I applied for the intercalated M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences to follow the Neuroscience track as I have an interest in psychiatry. The course covered a fairly broad range of topics, from basic anatomy and physiology, to the process of drug development, to more clinically focused topics such as neuroimaging and neuropharmacology. In particular I feel that the statistics, literature review and lab technique components were great because they equipped me with some general skills applicable to many fields.
I finished my medical internship earlier this year and, even at this early stage, can already state that the M.Sc has helped with my career. It was a major factor in securing a psychiatry registrar position above other candidates with more clinical experience. It provided a boost to the CV and lots of discussion points at interview. In particular, I was able to highlight the relevance of my M.Sc. research project to clinical practice. Feedback from after the interview specifically mentioned that the interviewers were impressed with this.
Finally, it was a great year socially. Trinity tends to attract a lot of international students for postgraduate study, and I now have friends from the M.Sc. all over Europe and North America.
Studying for my MSc has benefitted me in many ways. I have become better equipped to examine and evaluate research papers. My academic writing was repeatedly tested and improved throughout the year, from written assignments to my literature review and thesis. We had many opportunities to develop our oral and poster presentation skills throughout the year. All of these experiences have better developed my confidence, both inside the clinic and out, and given me a taste of what I want my future career to be.
My M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences was an incredibly rewarding experience. My background is in clinical medicine and I had limited exposure to research projects and laboratory techniques. The Molecular Medicine track provided me with an excellent set of skills and competencies and gave me the support I required to identify my areas of strengths and areas for improvement. As the scope of the course is broad, I gained exposure to a huge range of learning material and honed my abilities in scientific writing, reviewing literature, presentation skills, laboratory techniques, ethical considerations and original research. The range of topics available for the literature reviews and dissertation projects cater to a wide variety of interests and the ability to make this choice was a highlight of my year; for my dissertation, I researched the role of a novel neurotrophin implicated in the response to electroconvulsive therapy in rat and human samples. During and after my M.Sc., the course co-ordinators have been exceptionally kind in helping me with my career path and have been an excellent source of support since the day I started. I would recommend the M.Sc. to anyone of any background or previous level of research experience.
The option to complete a taught and research based MSc during medical school has been invaluable. It was a great way to further explore a medical field of interest, undertake a research project of interest with the aim for publication and presentation at conferences and meetings, and additionally further develop skills which have less focus in the medical course such as writing, journal critique, and lab-based research skills. It has definitely prepared me for a future in academic medicine, and improved my resume for future applications.