Matthew Howells

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Higher Education
Job title: Medical Student
Subject of study: Medicine
Year of graduation: 2021
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

University of Exeter

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I am still studying at Exeter University. I have completely the first 4 years of my BMBS Medicine degree and I am currently completing an intercalated BSc in Sport & Exercise Medical Sciences. Next year, I will be returning to study the final year of my medical degree.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I had always wanted to be a doctor from a young age. I really like the idea combining the study and application of science whilst working with others as part of a multidisciplinary team. I have found Medicine to be highly rewarding and fascinating and it provides the opportunity for lifelong learning.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I play rugby for Plymouth & Exeter Medical RFC (PEMRFC) and I am a member of the Sports Medicine society. I am also part of the South West Orthopaedic Conference committee for 2021.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The medical programme in Exeter provides early clinical experience for medical students through both GP and hospital placements. I found this to be a really useful way of learning that allowed me to apply my medical knowledge and develop my communication skills with patients straight way. My biggest highlights have been the Medics Summer and Winter Balls.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I really liked the City especially as there is quite a large student population. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with sports and other societies. I liked the structure of the medical degree and the staff throughout the years have always been very friendly and supportive. I was also able to make lots of close friendships with people from my course and also people studying other degrees.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

My brother was studying in Exeter University at a the time and when I went to visit him I really liked the city and University campuses. The Medical School also has a very good reputation.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

I feel that studying Medicine in Exeter has greatly increased my clinical knowledge, communication skills and time management/discipline. Starting clinical exposure early has also helped me to appreciate the different specialities and roles within hospital medicine and has encouraged me to apply my medical knowledge from the start of the degree. Studying an Intercalated degree in Sport & Exercise Medical Sciences has enabled me to explore different topics including ‘Exercise prescription’, ‘Biomechanics of Human Movement’ and ‘Medical Imaging – Principles and Applications’ which will provide me with a different perspective when approaching medical scenarios in a future career. I will also be presenting work from my Medical Sciences Research Project at the ‘Advanced Manufacturing Conference 2020’ in London which I hope will allow me to develop my presentation skills whilst also meeting other medical and scientific researchers to discuss their various projects.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

I would encourage anyone who is considering studying Medicine in Exeter to pursue it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University so far. I have found the Medical degree to be very interesting, stimulating and rewarding and I have really enjoyed participating in extra-curricular activities and events available and Exeter. I have hugely enjoyed undertaking an intercalated degree and feel that it provides a valuable opportunity to study an area of interest outside of Medicine.

What are your plans for the future?

In the future, I hope to pursue a medical career as a doctor. Following my medical placements, I have developed a strong interest for Orthopaedic surgery and feel that this could hopefully be a career that I would like to pursue. Attendance at the South West Orthopaedic Conference 2020 also helped to fuel my interest for the speciality.


Similar Alumni

Dan O’Leary

University of Exeter. I will be finishing an intercalated degree in BSc Sports and Exercise Medical Science this year. Following on from this I will be studying the final year of BMBS Medicine.

Richard Colling

University of Oxford. I currently work as an academic pathologist and researcher in Oxford.