Medicine student Jai Mathur chose to study at St George’s because of the many opportunities to take part in placements. Now in his fourth year, he discusses problem-based learning and life as a student in London.

Jai Mathur

How is the medicine course taught at St Georges?

The medicine course follows a spiral learning curriculum, which means that you master the content by the end of your time here. At the start, lectures, anatomy, case and problem-based learning, teaching with cadavers, pro-sections, clinical skills, and communication skills help prepare you for the clinical years.

In later years, you have the experience of clinical attachments across southern England, in every specialty, which prepares you to become a doctor, in whichever discipline you aspire to purse.

What is problem-based learning (PBL) and how has this impacted on your learning?

Problem-based learning is an environment where you can make active clinical decisions with your peers, regarding a virtual electronic patient.

It is a phenomenal way of learning, because it allows you to not only recall and integrate synoptic knowledge on all body systems, but to practice interacting with a team making decisions, like you do in clinical medicine.

How has learning anatomy through pro-section affected your learning?

This is another incredible way to learn anatomy and prepare for future careers, especially surgical careers.

The range of cadavers that St. George’s has is incredible, and the university makes an active effort to bring in new specimens every two years, so that you have an opportunity to work with new cadavers during your studies. The range of organ specimens is also incredible.

What was the most surprising element of your course or St George’s?

Simply the fact that clinical learning begins so early on, and I never realised how ready I would feel to be a doctor after my time at St George’s!

Tell us about your placements studying medicine.

St George's offers students the opportunity to take part in a huge amount of placements. You can learn from a textbook and lectures, but placements are what aid you in becoming a doctor.

You can put all skills to use, and interact with patients harbouring a host of illnesses.

In the first two years there are medical, surgical, and GP placements, and then from third year on there are month-long attachments.

During these years, you integrate into teams, and become a key part of ward rounds, surgical theatres, and GP consultations.

What is the highlight of being a student in London?

For me, the highlight of being in London is both professional and social. Professionally, the diversity of patients is really unlike anywhere else in the world.

The academic reputation of this city is in another echelon to other urban centres. Socially, London is arguably the most cultured city in the world, with no shortage of things to do! 

What’s the student union like? How does the SU support you in your studies?

The student’s union is a fantastic place to socialise, meet new people, and also enjoy the parties hosted by St George’s! You can approach the SU to book rooms for your host revision sessions.

They will direct you to study services and older peers that can assist with your learning, and also access counselling services.

Are you a member of any societies? If so, which ones and what do you do?

I am a member of several surgical societies, the debating society, and the global health society. I began in first year, and am now a senior member involved in the administration of these societies.

There is such opportunity for growth, and societies are not only a forum for you to engage with topics you are enthusiastic about, but your participation reflects incredibly well on your CV. 

How does the student parent-system work and how has it affected your study?

In first year you are assigned a 'mum' or 'dad' who is an older year student that supports you through your studies. They are there to help you make friends, make you feel comfortable transitioning to life at St George's, and provide guidance on your course. 

I kept in touch with my 'mum' throughout my course, and she even helped me study for my exams. Now I am a parent myself.

If you had to sum up studying at St George’s in three words, what would they be and why?

Exceptional, innovative and unforgettable. 

Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:02