November 11, 2019, by Shweta

Day in the life: 4th year medical student

Hello everyone; and if you’re new here, welcome! I have been writing for the ‘Student Life’ blog for a considerable amount of time now and whilst I have written about many things, from mental health to budgeting tips, I have rarely delved into my own academic experiences. I’m currently in my penultimate year of medical school which means I rotate across various medical specialties, working 9-5 on most days, between Nottingham and Derby. Currently, I’m placed at the neonatal ICU at QMC.

7:00 – Wake up and hope that it isn’t raining too hard. Spoiler alert: it is. Grab some oatmeal, get dressed and head off to the NICU for yet another day of cheering on some very strong willed little people!

8:00 – Make it in for “handover” where the night team briefs us on what our patients have been up to all night and whether they need any urgent care.

After handover, I help my more senior colleagues examine and document the babies whilst also attending any deliveries that come through the adjoining labor suite. Like many hospitals in the NHS, the NICU here at QMC struggles with a surplus of patients and too few professionals. Consequently, any help, even from a medical student like myself, is well received. Fortunately, this means I get loads of experience and teaching.

13:00 – Ward rounds with a consultant mean I get to present any patients that I have examined to the senior doctor which only further aids my learning. Not to mention, it’s a wonderful boost to my confidence.

13:30 – Steal a lunch break and break into the stash of doughnuts that one of the lovely nurses has brought in for the team today. Best part of working on the NICU? The snacks!

14:00 – Today, I had the wonderful luck of only having to work half a day so then I head off to the library to get some work done. Exams might seem like they’re miles away but keeping on top of things at medical school is a must! Having said that, I’m horribly behind so I spend the next few hours making notes and taking little coffee breaks with my housemate at our wonderful medical school library, Greenfield.

17:30 – We head home and unfortunately, it’s already dark outside. It may only be 5:30pm but it sure does feel like 10!

19:00 – After a warm shower and a hearty dinner featuring some very satisfying dumplings, my housemates and I gather together in the living room to watch some Netflix and dish about our days. While we all do medicine, we are all on separate placements in different locations, making this a wonderful time to catch up, full of funny anecdotes, angry rants or sometimes, a little dance party that serves as a pick-me-up.

21:00 – I retire to my bedroom to prep for the next day. And by that I mean, binge random YouTube videos (this month, the obsession centres around hair styling videos).

22:00 – Journaling. This doesn’t happen as often as I would like it to, but when it does, it is an incredibly important and fulfilling part of my day. Not only does writing help me process any emotions or thoughts, it also serves to humble my mental health and explore any ideas I may have. It also helps me plan for the days and weeks ahead.

Speaking of planning, I spend the last few minutes before bed making a to-do list for the following day. I love lists. I simply cannot overstate this. These lists help me keep track of all the work that needs to be done, be it academic, extra-curricular or personal. Whether it’s emails that need to be sent out, or forms to be filled, to-do lists helps me have a productive day, every day.

I appreciate that many of my readers won’t be medical students but I for one have always found it fun to read what people my age get up to. It’s insane how different each of our lives look; and I hope you found a snippet of mine mildly interesting.

Until next time,


Posted in Shweta