Medicine graduate Justina – a single mum’s experience of the Medicine degree

I’m Justina Igwe and I just
graduated in medicine. I had my daughter when I was quite young, as a teenager and so
I’ve had to work hard as a single parent. It’s been difficult but I’ve had a lot of support and I’m so glad that I’ve reached
the end goal because you know I’m here and I’m happy and excited. I’ve managed to balance everything with a small child mainly because of the way
the course was structured, particularly in the first and second year it was
problem-based learning with a lot of self-directed learning time so I managed my time effectively and spent days in the library while she was at preschool which
meant that during the evenings and weekends I was there for her and I had
free time be a mum and enjoy that as well as during the day be a medical
student and enjoy that as well. The staff support has been amazing at Exeter particularly because a lot of the teaching happens in small groups so it’s
a lot easier for the staff to keep track of how you’re doing and
what sort of you need to do to make yourself better. The pastoral care team
have been amazing I had an amazing one in first year called Ann Donnelly who, I
started off as a young parent and medical student and she’s pointed me in
the right direction to other support groups such as the student
parent support team and other sort of places that have given me help so
they’re amazing and the best the best support team I’ve ever come across. Yeah so because I have a different situation to everyone else, at the start
it was difficult because I found it difficult to make friends because
everyone lived in halls and I lived separately on main campus so it was
difficult at the start to meet people and make friendship but as time went on
I grew a great group of friends who were amazingly supportive when we had our
osces and our finals they would, my daughters would come along and we’d all
practice taking histories and examinations together and she’d get
involved and I’d keep her entertained when she got bored as well, so they’re an amazing group of friends I can have, the best friends ever. My next steps, I’ll be going to London to work as a junior doctor, as F1
F2 and I’m hoping to continue on and become and obstetrician
and gynaecologist and that’s the aim. I’m really excited,
it’s been a long road coming and I’m just excited to start my career.

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