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My Quest To Get Into Clinical School And Become A Real Doctor

NewaaronAaron Singh -- And so it finally begins. After three long years of sitting in lecture theatres having obscure biochemical minutiae stuffed down my throat and reassuring myself I'd become a doctor someday by watching 'ER' and 'Grey's Anatomy' with my drooling tongue somewhere in the vicinity of my carpet; after three years of moaning about medical school to everyone who'd listen (including your lot, my landlady, the homeless dude across the street and his dog) resulting, so far, in the grand total of two hemorrhages, one death due to bleeding out of the ears, and a great reduction in applications to Cambridge; after all this, it's finally time for clinical school.

I know I've moaned a lot about the medical education system at Cambridge (heck I've even been quoted in the local student newspaper –- some of my friends wonder why I haven't already been expelled) but really, I can see the point of the huge emphasis on science and theory taught at traditional universities like mine. Not only does some of it actually come in handy in clinical practice, it also helps us understand why we do the things we do to patients (arguments and fistfights not included, of course). Perhaps more importantly at a science-heavy university like Cambridge, it sets you up for the third year, where you do a BSc year in a course of your choice (it's weirdly called a BA at Oxford and Cambridge, for historical reasons, as well as to confuse the heck out of potential employers).

But now it's finally time for that stage in my medical career that I really signed up for -– the clinical part. And another one of the myriad oddities of the Cambridge system is that you have to go through another whole round of application forms and interviews –- you don't get to march into the Cambridge hospitals, you have to APPLY there. ALL. OVER. AGAIN. The perk is that you can also apply to Oxford (shudder) or to a London clinical school. About half choose to stay, and the other half choose to get the heck out of there (or are kicked out, depending on their exam results).

There. I've explained the whole Cambridge sytem in a nutshell. Still with me so far? No? What's that you say? You're on the floor bleeding out of your ears? Send me your name, I'll add you to the tally.

I don't think I'll stay at Cambridge, because I might want to do surgery and people say you get more experience and a wider range of cases in London. Plus, of course, I expect to see an increase in the number of Cambridge dons sneaking into my room at night with chloroform-soaked handkerchiefs after they discover that newspaper article. Lock your ward doors and hide your IVs, patients, here I come!

April 1, 2008 | Permalink


nice article n very true to life,.... i m a 4th year experienced all of this.....

Posted by: sawee | Apr 4, 2008 3:49:31 AM

ahhhh so you're heading for the brighter lights of london? :) all the bestest!

Posted by: ditzydoctor | Apr 6, 2008 12:19:30 AM

Yay! I can't wait to hear the stories!

Posted by: Kendra | Apr 7, 2008 5:41:24 AM

allow me to laugh at you.
Having just gone through the application cycle, I choose not to apply to Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge), because it was too sciency and you had to reapply.
Maybe I'll see you at UCL - the place of the sane where people apply once (after school), see patients every week from week 1 yr1 and are apparently joined by a load of clever Oxbridgy people in yr4.
I feel for you but my sympathy is limited...though Cambridge is lovely.

Posted by: Imogen | Apr 9, 2008 11:29:05 AM


Posted by: Aaron Singh | Apr 12, 2008 8:37:30 AM

hahaha! you're funny. yes, i'm bleeding .

Posted by: | Apr 22, 2008 11:26:12 PM

well done aaron. you made it to mt mckinley. now get ready for mt everest. hehehehe. good luck mate.

Posted by: Gabbi | Apr 25, 2008 5:18:52 PM

"....yes, there's no place like London."

Posted by: tracy | Sep 7, 2008 7:59:36 AM

I had to bookmark this site, its awesome!

Posted by: Physician Assistant | Jun 30, 2011 7:34:01 PM

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