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The University of Southampton

Jocelyn Cheuk

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Placements allowed me to gain hands-on skills and apply the knowledge learnt in the first two years and allowed me to appreciate the importance of good communication skills and the benefits of a good doctor-patient relationship.

There are many things that attracted me to the University of Southampton, but I was particularly drawn to the integrated structure of the medical courses, the opportunity for early patient contact and the chance to conduct a research project in the third year. All of these have helped me develop my skills and confidence in a medical setting.

There is so much to do and enjoy while extending your clinical understanding. Placements have been very rewarding and real highlight. You never know what you might get to see each day and not only did placements allow me to gain hands-on skills and apply the knowledge learnt in the first two years, they also allowed me to appreciate the importance of good communication skills and the benefits of a good doctor-patient relationship. 

The opportunity to take part in active research and develop my research techniques has also been a key component of my time in Southampton. I have attended several conference events and presented a poster about my 3rd year research project at a national conference, which was a great experience as it helped me appreciate the diversity and dedication of the research field across all disciplines in advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care. In the past I hadn’t considered research as something I would enjoy before coming to university, but these opportunities opened my eyes to the many possibilities of the research field and inspired me to take a year out to intercalate in the Masters of Medical Sciences (MMedSci) course. Intercalating has allowed me to dedicate more time on a research project and develop further research techniques and analytical skills, which has been very rewarding. Deciding to intercalate was not an easy decision because it involved leaving the cohort that I was most familiar with, but I am very grateful for the support from friends, family and academic staff. I am proud that I finally decided to undertake the MMedSci as it has also given me the opportunity to do many other things within the medical school.

Starting university was definitely a big change that involved stepping outside of my comfort zone, living and learning in a completely different environment. I was quite anxious about meeting an entirely new cohort and the demands of the course, but overall the excitement of going to medical school overrode the anxiety and I have learnt to take things as they come along. Medicine has been a very busy course from the beginning and that also meant we saw the same group of people almost every day, which made it easier to get to know each other.

Southampton as a city was also very welcoming – it has everything you need, making it a nice and quiet place to study.  The first few weeks of university were very busy, which made it easier to settle in quickly. The Southampton International Medics Society (SIMS) also played a huge role in helping me feel at home. I had the pleasure of meeting most of the other international medics through SIMS welcome events in the first two weeks and it was comforting to know that there are many other international students in the same boat as me. The buddy meetings arranged by our international student advisor also gave us the opportunity to meet other students on a regular basis and ask any questions we had at the time. In turn, I am glad that I am now able to help the new international students settle in.

The opportunity to get involved in several other societies over the last few years has never been in short supply, all of which have played important roles in my personal growth. I am currently the President of the Southampton International Medics Society and Teddy Bear Hospital.

I am grateful for these roles and all the opportunities I have been given throughout the course. They have enhanced my leadership, time management and communication skills and I hope to be able to incorporate into practice as I progress through the next few years of medical school and beyond.

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