Problem-Based Learning


I woke up thoroughly hungover. Annihilated. Destroyed. Wow; I’m never drinking 3 for £5 VKs ever again…clearly I was over-ambitious and should have stuck to two, but what can I say; I push myself. I strive to be the best. This is the reason I want to study medicine, because I’m an overachiever I guess.

The whole loaf of Hovis Thick White hadn’t been enough to mop up the 600mls of pure ethanol I had ingested last night, but it also hadn’t soaked up the shame of making out with a diagnostic radiographer.


Something wasn’t right. I sensed…


Note: the following tales are loosely based on real life experiences. Some of them may be mine.

I woke up. It was the day I was moving away from home to start Medical School. Yeah, I know; crazy how I got into the best medical school; University of *redacted for fear of retribution from any medical schools implicated in a fan fiction*.

I was so excited. I told all my best friends on The Student Room who didn’t get any offers for Medicine. They’re really happy for me; I’m glad we’re probably going to be friends forever.

My name is…

Dear Medical Student,

Thank you for submitting your letter to our very obscure journal.

As someone who has spent decades accruing clinical experience, masters degrees, PhDs and tenures at the world’s finest universities to teach about my specialty, I am always delighted to hear from a medical student about what I may have gotten wrong.

We are also very glad to receive this letter at this particular time of year. We very rarely receive any shameless last ditch September attempts to score FPAS points, and so we thank you for giving our journal something to do. …

I hope this email finds you well.

I am writing as one of your constituents to express my concerns regarding the A-Level results (and the GCSE results to come).

As a medical student from a state school background, I am hugely aware of the immense difficulties faced by students to even receive a place at medical school in the first place (as I’m sure you’re aware also). For students to now, having done the hard work of getting an offer, have that offer snatched away from them due to the incompetence of the Department of Education is disgraceful. …

Disclaimer: this article is largely rhetorical.

“I can’t believe they’re asking me this.”

That was the text I received from Mum that began to change how I thought about modern medicine.

My Grandma had recently been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and was in a hospice. Mum hadn’t left her side in a month, not even to sleep in her own bed for one night. All she wanted to do was to be there to support her Mum until the very end.

“They’re asking if she’d like to be resuscitated or not.”

The doctors were clearly trying to employ some shared decision making. In practice, shared…

Disclaimer: these are our personal opinions. You can start a Medium too if you disagree. Written with @malshawk0

Dear Medical School Applicant,

We are delighted to offer you a place on the Medicine course starting in October 2020/21. Getting into medical school is no mean feat, and you should be immensely proud of this first step towards the profession you will uphold for the rest of your life.

You really have beat off a lot of competition to get to this stage. You have, after all, squandered your teenage years plucking out your eyebrows whilst crying into CGP guides and UCAT question books. You probably did this whilst also volunteering for the YMCA and doing a Duke of…

Photo by CDC on Unsplash


I was 16 when I first had a sex dream about a boy.

For those wondering, this wasn’t a rude awakening to the fact that I was gay; it was very much a long-time in the making. I realised that in fact the very earliest gay sexual feelings were probably when I was about 9. I saw Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last Christmas and was overcome with shame, instantly recapitulating that confusion I felt when I watched that film as a child. In light of recent events surrounding she who shall not be…

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

The admissions route into medicine is lined with challenges, both economic and social, which disproportionately impact those from less affluent backgrounds. The proof of this can be seen in medical admissions, in which neither low income background or state schools applicants are not proportionally represented by admissions (1).

In recent years, the approach to remedy this problem has been to get more people into interviews, through various means such as lowering GCSE requirements, guaranteed interview schemes, and as well as charities that offer personal statement advice. Despite these measures, the statistics have remained static. Fielding et al (2018) reported that…

John H Ward

Medic. Occasional sad confessionals available.

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