Last year, Esther Aiyelaagbe gave us an insight in to her life as a medical student at the University of Manchester. A year on and Esther has graduated from medical school after five grueling years. We caught up with her to find out how her final year went and what her post university plans are…
How did final year compare to your other years?
Final year was intense! Right from the start it was very intense. I was having to go for placement and also try to revise as well which was quite a lot of work. Many days after placement you’re tired and you just want to chill and then you remember you’ve got finals (exams). As the time for finals drew nearer, the pressure also mounted. I think finals was the main event of final year because without passing it, you were not going to be very happy. There was also electives though which was something pleasant to look forward to, like a reward after working hard for what seemed like forever (even though it was a few months). Like many of my colleagues, I looked forward to electives because I had the opportunity to travel (to Canada) and the relief of not having to function at such a heightened state.
You recently went on placement – where did you go and what did you do?
I went to Canada for two months on my elective. I was working with a psychiatrist in different settings. Although I’d already done my psychiatry placement, this was a different experience of psychiatry to what I had previously had. Due to the nature of the placement, i was mainly shadowing the doctor. I had the opportunity to work in a forensic psychiatry clinic and some neurodevelopmental clinics as well which opened my eyes to areas of psychiatry I hadn’t been exposed to. It was such a lovely experience.
How did your placement help you with your studies?
The placement complemented my knowledge of psychiatry as a specialty. Although what I learned may not be applied directly to my studies, I think it’ll make me a better doctor. For example, if I had a patient with learning disabilities I think this experience has taught me how to cater to their needs better.
You’re graduating this summer, what advice would you give someone just about to start?
I’d say get stuck in! Get to know people in your group and enjoy your time at uni. You may have bad days but the good days should hopefully outweigh the bad. It’s also very important to have a good support system. Even when you split up for clinical years, those friends you make in 1st and 2nd year can be a great help so keep in touch!
What are you doing next?
I’m starting work at North Manchester General hospital. I’ve had quite a few placements there as a student so I know the hospital fairly well which hopefully will come in handy for when I start!