By Ishani Lala
Sure, it’s easy enough to binge on the latest season of Grey’s or fondly remember those tricky terms you learned in Matric Bio but none of that even compares to having your hands in someone’s body or delivering a baby. Nope, those unique experiences are only reserved for the medical students. Add all that to the fact that med school seems like a world apart from the rest of UCT and your respect for the med school kids grows immensely. Future life-savers they may be but they’re also just students – albeit students with a more unique schedule than the rest of us. Priyanka Singh, a fifth year, med student, sat down with us and shared some of her experiences and insights into one of her busy days.
Priyanka had only wanted to study Medicine. “You really have to be passionate about it, there was no Plan B for me”. Now five years down, she is even more passionate than before. Every day is different and a new experience.
What Does A Regular Day For You Look Like?
I’m not really on campus anymore – The first three years are your pre-clinical years so it’s basically theory and the biology and physiology. From third year, you’re introduced to clinical skills and start meeting patients.
From fourth year, you do 4 week blocks or 8 week blocks and basically based at the various hospitals and you go through different rotations and go through all the divisions of medicine. Fifth year is more specialised. So I’m basically travelling to the hospitals (Red Cross or Somerset Hospital) at 8am, doing rounds, checking patients, writing up reports, etc. I come home around 5 pm and then basically study again.
Obviously there are times when you can chill, maybe the first 2 weeks of the block but you have to be consistent and focused – we write exams after every block so it does suck when all my friends studying at Upper are on holiday and can chill, and I’m still studying and writing but we do make a plan. I have had and still have a full student life.