5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Medical School | Cambridge University

Hi Guys! This video is about 5 things I wish I’d known before I started University. The fact that I’m at medical school, puts a bit of a unique spin on it. Hopefully this gives those of you thinking about applying to medical school, some idea of what it’s like here!

If you have any questions, please comment below, and I’ll get back to you, as soon as possible!

Vlog | Day In The Life Of A Cambridge Medical Student | General Practice

Hi Guys! I thought I’d try something new, and vlog for a day! I’m a bit worried about how helpful/fun this will be, as I can’t film in certain buildings, to protect patient privacy. But hopefully (!!!) this video gives you some insight into what goes on in a General Practice placement.

Let me know if you enjoy it, and would like to see some more examples of different days, in different placements!

How To Pick the Right Medical School?

In the UK, there are a multitude of medical schools, each with unique selling points (and drawbacks!) This can make it hard to select just four, for your UCAS application. When it came to picking the universities I applied to, here are a few things I considered.

  1. Entrance exams: when it came to picking the universities I applied to, one thing that became immediately obvious, was the split between BMAT and UKCAT universities. I quickly realised that I wasn’t ready to add preparation for two entrance examinations, to my already very large workload. I decided to only take one, the BMAT, which quickly narrowed down my choices.
  2. Location: This isn’t the most important criterion, but I personally felt that I didn’t want to travel too far from home. I had always dreamed of living in London, and also liked that Cambridge wasn’t miles away (around two hour in a car), so focused on universities in these areas.
  3. Opportunity to intercalate: I had always like science, and loved the idea of being able to work towards a separate bachelors degree, while studying for medicine. I wanted to go to a university where, not only, was there the option to intercalate, but that most of the students, if not all, did. I wasn’t too keen on being left behind by the rest of my classmates, so chose universities where this was common.
  4. Traditional course: When I initially started looking at medical schools, I really liked the look of the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) course, as it seemed to be very hands on, and have a clinical focus, from the very beginning. However after speaking to my father (who is also a doctor), I quickly realised that, perhaps, a more traditional course, with basic science to begin with, followed by more clinical teaching, would suit me more. It’s important to consider the way that you learn, and the kind of doctor you want to be, particularly with regards to research, in order to work out which of these approaches, is right for you.
  5. Dissection: I decided very early on that I probably wanted to be a surgeon. Therefore, the focus anatomy teaching, particularly the opportunity to learn from dissection, as opposed to prosections, was very important to me. Again, this is something that very few universities offered, helping to narrow my choices.
  6. Where I felt most at home: This was the most important factor of deciding where I applied. Medicine is a long degree, so it’s important to pick a university that you can see yourself loving for a long time. This was the ultimate deciding point for me, and the reason that I chose to apply to only 3 universities. Make sure you go to open days, and meet as many students and lecturers, as you can, at the universities you’re considering.

These are just a few of things that helped me decided where I would apply. Hopefully they help you! If there are other points that you have considered, let me know in the comments below!


Coping With Disappointment and Failure | My Experience As A Cambridge Medical Student

Hi Guys,

This video is about how I’ve dealt with failure and disappointment. These are inevitable events in life, especially if you chose to study a competitive subject, like medicine. Learning to bounce back from failure, and continue to progress, is incredibly important, hopefully this video can help you!

Please excuse the lighting, I’m still working on it!

If you have any questions, please comment below, and I’ll get back to you, as soon as possible!

Instagram: Instagram.com/chidera_ota
Twitter: @OtaChidera

How To Manage Stress And Anxiety | My Experience As A Medical Student

Hi guys! In the video below, I discuss some of the ways than I recognise, and manage, stress in my life. As a medical student, stress is a huge part of our degree, however it can really impact our wellbeing, as shown by the huge proportion of mental illnesses amongst medical student.

Hopefully this video can give you some insight into how I deal with this, and maybe you as well! Enjoy!

Be sure to post your tips, along with any questions and comments, below!

My Top 5 Study Tips For Medical Students

Hi guys!

As a medical student, there is infinite amount of information that we need to learn. It took me a long time to work out how best I learn; hopefully the tricks I now utilise, can help you.

1. First pass: the first time you learn something is the most important; understanding a topic, makes it that much easier to remember. So make sure you have a look over your notes after your lectures and teaching, and set a solid foundation for later revision.

2. Practice questions: these are great for highlighting what you don’t know. Don’t be scared to do these early on in the year, even if you get things wrong, this often just makes the point more memorable!

3. Say it out loud: talking around the topic in depth will help with your memory, you can do this with a discussion group, friends, or even just reading your notes allowed. Hearing the information, as opposed to reading, can make the information stick!

4. Prioritise: there is a never ending flow of information to learn, it’s not realistic to expect to remember everything. You need to be selective, and focus on the important aspects of each topic; trying to learn too much will backfire.

5. Make it clinical: try to apply the information you learn to a patient or clinical information. Imagining how the thing you learn can practically be put to use, makes them so much easier to remember.

What’s In My Bag: The Medical School Edition

Hey guys! This post is about what is the bag I take with me to medical school. I thought this would be fun way to give those of you approaching your time on the wards, or in medical school, some advice on what to bring!

  1. Notepad! I often have a variety of sizes with me; an A4/5 for making notes in lectures or any free time, and an a6 notepad, that can fit in my pocket or a small bag, for jotting down interesting points while actually on the wards.
  2. Hand-in-hand with above: pens! This seems pretty obvious, but I would advise you to also invest in a pen torch. Finding one of these is normally impossible, and interrupting an examination to go and get one is never fun!
  3. Lanyards are great for ensuring that you don’t lose your ID, and also for notifying everyone on the ward of who you are. These are especially useful when you’re a student, as you can avoid the awkward moments when people assume you’re a fully qualified doctor!
  4. I often carry a diary with me, simply because, when you are assigned a bunch of clinics over a week, remembering where and when you should be can be pretty impossible. Mine also has credit card slots, meaning I’m always prepared if I have 5 minutes spare for a coffee break.
  5. Also, don’t forget your stethoscope…I think it’s pretty obvious why you’ll need that.
  6. Water bottle and a snack: if you’re on a surgical placement, there may be days when you simply don’t have time to get lunch, these will help tide you over until you eventually get some time off.
  7. For girls especially: a mini/cross-body bag! For some reason, women’s clothing rarely comes with practical additions like pockets. Having a small bag to stick a notepad, snack bar, and some pens can make up for this; the last thing you want is to be stuck with a giant handbag, or juggling loads of loose items while trying to attend to a patient.
  8. Laptop/textbook: there are times when you may be left with nothing to do, maybe due to a cancelled clinic, or a break between surgeries. Having something productive to do while you wait is good idea; I like to do practice exam questions, or read over some notes, when there is a particularly large gap in my day.
  9. Finally -drum roll- a giant bag to fit everything in to! I cycle to and from the hospital, so find a backpack is the best option for me.

So there you have it! (Almost) everything you will need to lug to and from the hospital, as a medical student.

Let me know if there’s something you think I’ve missed, or that you like to bring by commenting below!

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