Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Hey! So I started med school a few weeks ago and for the most part it’s been great.

    My med school, erm, doesn’t have support very high on its agenda though. We have personal tutors who are supposed to be our first points of contact in all academic and non-academic issues and write our references and stuff. We have the same tutor for the whole duration of the course.

    When we started our tutors were supposed to email us about how to contact them. Mine never did. Then my uni held this event where we were supposed to meet our tutors. Mine didn’t show up. I emailed my tutor asking when we could meet. After a week of no response I told the senior tutor about this and she contacted my tutor. A week after THAT my tutor emailed me saying that he’d be in touch to arrange a meeting. And now it’s been almost a week again. So he PROBABLY isn’t super invested in his role as my tutor. And even if this is a bit picky, he’s not even a medical doctor.

    I’d really love to have somebody who kind of cares who I could go talk to about whatever issues I’ll face, somebody who has been through it and can give me advice. This coming from someone who moved alone to a foreign country and literally only knows people their own age here. My personal tutor probably won’t be that person. We only get a couple of lectures from the same people and our cohort is huge so that's not really an option either.

    So my question is - how can I find a person like that? Or is it even possible at a university like mine? Any experiences/advice?
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    Just tell your university all of this information and ask to change tutors. You can't change how this guy behaves - clearly he's not interested in fulfilling his role.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Someone123123)
    Just tell your university all of this information and ask to change tutors. You can't change how this guy behaves - clearly he's not interested in fulfilling his role.
    Thanks. That's probably the best option - I hinted towards it when I contacted the senior tutor and she didn't seem very receptive but maybe it'll be different if I ask directly.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Them not being a doctor isn't really an issue in the first few years - a lot of the pre-clinical sciences will be taught by non-medics, and the big issues of adjusting to uni life and life in a new country for you will be the same for most students. If they're supposed to oversee you for the whole course, I presume they'd have had some kind of training on the particular challenges faced by medical students later on, so their profession doesn't automatically make them unsuitable. Their lack of engagement is less than ideal though. I think there is a huge range of variability in people's relationships with their personal tutors, on both sides of the table. I only saw mine a handful of times in medical school but others did a lot more.

    While obviously it's useful to have a senior figure you can turn to for support, I would concentrate on building a good social network within your year and with other non-medical students, as this will be more useful on a day to day basis.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Helenia)
    Them not being a doctor isn't really an issue in the first few years - a lot of the pre-clinical sciences will be taught by non-medics, and the big issues of adjusting to uni life and life in a new country for you will be the same for most students. If they're supposed to oversee you for the whole course, I presume they'd have had some kind of training on the particular challenges faced by medical students later on, so their profession doesn't automatically make them unsuitable. Their lack of engagement is less than ideal though. I think there is a huge range of variability in people's relationships with their personal tutors, on both sides of the table. I only saw mine a handful of times in medical school but others did a lot more.

    While obviously it's useful to have a senior figure you can turn to for support, I would concentrate on building a good social network within your year and with other non-medical students, as this will be more useful on a day to day basis.
    Thanks for your response! I hope you're doing well.

    I definitely agree that a good social network is more important and I've been lucky enough to get to know some pretty great people. Still, it'd be nice to know that there's someone who's able and willing to help me out in case I need it. You're so anonymous at a university like mine that simply going up to your supervisor or something as I imagine you were able to do at Cambridge just isn't an option, really.

    Oh well - luckily things have been good so far, will try to sort something out in case I need it later!
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    That's rough, but sometimes happens. All I can suggest is finding other sources of support, and yes asking to change tutor. I would ask explicitly - say you are concerned that your tutor has already failed to contact you three times and that as someone new to the country you are anxious they are not going to be well placed to support you. Its easy for the senior tutor to say 'maybe they were just busy' but they didn't even let you know they wouldn't turn up to a 'meet your tutor' event, wasting lots of your time. That's pretty rude/incompetent.

    And of course, for nonspecific medicine/career things there is always TSR
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    bet you're at KCL, judging by the experiences of people who I know
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nexttime)
    That's rough, but sometimes happens. All I can suggest is finding other sources of support, and yes asking to change tutor. I would ask explicitly - say you are concerned that your tutor has already failed to contact you three times and that as someone new to the country you are anxious they are not going to be well placed to support you. Its easy for the senior tutor to say 'maybe they were just busy' but they didn't even let you know they wouldn't turn up to a 'meet your tutor' event, wasting lots of your time. That's pretty rude/incompetent.

    And of course, for nonspecific medicine/career things there is always TSR
    Thanks for your answer, I hope reg life is treating you well!

    I know... Will probably do that next week. Also it turned out that I got accepted into this scheme where we get paired with a doctor in the specialty I'm atm most into and get to shadow them in their every job for the whole duration of the course so hopefully that'll be good - I'm super excited!!!

    True
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by manlike99)
    bet you're at KCL, judging by the experiences of people who I know
    LOL is it that obvious
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StationToStation)
    LOL is it that obvious
    hahahaha, hope you're enjoying it otherwise mate.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Hah, we had similar figurehead personal tutors and even then only for about 2 years of the course. I travelled out to meet mine the compulsory twice a year and basically got asked the golden triad of personal tutoring - are you having a mental breakdown? Are you homeless and/or living in a cardboard box? Are you physically unwell?
    Luckily for me the answer was four times no on all counts so we completed the mandatory form (without which you had not been personally tutored and failed the year...) and I commuted back to whatever I was supposed to be doing. I found it completely pointless and that it generated basically no rapport for them to have a purely tickbox pastoral role and no role in my education. Aaaanyway.

    The people I saw who managed to change tutors did so on the basis of extreme uselessness i.e. not organising meetings or responding to emails. If you really want to switch I would suggest you email again saying it's been a week and you've not heard back from them and is it possible to change to a different tutor, whilst you've still got factual evidence of uselessness. Once you've actually met I think it will become difficult to persuade those who are in charge of this stuff that they need to go through the hassle of reallocating you. If it's for the whole duration of the course and the tutor matters to you, it's probably worth it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by seaholme)
    Hah, we had similar figurehead personal tutors and even then only for about 2 years of the course. I travelled out to meet mine the compulsory twice a year and basically got asked the golden triad of personal tutoring - are you having a mental breakdown? Are you homeless and/or living in a cardboard box? Are you physically unwell?
    Luckily for me the answer was four times no on all counts so we completed the mandatory form (without which you had not been personally tutored and failed the year...) and I commuted back to whatever I was supposed to be doing. I found it completely pointless and that it generated basically no rapport for them to have a purely tickbox pastoral role and no role in my education. Aaaanyway.

    The people I saw who managed to change tutors did so on the basis of extreme uselessness i.e. not organising meetings or responding to emails. If you really want to switch I would suggest you email again saying it's been a week and you've not heard back from them and is it possible to change to a different tutor, whilst you've still got factual evidence of uselessness. Once you've actually met I think it will become difficult to persuade those who are in charge of this stuff that they need to go through the hassle of reallocating you. If it's for the whole duration of the course and the tutor matters to you, it's probably worth it.
    Lol.

    Yeah that’s probably a good idea, I will do that. I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine by myself but as I said, given that I moved alone to England and all that, it would be nice to know there’s someone I can trust in case I end up needing help… And it also wouldn't hurt to have someone who knows how stuff works well enough to advice me on how to reach my goals.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StationToStation)
    Lol.

    Yeah that’s probably a good idea, I will do that. I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine by myself but as I said, given that I moved alone to England and all that, it would be nice to know there’s someone I can trust in case I end up needing help… And it also wouldn't hurt to have someone who knows how stuff works well enough to advice me on how to reach my goals.
    I've found the best people for this sort of thing are your peers, including students in the years above and junior doctors, rather than Professors/Consultants etc. I never found this 'professional' support very helpful to be honest, and know few people who did. As seaholme said, I always saw it as a way for people to tick boxes. Don't get me wrong, I had a lovely tutor when I was at med school who actually worked in the speciality I wanted to go into, but even then I got very little out of our meetings. Most of the support and information I got was from other students and (I have to admit) TSR.

    (Original post by manlike99)
    bet you're at KCL, judging by the experiences of people who I know
    Was thinking this the moment I read the title.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Angury)
    I've found the best people for this sort of thing are your peers, including students in the years above and junior doctors, rather than Professors/Consultants etc. I never found this 'professional' support very helpful to be honest, and know few people who did. As seaholme said, I always saw it as a way for people to tick boxes. Don't get me wrong, I had a lovely tutor when I was at med school who actually worked in the speciality I wanted to go into, but even then I got very little out of our meetings. Most of the support and information I got was from other students and (I have to admit) TSR.
    Thanks! Good to know. Since I made this thread I found out that I got both into a scheme where I get paired with a ST1 in my favourite specialty and as a minimum get to shadow them for two days in their every job throughout their training, and a scheme where an older student helps a small group revise weekly. I suppose this plus friends plus the older years I've met through my sport should keep me sorted even if the tutor thing doesn't work out! Feeling a lot better.

    Am definitely glad TSR exists too

    Hope you're enjoying (or at least not being totally overwhelmed by) your first few months as a doctor!

    (Original post by Angury)
    Was thinking this the moment I read the title.
    We really don't have the best rep do we
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.