Natalia Chilal

Year 2 in 2019

In Year 2 we revisited and enhanced our knowledge of normal physiology and anatomy from first year and utilised it to understand the mechanisms of diseases. Every week, we worked through a different clinical cases within our Problem-Based Learning (PBL) group. Each case challenged us to develop our skills in learning to work effectively as a team in order to reach a diagnosis. The atmosphere here, and especially within PBL groups, felt nothing but supportive. Often you would find medical students in groups around the campus studying, sharing resources and helping each other learn. In addition, the staff were always approachable and keen to answer any of our questions.

Our weekly sessions in the Clinical Education Centre complimented our studying while allowing us to hone our skills in clinical examination and history-taking. A lot of emphasis was placed on the development of our communication skills.

Another very exciting aspect of second year was our Student Selected Component (SSC) which involved allowing us to choose from a plethora of charitable or non-governmental organisations across Stoke-on-Trent and volunteering with them. This gave us a unique and invaluable insight into the local community and its needs and issues.

Keele has always placed great importance on our well-being and frequently reminds us of the importance of a healthy work-life balance. Personally, music has served as a source of comfort from the stress of medical school.

I greatly appreciate the fact that our medical school is very encouraging of widening participation programmes which is a cause I am very passionate about. I have had the pleasure of being a member of MedPath, a programme where medical students visit local schools and give students a glance into what medical school is like. This aims to make applying seem more accessible and less daunting. Observing the engagement and enthusiasm of some of the pupils we have met made this experience one of the most fulfilling of my life.

Overall, I am very proud to be a Keele medical student because all of our teaching and placements truly convey the medical school’s motto of: Graduating Excellent Clinicians.