As a Cambridge medical student, my journey has not been straightforward.
I grew up in Leicester, where I attended a regular sixth form that didn’t exactly encourage me to apply. Thanks to the kind words of some friends and a particularly wonderful teacher, I decided to apply.
Along the way I made a lot of mistakes which ultimately led to a period of self-reflection and deep thinking. My experiences have taught me that there are key physical and psychological skills that aren’t really taught when we’re young, but definitely should be. So I guess I’ll teach them.
A brief history of my journey
October 2014: Start of medical school at Peterhouse, Cambridge.
July 2016: End of the first two years, a challenging period during which I made many mistakes but had some incredible experiences.
June 2017: The end of third year, during which I did my intercalated degree which included a First in my dissertation on “The Vertebrate cochlear ribbon synapse”.
June 2018: The end of fourth year, which is the first of three clinical years. Again, I made several mistakes and began to get disillusioned with medicine and the course.
February 2019: I decided to intermit (i.e., temporarily leave the course) to explore other options and take some time out.
April-August 2019: I worked for an industry-leading University admissions company, which was great fun and helped me to think about my skills, desires and plans. I also took this time to reflect on my thought processes, stress and time management.
September 2019: I decided to explore other avenues whilst preparing to return to the course. This led to more reflection on what I wanted and how my brain worked.
December 2019: I decided to begin studying for the USMLE (the US medical admissions test) which led to a significant change in revision methods. I’d been mainly using inefficient, outdated methods without an evidence basis until now.
March 2020: Several factors (including Covid-19 and lockdown) led to the USMLE plan not materialising, but my new outlook on studying, time management and personal mental fortitude led me to a decision to see out my medical degree.
August 2020: Re-joined Cambridge medical school! Coming back onto the course was strange but I genuinely felt like a different person with a new aim: pursue my interests and use my experiences (good and bad) and reflection to help others.
September 2021: Started my final year of medical school!
January 2022: Passed my written finals
June 2022: Passed my practical finals- officially Dr Hardeep Lotay!
… the future? Who knows what I’ll end up doing!