Read an overview of what inspired these doctors to join the profession.


Martin Allen
GP Partner

I chose to pursue medicine because I liked the mix of human interaction and science coupled with a very hands on face to face approach to helping people. I’ve undertaken training for specific roles (contraception provision, teaching, substance misuse work, minor surgery, out of hours work, appraisal) and also been privileged to do a higher degree in Primary Care. My work has been recognized as being suitable to be awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of GP’s. The best thing about my job is the patients, the teams in which I work and the opportunities to develop as a doctor and human being. The most challenging aspect is being able to recognise need and not having a way to help. If you choose to become a doctor, make sure you keep up with your interests outside of medicine whatever they are – your patients, colleagues, and family will thank you for it.

Hannah Currie
Specialist Registrar in Geriatric and General Internal Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Hannah Currie

I chose to do medicine when I was 14, I think originally because I really liked Casualty! But I quickly discovered through work experience the huge impact you can have on someone's life by being there for them in their darkest hour. After 10 years of being a doctor in our incredible NHS I continue to see this every day.

I studied at the Hull York Medical School. I have always struggled with learning from traditional teaching methods, e.g. being sat in a lecture hall, so this medical school that did PBL and had early access to clinical experience was perfect for me. I graduated in 2010; since then I have done a Masters in Medical Education so I can get involved with teaching our future generations of doctors and other healthcare professionals. I have pursued a career in Geriatric Medicine, taking two years out of training to go and work in New Zealand, one year in a hospice and one year in one of their hospitals.

The best thing about my job is that you can travel with it, and do anything within the medical world that you like, (teaching, research, pastoral support, even television if you wanted). Every day is different and that makes the job exciting. It's intellectually challenging. Perhaps one of my favourite things is that you are part of the NHS; especially in hospitals, you work with a huge team of highly skilled, caring professionals, and we spend our days talking and caring for some very inspirational patients.

The most challenging aspect of my job is that it is a hard career path; your training does not stop at the end of medical school, in fact it is only just beginning. It is very much an endurance test. However, if you feel that medicine is a calling for you, it is all worthwhile.

To anybody thinking of becoming a healthcare professional, welcome to the team! Like I said, it is hard, but if it's what you were meant to do you won't be happy doing anything else. Remember there are plenty of roles in healthcare other than doctoring and nursing, and all them are equally worthwhile. Have a good explore of all the options before you pick one.

Wing Sum Lao
ST1 Neurosurgery trainee (@WingSum_Lao)

Wing Sum Lao

I wanted to be a doctor because I could combine my academic love of science with altruistic aims of helping people. I started off with a ‘go with the flow’ mindset in terms of which specialty I wanted to eventually pursue and I had the opportunity to explore a variety of medical specialties during my clinical placements as a medical student. I eventually decided on neurosurgery during my 4th year at medical school, following a series of amazing experiences during my placements - I suppose you could call it ‘love at first scrub’.

Here are 3 (out of many) reasons I was inspired to pursue neurosurgery:

  • Role models & Mentors – neurosurgery was the first surgical specialty in which I met a female consultant surgeon in ‘real life’. This really inspired and encouraged me to pursue this as a career because at the time I hadn’t yet met a female consultant surgeon and it helped me to picture what I could become in the future. I was also extremely fortunate to have met my best mentors within neurosurgery and they inspired me to explore the specialty in depth which in turn helped me find my passion for it – they also provided me with training opportunities and have unreservedly supported my journey from medical student to neurosurgery trainee.
  • Technical Ability – I have always enjoyed the practical, hands-on things nature of surgical specialties, and in my opinion, neurosurgery has some of the most beautiful and interesting operations around.
  • ‘Cutting-Edge’ – neurosurgery is a continually evolving specialty. As neurosurgeons, we are extremely privileged to be able to see up close the human brain and spinal cord. It has plenty of subspecialties and I am constantly reminded and humbled of the fact that there is still so much we don’t know and so much for us to learn.

I went straight to uni after 6th Form and I studied a 5-year course as an undergraduate at Birmingham Medical School, graduating in 2016. I stayed local to the West Midlands after graduation and worked at Walsall Manor Hospital for my Foundation Training (first 2 years after qualifying, rotating around different specialties, usually includes placements in medicine, surgery & a ‘community-based’ placement). In my F1 year, I rotated through general surgery, acute stroke and endocrinology & diabetes. In my F2 year, I rotated through trauma & orthopaedics, emergency medicine and rehabilitation medicine.

I completed Foundation Training in July 2018, after which I took a year out of formal training and worked as a Junior Specialty Doctor in the department of neurosurgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. During my ‘year out’ I was successful in the neurosurgery national selection process (appointment to medical & surgical training in the UK is a centralised process) and I was appointed to my neurosurgery training post in the North East of England (Newcastle/Middlesbrough). I started my first year of neurosurgery training in August 2019. In addition to this, I was appointed onto the committee of the Women in Surgery Forum at the RCSEng (Royal College of Surgeons) in July 2017.

The best thing about my job is being able to actively make a positive difference to someone’s life, whom you might meet at their lowest point because of their medical condition. This is an absolute honour and privilege very few people get to have. Also related to that, being able to see someone extremely sick recover because of your interventions and getting to see them go home is brilliant. The most challenging aspect is that telling bad news to the patient and/or their relatives never gets easier no matter how much you do it! Other things include working in the current resource-tight NHS and the paperwork one completes as a junior doctor.

‘Strength, courage, and kindness’ - medicine is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes a lot of courage and inner strength to get to each step, from applying, interviews, graduating, and actually doctoring. There have been many times when I have lost my way and/or failed at a step and it took a lot of determination and grit to move on. Things won’t always go your way and that’s ok - you might just have to try again. Hard work will get you to where you want to go, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Additionally, stay open to opportunities that come your way and know that it doesn’t always help to compare yourself to other people.

Remember to always be kind – both to yourself and to others around you.

Helen Moran
General Practitioner and Senior Clinical Tutor Community Based Medicine, University of Birmingham

I had always wanted to be a doctor from a small child. I was interested in biology at school and I am a practical person. I wanted to go to University to study with a clear path forward into a career. I wanted to have an interactive practical job. I became a GP after taking some time to experience different branches of medicine as this gives variety and brings the whole picture together. This also gave me the opportunity to combine this with other roles / jobs.

I completed my undergraduate medical degree at Leicester University. After house jobs and a post in A&E, I took time out travelling and locuming. I then completed GP training in the Black Country with an extension in sexual health.

The best thing about my job is the variety - I have had a varied path through medicine and had the opportunity to do many different things in many different areas. General Practice provides a good backbone of being a doctor and stability to add these other roles to. I like the variety that patients present in general practice and finding out what they think, knowing their background, all their medical problems and being able to come to an individual plan of action.

The most challenging aspect of my job is having enough time - as a GP, I also have to be a manager and consider the business side, which has not come naturally to me.

My advice to people thinking about becoming a doctor is that if this is what you want to do and you are interested in medicine, do some work experience to check it is what you thought and if so go for it. I think being interested and wanting to study medicine is the most important factor.

Matthew Morgan
Deputy Dean of Hull York Medical School, Professor of Renal Medicine and Medical Education, Honorary Consultant Nephrologist

There were several reasons I wanted to be a doctor. I loved science (particularly biology and chemistry) and really enjoyed working with people (my Saturday job in a supermarket). The lightbulb moment for me was an inspiring career talk from someone who worked for a drugs company and was involved in research. They told me that the people who lead the research teams developing new treatments are usually doctors. I realized that this combination of using science, doing research, and working with people to improve their lives was what I wanted to do.

I completed the MBChB course at Birmingham in 1995 followed by junior doctor jobs around the West Midlands. I took my postgraduate Royal College of Physicians exams and completed them in 1998 (a requirement to get a place on the specialist training programmes). Eventually, I decided I wanted to be a kidney specialist (Nephrologist) and got a place on the West Midlands training scheme in 2000. I took 3 years out of my training to do a PhD researching the science behind a disease that causes kidney failure and testing a potential new treatment for the disease (it did not work). I enjoyed the research and working for a university (Birmingham again) so much that I then decided to complete my kidney specialist training working part-time for the university and part-time for the NHS and have continued in this way since. Although I really enjoy research I also discovered that I really love teaching and have done more of this and less research over the last few years. To help with this I completed a part-time teaching qualification (at Birmingham again) and now I am the Deputy Dean at Hull York Medical School.

I am doing exactly what I wanted to do when I left school (although I certainly didn’t plan it this way). I get to help patients, I do research, I teach and play a big part in running the Medical School which means I support all the other people teaching and researching and training the next generations of doctors and physician associates as well. The most challenging part of my job is fitting it all in - my job is very busy and I work in effect for four employers; University of Hull, University of York (Hull York Medical School is the joint School for the two Universities) and two NHS employers. I need to be well organised and manage my time well.

As a junior doctor the most challenging thing was learning how to cope with my feelings when patients died despite me and the team I worked with doing everything we could to help them.

My advice to prospective students would be to think carefully about why you want to be a doctor. You should do some work experience in any health or care setting and try to be involved, even for a short time, in caring for a patient (not a family member). When you have done it ask yourself, “Did I enjoy this and is this what I want to do as a career?”.

Neel Sharma
Gastroenterology Registrar, Academic Clinical Lecturer, Medical Educator and Founder of the Clinician Engineer Hub (, @clinicengine)

Gastroenterology is by far the best specialty. But of course I am biased. Multiple organs and multiple pathologies from inflammation through to cancer. From the acutely unwell to chronic illness with the ability to act as a pseudo surgeon via endoscopy. I love the variety the field offers.

Medical training is a long road but again the options on offer are so appealing. After medical school your training path can also involve research, teaching, and management opportunities. The training in reality doesn’t end. Even as a senior specialist one must still remain in tune with the latest medical and research developments. And that in itself is what makes it so exciting!

The best thing about my job is the patients. Patients come from all walks of life, and you are given the special privilege to help them. We get to see so many interesting conditions. One minute I could be dealing with a problem of the gullet and the next a liver issue. And then there are the procedural aspects where through endoscopy we can not only visualize conditions but treat them too such as early cancerous lesions of the gullet or bowel.

The most challenging aspect of my job is that medicine is still plagued with issues of hierarchy. Even as a doctor in training you are deemed a junior doctor. That in itself poses problems in relation to effective team working. I am 37 and still regarded as a junior! When I personally see such division in teams I raise the issue, otherwise nothing will change.

People are often put off by the amount of studying involved for medicine. But if I can you can. Medicine involves rote learning lots of facts. I am not the greatest fact learner. But with time it gets easier. The non-fact learners definitely have their place. You can think of new ways of doing things, either in the clinical setting, training the next generation or even in relation to how hospitals are run.

Patients are from all backgrounds and want a doctor who understands them. There is still certainly elitism in medicine. But in reality patients don’t want the toffee nosed types. They want people who understand them. My nomadic lifestyle certainly helps to always find a common ground. But that’s a story for another time… 

Ella Quintela
Junior Doctor in Intensive Care

Medicine to me, is all about meeting and looking after people from all walks of life – being able to be there for them at their most vulnerable and being able to make a difference in their lives by looking after their health. In particular I am drawn to more ‘acute specialties’ because I love thinking on my feet and solving clinical problems quickly in emergency scenarios.

I completed my undergraduate medical degree at the University of Nottingham – a 5-year course split mainly into 2 parts. The first two years focused on sciences such as anatomy, physiology and biochemistry and led to the completion of the BMedSci - the undergraduate course allows you to graduate with an additional degree within the 5 years! The second part of the degree involved clinical placements in all over the East Midlands as we focused on learning more about the different specialties as well as the practical skills required to become a doctor. My foundation training was spent in West Yorkshire where I worked in a number of placements including paediatrics and acute medicine. After this, I took a year out of training to gain more experience in intensive care as this is something I am interested in the future.

The best thing about my job is that no day is the same! This is especially the case in intensive care – looking after the most critically unwell patients keeps me on my toes and is a fantastic learning opportunity. I also get to do plenty of practical procedures which I like.

One of the most challenging parts can be constantly rotating through different placements and hospitals – especially in the earlier parts of your training. This can be difficult initially as you constantly have to get used to a new place and always seem to be on the move. At times you may end up in places far from friends and family on your own. However, this does become less frequent as you get more senior and as every hospital and department is different, you are able to get a wide variety of clinical experience. Plus, think of all the friends you make in different places!

My advice would be to get as much work experience as you can. Not for your personal statement or to fulfill any requirements, but for you, so that you can make an informed choice that medicine is definitely for you. So, when you’re at work experience, find out from the doctors what the job entails, especially how it may have affected their lives outside of work. Medicine is a career which brings many challenges and will affect all aspects of your life. Make sure that you are aware of what it will entail – not just the studying involved at medical school but the commitment to ongoing training afterwards.


Miriam Addo
Medical student, 3rd year


Miriam Addo

As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. Or at least that’s what I tell myself and everyone who asks me why I chose medicine! Growing up I idolised doctors and bought into the narrative that doctors were representative of all things good in society. As I grew older, many events reinforced the reality that academically, my strengths and interests lay in the sciences. I found that I also really liked people; I liked being around people, talking to people, and most importantly I wanted a future career which primarily serves to have a positive impact on people’s lives. I therefore chose medicine because it seemed to achieve a seamless blend of both the science and human aspects.

Before medical school I had very little personal experience of the world of medicine – none of my family members or people in close social circles were doctors. As an attempt to gain insight into whether a career in medicine would be for me, I watched many BBC documentaries about the life of doctors and what goes on behind the scenes at hospitals in the UK. I also had many discussions with my Chemistry teacher (who was also my mentor) in my sixth form college who provided me with advice and directed me to useful resources – including assisting with obtaining work experience.

When it came to choosing universities, location was a major factor for me. At the time I had spent many years of my upbringing in London and saw university as an opportunity to embark on a new personal adventure independent of my family. I visited Birmingham during the medical school open day to get a better feel of the university and the city as a whole. Birmingham appealed to me primarily because it was a relatively big city, had an ethnically diverse population, and wasn’t too far from home!

University websites were instrumental in proving information about course structure and curriculum style (e.g. lectures, coursework, PBL), entry requirements (eg GCSE/ A level grades, UKCAT, interview style), and important dates and deadlines. Deep exploration of the websites helped me stay organised and better tailor my applications according to my strengths. Right now there is a near infinite availability of resources to gain tips, advice and information about applying for medicine, studying medicine, and a career in medicine. My personal suggestions of useful resources are as follows:

• University Websites

• The Student Room Forum

• Books: Trust me I’m a Junior Doctor series, Bad Science, This Is Going To Hurt

• BBC Documentaries: Hospital, Junior Doctors

• YouTubers: Chidera Ota, Sam Forde, Nella Grace, Anas Nuur Ali, That medic, Ali Abdaal, Courtney Daniella, Nissy Tee, Ibz Mo

• Podcasts: Sharp Scratch

My one piece of advice to prospective medical students would be to feel the fear and do it anyway! When deciding to apply for medicine, it can be pretty daunting to read and hear about admission statistics, horror stories about application rejections, and all the undesirable aspects of studying medicine. Whilst some of these may be true, they by no means reflect the complete picture! So if you feel that medicine is the right choice for you, do not fixate on them. Try your best to stay positive, do not lose sight of your goal, work extremely hard, and give it everything you have! If you don’t try you’ll never know, and there’s nothing worse than settling for another course or path and wondering what could have been for the rest of your life.

My top tips for new students would be:

  • Diversify your identity; by that I mean that medicine can be an all consuming degree but you should still make time to actively pursue any other interests you have.
  • Do not tie your sense of self-worth to your grades.
  • Studying medicine is a marathon, not a sprint. Work hard but pace yourself. Stay in tune with your physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Come into medical school with an open mind and get involved.
  • Do not stress out about making friends, whoever you are and wherever you are from, I can guarantee that you will find your ‘tribe’ in medical school.
  • Always remember your reason for choosing to study medicine.
  • Never forget that you were chosen to be here and that you deserve to be here, just like everyone else.
  • Make older year friends and ask them for notes, advice, and tips on how to successfully navigate medical school.
  • If you find yourself struggling, academically, socially, or otherwise, please speak to someone.
  • Finally, do something fun and relaxing this summer before your big journey begins!

My favourite thing about medicine is the incredible range of people it allows you to come into contact with! From patients, healthcare professionals, lecturers and fellow students alike. Studying medicine allows you to interact with so many people from various backgrounds, learn from them and gain so many unique experiences, all of which I find very energising. I also love that it allows you to experience and be a part of many personal and ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of people’s lives that others don’t have the privilege of experiencing.

Over the years in medical school, I feel incredibly blessed to have had incredible opportunities which have helped in my personal, academic, and professional development. Last year I had the opportunity to take a year out of the mainstream medicine course and pursue a degree in International Health. Through this I designed and carried out a research project on childhood obesity, spent two months in Latin America, and graduated with a first class honours! I have also had the opportunity to be involved with the British Medical Association and their work in raising awareness and improving equality, diversity, and inclusion within medical education and the profession. This role has included speaking at two of their large-scale conferences and actively participating in their policy-making decisions.

Throughout my time at medical school, I have had a keen interest in exploring issues faced by Black students during their medical training in the UK. This passion fuelled my decision to create the African Caribbean Medical Society (ACMS). Being the first society of its kind in the medical school, ACMS set precedent for specifically representing and supporting students from an African-Caribbean background who study medicine and other healthcare-related courses at the University of Birmingham. Along with nine other committee members, I work to create events to support and educate our student members, improve equality, diversity, and inclusion in the medical school, and inspire and influence younger prospective students! Our platform continues to receive positive recognition and support from current UoB students, prospective students, and healthcare professionals alike; you can follow us on Instagram to find out more @acmsbirmingham

The biggest challenge I have had to overcome in medical school was imposter syndrome, which I particularly struggled with in my first year. I constantly felt that I wasn’t smart enough, ‘posh’ enough and just generally felt out of place - like I was in a dream that could be snatched away from me unexpectedly any point. How I managed to overcome this was speaking to my friends and family back home who reminded me that not only was I capable of succeeding in medical school, but also how passionately I wanted to study medicine and how hard I had worked to get there. As time went on I made many more friends on my course and soon discovered that many people, felt the same way, which made me realise that it was something common in many high achieving people! So I tried my best to stay positive and focused, and much to my surprise I did very well in my first year exams which was monumental in convincing me that I did deserve to be there and that I could be successful after all!

Currently, my main interests with regards to medical specialties are in paediatrics and emergency medicine. Especially after completing my intercalation degree, I am also very passionate about global healthcare development. So after graduating as doctor, I hope to get involved with a non-governmental organisation or charity, and live abroad for a few years and help to improve healthcare in a resource-poor setting in sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America. I have also always this big dream to work for the World Health Organisation, so hopefully at some point down the line that will come true too!

Oluwasemilore Adebayo
Medical student, 4th year

Oluwasemilore Adebayo

I chose medicine as I have always had a passion for helping people and also challenging myself intellectually whilst still being in a sociable environment. Medicine was the perfect option which seemed to tick all the boxes for me. I attended open days to gain a more thorough understanding of what studying medicine actually entailed on a day to day basis, and I looked at university websites and watched YouTube videos from students on the course I wanted to study.

For anybody about to start medicine, I would encourage you to enjoy all experiences from going to lectures right to the time spent with friends. There are so many opportunities available at Birmingham, so it is important to take advantage and grasp as many as you can. And you never know what you are capable of until you try! Don't use your current circumstances to determine your trajectory.

My favourite thing about studying medicine at the University of Birmingham is the wide variety of people you get to meet and are exposed to. I personally have gained so much in terms of experiences and opportunities which have helped me broaden my horizons and mind-set. I have been a member of the University of Birmingham gospel choir for the past 3 years. I was also the treasurer and band director for the gospel choir for the 2018-2019 academic year. This experience has been one I enjoyed greatly, and the choir recently won the University Gospel Choir of the year competition.

My biggest achievement thus far has been acting as band director during the time we were competing for University Gospel Choir of the Year. In addition, serving as a mentor to students via the Route to Professions scheme run by the University of Birmingham and seeing the progress of my mentees. My biggest challenge at university was getting used to a new environment and new ways of learning during first year. However, it did not take too long to get used to university life and the structure. This also helped me improve my time-management and organisation skills.

After graduation I hope to specialise as a Trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon.

Sara Bawa
Medical student, 4th year

Sara Bawa

The UoB medicine course is held in high esteem across the country. I chose it because I liked the traditional teaching approach with a more defined pre-clinical and clinical divide. I also liked how there were so many small group teachings, and I knew how good the hospitals are in the Birmingham region and knew this would mean I a) would have the opportunity to have lectures and seminars with world-renowned clinicians and b) complete my clinical years in some of the best hospitals in the country.

To choose the course, I spoke to a lot of family friends who were doctors, asking them about how they got into and found a career in medicine. I also talked to people I knew doing the medicine course at UoB to gauge what it was like. When I became more certain I wanted to apply for a medicine degree, I spent a lot of time on the UoB website and UCAS website looking at the details and then attended a handful of open days across the country. I also took part in the mini med school course held at UoB.

There are some great books that give you a good overview of how to apply to medical school. Some of the ones I bought were: Getting into medical school and Medical School interviews by Oliver Picard. Having the opportunity to speak to current medical students is, in my opinion, the best way to get an overview of what medical school is really like so if you get the chance, ask lots of questions. While medical school application is a competitive process, remember that everyone will have their own strengths and weaknesses. Try not to get disheartened or stressed by what other people are doing and focus on yourself.

I would advise utilising the first year of medical school to find out how you like to work. Try new learning techniques and see what works for you. Also talk to as many people as you can and make the most of opportunities given to you. Lastly, never feel bad for prioritising your mental health - talk to people when you need to, see your family when you need to: med school is a marathon not a sprint and your health should always come first.

Being part of such a large medical school means that you are constantly thrown together with new people - I love that I've made such a diverse group of friends with completely different personalities and backgrounds. I am also constantly thankful for the wonderful opportunities I've had in the hospitals around Birmingham to talk to patients and meet excellent healthcare staff! UoB and the hospitals in Birmingham have a strong research base, so there are of opportunities to get involved in research. I've done a couple of audits and have spent a week in one of the cancer research labs doing work experience. I've also climbed mountains with various societies for charity and have had the opportunity to listen to several interesting lectures organising by a range of societies. I've done lots of mentoring, and the Wednesday afternoons off in pre-clinical years gave me time to learn how to figure skate!

Saloni Bhattacharyya
Medical student, 3rd year

Saloni Bhattacharyya

I chose medicine because it is such a broad field and there are so many interesting specialisations one can choose from – there really is something for everyone! I also knew that I enjoyed interacting with people from volunteering with charities and to be able to make a difference to people's lives was something I felt strongly about. Out of all the subjects I studied at high school and sixth form, I was very drawn to the sciences so medicine seemed the right choice as it combines working with people as well as science.

I went to a care home in year 9 that had a special care unit for patients with Dementia. I was really amazed at the level of dedication and support given by the healthcare professionals and my interest really did spark from there! Doing work experience, particularly in hospitals gave me a feel for the course and further solidified my interest for medicine.

I found the Medic Portal a very good website for preparing to apply as it has a lot of good potential interview questions and is really good for ethical dilemmas which is a difficult topic. I also had the book 'Medical School Interviews' by Olivier Picard which analyses questions and how to answer them well, with a MMI format included. Ali Abdaal on YouTube also helped me with interview prep and is a bit more light-hearted (but still informative!) so is easier to digest.

Take things step-by-step to avoid feeling overwhelmed! I received this piece of advice from an older student and it helped me so much – there is so much content to get through, and this alongside revising for A-levels can make this time challenging. But take it one at a time: the UCAT comes first (ideally). Prepare for that and get it out of the way, then focus on your personal statement. Then think about BMAT if applicable, otherwise focus on interview prep next. I was focussing on interviews too early at a stage before I had even applied for medicine! So take things one at a time as much as possible and hopefully that will make things easier.

When you begin university, there can be a lot of information and it can be difficult to tell when to stop reading further. Without a proper syllabus, the temptation can be to delve into one topic too much as it is hard to understand the level of detail you need to know for a topic. Instead, I would say to look at the learning objectives which will be present most of the time on lectures and sheets. I use these to help guide the level of depth that I should go into. Don't worry if your previous method of revising changes. I found that the way I revise changed from A-levels to University slightly and that is perfectly fine! It may take some time to figure out which style of learning will fit you best for your degree. I found it helped to talk to my peers and see how they revised to find my own revision technique.

My favourite thing about medicine is that I love interacting with patients! I really like the fact that here at Birmingham, students go to a GP placement fortnightly as I really enjoyed talking to patients. There is so much to learn from them and the clinical side of medicine is really exciting. Teaching first year medics a core module in my second year was something I am very happy about- I love teaching and to be able to successfully deliver a small group session on quite a challenging topic was a great moment and I've learned a lot from it.

There are so many societies to get involved in, both medical and non-medical which helps to maintain a work-life balance. For example, I'm involved with singing, dancing, and musical societies, as well as with volunteering and mentoring. I've been able to teach which has been an interest of mine since sixth form, as well as get involved with research and attend conferences. There are plenty of opportunities available for everyone which has been a fantastic bonus to studying at university.

It was quite hard to get used to University living. I had to juggle being independent as well as studying but I managed to get used to it as time went on as new habits formed. Personally, making a good list and organising what I have to do really helps me so I used that to make sure I was able to do what I wanted both socially and professionally. Practicing mindfulness helps to take care of my mental health too.

Wentin Chen
Medical student, 3rd year


Wentin Chen

During A-Levels, I realised that my favourite subjects were science-based; I like problem-solving and challenges. I also always loved working with people, which I discovered through extra-curricular activities and voluntary work, and I discovered that Medicine is a perfect combination of these passions. My favourite thing about my course at the University of Birmingham is that I have always enjoyed paying attention to details, and both the biological science and clinical aspects of medicine encompass this.

I gathered as much information as I could from university prospectuses, which I picked up from a local schools’ careers event, and online from University websites. It was not feasible for me to attend Open Days as I would have had to fly, otherwise I would have attended these. Online forums, such as The Student Room - the UK’s biggest student community - can be useful for finding out about university life, and they are full of friendly students who are/were in your shoes. Talking to older students can also be useful. There are increasingly more students using YouTube to document their university journey and discussing how they got there; find a blogger or vlogger doing the course you want to apply for and see what they have to say! Other social media platforms such as Twitter can also be useful for this. And don’t forget about trusty university prospectuses and websites.

My advice to prospective students is to keep an open mind when considering different courses and universities, and gradually narrow down your choices. Find out as much information as possible, and think about what is important to you – this is your future.

Studying medicine is a large step up from A Levels. Prepare yourself mentally as much as you can and remember that everyone around you is in the same position. Experiment with different learning styles until you find what is right for you and be prepared that this may well be different to secondary school. Try your best to keep on top of your work as this is always easier than playing catch up! Utilise your friends and open up to someone if you are struggling.

I believe that it is enjoyable and beneficial to get involved in university life, outside of your course, to discover your interests, enrich your experience, and meet like-minded students. I have been heavily involved in numerous medical societies and committees, including the surgical and GP societies. I have taken on ambassador roles at a university and national level. One of my best memories is teaching English to schoolchildren in China, alongside Chinese medical students.

My biggest achievement at university was securing the International Work Experience Bursary, to help with the funds of volunteering to teach English in China. My biggest challenge was independence – having to fly between home and university meant that I only travelled home at the end of semesters. Being my first time away from home, it took a while for me to find my feet and learn to look after myself. I learned as I went along, step by step and in my own time. I now keep in regular contact with my family and surround myself with friends. I also made an active decision to take responsibility and add structure to my everyday life.


When I graduate I hope to work as a doctor in England, although I am not yet sure what type. I hope that my career will integrate an aspect of medical research as this will allow me to contribute to the future of medicine. I would love to spend some time working or volunteering abroad and I hope to explore my interests in teaching, public speaking, and writing.

Zahrah Goolam-Mahomed
Medical student, 5th year

Zahrah Goolam-Mahomed

After deciding to study Medicine, I attended a number of university open days to learn more about the differences between courses. The University of Birmingham had an excellent course which suited my preferences. Open days were a great way to experience the university campus and help me decide whether or not I could visualise myself studying here for 5-6 years! You should definitely check out the university websites and student forums where current students can provide accurate representations of how their experiences have been so far, and start your research early!

 Medicine is a tough and gruelling degree to study! I'd recommend spending the first few weeks settling in and taking time to get to know the people on your course - I definitely couldn't have made it this far without my friends! There are a number of societies to join, and they are great ways to meet new people who might not be on your course!

Syeda Liaba Hassan
Medical student, 1st year

Syeda Liaba Hassan

I chose medicine because I wanted to do a course that combined my interest in science with a vocational career that allowed me to give back to the community. When choosing a university, I looked at university websites, current student opinions, and experiences on The Student Room, and compared university rankings. I found The Student Room, The Medic Portal, and YouTube channels of current medical students and doctors to be very helpful resources. My advice to prospective students would be to do your research and apply to medical schools that play to your strengths.

I would highly recommend not comparing yourself to the people around you. Medical school is hard and you are surrounded by extremely smart people, so don’t doubt yourself too much! My favourite part of studying medicine is going to clinical placements and understanding how what we learnt in medical school is applied realistically.

Knowing how daunting medical school admissions are, I got involved in societies such as BWAMS that enabled me to help prospective students and help answer some of their questions. My biggest achievement so far has been getting comfortable in a schedule that enabled me to study, socialise, and unwind without stressing too much. My biggest challenge was learning how to live independently, but I asked for help whenever needed and slowly adjusted to life away from family.

Devon Lloyd-Morris
Medical student, 1st year


Devon Lloyd-Morris

I was debating between studying Biology or Medicine. Through talking with older students and attending open days, I realised Medicine was the right degree for me. Furthermore, on University Websites, I was interested in the fact that Medicine offered patient contact, which would contextualise my learning.

I initially chose medicine based on my love for biology and because I really enjoyed volunteering in care homes and hospitals. The prospect of directly improving and impacting a patient's life is very exciting to me, as well as the fact that medicine is always changing – and as an avid learner, the concept of lifelong learning was definitely a benefit of the Medicine course. My favourite thing about my degree is the wide range of topics that we learn about. There is always more to learn and as someone who is inherently curious, I find this a really satisfying part of medicine. From neurology to embryology to enterology, there is so much to learn about and there is definitely something for everyone.

Watching 'A Day In the Life of a Medical Student' videos on YouTube was really useful for me. It made the goal of becoming a medical student attainable, and this motivated me to work even harder during A-levels. I also would read blogs on first year medical students at different universities and their opinions on their course helped me apply to the university I thought would suit me best.

As cliché as it sounds, I have to say it is so important to believe in yourself. Whatever your goal is, you will only achieve it if you think you can. Confidence in my abilities transformed my interview performance and improved my attitude during exam season. Also, having role models or friends who inspire you is very important. They will help motivate you and help you believe that you can succeed if you work hard and put your mind to it.

My top tip for university students is to ensure you are organised at all times. You should avoid missing lectures, anatomy practicals, or small group teaching sessions, as this will academically put you behind your cohort. Every degree programme in the College of Medical and Dental sciences has a large workload and so it is important that you are on top of your assignments and lecture notes. Whilst it is important to have fun and enjoy first year, you should foster a good work ethic from the beginning and this will help you in your later years.

I am a member of the University Judo club and the MedSoc Squash club. Whilst I play both of these sports recreationally, it has really enhanced my student life during first year. I'd recommend joining one or two clubs/societies as it gives you an opportunity to socialise with like-minded people and also gives you a chance to unwind after your studies.

My biggest achievement at university has been becoming a tutor for school students. I teach them science, maths, and history, and this is a great way to inspire younger people to love academia. Whilst this isn't related to my degree programme, the skills I have learnt from tutoring will be transferrable to my studies.

The biggest challenge was settling in to University life. With a newfound sense of independence and within such a big cohort, it was challenging to 'find your feet', but I overcame this by realising that everyone was feeling the same way! By knowing that it's not just you who is overwhelmed with the change, it is a lot easier to deal with it.

I’m not sure what I plan to specialise in after graduation, but I am very interested in the digestive system module and in women's health. A benefit of medicine is that it opens up so many doors to different specialities, and you have many years to decide which door is the right one for you!

Intesar Nur
Medical student, 2nd year

Intesar Nur

I was initially thinking of studying chemistry, but going to different work experience programmes in ICL and UCL made me realise that medicine is the subject for me.

My interest in medicine is getting to speak to people. I was really interested in doing lab work but it became boring for me. People are really interesting and fun to understand. It's a great privilege to learn and treat the human body. Medicine also allows me to continue to research while doing clinics. The best thing about studying medicine is that you get to have the early clinical exposure. You really get to speak to so many different people with different experiences of the diseases they face.

Universities are great resources for school students to learn about their subjects of interest. I got involved with many programmes such as social mobility fund, UCL Uni-link, ICL work experience programmes, and much more. All of these can be found on university websites, so do check them out.

Before you get to university, make sure to learn how to learn. Watch videos by Ali Abdaal and Anas Nur – they have great explanations on how exactly to learn and do well – and use teach me anatomy for anatomy and instant anatomy. Honestly, you do not need Grey’s Anatomy!

The University of Birmingham has provided so many opportunities for me to have fun and expand my CV. If you are interested in research, use first and second year summers wisely. Get opportunities that can assure you posters and publication. Doctors need medical students to help them with publication – it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Personally, my biggest achievement has been running my first ever conference part of the Islamic Medical and Dentistry Society.

Realising Opportunities made getting into university a lot easier. Widening participation programmes might have extra components to pass, but they are worth it because it genuinely helps you grow as a person.

Usman Raja
Medical student, 4th year

Usman Raja

The classic cliché for medical students is to talk about the nature of medicine appealing to them, as it combines the science and humanities in a unique way. However, this was completely true in my case! I had always been driven by a desire to work in an altruistic field and medicine seemed like the perfect field to do just that, while building upon my knowledge in areas of science and philosophy (subjects which I thoroughly enjoyed). Several years on, I can definitely confirm my presumptions were correct!

When applying to university, I spent a large amount of time reflecting and figuring out what was important to me. Who did I want to be by the time I graduated? From there, I had a rough guide to help narrow down my choices in terms of courses. This was supplemented and greatly helped by information from the University's website, speaking to friends and older peers as well as attending Open Days.

We're lucky to live in age where we have access to a whole range of resources, but knowing which to use can be a tricky obstacle, especially as a medical student. During my time at secondary school, I loved reading and so books such as "When Breath Becomes Air" and Adam Kay's "This is Going to Hurt" were personal linchpins to developing my understanding. I found that they provided commentaries on medicine and health in ways I hadn't considered, bettering my perception of myself and also the course I wanted to pursue. Since starting my course, I have come across quite a few YouTube vloggers who take you through their time at medical school and beyond. These can often be good sources of information and inspiration too!

I would advise prospective students to choose the course that benefits you. A lot of people may offer their opinion on where you should apply and what you should study, but the only one that matters is yours. This is the time to do what's best for you and take advantage of some amazing opportunities. When you start university, trust the process and believe in yourself. No one expects you to be ready to be a doctor from day one, so don't put that pressure on yourself! You've made it to the Medical School because you have all the qualities needed. The next five or six years are all about helping you grow those qualities and learn new skills in order to facilitate your growth into a brilliant doctor. It takes time and dedication, but you've already shown you can do it and you'll be there before you know it!

Without a doubt, my favourite aspect of the course is the exposure to patients so early on. These experiences are humbling and transformative, providing a great deal of insight and growth as a clinician-to-be and also a person. My biggest achievement has been putting together an essay on medical education and the liberal arts in my second year. This is a topic I am hugely passionate about and being able to write about it, with support from staff and University resources, was a special experience for me. My time at university has given me opportunities to work with some amazing people and contribute to fantastic causes, from mental health education to scholarship fundraising!

My biggest challenge at university has been learning to balance the demands of my course with my life outside of medicine. However time, experience, and a good set of friends has helped me find a way to experience the best of both worlds. After I graduate, I hope to complete my foundation training and eventually specialise in an aspect of paediatric medicine!

Ameenah Rasool
Medical student, 4th year


Ameenah Rasool

I first thought about studying Medicine whilst at secondary school. I was enjoying learning about the human body during biology lessons and had a desire to help others through volunteer and charity work. I then began undertaking wider reading and work experience placements throughout school and college to decide if this was the right career choice for me. Along the way I gained invaluable skills and an insight in to the profession; I learned that medicine is a challenging but rewarding profession, which requires hard work, resilience and a compassionate nature to allow you to care for your patients. This allowed me to make the decision to submit an application to study Medicine.

When shortlisting the universities I wanted to study at, I began reading the online prospectuses of the universities that offered the Medicine course. I viewed each universities teaching style and entry requirements. This allowed me to narrow down the search for the university I wanted to study at. I then attended open days to get a feel for the university. I had the opportunity to have all of my questions about the course and university life answered by tutors and medical students. The University of Birmingham was top of my list as it offered early clinical exposure, a teaching style that suited me – and it was close to home too.

I would definitely recommend looking at University websites to ensure that you meet the entry requirements and find the course structure which best fits what you are looking for. For medicine I suggest keeping up to date with health news and journal articles and reading the General Medical Council guidance on good medical practice which is available online. There are many Instagram pages and websites online that offer free advice on entry to medicine such as “wearemedics” Instagram page and BWAMS website. There are many books and courses that provide guidance on application to medicine, admissions tests, writing a personal statement and interview practise. I would not recommend spending lots of money on these, you can borrow them from a library if you wish but you DO NOT need these to make a successful application to study medicine. There are many free online resources, your teachers at school/college can be a lot of help, and there is lots of information available on university websites.

It is never too early to prepare for University. Getting involved in work experience and wider reading early on can give you invaluable insight into your potential career choice. The transition from college to university life can be overwhelming, but you have the support of your tutors, older years, friends and family. There will be a lot of changes but you must embrace these changes. At University you will make friends for life and make memories for life. There are so many amazing opportunities to get involved in things so make sure you take them.

My favourite thing about studying Medicine at Birmingham is the early clinical exposure and patient interaction. The teaching and mentoring from doctors in hospitals from all across the west midlands in great; I have always felt supported and feel I have been given the best resources to help me through medical school.

There are a number of societies at the University of Birmingham and through attending events led by these societies I have made friends for life and some amazing memories. In the first year of Medicine we received basic life support training and through this I have volunteered for the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) for their lifesavers event and taught basic life support skills to the general public, I am now a part of the West Midlands Lifesavers regional team for the second year running. It is amazing working with other healthcare students and healthcare professionals to make a positive change in the community. During my third year at medical school I was able to teach my fellow medical students with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and I was awarded a certificate for being a NICE student champion. Throughout medical school, I have had the opportunity to be involved in many events which help support medicine applicants in their journey to medicine. As well as this, in my fourth year I was an interviewer for the medical student station in the Medicine MMI interviews. I have also had the opportunity to mentor first year medical students through the Birmingham widening access scheme.

When I started university I was very shy, but throughout university I have developed a lot of confidence and through this I have been involved in amazing opportunities, which before university I would never have imagined doing. The transition from college to university was a challenge for me, the change can be overwhelming. I overcame this by reaching out for help and support from friends, family and my tutors at University. This helped ease the transition.

The Access to Birmingham programme allowed me to meet other prospective medical students as well as providing me with invaluable advice on the application process and studying at University. We were set an assignment to write a medical essay before starting university, with support and guidance from a tutor. This prepared me for essay assignments during my degree. The A2B Scholarship has supported me financially through the degree. I am now an A2B ambassador too.

When I graduate I hope to complete my Foundation training in the West Midlands and get involved in research.

Sami Raza
Medical student, 4th year


Sami Raza

I've had an affinity for healthcare for quite a long time. I think my interest was first sparked to study medicine when I took part in a medical simulation scenario when I was in school. I then followed this up with work experience and decided that it was for me, as I saw for myself the impact that doctors had on patients' health. Medicine itself provides a good balance between research, clinical and basic sciences. The course is structured in this way so you can experience the different flavours of medicine!

I attended both open days in which I was able to speak to medical students about the course (in terms of course structure, placements, extra-curricular activities) and I also used the university webpage for medicine, which answered some of the more detailed questions, such as entry requirements, work experience etc. I used the Complete University Guide to look at university rankings for medicine to look at some of the top courses. I then created an Excel spreadsheet to create a university shortlist, which detailed entry requirements, interview structure, entrance exams etc. This is a really useful way of narrowing your university choices down!

There are a few resources I would recommend for people applying to university. UCAT examination books – look on The Student Room to see which ones have been recommended by students. Be sure that the books are up to the current examination standards. University websites are a great resource as they contain all of the concise information about their medicine course. YouTube often has a lot of good videos from people who successfully applied to medicine. They share their tips- definitely a worthwhile watch. Finally, the Student Room is a good resource for general application advice.

You need to know your strengths and weaknesses of your application and tailor your university choices to these to maximise your chances of getting in. Apply to the entrance examinations as soon as applications open as popular dates can be taken up quickly i.e. in the summer holidays. There may be bursaries available depending on your circumstances.

When you arrive at university, use the opportunity to join societies and clubs that interest you. There's a lot on offer from both MedSoc and the Guild of Students, so I would recommend going to the freshers' fairs and signing up to whatever interests you. It's important to have a good work-life balance so try to maximise the social opportunities available to you. Everybody is catered for as there are cultural and religious societies etc across campus. I enjoy social events on offer from across campus and taking part in widening participation opportunities.

My favourite part of the course is clinical placements! I very much enjoy interacting with patients and there are ample opportunities to practice clinical skills, such as blood taking, cannulation and even anaesthetic skills such as intubation in fourth year.  Student surgeries, however, in GP are the most enjoyable as we are given the opportunity to take the consultation and draw up management plans for patients.

My biggest achievement is being part of the Global Brigades Society. At the end of second year, I won a bursary to fund a medical internship to Honduras in which I was able to work with a team of MDS students, as well as students from American and Canadian universities, to provide medical and non-medical provision to impoverished communities. It was really fulfilling to see the first-hand impact we had on the local communities and I remain grateful for their hospitality.

My biggest challenge at university was finding out which study method worked for me best. I had to trial a variety of methods and took best practice from other students to fine-tune a method that suited me. Even in clinical years, I still find myself trying out new studying modalities.

I was a mentee in the Routes to the Professions programme, which was pivotal in helping me apply to medicine. My mentor was extremely useful as she answered all of my queries (sometimes on a weekly basis). She helped me navigate the entire application process and the mentorship definitely paid off. The R2P events were extremely useful as there were opportunities to meet other students on the programme.

If you are eligible, you should definitely apply to the Pathways to Birmingham programmes – there is nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Make sure your application is very well polished and state what you want to get out of it. In terms of applying to university, ensure your UCAS choices are tailored to your strengths. For example, some universities place greater weighting on the interview than on academic performance, whereas others are focused more on the UCAT. With your personal statement, be sure to demonstrate your skills. For example, how have you shown leadership skills and how is this similar to medicine? When writing about your work experience, pick out one or two good experiences you saw and demonstrate why that may have been good medical practice, as this shows insight into healthcare.

Alice Scott
Medical student, 1st year

Alice Scott

I've always been interested in medicine and how it combines aspects of care and science into one. It's a difficult degree and career but I think the job at the end is so rewarding that it is worth the hard work to get there. I chose the course by attending lots of open days across England so I could get a proper feel for where I would want to spend the next 5 years of my life. Birmingham was a clear favourite due to the course being exactly what I was looking for, the amazing campus and being so close to home.

My advice to prospective medical students would be to choose your university based off the course, as that's what you are at university for in the first place! But also, especially for medicine, choose a place you can see yourself at long term. Asking your family, friends and teachers to go through your personal statement can be really helpful. Also, looking on university's websites to read more about the course and any information you may find relevant.

The GP placements we have every other week are my favourite days at university. We get to spend a day out of university, chatting with patients, learning new skills and it's a change from the lecture walls. The university is also great for joining new societies and teams. I am part of the Medsoc netball team, we train and play matches 2x a week and it's so good for the socials and meeting new friends in your first year. You have lots of opportunities to be part of charity work and carry out mentoring throughout the year.

My biggest achievement at university would be improving my patient communication skills. I thought I was confident speaking to people before coming to university but now I definitely have developed the ability to speak to patients about their health conditions and asking lots of open questions to learn more from them. I think my biggest challenge was adapting to the way we learn in lectures as it's very different to at sixth form or college. You have to choose which points you think are relevant from lectures otherwise you'll get stuck on lots of detail. I overcame this by trying new techniques in the first term and watching YouTube for some tips of how to take lecture notes.

After graduation, I hope to be set in some form of career plan in what speciality I want to go into as right now that's not set in stone. I also want to go travelling to experience more cultures and volunteer in different healthcare settings.

A2B prepared me for university by getting us to prepare an assignment which was similar to the essays we had to write in first year. I developed my essay writing skills, referencing skills and how to structure an essay which I found really useful for the start of university. If you choose to apply, I know it's cliché but be yourself. Whether it's on interview or application, the university will look for original people who all have different skills as that makes for a well-rounded person.

Gurjivan Singh
Medical student, 3rd year

Gurjivan Singh

I felt inspired to study medicine by TV shows like Doctor in the House and 24 Hours in A&E. I was fascinated by how these highly skilled professionals were able to take a patient on a journey from their initial complaint to being diagnosed and treated. The personal sense of reward and fulfilment from helping others seemed unparalleled by any other career. By the end of high school, I read through online prospectuses and watched various videos outlining students' experiences. In college, I visited universities of interest during Open Days. My final UCAS shortlist was based on my preferences as well as best meeting university entry requirements.

When you are applying to university, begin by gaining an overview for different course structures using online prospectuses and videos. Use forums like The Student Room for any concerns you may have as many students will probably share the same concerns! Make use of your teachers in order to gain application advice and interview preparation – and start early. There are a lot of hurdles that need to be crossed, all whilst studying for A levels. Take a step-by-step approach with regards to gaining relevant experiences, researching universities of interest, preparing for aptitude tests, writing personal statements, and finally practising for interviews.

When you get here, find yourself a great set of friends and support each other through the first few weeks! It is a daunting time for everybody to begin with but you will soon settle down and find your feet. Once you have settled in, do not give too much thought to how everybody else is supposedly doing on your course. Focus on yourself and your own goals rather than comparing yourself to others.

I was a part of the Bhangra Society Events Team during second and third year. This gave me the opportunity to perform at annual Indian Society and university basketball events during the year. I performed with my team in front of large crowds which was a highly rewarding experience.

I found the first few weeks of university particularly tough. I felt an air of competition from the very beginning and I began to compare my achievements to others. It was only in the second year that I realised this caused me unnecessary stress. Ultimately, you can only do your best and I now tell myself that the outcome does not really matter as long as you can be proud of the hard work that went into your achievements. In third year, I enjoyed taking histories and examining patients in order to reach potentials diagnoses. For the first time, I felt that I was able to apply the content of the first 2 years in order to assess patients and begin to consider a suitable treatment plan.

The Routes to the Professions programme allowed me to contact my student mentor regarding any questions that I had and they offered me invaluable advice during my application process. The A2B Skills4Uni programme prepared me well for essay-writing during my first year; I would have really struggled to write my first essay without it! The more you engage with these programmes, the more you'll get out of them. I felt very well prepared for both applying to the University of Birmingham and for starting my first year. I also benefit from an annual A2B scholarship which helps towards my daily living costs during my studies, alleviating some of the financial pressures of studying at university.

I have an amazing set of friends that I know I will keep in touch with for a lifetime. I have created so many fond memories that I will look back on as some of the best experiences I will ever have. I feel that these experiences have shaped me into a more rounded individual and have given me a lot of happiness along the way!

Nawal Zia
Medical student, 4th year

Nawal Zia

I didn't always know that I wanted to do Medicine! It was really between that and something creative like art history/fashion. I didn't get the best grade in my GCSE textiles class and realised I actually enjoyed something to do with biology as a career path. Medicine was an easy decision because I love speaking to people, fixing things, and learning about science. It is an art in itself as we have to hone and balance many skills to be a good doctor.

To choose a university I spoke to friends, attended open days (which was a must for me!), and read about the universities on their website. Since I knew I wanted to study Medicine, I mainly researched how the course was taught, the opportunities for things such as prosection/dissection, or intercalation options offered, and generally the overall impression I received about the Medical School. On the open days, I made sure to check out the city, and how the campus space was set up!

I'd definitely research each University and the kinds of things they offer before applying. Websites and books give a great overview. I also watched videos on each University Website and researched the course handbooks. If you want to go into Medicine and need a good overview of each Medical School in the UK, I found "So you want to be a doctor?: The ultimate guide to getting into medical school (Success In Medicine)" by Harveer Dev really helpful!

My advice to prospective students would be to think about all the different perspectives about university. I can appreciate that you want to come to study and get the best grades, but you need to settle down in an area which you feel comfortable! For example, if you love the big city and can't imagine going anywhere else, then maybe a countryside university isn't for you. Remember that you are here for at least 3 years. Do not be afraid to turn the options for prestigious Universities down because it’s "just not your thing". Everyone has their own niche and making big life decisions such as these really shapes who you are as a person. Trust your gut instinct and choose a course and university which you will truly enjoy!

When you get to university, try to relax during your first few weeks. Moving to university is a big life change and you can always catch up on school work. Don't worry about the content and take things slow as you settle in. Use this opportunity for newfound independence to try out new societies and make new friends! I got the opportunity to be part of loads of societies, from MedSoc committee, to the Widening Access committee, Birmingham Academic Medicine society, and my local islamic society! It has been amazing to meet different people and get involved in lots of projects. I also have had the privilege to receive mentoring from an accomplished Doctor with the University's alumni scheme! Once you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings, it’s time to hit the books.

My biggest achievement at university has been passing my exams while maintaining a good work-life balance. The biggest challenge has been managing university with mental health issues – it is too easy to allow the heavy workload to become quite overwhelming, but by taking care of yourself and allowing yourself to rest, you will be able to tackle it all a lot better.

I really hope to go into surgery after University. It's currently between trauma and orthopaedics and obstetrics and gynaecology. I hope to continue my progress in academia and pursue a  PhD alongside my clinical work. Whereas I have solid goals and I know what I want, I mainly hope to enjoy my clinical practice as a Doctor and take opportunities as they come spontaneously too.