If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the BMA website. Find out more about cookies
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies are required
These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information we collect is anonymous unless you actively provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you.
For example, they can be used to remember certain log-in details, changes you've made to text size, font and other parts of pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. These cookies may be used to ensure that all our services and communications are relevant to you. The information these cookies collect cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Without these cookies, a website cannot remember choices you've previously made or personalise your browsing experience meaning you would have to reset these for every visit. In addition, some functionality may not be available if this category is switched off.
Our websites sometimes integrate with other companies’ sites. For example, we integrate with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, to make it easier for you to share what you have read. These sites place their own cookies on your browser as a result of us including their icons and ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons on our sites.
For me, intercalation was a one-year BMedSci research degree that immersed me in the world of science and gave me a true appreciation for the inner works of medical discoveries.
What you are about to read is a compilation of my views and experiences to help prepare you for a world very different to what you are likely comfortable with. With the right preparation, intercalation is an insightful experience that you may even continue beyond the degree itself.
You will read a number of reflection blogs about awkward experiences on the wards, and I sympathise with them deeply. But nothing will prepare you for turning up to a busy lab, with highly intelligent, senior people and you, who of course begins each introduction with ‘hi, I’m a medical student’ (we are all guilty of this), unable to use a pipette.
You will quickly gain appreciation for chaos despite the ultimate colour coordination. You’ll come across more acronyms than those in the medical world. And lastly, no matter how well you passed chemistry in high school, you realise you know none of it.
Within days the idea of a ‘timetable’ will be a glimpse into the past. Your day will be coordinated by running times of centrifuges, incubators, shakers, rockers and so on. But with time you will gain new skills and confidence which will make every day rewarding.
If science intercalation is a venture you want to take on, here’s a list of things you should consider before you start:
Aleksandra Poziemska is the University of Edinburgh medical students committee representative
Thank you for the tips Aleksandra really useful as someone just starting my iBSc <3
Good advice, I support the above. During this period, I also advise you to devote time to sports. I sat too much reading books, making presentations, reading various articles, that I had problems with my knees. I even had to buy knee support braces ( https://kneefixpro.com/ ), because it was not nice to move around. Between words, if anyone has a need for knee pads, I recommend these ones, I tried several other companies, but these are the very best.