The day started with an inspirational talk by former Cardiff student, Dr Menna Clatworthy. She talked about why she went down the academic route and how rewarding a career in clinical medicine is.
So filled with enthusiasm I went off to my first workshop: Getting Involved in Research.
Expecting to be informed of how Cardiff University is able to help me get involved in the cutting edge of science, I left disappointed after a five minute talk. Neither of the speakers had attempted any research at Cardiff University or had thought to prepare anything for the talk.
Fortunately all hope was not lost.
The second workshop, ‘Thriving and Surviving’ was much more beneficial. The 5th Year Students had prepared a short presentation on what to do to keep sane and enjoy yourself whilst doing well. They spoke of how in 3rd Year we can create our own SSC and this is a good way to explore a research area that you would like to get involved in. This restored my enthusiasm from Dr Menna’s talk in the morning.
Overall, today’s conference experience had it’s highs and lows. I am definitely going to start thinking about areas of research I would like to get involved in and what tutors would be able to help me.
Boring or brilliant?
Points or pointless?
So how do you go about doing some research? Some people are lucky enough to have done an interesting degree before medicine that included research.
So why not intercalate?
But if these are not your cup of tea why not join the Cardiff University Research Society?
The CUReS website has a list of projects that doctors are currently or are interested in doing.
So if you’re a budding infectious disease consultant with an interest in Schistosomiasis then why not try and do an SSC or project during your spare time to stand out from the crowd?
If you like. Or not.
By Sara Lisa James
Sitting at the back of the MGLT- acting as a fly on the wall for the research session.
Initially the year 5 pair described their own experiences of research including the triumphs and blunders they had encountered throughout their studies. The overall advice from the final year medics was to be creative yet organised take an active interest in their specific field. Although luck was emphasized as a key element in research, building up a portfolio of contacts was illustrated to be just as important.
The session was very ‘user-friendly’ and accessible to the target audience. The pair catered for their younger colleagues and their views were specifically moulded to the new course that the year 2s were undertaking. The audience in question were both polite and engaging with the session.
I took 5 minutes at the end of the session to interview several groups of year 2 students and enquire about their experience so far.
The majority of students stated that the Year 5 small group sessions had been particulary helpful; although most topics covered were beyond their year of training. However it was still beneficial to become aware of upcoming challenges.
Students commented that they felt ill prepared for these sessions; they did not know what to expect. Students commented that if they had been given a timetable or a little information about what the week would entail, then they could have made some questions and benefitted more from the experience.
As an additional comment, several year 2s stated that they would have liked more hand-outs provided or slides because they felt overwhelmed with the vast amount of information.
Students said that for the elective workshop in particular they would have appreciated a more varied selection of elective experiences – those taken within the UK and abroad. The second years were concerned about how they would find a balance between the educational purposes of elective and the inevitable holiday that an elective would provide.
By Grace McKay