Intercalation (iBSc)

Mar 2023 Update

Reproductive Biology (University of Edinburgh)

“I intercalated in Reproductive Biology last year at the University of Edinburgh. I chose Reproductive Biology due to my interest in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the clinical relevance of the course’s content. My Reproductive Cancers module covered the pathology and management of Gynaecological malignancies with a focus recent research. In the Conception to Parturition module, various aspects of pregnancy were discussed including complications such as preterm birth and pre-eclampsia. During the year, the importance of Evidence Based Medicine was reinforced. I became more critical when reading literature and reflected on the challenges of translating research into clinical practice. One assessment enabled me to review the evidence for Progesterone in pregnancy to prevent miscarriage. At the time, controversial new guidelines had just been published promoting its’ use. For my dissertation, I undertook a laboratory project investigating the impact of chemotherapy on prepubertal testis, and subsequent fertility, under the supervision of Professor Rod Mitchell. Whilst not directly relevant to Obstetrics and Gynaecology, I loved my time in the lab and gained experience in performing statistical analysis which will be useful for any future projects I undertake. Throughout the year, I received a high level of support from staff and I would highly recommend the course to anyone considering it.” – Natalia Neizgoda University of Edinburgh Ambassador on behalf of Charlotte Robson

Masters in Reproductive Science

During my Masters in Reproductive Science and Women’s Health, (which was what inspired me to apply to medical school!) I was privileged to have the opportunity to shadow a consultant in fetal medicine clinic at a large tertiary referral centre. My experience that day is something I will always remember, and I hope I will be able to draw on the experience to support my patients in the future. A young couple had attended their anatomy scan at a local hospital, where concerns had been raised prompting their referral to the tertiary centre. The pregnancy had so far been uncomplicated and the first trimester scan had appeared normal. During the course of the detailed scan performed by the consultant, it became clear that the fetus had significant abnormalities, likely due to a chromosomal anomaly, which were incompatible with life. The consultant asked the couple to join her in a consultation room after the scan, and invited me to join too. The way she explained the situation to them with so much gentleness and compassion, in small digestible bits of information, with lots of time for them to take it all in and answer questions was really inspiring to me, and made a profound impact. I truly believe that this experience will help shape my future clinical practice, and would urge all aspiring O&G doctors to gain experience with the ‘lows’ of O&G for a rounded picture of the specialty. – Emma Catherine Bagshaw, Warwick Medical School Ambassador

Feb 2023 Update

Intercalation at the University of St Andrews

I recently graduated from the University of St Andrews with a Bsc in Medicine. Attending St Andrews University gives the unique opportunity to write a dissertation in your 3rd year within any subject area as well as being able to experience two universities. My last semester I spent writing my dissertation on the comparison of letrozole and clomiphene citrate for ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I would highly recommend this course to anyone because I was able to work with a supervisor who is actively involved in reproductive research who gave me such an interesting insight into academics. I really enjoyed being able to research PCOS in depth and gain a much better understanding of the condition. I was also then able to write a dissertation comparing two treatments that I could incorporate into my future practice. I chose to explore a more clinical aspect of PCOS because I thought this would be more useful for me when I reached clinical years however, there is a choice to focus on molecular medicine or even complete a lab project. There is also the option to turn it into a piece to be published or to use as a poster in conferences. I liked that I was able to pick any topic I wished within women’s health and there were no pre-set questions which gave me a lot of freedom to read about novel research. The only disadvantage was that this was within one semester rather than most other intercalated degrees that take the full year. This meant it felt quite intense and there wasn’t a lot of time to pick a topic or question to answer. Overall, I would highly recommend picking a reproductive or women’s health dissertation at St Andrews. – Rebecca Byrne, University of Glasgow Ambassador