By Jordan Tudor
My name is Jordan Tudor and this year I’m intercalating in Global Health. I’m learning all about how health systems work and the different things that determine people’s health. Intercalating is an amazing opportunity that medical students have to get another degree part way through their studies. I’m taking a year out after my 4th year to study this, which is a bit unusual! Some medical schools only allow you to intercalate in between your 3rd and 4th year, but here at Barts, you can do it any time after your 2nd year. There are many different intercalations available, from Neuroscience to Pre-Hospital Medicine all the way to Philosophy and Medical ethics. You also don’t have to intercalate at your own university, many students use this time to explore life at another university and apply externally. A recent change is that students can now also apply to intercalate in a Master’s degree, this is the same as a normal Master’s and runs from September – September the following year.
So why do people intercalate?
Intercalation is a time to explore a subject outside of Medicine (but it does have to be slightly related!) and is a great way to recharge and get ready for the more difficult years of the Medical Degree. I chose to intercalate after 4th year as at my university that meant I’d covered all the content and could use the time to enjoy myself, rest and relax, ready for my final year of university and the start of my life as a Doctor. Intercalations tend to require less time in the classroom compared to Medicine (though that doesn’t mean they’re that much easier!) and are the perfect time to take part in lots of different societies, activities and earn some money through work. This year I’ve been working at Centre of the Cell and I’ve also been volunteering at different organisations around London, I’ve taken up a sport and taken part in a play.
A Day in the Life: Global Health iBSC
I start my day with a lecture on Epidemiology and Statistics. This is might sound super boring but is actually really useful and crosses over a lot with Medicine. These days it’s very important to be able to understand scientific papers and use their findings in your practice.
After the lecture we have a seminar. This is a small group session that involves working through questions and clarifying any concepts we may not yet understand.
Then we’ll break for Lunch, my favourite part of the day! A group of us often go to the Griff Inn, our student union, for our lunch. One of the great things about intercalating is you get to meet a whole new group of people to be friends with.
After lunch, we have our Evidence and Policy lecture. This is a really interesting lecture which uses anthropology to question how we gather and use evidence in public health context. It’s completely different to anything I’ve ever studied and can be a bit difficult to fully understand sometimes.
Luckily though after our lecture, we have our seminar. This is more of a small group discussion and is incredibly useful for clarifying concepts and ideas. We often have little debates which are really fun and I feel like I’ve learned loads from this.
Overall intercalating is an amazing opportunity that gives you lots of advantages for your future career, you get to meet lots of new interesting people and learn a whole new topic. It’s something I’d highly recommend to everyone!