Annabel Pound, fourth year MBChB – Q&A

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We asked fourth year MBChB Medicine and Surgery student, Annabel Pound some questions about her experiences studying at the University of Birmingham.

Why did you apply to study Medicine at the University of Birmingham?

I wanted a career where I could combine my love for science with my instinct to care for people. Following a visit to the University of Birmingham Open Day, I had firmly decided that Birmingham was my first choice. The campus felt so welcoming and as soon as I stepped out of University Station I felt at home, the students were friendly, the campus was green and lively, and I wanted more than anything to be part of this community. Furthermore, I wanted to be on placement in an area with a diverse population and range of hospitals and opportunities from small general practices to specialist centres.

What has your overall experience as an University of Birmingham student been like so far?

Four years in and I wish I had four more to go! I am a completely different person to the 18 year old that started university. I feel the experiences I have had in Birmingham have helped me mature, learn more about myself and have given me some of the best friends.

From first year, I had the best time and was so happy in Bournbook accommodation, my home away from home. I was lucky enough to meet one of my best friends on the first day and despite the overwhelmingness of first year – I had the best time.

What has been the best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham?

Living in Birmingham means there is always something happening – no matter your hobbies or interests there is something new to try! Since being in Birmingham I have tried so many new things – bouldering, gigging yoga, netball, new cafes (I recommend Morridge and Medicine), hiking (Birmingham has some beautiful countrysides) and so many great nights out!

Being part of the university gym and MedSoc FitClub have helped me fall in love with exercising and taking care of myself – something absolutely vital when you’re studying a course as intense as medicine. I’m very grateful to be on this journey!

What has been your favourite part of studying Medicine at Birmingham?

I love the placements, the clinical teaching fellows make the teaching so engaging. I love the range of teaching you get from lectures, to bedside teaching, to simulation sessions! It is always exciting and learning in many different ways really helps you solidify your learning. I have had really great experiences at New Cross and Russells Hall. Being placed anywhere from Edgbaston (QE) to Worcester means you see so many different things and can even explore different cities. Simulation is one of the things I have enjoyed most at university, being able to practice difficult things (breaking bad news, catheterisation, A-E) in a safe setting is so helpful for when you are doing it in real life.

Do you feel prepared for life after graduation?

Definitely, I feel so much more prepared for life on the wards. At the end of fourth year I have a good idea of what it entails to be a junior doctor and what will be expected of me. I look forward to developing my practical procedural skills, as well as my communication skills further throughout 5th year to make sure I am the best doctor I can be when I graduate.

What advice would you give to students thinking about studying Medicine?

Apply apply apply. Don’t let the fear of rejection put you off applying – if you want to do medicine, and you want to do it for the right reasons (helping people and/or your love of science etc) then you will be a fantastic doctor. So long as patients are your priority – you have got everything it takes.

Make sure you do some work experience so you can find out the good (and bad!) parts of medicine – even if this is just online or speaking to your GP, it will give you an insight and give you something to talk about in interviews!

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