Multi Story Edinburgh

Zain - Class of 2020 - Apprehension, being part of a team and promoting greater understanding.

March 25, 2021 The University of Edinburgh Season 1 Episode 27
Multi Story Edinburgh
Zain - Class of 2020 - Apprehension, being part of a team and promoting greater understanding.
Show Notes Transcript

Each episode is a snapshop, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. Season one talks to our 2020 graduates about how things are going, or not going, for them. In episode twenty seven we meet MBChB graduate Zain.

Each month we meet five more graduates. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about this weird and unpredictable time.

All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh. 

Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk.

Music: Since When by Mise Darling. 

Sonia Mullineux (host)  0:07  
This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is season one, class of 2020.

Zain  0:18  
My name is Zain Hussain, I studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and graduated in March 2020. I think the first thing that hit me was the fact that I wasn't able to go on my elective. So I only had one elective, um - I studied in St. Andrew's initially. So I did half of my programme there, and then transferred over to Edinburgh for the latter three years. So in my mind, it was always like do your finals, do your finals, then you're off, you get to fly away, six weeks - obviously, you know, do some work, but also kind of relax, wind down before you get into into the job itself. So unfortunately, I wasn't able to go away to Boston as planned. When the lockdown started, I went back home to my family in Glasgow, and obviously they didn't want people moving around. So that I thought, okay, I'll try and do what I can from home. So I did a couple of things. I worked on a project in Edinburgh on public perceptions towards the vaccine. So using artificial intelligence on social media, you would sort of try and identify, okay, what are things that the public are concerned about? And that would hopefully, then go on to inform, you know, the government, different public health teams. But I've always had a bit of an interest in in AI and research from from, from quite a young age. COVID, you know, brought about quite a timely opportunity, I didn't think that I would have time after graduation to go away and work on a project like that without any clinical commitments. The outcomes from the project itself, it did inform the Scottish Government teams. And so yeah, so I think that was quite, quite rewarding. 

Zain  1:56  
I also helped out at the medical school as a teaching assistant. So I was teaching psychiatry modules to the year five students. Because of the impact that it had and how much of a surprise the pandemic was, a lot of clinicians were redeployed. And naturally, that would have an impact on the students that were being taught, because that kind of goes down in the pecking order. So then they reached out to the recent graduates to try and fill that in. Yeah, I didn't think that I would be facilitating tutorials or workshops for students that were just a year below me, I thought that's quite close isn't it! There wasn't too much in it, right? I've just graduated as in, I didn't really feel like I'd graduated. So that was a little bit odd. But there was a good amount of support on offer... and I'd been involved in, in medical education for for a few years, even during my undergrad, so I think that that was certainly helpful. 

Zain  2:55  
I'm quite privileged, I guess - I'm currently working as a foundation doctor, year one, I'm based in Ninewells in Dundee; I'm into my second rotation now. I'm also a foundation fellow with the Royal College of Psychiatry. And that's for two years. And I'm also still involved in the university. So associate faculty in the clinical educator programme in the medical school. I think normally I'd also add in that I play squash quite frequently, but that's not available at the moment. So, maybe 15 or so, 15/20 graduates of Edinburgh, they're in the hospital here, you know, so I think the transition isn't as challenging as it would have been, if I was somewhere where it was just me and I had to get to know the other doctors.... that's been quite useful. 

Zain  3:43  
We won't ever go back to considered to be the norm, prior to the pandemic... we will get elements or aspects of normality back - you know, a lot of people have suffered and naturally, that has its after effects, right, on families and wider society. And I think there's a lot of work to be done, which is, you know, we've had individuals and families that have just been cooped up at home for such an extended period of time, even when vast majority are vaccinated and deaths are falling or admissions are falling, I think the after effects will be there for quite some time. So I don't see us going back to whatever that normal was. Right? I think it's gonna play quite a significant role for the foreseeable future in our lives. And it's all about us just all coming together to try and tackle that head on, you know, not not view it as, okay, we've, we've defeated it, we can just kind of leave it be now. I'm quite optimistic for the future, though. I think that's always very important for everyone. 

Zain  4:44  
My first rotation was COVID. It was meant to be infectious diseases, but those wards were shut down and replaced with the COVID words. So I think I was very apprehensive going in. I thought, Oh my God, this is a new disease. I'd not been exposed to this obviously in medical school. I don't even we don't even know how different people present with it right? How am I going to recognise different things, how am I going to manage them. But I think going in it's, it's definitely opened my eyes to how important that multidisciplinary team is the role that you're using senior members of staff and your other colleagues play in keeping us all going. I think that's something that I wasn't as exposed to as a medical student, because as a med student you, you go in, but you kind of nip in and out, you never formally or fully join a I think that's something that's new for me, that togetherness. And I think it has probably affected me in terms of what I what I'd like to do, I think, public health side of things, it's made me consider, you know, how much I want this to play a role in my future career. But then I also know that there's so much for me to learn clinically still, right, and you're always learning, there's always developments. And that's also exciting. So I can't quite say for certain, I guess just take opportunities as they come, I'll eventually find my way. 

Zain  6:10  
The Edinburgh Coexistence Initiative was founded in my final year, there's a similar group in St. Andrews, which is where I was first exposed to it, it aims to promote greater understanding between people from different faiths and cultural backgrounds. So it was quite popular. You know, it was set up to have representatives from different faith societies and non faith societies. So we'd have the humanist and atheist society representative, and we'd have a number of other faiths, as well. Um, and I just wanted to I guess, I just want to state how useful that has been for me, throughout my my medical studies is just having that safe space, to just, you know, share your thoughts with people, and essentially understand them better because I come from Glasgow, from the Southside, I was born and raised there. And my exposure to people across the world was relatively limited. There's a few countries that I'd visit where had family and friends but it wasn't very extensive. And it wasn't until I went to university and then especially to Edinburgh, which is quite a multicultural city, that I was very intrigued... Okay, I definitely want to learn about your culture and your faith and the kind of foods that you guys eat, and also address some of the misconceptions that exist as well. And essentially, yeah, just get to know people at that level. So I think that's something that was very important for me. That's probably my one of my biggest takeaways from, from student life, was just those connections and those friendships that I've made.

Sonia Mullineux (host)  7:54  
We also asked our graduates to share a place somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this is finished.

Zain  8:03  
I think I would get my cohort my group of friends together in Edinburgh, probably in the Meadows or in the Chaplaincy, one of those two, I think it would just be to sit with everyone - finally - you know, close proximity, share a share a meal together and basically just talk through everything that's happened, but talk through it in person because I think it's not it's not, it can't ever be the same when you're catching up virtually, to get a real sense of how everyone is and reflect on that.

Sonia Mullineux (host)  8:36  
Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.

Kirsten Roche  8:50  
Wherever you always planning for your future, the Careers Service is here to support you. As a recent graduate, you can continue to use all of our services, including full access to My Career Hub, online appointments with our career consultants, our full calendar of employer events, and support with the application process. Find out more at

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