Reflections and resolutions

As 2024 approaches, we ask three medical students (and an FY1) to look back at their triumphs, challenges and lessons from 2023, and to share their resolutions for the year ahead.

Jemi Maliyil

"This year has been incredible for me.

"I graduated from my intercalated degree with first-class honours at Royal Albert Hall, travelled to multiple countries and went back into what is (probably) the busiest year of my medical degree.

"Returning to medicine after over a year of no clinical contact was daunting. In my younger years, I was more reluctant to speak up unless I was 100% sure of the answer. But fourth year has emphasised to me that attempting to answer (and being corrected if need be) is far more valuable to my learning.

"Geriatrics - the block I'm currently on - puts an emphasis on clerking, discharge summaries, drug charts, scribing during ward round and more. Though intimidating initially, my confidence has grown, and I genuinely feel more ready for the day that I (hopefully) start working as a junior doctor. I've also loved being back and interacting with patients.

"In summer 2024, I will be sitting my medical school finals (a scary thought). Despite this, there's a lot I'm looking forward to over the next year.

"My goal is to get stuck into every aspect of my life, including on placement but also with my extra-curriculars. I can't wait to perform and fundraise and do more with my time than just study.

"Finally, as always, my support network has been incredible and I appreciate the people in my corner cheering me on, now more than ever.

"Happy new year, and good luck to you all!"

Jemi Maliyil, fourth-year student, University of Bristol


Tajri Salek

"This year was challenging, but fun.

"I passed my fourth-year exams, went on my elective and travelled. Looking back, I'm happy I pushed myself to leave my comfort zone as much as I could, including applying for roles I hadn't thought I'd get. I'm also very grateful to my friends and family for their constant support.

"I'm excited to graduate in 2024 and start a new chapter. I'm sure life as a junior doctor will bring along a new set of challenges and opportunities to learn more about both medicine and myself."

Tajri Salek, fifth-year student, Hull York Medical School


Daniel Aaron Levy

"This year for me has been a time of self-development and changing my outlook on things.

"I think the most important thing I've learned is that mental health should come first and be top priority. A lot of people find that med school's demands can take a toll on that, and I initially did too. It's important to try your hardest and have a keen, engaged attitude; but in the work-life balance, life has to come first.

"Work is, of course, a key part of university, but it's not all about getting a degree. It's a personal experience set against some of the most formative years of your life. I've learned that self-development and self-discovery are more of the 'purpose' of university than just getting a grade at the end. That might sound like a lot of pressure, but it'll come naturally as part and parcel of living life.

"Something I personally struggled with this year before having some breakthroughs was about comparing myself to others, and worrying about others' opinions of me. But I've learned that as long as you conduct yourself in the right way - being sincere, kind, honest, and understanding - none of that matters. And being the person that you want to be is easier said than done - you will undoubtedly make some mistakes along the way. I've learned to embrace those mistakes rather than cringing at them.

"To use a fairly silly metaphor that popped into my head one day (which has actually helped me enormously): life is like a game of Wordle. The opening mistakes are necessary to find the right answer. Each wrong answer isn't an embarrassment, it's a stepping stone.

"Looking ahead and thinking about my resolutions for next year, I want to bear in mind that self-development takes time, trial, and error. And I've resolved to show myself the same kindness that I aim to show to others along the way."

Daniel Aaron Levy, third-year student, University of Bristol


Itisha Adukia

"2023 has been a year of many changes, big and small. The biggest being my transition from student to becoming a foundation doctor.

"The one thing I can confidently say that I've learnt (and been grateful about) is not sacrificing quality time with my friends and family to study for a few extra hours. As medical students, we often focus on spending every moment revising and researching. Instead, I spent a lot of time with those closest to me doing what I love the most, and I'm thankful for that. That's not to say that I forgot I was a student, but I realised I have the rest of my life to be a good doctor and only five years to enjoy my time at university.

"As I approach the end of my second rotation in FY1, I also want to look back at all the ups and downs I've had this year. Navigating through the wards and on-calls has been difficult, but I could not have done it without my colleagues-turned-friends. Everyone is in the same boat. All the new FY1s have moved into different environments and are looking for new friends and support systems.

"In the new year, I cannot wait to develop more friendships in and out of the hospital and take time out of my life as a doctor to enjoy myself and have fun. Medicine is naturally challenging and exhausting, but enjoying ourselves while doing it makes it all worth it."

Itisha Adukia, FY1, Birmingham

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This page was correct at publication on 19/12/2023. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.