Welcome to the inaugural Study Hub blog. I hope that this will become a space for community, discussion and debate about the issues that are not necessarily part of the med school curriculum but are nonetheless important to us as future doctors. To explain the format, I will publish two posts each month: one reflecting on a current topic that has changed the way I think about medicine, and in the other, I will be presenting your thoughts and experiences on related themes – sometimes serious, sometimes not-so… If you follow Study Hub, you might already have seen this month’s prompt; I’m asking you what you’ve learned about yourself during the pandemic – not the academic stuff, but anything you’re happy to share about how this time has given you better insight into yourself as a person on your way to becoming a doctor. Personally, I have discovered that I like growing things – something about green shoots emerging from the soil days (or even weeks) after planting feels like a useful metaphor to hold onto for the next few weeks and months at least…
As a medical student, I cannot talk about everything that has happened since the pandemic hit without acknowledging the incredible transformation in medical education that occurred in a matter of weeks. I am blown away by the energy and enthusiasm with which students and doctors have rapidly organised themselves, diving into the space that opened up between us and our individual institutions to not only deliver high-quality, open and free learning experiences, but foster a feeling of togetherness many of us would have felt unmoored without. With this first blog, I wanted to bring you words from some of the many people who have created Study Hub as one such learning platform – specifically by students for students. I hope their comments will encourage you to get involved too.
The Study Hub team have a passion for medical education
- ‘Being involved in this revolutionary kind of online revision has been a natural next step for me, and I’m really excited to see where it goes!’ – Madeline Witcomb, OSCE Lead & Secretary
- ‘I love teaching and am hoping to be involved in medical education in the future’ – Jo Cooper, GEP Co-host
- ‘To have even a small part in the education of future doctors is something I was very much inspired by’ – Samiha Mahbub, F Year Co-host
They have benefited from the platform themselves and want to pay it forward
- ‘I joined Study Hub to give something back for all the difference it made to me for my exams, and help other students benefit too’ – Ayben, OSCE Admin
- ‘I would’ve been much worse off without them so thought that getting involved was a good way to try and help students’ – Natasha Thomas, OSCE Co-host
- ‘I hope […] to not only promote student-led teaching but also improve accessibility by bringing these fantastic resources, that I found so useful, to others’ – Julia He, T Year Co-host
They care about creating community and widening access
- ‘There is a great wealth of information to be found in our peers’ – Naomi Ehigie, T Year Co-lead
- ‘I know that Study Hub will transform medical education… I want to be a part of that change’ – Aisha Musa, Collab Admin
- ‘Within the first few days of joining the team you could see the enthusiasm and vibrancy and during these difficult times it was encouraging to see’ – Shilpa Raj, Collaborator Admin
- ‘With everything going remote for coronavirus, I can honestly say I would have been lost without Study Hub’ – Charlotte Phillips, Collaborator Admin
- ‘The platform that has been built has been helpful to many students by encouraging easy access to resources and enabling students to learn and practise together’ – Sim Carlton-Carew, OSCE Admin
They want you to get involved
- ‘Learning shouldn’t be stressful or feel like a tick box exercise. Learning spaces should be safe, and learners/students should feel empowered to ask questions and I believe we really do promote accessible teaching for all’ – Inayat Khan, Collab Admin
- ‘With each new person that joins the community, it provides a new viewpoint […] The best way to learn things is to make it such a common part of your life, it no longer feels like work to do it’ – Shahi Ghani, F Year Co-host
- ‘Study Hub is a warm and friendly community of people passionate about education and encouraging others to do their very best’ – Maisha Bhuiyan, Newsletter Editor
- ‘There are so many things that you could contribute from teaching, to events to creating content meaning that there is something for everyone’ – Lizkerry Odeh, Instagram Educational
- ‘If you love question banks we have SBA dedicated sessions, if you’re sick of PassMed we have fun interactive sessions with tips and tricks on how to remember tricky concepts, and if you just enjoy the more social aspects of an enthusiastic and fun crowd then getting involved in the community is perfect! We have something for everyone, and everyone has something for us’ – Caspian Priest, Clinical Medicine and Comms Lead
I will give the final words of this first post over to Savannah Holness, Study Hub’s founder, who sums up the platform’s mission and core principles like this:
I didn’t have the easiest start getting into medicine, which is why Study Hub is so close to my heart. I worked a full-time job as a carer during my 2nd and 3rd year Biomedicine and worked as a nanny during my first year as a medical student. My mission is to be able to help increase access to medicine, making it easier for those who deserve a place, to get it, and once they have it, keep it. I despise how even today, behind closed doors medicine is still very cliquey, and whilst many hate to admit it (or just refuse to), favours those with advantaged backgrounds. The real urge to develop Study Hub comes from the opportunity I saw to develop it into something that has the potential to level the playing field and revolutionise the way we study medicine.
The lockdown period has shown me that people thrive off a sense of community; we are social beings. Yet, I have found that studying medicine can feel so isolating, with students sometimes doing whatever they can to get ahead – occasionally even to the detriment of others. But it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be that way. When I qualify as a doctor, I for one want to know that I have a competent team of doctors by my side, each with our individual strengths, working as a team. No one person can be good at everything. It’s through working together that great things happen.
I am amazed at how many students are keen to see Study Hub succeed. We have a team of over 40 students working behind the scenes, each keen to break through the old ways of getting through your degree. I am just stunned at how many share what I thought was my mission. It just goes to show we all need to talk more, and help each other more. Through collaboration things can grow in ways you don’t expect.