Behind the scenes of being a boring fourth year medic
After three years of uni and another two to go, no one will complain more about how long their degree is than a medic. And trust me, speaking as one of us, we do have it tough.
Whilst watching all of our friends graduate in July and go off and celebrate, we were still sitting exams. After that, we were graced with three whole weeks of summer holiday before arriving straight back to uni to start fourth year. We have long days, night shifts, and residential placements in places far away. It's not easy.
But for the vast majority of us, we couldn't imagine doing anything else, and behind all of the complaining and early starts, we really do love medicine.
There are 10 things that make boring, fourth year medics the people that they really are:
If you see someone walking into Sainsbury's wearing suspiciously smart clothes and a blindingly bright red lanyard, congratulations you've spotted a fourth year medic.
We complain about how humiliating they are to wear, how we will take them off the second we step out of the QMC; truth is, our lanyards quite literally label us as medics. And we love it.
For this, the degree really does match its reputation. Medicine is a lot of work. After coming home from an 8-5 day, we might squeeze in a short gym sesh (and complain about how busy it is: "It was, like, DEAD, in the summer! Why did everyone have to come back? There's SO many freshers in here, like they don't even need to be here they still have a young, fast metabolism"), cook a spag bol and then settle down to a couple of hours revision on salivary gland disease. Yawn.
Imagine this: it's 7am. You've had a glorious five hours of sleep. You need to quickly iron your shirt, make a packed lunch, eat breakfast and then do an hours drive to Mansfield to make it in time for your 9am clinic. This is physically impossible to do without some form of caffeine, so as a result medics are basically addicted to coffee.
The fancier among us will own a coffee machine that sits next to ours beds, ready for speedy caffeine consumption as soon as the alarm goes off (does the iPhone alarm sound make anyone else feel sick or just me?)
It was a devastating moment when we realised our Crisis days were pretty much over, and to be honest we are still grieving them. But when you have an 8am ward round on Thursday morning and the DJ is shouting "everyone born in the year 2001 scream!!!", you really do feel too old.
So instead we flock to Ocean week in week out on a Friday, because we can actually afford to be hungover on a Saturday and the cheesy tunes somehow make us feel a bit younger. First year me is horrified at this evolution.
But on the very rare occasion we do make it to Crisis, it's straight to medics bar. It's the one on the right of the stage, in the top corner. There are literally six other bars in Rock City to try out, but for some reason we have decided we like it here and it's ours. At Ocean, it's the bar in the room by itself on the left. It's just funny because medics would actually claim bars in clubs as their own.
After five years of uni we will be sitting on approximately 60K of debt, so we have mastered the art of the £20 weekly shop in Aldi. We can tell you for a fact that there's no difference between Weetabix and Wheat Biscuits apart from they're basically £100 cheaper. Radford Boulevard doesn't even frighten us anymore, and we never forget our £1 for a trolley
Royal Derby Hospital
Most fourth year medics will spend a significant amount of time on placement in Derby, and truth be told it's a lush hospital. It's home to a Starbucks, Costa, M&S food (yum) and theres even an Aldi and a very mediocre pub right outside. It may be an hours drive away at rush hour, but we have a soft spot for Royal Derby Hospital.
Lenton is our home
Did I mention medics don't get holidays? As a result, fourth year medic's are very territorial over Lenton. We spent two months here alone in July and August when other students were sunning around in places like Thailand and Bali – we own this place.
I mean, we haven't been home to see our families in years now: we've forgotten what our siblings look like and who even knows where the home counties are anymore. Lenton is our home. Lenton is our life. We love you Lenton.
You've got with all your mates
It's been three years of uni now, and medics spend a LOT of time together (why do we have no other friends?) So it's inevitable that by this point most of us have got with, well, most of us. We had two months with no other students around, our options really were limited.
We just love being medics
Deep down, underneath the charade of tiredness, revision and complaining, medics really do love being medics. For all the hard work and long hours we pull, we are so fortunate to know that we have made best friends for life and we are so grateful to have another two years at Nottingham with them.
Every year at Nottingham, the fourth year medics put on a musical. This year our production is Footloose, and we still have tickets left for our Saturday Matinee performance at Nottingham Arts Theatre on the 16th November. Please come along and support us!