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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