Becky Saunby BMedSci in Health and Human Sciences
When did you graduate?
Why did you choose the University of Sheffield?
I was certain that I wanted to go to a Russell Group University, but it was important for me that the University was still relevant and cutting edge in its research, facilities and attitude to education, and did not promote an elitist culture. The University of Sheffield has a fantastic academic reputation but still remains friendly and welcoming, and it places value on other personal qualities.
In terms of the course, I was attracted to the idea that I wouldn't have to choose a specific area of healthcare to specialise in, and I could still cover medical science whilst gaining insight into the other aspects of healthcare that are so relevant to today’s society; such as public health, health care management and organisation.
What do you think of Sheffield?
I love how friendly the people in Sheffield are and how there is always somewhere new to explore. Mainly I love the fact that you can have the city experience whilst living on the doorstep of the Peak District. Sheffield also has a great nightlife and nothing can beat a Union night out!
What advice would you give to prospective Health and Human Sciences students?
Get the right work/ life balance. Trying to get ahead with work, to allow time for me to really get involved with university life, was key in making my experience at Sheffield truly amazing. Making sure you leave time for you is really important because at times University can be pretty stressful, so my motto is definitely “work hard, play hard”. There are also so many opportunities available to you on this course so utilise them and stay open minded to new things.
The course is unique in that it offers a great deal of personal and academic support, because of the small class sizes, so I really recommend you make yourself a nuisance to your lecturers if you want to produce work that shows your potential.
What was the most enjoyable and rewarding part of the course?
During my final semester I took part in a funded Erasmus study abroad programme where I lived and studied in the Netherlands, at Maastricht University. I studied European Public Health Law; it was interesting to gather an international perspective on healthcare, and it also allowed me to sample another discipline.
Living in another country and with 12 others from all around the world was the best experience of my life, and I cannot recommend choosing to do this option strongly enough, you will learn so much. It was also very advantageous to my CV as employers are reported to favour Erasmus students because they have been proven to have a greater skills base than those who never studied abroad.
What are you doing now?
I have just started a new postgraduate qualification in Physician Associate Studies here at the University of Sheffield. This is a new professional course that will lead me to graduate as a qualified Physician Associate.
This is a new and expanding role that works in a similar way to that of doctor, diagnosing patients, carrying out clinical examinations and investigations and formulating management plans for example, but they work in a generalist capacity and under the supervision of a senior doctor. It is hoped that the role with grow and they will become an established part of the multidisciplinary team.
Do you think your degree helped/is helping further your career?
Definitely, on my course we are trained in how to carry out consultations with patients, a substantial amount of this I have already covered in the BMedSci Health and Human Sciences degree and it has given me a grounding in medical ethics, public health, professionalism and clinical science that acts as a great foundation for my postgraduate training.
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