Jamie Perry, DTMH January 2017
Here in the heart of LSTM we’re currently in revision season, with exams a mere (gasp) few days away. Picture the scene: the library is testing its very capacity! Bursting at the seams! All across the school are strewn miniature flash cards with words like “tick-borne typhus” and “nifurtimox” on. People are sprinting to the lab with 20 minute timers yelling “GAMETOCYTE” and jumping up and down excitedly.
And the subconscious (or very conscious) question that everyone shares: have I done enough studying during this course?
You may have heard that the DTMH has a reputation as an exceptionally social course, and it absolutely lives up to that reputation. So social, in fact, that your time can be filled up in a beautifully distracting way that can leave you temporarily unable to recall that (for example) falciparum schizonts have at least 16 merozoites, which may be what adds to some stress at this time of year. So I’d like to use the remainder of this blog to talk more about the social aspect of this course. The human factors, if you will.
“Why, Jamie?”, I hear you cry (and I applaud your ability to exclaim questions to a computer screen). Well, firstly, I’m a GP by background, and a little known fact is that when you pass your GP exams you become surgically equipped with a touchy-feely-ometer, and if you don’t write the words “human factors” at least annually then they strip your GP licence and make you become an orthopaedic surgeon. <shudder> But more importantly, while academic study is of course a major reason for being here and needs to be factored in, I’d argue that the human and social side of the course has been the thing that will create more lasting benefit.
Already, I can sense that things are getting a little on the touchy-feely end of the spectrum, so I’ll compensate by including a graph in this section. There, more scientific already. I’m aware some people reading this blog may be considering whether to study this course and may not know anything about Liverpool in particular. Figure 1 (graph, right) sums up the salient points quite nicely. All joking aside, I’ve been blown away by the friendliness of the locals in this city, which really made me feel at ease here quite quickly.