looking through those huge prospectuses and realising exactly what it compromises of and what it leads to, you can go into surgery, medical law, medical journalism, the possibilities are near endless.
I initially thought that medicine was going to be too competitive to get into and my AS results were lower than I had hoped for at BBC but then I found out about the EMDP programme. Applying for medicine was… daunting. First, there are so many other people trying to get so few places and I did not have as much work experience as others. I really struggled to find clinical work experience as all the doctors surgeries and my local hospital I wrote to were unable to help but I volunteered at a care home and a pharmacy. I was able to experience patient care and the working of the interdisciplinary team while there and talk about it in my interviews which I think helped.
So far, 4 years down the line, I’m still loving it! I’ve met some great people along the way and experienced some life changing things. For example, I’ve been able to talk to patients and even witnessed heart surgery, that was just in second year. We are lucky enough to be linked to some of the most cutting edge hospitals in the world and thus receive teaching from the people that write the books. If medicine is for you I hope you choose King’s.
Amin Habib, EMDP 2 (3rd Year of Study)
My desire to study medicine stemmed from my secondary school career sessions where we were tasked to think of our ideal career. After much deliberation, I found myself considering the role of a doctor as a future career. I found the ability to combine an interest in science whilst caring for people to be an amazing balance of two things I loved. From that day on, I strongly believed being a doctor was the career path for me.
To get a better idea of whether I would be able to handle the life of a medical student and a doctor, I took it upon myself to find some work experience and attend whatever I could that would increase my understanding of Medicine. Time spent in the Ophthalmology department of The Royal Free hospital followed by a week spent in the Paediatrics department at University College Hospital completely blew me away and showed me exactly what doctors and 4th/5th year medical students go through. In addition, I also attended a number of Outreach for Medicine lectures to get a broader understanding of the different inner disciplines such as A&E, Geriatrics, Anaesthesia and I also attended the Outreach for Medicine Journal Club to understand what medical journals are all about and how to study them, which turned out to actually help me in medical school.
The actual medical school application process was very daunting, but exciting at the same time. I felt like I was tight for time the whole way through as the deadline was the 15th October. Whilst most of my friends had absolutely ages to complete their UCAS applications, I was busy pulling my hair out! Perfecting my personal statement, deciding which medical schools I have the best chance of getting into and UKCAT and interview practice was a lot on my plate but with great advice from my college tutors and through attending several ‘Get into Medical school’ seminars at places such as UCL and King’s College London, I was able to put together a strong medical school application, get an interview at King’s and ace it.
Studying Medicine at King’s is hard work but has also been a fantastic experience thus far; one of the best things about it is the mass variety of ways to study here. No week is the same as the other, it could be a mixture of lectures with seminars and tutorials one week then the next week could consist of open body dissection and visits to GPs and hospitals, this keeps everything very fresh and enjoyable to study. Outside of studies there are numerous medically related societies to get involved with such as MSA, Paediatrics society, Cardio society, surgical society and much more. All of these societies hold workshops and lectures from esteemed professors and doctors in their respective fields to show students the breadth of medicine, hold revision sessions closer to exams and organise work experience throughout the summer.
Natalie Simon, EMDP 2 (3rd Year of Study)
I have always been amazed by the dedication and quality of care delivered by the healthcare staff at hospitals that I have visited with family members in the past. It was an honour to get accepted at King’s as I felt that I was being given the opportunity to provide the same care to others.
During work experience, I learnt more about the functionality of the hospital unit and the value of all workers that comprise the NHS. Medicine is an exciting, ever-evolving field and there are countless opportunities for research, something that I have always been passionate about.
The application process was stressful as I had to sit multiple entry exams whilst studying for my A-Levels. I combated most of this stress by planning ahead and structuring school studies around regular breaks to practice some of the UKCAT/BMAT material.
I participated in work experience overseas in the Middle East at Al-Mowasat Hospital, Kuwait, gaining clinical observation experience in various departments. Also, prior to starting at King’s, I completed work experience at Hammersmith Hospital shadowing a chief surgeon in the Renal and Transplant Unit. A highlight of this experience was the opportunity to observe surgery. In addition, I went to the Vision Conference prior to my medical school application. As an EMDP ambassador, I was able to return to the conference as a medical student to give advice to potential applicants.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the course at King’s so far. The Extended Medical Degree Programme is a tight-knit, smaller community allowing for staff to focus more on the individual needs of students. The course, although extremely interesting, is academically challenging. I have greatly benefitted from all the support and guidance the staff have offered me during my first two years on the course.
At King’s, we have the opportunity to go on clinical placements in our second year. I was able to sit in on weekly pancreatic cancer clinics for a library project on new and emerging treatments in pancreatic cancer. Another opportunity I had was to observe in the paediatric cardiology department. There, I went to clinics, delivered weekly presentations of my own research to the catheterization team and went on morning ward rounds. This was invaluable early exposure to clinical medicine and medical research that I believe will help me during the rest of the degree.
Aysha Ingar, EMDP 2 (3rd Year of Study)
Human biology has always been a subject that has piqued my interest since early childhood so choosing a degree which allowed me to develop my knowledge in this field was essential. The great thing about medicine is it allows you to apply this knowledge in a practical manner to make a beneficial impact on a person’s life.
As you are no doubt aware of, applying for medicine is very competitive. I found out the hard way as I was initially unsuccessful. The application process is designed to assess whether your view of medicine is compatible with the day to day life of being a doctor. During my gap year I was able to gain more experience in the medical field and upon reflection, this led me to appreciate the profession more. In the process I was more motivated to study Medicine and by the end I received two offers to read Medicine.
During my work experience, I shadowed doctors in a hospital in the UK and in South Africa. Both placements gave me insight into the medical field and I became aware of the many skills and qualities doctors needed to ensure high quality patient care. My work experience at a district hospital in South Africa was an eye opener. I was exposed to the difficulties that doctors face. I saw how challenging it can be treating patients with a lack of facilities and a shortage of medical staff. My work experience was extremely important to me as it cleared any misconceptions I had and was confirmation that I wanted to be a doctor.
I attended a medical workshop to study Medicine at St George’s University. The day was very informative and provided a taster of studying Medicine at university. In particular, it gave me an opportunity to speak to current medical students who were able to offer advice with regards to my medical application and studies. All these experiences were very beneficial and gave me a realistic idea of Medicine at university and life as a doctor.
Studying Medicine at King's has been fantastic. The jump from sixth form was daunting at first but the staff have done their upmost to make the transition as smooth as possible. Their expertise and passion in their fields are evident from the beginning and are constantly looking for ways to improve student experience. The best part of studying at King’s is my involvement with many societies which has allowed me to meet new friends, develop and learn new skills and be involved in notable projects and charities which benefit the community. Overall, King’s allows me to develop the numerous skills required of a doctor both academically and clinically, and encompasses everything I expected from studying Medicine.