November 5, 2017, by Shweta

Day In The Life Of A Medical Student: Hospital Placements

One of the most exciting things about medical school is the opportunity to go on placement. However, roaming the wards with little to no medical knowledge can be quite daunting. That’s exactly why I’m here to break it down for you.

In years 1 and 2, we’re still fledglings and our only practical exposure is a few placement days across the whole year. While that doesn’t sound like much, the things I’ve learned have been anything but meagre.

This year, I am placed at the King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield. While the 5am start to my day often leaves me grumpy, the hour-long coach ride to the hospital allows me to catch up on some much-deserved shut-eye. Arriving at the hospital at around 8:45am, we’re whisked away to a seminar room where we attend an hour-long lecture about the skill that we will be practicing. This may be as simple as history-taking to something slightly more complex, like an abdominal or respiratory exam. Following this, we’re split into smaller groups and assigned a F1 doctor. In these smaller groups, we then visit patients on whom we perform the task at hand. This is often my favourite part. Getting hands-on experience and exposure to interesting pathologies while also talking to patients, some of whom don’t get a lot of visitors and are more than happy to see a friendly face, is a win-win situation. Following this, we’re usually guided back to our seminar rooms wherein each group discusses the patients that they’ve seen. This is a great way to share information and learn from your peers. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we’re also often taught a new skill! Last visit, it was the art of taking a blood glucose measurement. At around 1pm, we board the coach back to QMC for a hearty lunch and if you’re anything like me, another nap.

The cheerful architecture is always a welcome sight.

I’ve seen a lot of students write about the clinical experiences in CP1/2/3 but there isn’t much about what it’s like to delve into the clinical side of things while still in the pre-clinical phase. I have personally learned more than I could ever imagine from these visits and continue to enjoy them.  Have you had any interesting experiences on your ward rounds? Let me know in the comments below!


Until next time,


Posted in Shweta