Facing the future – from sixth form to medical school?

I’ve always known I wanted to be a doctor, from the time I was in primary school and felt compelled to rush up to any child who had fallen over and hurt themselves so I could patch them up.

Even when I was in preschool, I took on the role of playground medic. I remember one morning at playtime, a boy in year 3 had fallen off the climbing frame and his arm was at a funny angle. He was crying in pain and I comforted him while I tried to figure out how to fix the joint. If I hadn’t been stopped by a frantic teacher, I would have attempted to restore his dislocated elbow.

Now, years later, I am no longer so full of confidence in my own abilities since I recognise that a great deal of skill is involved when it comes to medicine. This is not a skill that I currently have because I am only 16 years old. However, I intend to learn how I can help people and heal them – if I manage to get into medical school which is no small feat.

In the meantime, I study the sciences so I can qualify on paper for a place and surf the internet learning about medical practice in the UK and around the world.

This week, I have been very sad at the news that our Queen has died. Elizabeth II was not someone who needed medical help regularly. Indeed, before her death, she had not been admitted to hospital for eight years.

She apparently did like a sneaky cigarette, according to newspaper reports, but she definitely didn’t smoke regularly like her sister Princess Margaret who smoked like a chimney and died of smoking-related illness. But her death was intriguing. She seemed so well on Tuesday last week and yet her death was announced on Thursday. I don’t how she died (apart from great old age of course) but it must have been a catastrophic sudden failure of something. In my opinion, she may have had a stroke when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, usually by a clot that lodges in an artery. Or something may have caused organ failure. Apparently she suffered from pain in her joints and particularly her feet. The bruises of her hands which were so visible in the pictures taken with Liz Truss at Balmoral, suggest she had canulas in the back of her hands to deliver pain killing drugs.

This is only my opinion and as you now know, I’m not yet that formally educated in these matters. But reading between the lines, it was something that came as a surprise to her family, most of whom failed to reach her bedside before she died.

What was wonderful was how beautiful the Queen remained up until the moments before she passed away. We won’t forget those pictures of her in the drawing room at Balmoral, wearing Balmoral tartan and twinkling like a Scottish fairy godmother. Unlike many wealthy women in their senior years who now remove all their wrinkles and laughter lines with cosmetic procedures, the Queen kept her own unique and time-worn visage. The actress Jane Fonda, now in her 80s, recently said that her face lift had been a mistake. Madonna, the singer who is now in her 60s, has a smooth face but it doesn’t bring her the youth she craves. I don’t want to say more because I respect her talent so much.

I don’t believe in plastic surgery to turn back the years but facial surgery should be available on the NHS for anyone who has a medical reasons or has been through trauma. This is something I would love to do in my own future career as a maxillofacial surgeon which I have recently discovered requires a medical and dental degree. I’ve always been someone up for a challenge but I even quake at the thought of doing not one but two highly academic and rigorous degrees.

I hope you will follow me on my journey as I study for A levels and apply for medical school in the UK. It might amuse you, enlighten you, or even help you if you are hoping to do the same.

Imogen Lord
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