70 Years of Women at Barts and The London - A Celebration

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History and tradition are part of what makes being a student at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry so special and we are reminded of it everywhere we go. From the historic library of the West Smithfield campus to the numerous portraits lining the walls of the Garrod Building, we love to recognise and celebrate where we have come from. However, women were left notably absent from this long and illustrious history until just 70 years ago when, in 1948, the medical school finally opened its doors to them. As this year’s BLSA Women’s Rep, it was an absolute honour to mark this occasion.

When I was initially approached about putting on an event to celebrate this anniversary, I knew I wanted the theme to be celebratory and recognised it as an invaluable chance to shine a light on the incredible women of BL- past and present. At BL I feel so constantly surrounded by women excellence and it was very important to me that this came across in the event. To celebrate the students, I created profiles on some particularly inspiring women who all shared their various achievements as well as their hopes for the future (see below). They all blew me away with their eloquence and their thoughts about what it’s like to be a women student here- I hope people learnt from it. To display the full history of the event, Richard Meunier from the Royal London archives kindly stepped in to develop an amazing exhibition. Learning about the first cohort of women at Barts and The London was inspirational and I am so thankful for those women who took the first steps to allow us to be where we are today.

The highlight of the event was certainly the four amazing speakers: Dr. Lesley Robson, Dr. Vicky Tittle, Professor Parveen Kumar and Ms. Swee Ang. The entirety of the 100+ attendees were completely captivated by each of the talks which all gave a different perspective on being a woman in medicine. Personally, listening to these women speak made me feel like there were no limitations to what I could do and so motivated to chase my passions within medicine. It also emphasised the need for role models that we can relate to. Having women of colour talk at the event was of great importance to me; so few BME women deliver our lectures compared to the endless stream of white male teachers the school employs. Once the speeches were complete there was a chance for a short Q&A and even after the event had officially finished so many women students approached the guest speakers to ask further questions, truly proving how much their talks moved and inspired the students.

Overall, the event was a huge success and something I hope we can repeat in the future. Barts and The London has truly come so far since 1948; we began as the last medical school in the UK to allow women to attend and are now the only London medical school with an elected women’s officer. The future is looking bright in all respects for women- in March we will celebrate international women’s day and this year women will properly be included in UH sport competitions for the first time with both women’s netball and women’s hockey competing this year. We still have far to come, but with the passion of BL women I truly believe that things will only get better and that the spirit of the 70th anniversary celebration will remain for a long time.


Written by Alice Schofield, BL Women’s Rep 2018/19

How's It Go(zo)ing! - Gozo House Systems

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This year the Gozo Society have introduced a house system for students and staff. There will be inter-house competitions throughout the year, both sport and non-sport. In addition to winning the house cup, kindly donated by Professor Nicholas Lemoine, there will be a small prize for the winning house.

Gozo Society committee members narrowed down a list of alumni who have ties with Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry from 45 down to our chosen 4!


Our four houses are the following:

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Batten

Named after Frederick Batten, father of paediatric neurology and pathologist at Hospital for Sick Children, first describing Batten disease in 1903.

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Garrett Anderson

Named after Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman to qualify as a physician and surgeon in Britain, and co-founder of the first hospital staffed by women and the first dean of a British medical school.

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Marsden

Named after William Marsden, a surgeon who founded the Royal Free (for poor patients) and the Royal Marsden (for cancer patients) Hospitals in 1828 and 1851 respectively.

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Kumar

Named after Dame Parveen Kumar, a co-founder and co-editor of the standard medical textbook, Kumar and Clark’s Clinical Medicine, and who has held numerous roles in medical education.


Our first inter-house competition was choosing our house colour and designing our own logos (shown above). The logo had to tie in both campuses and relate to the accomplishments of the alumni. After much deliberation by BLSA President Tom Longbottom and BLSA Staff President Professor Nicholas Lemoine, House Kumar were declared the winners!

Since then, we have had multiple House Events, including a collaboration with our Afro-Caribbean Society during Black History Month, where House Batten won the Black History Quiz and a table tennis tournament where House Marsden won!

Photo from our table tennis event

Photo from our table tennis event

The House Cup, kindly donated by Staff President, Professor Lemoine

The House Cup, kindly donated by Staff President, Professor Lemoine

How's It Go(zo)ing! - Freshers Flurry

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This year the Gozo Society organised the first freshers’ week for the Barts and the London, Malta Campus. As a committee, we organised a series of events to allow for the integration between the two years. This started with a games night, to which we bought Chinese food and got to know the first years. The next night we had Bowling in Victoria, the main town in Gozo. The following day we went for a swim and jumped off the diving platform in Xlendi, an old fishing village. For our penultimate event, we had a day trip to Valletta, the capital city of Malta. We enjoyed the various celebrations for Malta Independence Day. The final Freshers event was a night out in La Grotta, a local club in Gozo.

The following week we celebrated the mix of students that we have on the Malta campus with an International Food Festival event where students from both years brought in dishes and wore clothing to represent their cultural background. This was a huge success and we look forward to organising a similar event annually. During this event, we also established the Mummies and Daddies scheme, where second years will be mentoring students in the year below.

We are also in the process of setting up our own Malta House System. This includes four houses and there will be various inter-house competitions, both sport and non-sport throughout the year. The winning house will receive the house cup, kindly donated by Professor Nicholas Lemoine. More information about the Malta House System on our next monthly update!

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Written by Marie-Sophie Gomm, Gozo President 2018-19

Launch of Zero Tolerance!

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Today sees the launch of the Zero Tolerance Campaign at BLSA. We are working towards becoming an institution that is zero tolerant of all types of harassment. We’re asking for your help to identify how we can achieve this by filling in the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/856RWGD

Moreover, your Welfare Officer, Sophie Hoque will be outside the Garrod this lunchtime with banners for you to write on to express how we need to change the culture

Project Gozo

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The first year of students at BL Malta have completed their first year and entered their 2nd year of studies on the MBBS Medicine course. Naturally, being the first year of students on a new international campus, there were some issues and everything did not go entirely to plan. The fact that many students are unaware about our peers in Malta, what they do and how they’re faring is perhaps an indicator of how much progress there is to be made.

We at BL MESS strongly felt that we could help to make a lasting impact on student experience in Gozo, so when the opportunity arose through Barts and The London Annual Fund we set about the task of building a project for the students of Malta.

Our primary aim was to bring some of the BL family-feeling to Malta by creating avenues for peer communication and learning that at BL we often take for granted. We are privileged as a university to have a historical society that covers all pre-clinical teaching under one roof and nurtures academic collaboration between peers in a way unseen by any other UK medical school. Every 1st year and 2nd year at BL knows that MESS will support them throughout those crucial years whenever they need it and whatever they need it for. In this sense, MESS is ingrained in the BL student experience in a way that often goes unsaid purely because it has become part of the fabric of the medical school.

This year, our aim is to bridge years 1 & 2 in BL Malta both internally, through peer-teaching, and externally, by enabling a line of academic support in the form of BL MESS, as is available to students in London. The result, we hope, would be to increase academic welfare and subsequently all aspects of student welfare within the campus. In addition, the creation of GozoMESS long-term will provide an autonomous source of support run and maintained by BL Malta students with a permanent foundation and link to London that augments those lines of support already in place through the faculty and BLSA. Through experience and resources we were confident BL MESS could achieve this and be part of the process bringing consistency in student experience between BL Malta and BL London. In turn, we also hope this will inspire other societies within Barts to reach out and bridge the gap to Malta. After all - we are all one big BL family.

After leaving Bow at 3am, a 3-hour flight from Gatwick and a 2-hour drive including 40 minutes on the ferry, we arrived 11am in Gozo with our best game-faces and set about getting started. After an extraordinary amount of 3 point turns we found where we were meant to be and started the process of settling in. After an extraordinary amount of 3 point turns we found where we were meant to be and started the process of settling in. What is MESS? While we often ponder our own existence, we ended the day by introducing ourselves to the new freshers in BL Malta as well as some of the returning students, hoping to inspire a fledgling committee into existence on Friday morning. GozoMESS made themselves the very next day, creating a committee tailored to how they thought MESS can work for them. Founding presidents Georgia and Joycee immediately began piecing together meetings, plans, ideas – the feels were extremely real.

The inaugural photo of GozoMESS’ first committee

The inaugural photo of GozoMESS’ first committee

For anyone who has worked with BL MESS, you will know we take a lot of pride in doing things correctly and doing things well, so it was fitting that we set about training the first generation of GozoMESS teachers. Osama Omrani eloquently set about inspiring BL Malta in such a way as that no one in Gozo will be safe from the amount of knowledge to be shared over the coming years. As is tradition, the inaugural ‘Unofficial Guide to MBBS’ was given to the freshers and at last, when we were at peace maybe at least one student would be inspired to a better year than they would otherwise have had. And so we set about the social.

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Spreading the word – James Stevens and Osama Omrani delivering sessions to the students of BL Malta

Barts and The London is a family and as a family we share. So, it’s my duty to share with everyone that on behalf of you, we socialised and we socialised hard. No-one does organised fun as well as BL, so it was in tribute to that we set about breaking down international campus borders and chin-wagging until the early hours of Sunday morning.

In BL Malta we found an inspiring group of students who embody the values of Barts and The London in full and then some, despite being so far away. We can’t wait to work closer to our growing BL community.

Gozo or Griff? Freshers week social with Gozo’s finest

Gozo or Griff? Freshers week social with Gozo’s finest

Societies – branch out! Open lines of communication and through technology or otherwise you can make an impact on the careers of a now 60-strong group of future doctors.

Students – if you meet a Gozo student offer them the full BL London experience. If you’re in a sports club for example, a 2-week London SSC could comprise of 2 training sessions, bonding though fitness and 2 nights at the jewel-of-the-BL-crown Griff Inn.

If we learnt anything over the 4-days we spent in Gozo it’s that we have 60 more brilliant members of our BL family than some of us know about. In creating GozoMESS BL Malta has begun an exciting journey in working towards matching BL London for academic support. Family is everything and in BL we do it great, but we can be better. Let’s do it. Maximum Effort.

Wrriten by James Stevens, Co-President BL MESS


Thanks to BATLAA and all our Alumni for supporting this project

Thanks to BATLAA and all our Alumni for supporting this project

BLSA Building Improvements & Opening Hours

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Opening Hours

Normal opening hours will resume from Monday 10th September.

  • BLSA Building: 10:00-21:00

  • The Griff Inn: 10:00-17:00


Improvements

The BLSA Building has had some minor upgrades over the summer, most notably with a host of new anatomical models and posters coming in to the Study Room to make it a more engaging and useful study space!

It's equally important that you can unwind effectively too which is why the Games Room has also been improved with a huge selection of board games, puzzles and other ways to destress and chill out with your friends,

 Keep an eye out for ongoing improvements that will occur to the building over the coming weeks and months to maximise what we can get out of this great space.

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Hello to all our new students!

Hello and a very warm welcome to Barts and The London!

My name is Tom Longbottom and I am the Barts and The London Students’ Association (BLSA) President. I very much look forward to meeting you all in September, but, for now, I must congratulate you all on the incredible achievement in getting a place to study at this great medical and dental school. You have all worked exceptionally hard to get here and should be very proud of yourselves.

What lies ahead of you is a fantastic journey; over the next 3, 4, 5, 6 or even 7 years, you will make the transition from student to doctor, dentist or allied health professional. Throughout this incredible journey, you will make some life-long friends, learn an overwhelming amount and, above all, become a graduate of one of the best medical and dental schools in the country.

My job as BLSA President is to represent all students at Barts and The London, support all our student groups and to raise any concerns or issues students may face with the medical and dental school and the University. It is also my job to make sure the events we offer in our BLSA Building and our venues, The Griff Inn and The Shield are as fun and successful as possible. I am supported in doing this by the BLSA Board, which is made up of a fantastic team of student officers who are elected each year.

You are all fortunate that, as Barts and The London students, you get to be a part of the incredible community that comes with studying at this great medical and dental school. My advice to you is to get stuck in, throw yourself into your studies and all of the extra-curricular activities on offer and enjoy every second of it.

Tom Longbottom

BLSA President 2018-19

president@bartslondon.com

 

Sign up for Mummies and Daddies!

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With September fast approaching, it will soon be time to welcome the next Barts and The London Cohurt! And new students means expansion of BL families!

In case you weren't aware/to jog your memory - Mummies and Daddies is the name given to the peer mentoring scheme for undergraduate students at Barts and The London. Existing students (parents) are matched with one or more first-year student(s) to help them settle into Barts and The London university life.

If you are a current BL student and would like to take some new students under your wing, sign up to be a parent here: https://www.qmsu.org/surveys/mumsanddads/

Remember to read the information carefully. With regards to the alcohol preference question, please select 'other' if you do drink.

N.B. you must be available to meet your children on either Saturday 15th September (the main event), Monday 17th September or Saturday 22nd September and attend one of the following briefings: 
06/09/2018 17:00-18:00
12/09/2018 14:00-15:00
15/09/2018 14:00-15:00

Information on the whereabouts of briefings will be released closer to the date(s).