Fiyin – Flying high at RCSI
Fiyinfoluwa Fabamwo was a student of DIFC, class of 2013/2014. Fiyin was a joy to teach – she worked hard, had an amazing attitude and understood the most important lesson – if you want to be successful, you need to work hard. Fiyin’s hard work was inspiring, both for us as teachers and for her fellow classmates. It resulted in Fiyin winning the award for Best Results in Science and securing a place in RCSI to study medicine. When she popped in to pay a visit last week, I took the opportunity to ask Fiyin a few questions to find out how she is doing and if she had any thoughts that might help current DIFC students hoping to follow her example (apologies for the title of this post 🙂
Where you now and what are are you studying?
I’m studying medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
What have you covered so far in your studies?
I’m currently in 1st medicine. I’ve completed the foundation year programme at RCSI and I’ve moved into the 1st year of the medical programme. In foundation year, we started with a lot of basic science, most, if not all, of which was covered in DIFC. Then we moved on to human systems, disease diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as medical physics, biology and biochemistry. In 1st med, we’re doing anatomy, biomedicine, pharmacology, histology and clinical competency, but in quite an integrated format.
Is the experience of studying medicine as you expected, or different?
In terms of the actual academic information, most of it, for me, is as expected. However, the delivery of the information is very different from what I had anticipated, simply because they have quite an integrated syllabus at RCSI. So biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology and anatomy are all taught under the cardiovascular and respiratory systems module, as opposed to having them all as individual modules. The class size is also quite large, with over 300 students, which is different from the 20 students experience I had at DIFC.
What have been the high points of studying medicine so far?
I’m just enjoying studying the course I worked hard to get a place for. It’s a lot of work and it gets quite frustrating at times but getting good results at the end of every assessment makes the sleepless night worthwhile. I’m also enjoying the fact that I’m learning about things that are happening in my body. As it is more practical this year, the knowledge of science I’ve acquired over the years is better applied, so the learning experience is much more enjoyable.
What are your goals for the next few years?
To continue to achieve 1st class honours every academic year, and successfully complete both steps of the USMLE before I graduate, and maybe pick up a few medals along the way.
When you first came to Dublin, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
The environment was very different as there was much more of a care free lifestyle than I was used to, and not having the protective hands of my parents around to guide me took a bit of getting used to. However, I was aware of the financial and emotional sacrifices my parents were making in order to provide me with the best quality education available and that motivated me to stay focused.
How helpful was your time in DIFC?
The year I spent at DIFC has played an important role in my ability to cope with the challenges of being a medical student. The academic information was accurate, up to date and excellently delivered all through the year, so much so, that I refer back to my notes for details about certain topics, especially in chemistry. I also acquired great communication skills from the tasks we were given such as oral examination and presentations. I was also taught academic writing and critical analysis skills, and I acquired effective time management skills, all of which helping me now as a 1st year medical student. These are only a few of the many skills I learnt at DIFC and they’ve made my stay at RCSI so far, a lot easier.
Do you have any advice for students who want to follow in your steps?
I would advise students to make good use of the year at DIFC as a lot of resources are at your disposal that you most likely will not have access to in a university. The lecturers are always available so ask questions when you have them and learn from your mistakes. Additionally, think carefully before embarking on the long, tedious and expensive journey of becoming a doctor and be sure it’s exactly what you want to do. I wish you all the very best.