Basil’s surgical placement was inspiring.

He really enjoyed the hands on aspects of going to surgery such as scrubbing up and being part of a professional team.

It also gave Basil practical experience, as he was able to practice his clinical technical skills on real patients, for example taking blood.

Studying medicine at Queen Mary has also helped him to gain experience of treating patients from diverse cultural backgrounds.


Basil, Medicine:

What are the top attributes you’ve developed through your degree?

Adapt my understanding to new and unfamiliar settings:

I think the main thing is trying to adapt your understanding to new settings so, for example, a few weeks ago we had a patient who had something called a cardiac arrhythmia. He had lots of problems with his heart and he’s quite young; we also found out that he had a problem with his thyroid so these two things, when we looked, they weren’t really connected. What we learnt was that the thyroid makes your heart beat a lot faster – we were able to connect that fact to the fact that making your heart beat a lot faster could lead to something called cardiac arrythmia.

Work effectively in diverse communities:

When we do have to deal with people who have language barriers and they don’t have an interpreter with them, it’s quite a difficult kind of process to go through. You have to use different types of sign language and try to do it in a way that is appropriate to their cultural beliefs as well – that was quite difficult but it’s a good skill to learn.

Produce analyses which are grounded in evidence:

Producing analyses that are backed up with evidence is probably the final thing – my research ability. Since I wasn’t really exposed to any sort of research before I came to this degree it was really insightful to go through the whole process – being critiqued by it and actually getting a publication which was great. That’s probably one of my greatest achievements throughout this whole course.

What are the top attributes you’ve developed through a chosen module?

Acquire and apply knowledge in a rigorous way:

I think my last placement is probably the one that I learned the most from and that was my surgical placement. And being able to be so hands on with the professionals was really exciting. Going to surgery, scrubbing up – feeling like you’re part of the team and actually assisting is a great experience, I don’t know how to explain it really. When you’re doing all the things theoretically it’s nice to imagine the whole kind of concept, but when you’re doing it with your own hands and you’re there – it’s a completely different experience. You feel like you’re actually applying your knowledge in a certain way and that was really exciting.

Grasp the principles and practices of my field of study:

The next thing was learning all these specific clinical skills – for example, putting in catheters which isn’t really that exciting for most people but it’s a skill that we have to learn. Putting in catheters, taking bloods, cannulas – all these technical skills are essential for every doctor and having the chance to actually do it on real patients, although frightening, was extremely useful. I think those are probably the two best qualities I’ve learnt from my last module.