Professor Peter H Abrahams
Medicine has a strong tradition in Girton. Our aim is for our graduates to be caring, kind and empathetic doctors, who are knowledgeable, reliable and trustworthy, with a robust scientific background. There are Fellows in Medicine covering a range of disciplines, helping to prepare them to be the doctors of tomorrow, in whatever branch of medicine they choose. With more than 50 students across all six years of the medical course there is a supportive environment in which to develop your intellectual and medical skills. The Girton Medical Veterinary Society is very active, run by students for students. It offers talks and practical assistance and contributes to the social life of medics at Girton. You can also take advantage of the large natural sciences community at Girton.
Girton has a reputation as a friendly and inclusive college and this is clear both within the medics’ community and across college. The fellows take a great interest in developing the students’ abilities. It is an ideal environment to stretch yourself, with a background of support in all the transitions; from school to university, from Part I to Part II, from undergraduate to clinical school and into a career.
The University of Cambridge offers one of the largest pre-clinical medical courses in the UK, by admitting over 300 students each year. The course in Cambridge differs significantly from other universities: during the first two years the full range of basic biomedical and pre-clinical science is taught. This covers almost all the material necessary for the 2nd MB examination. The third year then offers an excellent opportunity to specialise in one of the subjects from the Natural Sciences Tripos Part II. Some courses offer the chance to do project work and scientific research under supervision. After the third year students graduate with a BA degree and move on to a three-year clinical training programme which is based at the Clinical School at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
For more research-oriented students there is the possibility to apply for the MB-PhD programme, this integrates clinical training with three years of original research. As well as the normal Medical degree, this leads to the higher degree of PhD. PhD students at Girton are currently researching many varied topics. One example is molecular imaging – specifically developing imaging probes for detection of cell death in the context of cancer response to treatment. Masters courses, in subjects such as epidemiology, may be of interest to medical graduates.
Research and postgraduate students are admitted to the University by the Board of Graduate Studies. You must therefore apply centrally and not to the College, however you must be admitted to a College to be able to study at the University. To ensure that this is Girton you need to indicate this on your application form.
The majority of those reading Medicine go on to practice, be it in hospitals or as GPs, while a number make a significant contribution in terms of their scientific research. Some work overseas – either in voluntary or research work. Some go into policy making and public health. Whatever they choose, we hope they will all be ‘good doctors’.
I come from a poor immigrant background, attended a local primary school, and lived in a single room with a family of four. Although my family’s situation has improved significantly … my parents can only dream of supporting me at University. Despite being awarded the maximum student maintenance loan, … I would have had to limit my spending on food and other necessities massively… Granted this bursary I need not worry about this and I am able to focus on academic work. I cannot express my appreciation in words for being allowed to study my subject in stress-free freedom