Student Perspectives: Medic Mind Course
On 17 January, OIC students finished their two-week Medic Mind course preparing them for entry into medicine. Read our future medics’ perspectives on the course.
As a student who is passionate to study medicine, but not sure what my next step should be, the Medic Mind course was extremely beneficial.
The session was split into 2 days. The first day consisted of Zoom breakout rooms in small groups of around 10 students, designed to encourage participation, and one mentor. The mentors were clearly enthusiastic about medicine, on top of that they were extremely eager to help. After going through the presentation about their specific topic, they made sure to answer all our questions. Each of them came from different medical schools across the UK and were at different stages of their medical career, therefore they collectively provided a rich amount of insight into medicine. Topics covered focused mostly on MMI preparation and the content that would most likely come up. Usually, after they provided us with the basic idea of the topic, one of us would volunteer to answer a question. While this may seem like a nerve-racking thing, everyone, especially the mentor, were particularly supportive. They focused on the strengths in our response, before moving on giving tips as to how we can do even better. My favourite session was the medical ethics, where we discussed a range of topics such as euthanasia and consent, because it allowed me to imagine I was already doctor facing these issues which got some gears turning in my head. While the first day was terribly exhausting, I thought it was most definitely worth it.
The following week, we were lucky enough to have a mock MMI session based on all the knowledge we had absorbed (or at least tried to) during the previous session. At first, I found the interviews a bit worrying as I was forced to think of answers on the spot, however the interviewers were always understanding and praised us as well as provided lots of personalised constructive criticism to help us for the real thing. After a few sessions, I started to get the hang of it and using the advice they gave us, I tried my best to treat the session as if it were the real interview to make the most out of it. Throughout the whole day, we alternated with one partner which was rather comforting since I felt as if I did not have to go through it alone.
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed the programme and will certainly try my best to follow their advice. Since I have still got a few months before my actual interview, I plan to make a habit of reading medical news, read some books, do a few volunteering activities and practice. Now that I am more familiar with the process of an MMI, I will be fully equipped for my own one in the future. Hopefully, I can follow in their footsteps and become a medical student so that I can share my knowledge and tips, just like them!
I am thankful the school was able to provide us with this opportunity!
This experience with Medic Mind was eye-opening and awe-inspiring for its organization, compatibility, and interactiveness. The sessions were orderly and both started with a brief introduction on the rundown of the day and also a quick Q&A session. Information was delivered in a compact manner in a few 1 hours sessions during the first day. We entered different breakout rooms to meet the mentors, where they each covered distinct topics such as medical ethics, NHS hot topics, and communication skills. I took copious amounts of notes especially during the session on NHS hot topics because it is still a relatively new system to me. One activity in a session on communication skills stood out to me. The mentor
gave us a photograph of a shopping mall and asked us to describe it as if we were narrating to a blind person. From this session, I learned that preparation for medical school does not only include reading books, studying, and understanding the NHS. It is also about paying more attention to details in everyday life, for example observing the environment, noticing people’s body language, and understanding the needs of people around. These are necessary qualities of a doctor as observation skills can help with making an accurate diagnosis and building a strong doctor-patient relationship.
The interactiveness of the program stood out during the MMI circuit, where I had the opportunity to answer medical questions, share about my work experience and do role play. I also had the chance to learn from the answer of my partner and hear constructive feedback from her and the interviewers. I came across a station that I found particularly hard because I was asked to share my knowledge of RNA vaccination and details of the Covid vaccine. I have previously not done any reading on vaccines and had limited knowledge of the current COVID vaccine, so I was quite worried when formulating my answer. In the end, I used a method taught during the medicine mentorship session, which was to go back to the basics
of science. I ended up making an educated guess with the knowledge I have of RNA and vaccines from biology lessons and received positive feedback from the interviewer. This experience showed that it is more important to be able to communicate your thoughts in a logical way then to know about all the possible medical topics.
Even though the two Sunday sessions were quite exhausting due to the large-scale information delivered. However, it was fulfilling as I maximize the use of time on a Sunday and it was enriching to have the chance to exchange conversations with medics from a diverse community. The mentors showed enthusiasm for their careers as doctors and also showed passion in teaching us, hence I am extremely grateful for this experience. Considering that it was two intense sessions on Sunday, I am quite proud of the perseverance shown by my cohort for the full attendance rate in the second session. I hope we can stay determined and always remember the reason for putting in the hard work.