I study Medical Engineering at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), but that’s not how I began my university career. Originally I was accepted into the university to study medicine.
Like almost every medical school applicant, I had spent most of my secondary school years knowing that I wanted to be a doctor. For me, it was a love for science and problem solving as well as a desire to help people that sparked my interest in the subject. As a result, my GCSE and A level choices (biology, chemistry, physics and maths) had all been guided towards a career in medicine. I had read the Lancet and New Scientist prior to applying, and had tried to learn as much as I could about new advancements in medical technology and patient care. Medical technology was something that particularly interested me, and which I spoke about a lot at interview.
When I started medical school I found it very interesting, and enjoyed the mixture of lecture based, problem solving and practical clinical skills teaching. However, one of the aspects of medicine that interested me the most seemed to be completely absent from the course! I felt that there was not any real emphasis on the research and development side of the field.
As the year progressed, I began to think that maybe a career in medical research or technology would be a better choice for me. I looked at other medical related courses available at the university and came across Medical Engineering – a subject I had never previously heard of – which seemed to offer everything I felt was missing from my medical course.
After speaking to some of the lecturers and tutors, and finding out more about the course. I moved to the School of Engineering and Material Science (SEMS) at the end of my first year and began studying Medical Engineering.
The mixture of modules taught are very varied, with some based in pure engineering (such as Dynamic Systems in Engineering), and others with a focus more on how engineering can be related to anatomy and biological functions (e.g. Fluid Dynamics of the Cardiovascular System). QMUL is a great place to study the subject, with research being carried out in a number of key and exciting areas, like tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and orthopaedic implant design.
As well as the course being great, SEMS has provided a lot of other support. With regular tutor meetings and the Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS) mentoring scheme, I felt completely at home when I began the course. Additionally the school provides assistance to students in finding work experience and placements. I undertook a month long internship in Singapore last summer and am currently working in London on a 1 year industrial placement, both of which were advertised by SEMS. These opportunities have not only been interesting and fun, but will improve my employability in the future.
I can honestly say that choosing to study Medical Engineering here at QMUL has been the best decision I have ever made. Not only have I found the course content fascinating, but I have had the opportunity to see world class research, met some brilliant people, and been able to get involved in an exciting and rapidly developing field.