Year 1 in 2015
The magnitude of the feeling of relief opening up the results of the Year 1 exams is, in my experience, little matched. The only other time that I have come close to that happiness was on my wedding day to my wonderful wife Holly, who gave me a lot of support during the year.
Although Year 1 is extremely hard work, the material is fascinating. I think that there are few other courses around which match the incredible way that Keele is able to emphasise the importance of the science, whilst maintaining the simple humanity of the role we are all training for and striving towards.
Something which struck me during the year was simply how much everyone was working together. You hear a lot about the support and help that the school itself provides, and it is true that all of the lecturers are approachable, friendly and willing to help. This extends also to the technicians, café staff, receptionists, cleaners, and the list goes on and on, but I feel it is the students themselves which make Keele stand out the most. You hear about the competitive nature of medicine, particularly in later years, but my experience has been that although everyone does want to be the best, everyone is also determined to drag each other along... sometimes whether you really want to learn that one little enzyme or not (thanks by the way Sam).
So, Year 1 is hard and you’ll never experience anything like it again, but in the end hard work and teamwork pay off. After most days your head will actually hurt with how much information is being fed to you, and the key is trying to manage that information flow in a way that works best for you. Being the great medical school it is, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
I’m looking forward to Year 2, with the learning material and placements provided in Year 1 giving an excellent grounding, which is so necessary for second year. Bring it on!