Chums with RUMS?

Charlotte Bowers muses on the age-old question: ‘Medics: friend or patronising foe?’

Okay, so we all know that the RUMs medics are all a self-important, arrogant and generally just fairly arse-y group of people who laugh behind our backs at how little we do and how insignificant our degrees are right? This is according to an article published in another (lesser) student paper anyway. Well, I’m afraid that we’ve all been grossly misinformed. Medics actually aren’t all that bad, and I should know; I’m that annoying breed of UCL-er who may as well be a medical student. I live with four medics, I generally hang around with medics, I attend RUMs socials more than I do UCL ones and I genuinely think that, despite the stereotypes, the bravado and the outrageousness of their social lives, the majority of them are not only absolutely brilliant and will go on to be great doctors but are actually surprisingly nice.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do realise that there are some medics who are genuinely just complete idiots and do fit under the typical RUMs stereotype of thinking they’re better than all of us UCL-ers simply because they are going to “save lives” in the future. I, along with most other non-medics, have come across some of the typical RUMs chat that we all expect from the medical students. And sometimes, as they wander between the Cruciform and the Anatomy buildings in their lab coats artfully smeared with intestine juice they do smell a little bit of formaldehyde and dead people. But despite all of this I do find them to be a rather agreeable bunch and that is why I have compiled a list of the advantages of having medic friends to further prove my point:

Their workload makes me feel so much better about mine.

Obviously, now and again we all like to have a good moan about the amount of work we have and the unfairness of our deadlines regardless of how much we actually do have to do. However before doing so I always like to take a good look at my medic friends who always seem to be drowning in hand drawn anatomical diagrams of the colon or thousands of acronyms about the cardiovascular system. Those of us who are lucky enough to study arts based subjects are well aware of our lovely timetables and can therefore learn to appreciate our lack of contact time if we simply look at them dragging their inevitably hungover arses into the Cruciform every day for hours on end. This thought alone makes my one early start substantially easier.

They’re great fun on a night out.

Of all the medical stereotypes there are, I’m glad to say that our medics live up to at least one: the fact that the majority tend to adhere to the old adage of “work hard, play hard” or indeed “work hard, play harder”. As someone who enjoys going out far too much and has a tendency to turn up to lectures either still drunk or horrendously hung-over, it does make me feel indubitably better about my choices and lifestyle; if they with all of their work and future responsibility go out all the time why shouldn’t I?

The majority of them aren’t pretentiously hipster.

The thing about medics, and I’m unsure as to why this is, is that only a minority of them try overly hard to be cool. The majority don’t wander round wearing excessively high creepers (on reading this my housemate proceeded to ask what creepers were), go on about that totally underground band that they love or go to watch French, film-noir movies in open-air, pop-up cinemas in Shoreditch. RUMs is pretty much a high school full of people doing the same subject and it’s nice not to have to prove yourself as a cultured and unique individual as you do when around other UCLers.

They will prove useful in the future.

Let’s face it: we’re all undoubtedly going to need a doctor sometime in the future and the fact that my friends will be the ones in the hospitals definitely has its advantages (especially if they’re on Harley Street and I get a nice big discount.) It’s pretty certain that a fair amount of the doctors in and around the London area will be, in about four or five years, RUMs graduates. Therefore if you don’t fancy waiting 4 hours in A&E I suggest you make your acquaintance with our lovely medics.

All in all, once you get past the (admittedly slightly scary) exterior that is the RUMs establishment, they’re actually an alright bunch. Okay, so they may be a little arrogant and patronising sometimes, they might have a deep-rooted and somewhat irrational animosity towards UCL and you will often be asked “so what are you actually going to do with your life then?” But it’s worth it, because after all, who else will teach you about the structure of the medical exam, the reason why they don’t want to go to Marys and why the Royal Free is the only place to be? RUMs may be like UCL’s estranged cousin, but it’s a cousin we should all learn to love.