What a whirlwind of a day this has been - there's a lot to cover but bear with me.
Our house's cohort of medical students left just after 8am, and were treated to a miserable drizzle all the way to Gibbet Hill campus, having parked on the main university campus about 10 minutes away.
On arriving we were gifted with some very fetching MBChB bags, very reminiscent of primary school 'bookbags' from what seems like a long time ago now, containing some useful stationery supplies and our timetables. Everyone was visibly an identical mix of both incredibly excited and terrified, but thankfully this first day was a very gentle introduction to the idea of studying medicine.
The day started proper with talks from the medical school staff, informing us what their roles were about and providing some basic structural details for the course. Following that, we were also given an induction into the IT service, particularly a system called Moodle, which seems to be the virtual learning environment of choice here, a parallel of platforms such as Blackboard, WebCT and Lotus.
The library staff were also present, and I'm looking forward to visiting the medical school library as soon as I am able to. While I did utilise the library a lot during my degree at Newcastle to study and work, I don't feel that I ever just sit and read books there, which is a shame given the massive number of titles available and something I definitely want to do differently this time. It seems to be incredibly well resourced from the presentation at least, and I'm sure it'll serve us all very well during our time here.
There was also the opportunity to register with medical indemnity groups and the BMA, the former of which offered some freebie useful books for doing so. In the latter case, everyone was clearly after the 25% discount on stethoscopes they were providing for signing up, which I will use - the Littman Classic III seems to be the most popular choice, and is what I'll be going for.
In the afternoon we met our case-based learning groups, which are also our tutor groups, along with our academic tutors themselves. Case-based learning at Warwick is what many other universities refer to as 'Problem-based learning', but the idea is the same - working as a group to explore a structured medical case that allows us to direct our own learning and tackle it as a team. My group contained 8 people, all from different backgrounds which I really liked, because it means that everyone will have different past experiences to draw from and contribute.
Following that, we were given a short talk on careers and reminded to embrace every opportunity we can - in about 3 years we will actually be applying for our first Foundation doctor jobs. Terrifying. The careers consultant also did a survey of the room asking what areas of medicine our cohort would potentially be interested in pursuing, with the vast majority preferring general medicine specialties (from a choice of GM, General Practice, Psychiatry and Surgery). I myself am at the moment quite interested in surgery, but that's more out of curiosity at present. I was genuinely surprised to see how few of my colleagues shared that same idea, but of course it's extremely early days yet.
Lastly we were given a full introductory lecture on the CBL teaching style, learning how to approach a provided case and breaking it down into its elements, distinguishing between terminology we did not understand and more general learning areas that could both be the subject of assessments.
The day ended at 5, with the evening social beginning at 7, conveniently a pub crawl in Leamington Spa. We were all too tired to entertain joining in at the start, but myself and one other housemate partook in the second venue - a fantastic opportunity to meet more people and let off some steam. I've yet to meet one person I haven't taken well to, a great change from my last freshers' events. I put this mainly down to the maturity of my coursemates, as I get the feeling that everyone understands how nervous and apprehensive people can feel in these transition periods.
As of writing, it's 1.41am the next morning and we're in for 9am, so I could really do with some sleep. Night all.