I can remember my phone waking me up around 4:30am on a cold morning in March with an email alert. In a sleepy haze, I looked at the email from RCSI and went straight back to sleep, and it wasn’t until I woke up several hours later that I realised what had just happened: I had been accepted into medical school!
Coming from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, I was certainly nervous about making the big jump to study medicine overseas – I was moving to a country where I didn’t know anyone, I was going to be immersing myself into a new culture, and I was going to be thousands of miles away from family. Within my first week at RCSI, any concerns or anxiety I had disappeared. I don’t think I could have asked for a more accommodating and caring school to study at.
As part of Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM), students are required to have a degree before enrolling in the programme. I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in microbiology before I came to RCSI, and it is fascinating to see the backgrounds of some of my classmates here.
RCSI’s GEM is easily the most immersive academic programme I have ever come across. While there is indeed a substantial amount of work involved, the College provides substantial support to ensure our success. RCSI’s approach to learning makes you start thinking like a doctor from day one. As students we start simulated patient interviewing and history-taking, along with clinical skill workshops, all within the first month of classes. The quality of teaching here is excellent and you truly get the feeling that the professors here care.
However, I would say that the most appealing part of RCSI is the camaraderie amongst students. There are 82 people in our class, all from Canada, the United States or Ireland, and everyone in the class is so supportive of one another. We truly want to see each other succeed, and we will do anything to make that happen.
In terms of where I want to be four years from now, I’m currently leaning towards internal medicine/paediatrics, or family medicine. I hope to return to the west coast of Canada ultimately, and would like to end up in Kelowna or Victoria.
Trevor Henderson, Graduate Entry Medicine