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medicalstudent The voice of London’s Medical Students

April 2012

George's win UH Revue for the second year Page 3

Healthcare in Lesotho an exploration Page 6

Look for our special RAG pullout in the centerfold

GKT Loses Battle for Sabb Alexander Isted

The proposal for a new full-time sabbatical officer representing the medical and dental student bodies at King’s College London was defeated at the KCLSU annual general meeting on March 22nd. Although the proposal did not specifically request a Health Officer, its intention was to extend the number of appointed full-time Student Officer Trustee positions to five. The emphasis of the debate was that one of the roles must provide a representative for the medical and dental student bodies, better voicing their unique concerns to the student council. However, the motion did not receive enough votes to be passed by the General Council, and consequently the position will not be made in the immediate future. The Officer team which proposed the motion, including Fran Allfray,

Vice President of Student Media and Engagement, was particularly disappointed by its rejection. They believe that ‘health student and campus/ school based representation is the way forward’ and they consider this belief to be mirrored by the wider student population as all their conclusions had been based on extensive dialogue with health school student groups, course reps across the college, and heads of schools including focus groups of over 150 students. Within the motion, the provision of the new post was coupled with a series of other measures for the wider democratic restructuring of the KCLSU. As the proposed amendments would alter the very rules by which the SU governs, the proposal had to be passed at the AGM and would subsequently require the rubber stamp from the College Committee. Whilst many of the councillors showed support for the new

post, there was no consensus over the additional proposals and so the majority were unable to vote in favour of all the changes. The individual components of the motions could not be chosen independently and so the motion in its entirety had to be rejected. Despite some support, the Health School Officer post was not met with universal approval, with one criticism of the motion being that it was undemocratic. The concern being that having a single representative would not effectively voice the opinions of such a large group of students. Equally, questions were posed as to whether other significant and equally valued student bodies may consequently get a lesser say and have their representation diminished with the decisions having too much of a health school sway. The student council presently consists of 50 members, voted in by the student body and of these, 30 make up

the general student council who have no specific agendas and so can vote on any issue they feel passionately about. These council members provide representation of many courses and all campuses. However many feel that the students themselves, with their broader college experiences, are underrepresented, with the focus primarily on the academic side of university life. The newly appointed president of the SU, Thomas Clayton, who supported the motion, commented that he, as well as many other councillors, feels that this ‘negated the entire point of the student council’. Clayton suggests that there is a lot of rationale behind the proposal as medical and dental students have very different requirements and priorities from other students which includes being based on a separate campus and dealing with different student bodies as well as the NHS. (cont’d on page 2)

Supersize my genes - a discussion on epigenetics Page 9

The Tooting Show - a review Page 10

Why my brother is afraid of beards Page 21


April 2012


News Editor: Ken Wu


M Alexander Shimmings GKT Medsoc President On behalf of 173 intrepid GKT skiers in sunny Tignes I say to you hello! I do wish you were all here to enjoy the snow - except a certain Suzie Rayner from ICSM. That's right, GKT ski tour, with a few Strandies along for the fun/ additional totty, is in full swing. So far there has been sun, snow, and havoc. No fatalities yet, but we are about to gin Harriet 'goat gruff' James for her 21st. In other news, we smashed King's in the Macadam Cup and were once again robbed in the UH Revue which we clearly won. Football managed to win all of the UH trophies whilst netball won the ULU Challenge Cup. Exam-wise, the third years have successfully defeated their OSCEs. Being in the Alps has provided some sanctuary from the occupational hazards of being MedSoc President - namely attending Medgroup meet-

Purvi Patel on battling presidents


ings with The Medical Student editor Pervy Purvi. Despite being from Imperial, she does have a taste for GKT boys, or that's what she tried to say with her eyes at the last meeting. Fortunately most members of the committee have now teamed together and filed a restraining order, paying for the legal fees with The Medical Student 's newspaper funds. Results are pending


George Ryan BL President Four years ago Imperial College Medics rugby team beat us by over 100 points. This year, for the first time in 25 years, not only did BLRFC get to the UH cup final but they only went and beat Imperial College Medics to win the bloody thing! Huge congratulations to those guys who have turned the club around into the best in London - big respect. Meanwhile, chin up Imperial! However, our UH success don’t end there. This year, the BL running club brought cross country back to UH and they did it in style. Leaving their competitors eating dust they won the first ever Bannister Cup. I think we’re going to need a bigger trophy cabinet. As I write this seven men and five Barts and The London bikes are preparing for their mammoth cycle to Amsterdam, under the guise that they are raising money for the charity Blind in Business. In reality they

eaders, I apologise in advance. The presidents and the Medgroup Chair have, it appears, found a common enemy – apart from RUMS president Neil Chowdhury, who seems oblivious to these goings on. As part of a respectable publication, I often find myself having to make difficult decisions and this month is no different. The SU presidents of highly reputable institutions are insistent on discrediting perfectly innocent people. Does the Editor-in-Chief of this publication stop them from making complete fools of themselves and spreading blatant falsehoods, or does she let their columns go to print with the hope that medical students of London can discern the difference between reality and the delusions of our poor presidents? I run the risk of ruining this newspaper’s reputation by printing these stories with no factual basis. However, the age of censorship has passed. Besides that, the readers of this newspaper deserve to know the

sort of ninnies that run their respective unions. In this instance, freedom of speech won out and all of London can see for themselves the comments these powerful people have made. When I am the target of such slanderous comments, what else can I do but be immensely flattered? Victor Hugo wrote ‘genius invites hostility’ so I must be doing something right. Regarding the comparison between myself and Rupert Murdoch well at least I can spell his name. It's also difficult not to read emails when they are addressed to me (perhaps I should take lessons from SGULSU), and that if I were anywhere near as ‘nefarious’ as Mr Murdoch, I would be printing stories with much more malice to them - such as a failed RAG Dash and a corrupt SU election. As it is, I keep these things quiet. Mostly. Of course, the victim in all of this is the unfortunate Mr Shimmings. He clearly doesn’t realise that when a girl happens to glance in your direction she is not, in fact, attempting to seduce

you – he really should get out more. The creator of this elaborate conspiracy remains, as yet, unknown. My sources inform me that the Medgroup Chair is the master planner and I take this opportunity to warn you all - do not be fooled by this man’s attempts to charm you, he is only after one thing. I can only hope that May will keep our presidents occupied enough to stop them from behaving so badly, although I have my doubts


Find us on Facebook and Twitter are just going for a boozy weekend away. In all seriousness best of luck to Michael Smith and his team who have so far they have raised £15,000. As preparations are under way for the Association Dinner and with graduation events coming up the reality that the year is coming to a close is slowly sinking in. However before it does we have a mega last few weeks of term prepared so before exam fever sets in I look forward to seeing you in our newly refurbished union


Nana Adu SGUL President As the 'performing arts' term draws to a close, it has definitely stayed true to its name this year. We have seen some incredible productions including the hilarious musical 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'. Our play society delivered a brilliant production of 'The Crucible' and the Tooting show brought us its eclectic mix of music and dance from some very talented students. It was capped off by St George’s bringing home the Moira Stewart cup for the second year in a row at the UH Revue. Whilst all of our clubs and societies have been hard at work, so has the students’ union. We hosted a very successful well being week for the second year running and look forward to contributing to Medgroup's upcoming


London-wide mental health campaign. Finally, I want to make readers aware of the terrifying censorship we presidents currently face at the hands of editor-in-chief Purvi ‘Murdock’ Patel. As she consolidates her media empire, she intercepts our conversations, monitors Medgroup email chatter and gains information by more nefarious means. How was poor little Shimmings - never before exposed to the attentions of a lady, to know that her advances were for more sinister reasons. Will this column even see the light of day I wonder?


medicalstudent newspaper (cont’d from front page) T he timetabling of the medical and dental schools is also rarely in parallel with the rest of the college in terms of examinations, holidays and the provisions of library services as well as having a minimum of five years of study. Furthermore, the needs of sports and societies are often entirely separate from the rest of the school. These conditions make their student experience starkly different from other students and therefore they need to have their specific needs voiced in the council. Since KCL contains one of the largest healthcare department in Europe, few can argue against the need for adequate representation of the medical and dental student body within the college. The medical and den-


tal populations alone contain over a 3000-strong student body and Clayton noted that ‘with such a large number of our students…we simply can't afford to ignore such specific representational requirements any longer’. Thomas Clayton tells us that he and the rest of his team will try to find a solution by isolating the issue from the other amendments, revising the details of the proposal and re-proposing the motion at next year’s AGM. He said that he was ‘annoyed at the lack of opportunity for debate and the mishandling of a very important issue’ and that he remains committed to introducing a sabbatical officer for the medical and dental schools due to their unique academic and pastoral needs. Meanwhile, there is some hope for


@msnewspaper the health students’ guaranteed representation for all of the schools across King's as Fran Allfray, one of the proposers of the motion, is involved in the preparation of new plans to be proposed to the student council in May. The proposed restructure would involve two student representatives from Guy’s, two from the Institute of Psychiatry, and two from Waterloo, as well as a school chair from each of the schools culminating in a guaranteed nine to 11 of the 30 student councilors comprehensively representing health students. With a compelling student-based drive for greater representation of the health schools, significant reorganisation of the democratic system at KCLSU may well be on the horizon despite the rejection of this motion


Contact us by emailing or visit our website at

Editor-in-chief: Purvi Patel News editor: Ken Wu Features editor: Bibek Das Comment editor: Rhys Davies Culture editor: Kiranjeet Gill Doctors’ Mess editor: Rob Cleaver Image editor: Chetan Khatri Social Media editor: James Turbett Sub-editors: Alex Isted, Keerthini Muthuswamy, Ashik Amlani Photographer: Yuan Chao Xue, Nadia Chaudry Illustrator: Elvin Chang Distribution officer: Sanchit Kapoor Consultant editor: John Hardie


April 2012


News St George's Plays the Host and the Winner at UH Revue Rhys Davies Comment Editor St George’s medical school stormed to victory in the politically incorrect comedy competition that is the UH Revue this March, seizing the coveted Moira Stewart Cup. George’s also played host to the revue, inside the sprawling St George’s Hospital in Tooting. This coincidence has not gone unnoticed but all five London medical schools were on fine farcical form that night. The set-up is deceptively simple - each medical school is given about 20 minutes to be as funny as possible with original material such as sketches, songs, videos, or whatever that works. The winner is decided at the end by an applause-o-meter.

"They ran several audience participation competitions including eating a block of butter the fastest, performing a ‘mangina’, and removing a bra the quickest" What makes UH Revue stand out is the crowd. Made up from supporters from all the medical schools, if they don’t find a sketch funny, they will waste no time in loudly venting their displeasure. According to one performer after this year’s competition - ‘It was like dangling my genitals in front of a pack of rabid hyenas’. Last year’s competition was notoriously lairy. Hosted at Imperial’s aptly

named Great Hall and fuelled with alcohol from the Union and elsewhere, the teams faced a wall of noise and abuse from the crowd. Supporters from GKT, strategically taking up the first few rows, were some of the worst offenders. Keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s shenanigans, organisers from George’s imposed a strict no-alcohol policy inside the main lecture theatre. Even without the disinhibiting effects of alcohol, the crowd were boisterous as always. The competition was compered by a double-act of former George’s students who entertained the crowd whilst the teams were getting ready. They ran several audience participation competitions including eating a block of butter the fastest, performing a ‘mangina’, and removing a bra the quickest. They also took and read out texts from the audience as well as a particularly odd segment involving morphsuit homoeroticism. The team from Barts kicked things off. On the whole, their sketches went down well although several audience members couldn’t understand them. They had a small but dedicated contingent in the audience, with one supporter removing his shirt and waving it over his head during the clap-o-meter. Second to act was the ICSM team. Building on last year’s home turf defeat, they focussed their humour through a set of short, snappy sketches. They also experimented with videos, including a memorable montage of Andrew Lansley’s disdain for the NHS. Sadly their audience was largely non-existent, perhaps too embarrassed to show themselves after last year. GKT then began their set with a camp demonstration video of CPR

in Covent Garden. Their set was also populated by several songs, parodying the likes of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and ‘Paradise'. Whilst quite witty, their lead singer suffered from a microphone malfunction, meaning that most of the comedy was lost on the audience. Their supporters were far better behaved this year despite a large turnout. After finally getting a working mic, GKT’s guitarist sang one last refrain and ended their set with ‘Sorry about last year, guys!’ After the interval, George’s took to the stage, to roaring cheers by their strong, swollen audience. Unfortunately, the microphone systems by this point were beginning to act up and thus some of the jokes were also lost. Their set consisted of smut, intermed-school ribbing and beyond-theline humour, which their supporters - the largest medical school in the audience by numbers, ate up raucously. Up last was RUMS. Unfortunate enough to end the show two years running, they had to put up with the worst of the technical difficulties and the heckling. Their misfortune was compounded by their choice of sketches, which were long and amusing but not what the audience wanted to see. Their saving grace came in the form of a powerful aria about chlamydia, borrowing the tune from ‘I Just Met a Girl Named Maria’. In the end George’s once again won the UH Revue, adding to their already-impressive clutch of wins despite the impressing clapping display from GKT. With the competition over for another year, would-be comedians from all the medical schools are already back at their drawing boards to dream up the jokes for next year


Neil Chowdhury RUMS President I would just like to start off by thanking Jeeves for his colourful description of the other medical schools, and acknowledgement that I am indeed doing my job working for postgraduates. However, I still enjoy working for the medical students of RUMS. We have just held our Charity Sportsnite. Around 100 students got their kit off to raise a bit of money off the pitch. That's 100 of the best looking people in the London School Deanerys for Medicine (and most successful in sport I may add). We are in preparatory mode for the Sports Ball and Summer Ball whilst our AGM was a huge success as we brought in a great new cohort of people for RUMS. Finally, RUMS also hosted a Taboo week - another example of RUMS

's out-of-the-box thinking. It was a week where cardboard elephants were springing up around campus so people would talk about the 'elephants in the room' such as homophobia, mental illness, disability etc. It was a huge sucess and I could not have done it without my exec and the dedicated members of RUMS. RUMS Medics Love!


Suzie Rayner ICSM President Due to the unnatural obsession with sleazing on attractive individuals from The Medical Student's editor-in-chief, it seemed only fair to analyse the 'pervy-ness' of each medical school in this column. This is a subject that I think was well summarised by the different approaches that each medical school took towards the UH Revue. According to their material, GKT are totally obsessed with incest. It's that inappropriate interest in a genetically risky lifestyle that means you'll never win the Moira Stewart Cup. That and the fact that ICSM will ALWAYS vote against you. Sorry. St George's were fairly accurate with their self deprecating material and Bart's - well it sounds like farts. As always, I think RUMS were there but I didn’t really notice. ICSM managed to not get completely quashed even though we only had a handful of people who bothered to leave the li-

brary and get their arses to Tooting. What I will say is that I did prefer the relentlessly heckling of everyone from GKT last year. Disappointingly, it was only poor RUMS that felt the full force of the heckling. You could actually hear most of the material this year, which is a clear sign we were all being too nice. For next year, it seems that if anyone manages to find some material that doesn’t run along the predictable themes of gay, ethnic or incest jokes, you’ve probably got it in the bag


Jeeves Wijesuriya UH President

Riding her way to the win. Image by Yuan Chao Xue

I hope you've all had a great Easter break. As the collective representatives of all five London medical schools, we have been busy fighting for our students over issues such as the BUCS situation, preparing for the BMA conference and of course campaigning for the rights and resources of our students. Unknown to most, the establishment of a joint set of drinking rules between the presidents for the London medical schools was perhaps our most challenging work. Over many brews, broken rules, and five different variations of 'I don't want to go to Mary's which we all claim to have first coined at our medical school, we noticed something alarming. Our new Medical Student editor Poorvi, who has recently taken over from John 'no this is a salad fork' Hardie, has been propositioning

each of the presidents in turn. First to notice was GKT president Mark Shimmings, who was shocked at this turn of events and alerted the rest of us, except of course David Smith. We have all agreed to expose this outrageous behaviour in the pages of this newspaper and warn the general public of our randy student editor. Beware, London medical students, of Purvy Poorvi



April 2012


News Research in brief

Diary of an FY1

BL: Researchers have uncovered a mechanism by which normal cells may become cancerous, giving hope for earlier treatment. They investigated the way in which the FOXM1 gene, present in almost all types of human cancers, causes the changes in cell behaviour. Introduction of this gene into human cells caused them to not only lose their normal memory pattern, but also to adopt one similar to that found in cancer cells. These pattern changes could lead to the identification of new biomarkers.

Junaid Fukuta on how the student became the teacher

GKT: A study testing the effectiveness of various therapies for the treatment of Batten disease, a rare and often fatal inherited neurological disorder, has yielded promising results. A mutation in the PPT1 gene, coding for an enzyme involved in removing unwanted proteins from cells, causes rapid progressive decline in infants, leading to a constant vegetative state by the age of two. This new study in mice has shown that a combination of gene therapy and bone marrow transplantation could provide an effective solution.


eing a doctor, as with any job, has its perks and downsides. I’m sure you would have all seen on the multitude of TV dramas out there that doctors work the insane, unsociable hours in an extremely competitive environment and are surrounded by death and disease. Now, if you manage to see past all of the gloom, it is actually an immensely rewarding experience and sometimes you really think that there is nowhere else you would rather be. Perks of the job obviously include the unique feeling of making patients better and saving someone’s life but surprisingly, it’s not the first thing you notice. I distinctly remember my complete elation at managing to present my first patient to the team without feeling like a complete fool because I’ve missed something vital in the patient’s history. Even the success at the most mundane and standard jobs can make your day – I still imagine mini-fist-pump every time I successfully cannulate or catheterise a patient. I’ve actually found the experience of teaching one of best parts of the job. Teaching is one the most important aspects of medicine. Junior doctors teach medical students, SHOs teach the juniors, registrars teach the SHOs and the consultants, well they teach who they can, when they can and where

In vivo teaching they can. On the wards, teaching is an immensely rewarding experience, especially if you have students who are with you for a long period of time.

"Being a teacher, you start to notice that students roughly divide up into two groups – those who you annoy, and those who annoy you" Now, on a particularly busy day when you are rushed off your feet with your jobs with TTOs getting shoved in your face and bleeps going off like that annoying car put-your-passengerseatbelt-on reminder that teaching can be the last thing on your mind. However, I’ve found that the benefits of teaching far outweigh the frustratingly long amount of time added on to my day to teach my student how to take blood from a patient for the first time. To see the student learn and grow gives you almost exactly the same feeling as watching the patient you are treating getting better. You start to worry less and less about the students, until that fateful day when you can finally give a load of blood forms that were given to you to the student and having com-

plete confidence in their ability to help you with your job and actually save you sometime so you can teach them more . On the wards, teaching is less daunting. There is less scope for you to make a fool of yourself and sometimes, if in doubt, you can always pull out your smartphone to look something up and get away with it. Large scale teaching, however, is another matter. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach anatomy at a medical school. My anatomy demonstrators when I was at medical school were regarded as absolute legends, wielding their dissecting knives and superfluous anatomy jargon. To even think that I was now about to become one of them had made me crap myself with anxiousness, and probably overinflate my sense of ego and self-importance! Now, being a teacher, you start to notice that students roughly divide up into two groups – those who you annoy, and those who annoy you. I was midway through explaining the arteries in the circle of Willis, head down and deeply admiring the perfection at which the previous person had dissected my specimen when I looked up and saw the faces of 12 students who had the expression that they were thinking of different and innovative ways of killing themselves to escape the torture of the details of anatomy.

Those are the ones that you annoy. I’ve found that asking questions is a particularly good technique at getting students to learn. I tend to use that infamous phrase ‘what else’ that has plagued my medical school life, and now my ward rounds to get my students thinking. So when I asked my set of first year students the different types of hernias one could get, I expected a simple list of the common sites. What then proceeded to happen is that someone had managed to name all of them, and I mean all of them, some of which I haven’t even heard of. Those are the ones that annoy you. Unfortunately, I then proceeded to desperately wrangle back my power as the teacher who’s meant to know everything by incessantly showing off my knowledge and overinflating my experiences, by which point I’ve realised the killingthemselves-at-another-arrogant-doctor faces have come back rather than the inawe faces that you were hoping to get. One of the oldest consultants in the hospital once told me that he once trained the consultant on my firm. It made me realise that medical training is a wonderful process to witness and it carries on throughout your career. I will definitely look forward to the day when I teach those same anatomy students when they become the juniors on my firm


ICSM: Researchers have found a human gene that influences how we respond to influenza, explaining why in some people the usually mild disease becomes life-threatening. The IFITM3 gene encodes a protein of the same name that plays a critical role in the body’s immune response against viral pathogens, restricting spread. A variant of this gene, resulting in a shorter protein, was associated with greater susceptibility and hospitalisation with influenza in carriers. RUMS: Genes from different parts of a single tumour were found to differ, explaining why attempts at using single biopsies to identify biomarkers to which personalised cancer treatments can be targeted have not been more successful. The study used numerous samples from different parts of kidney tumours. 118 mutations were identified, of which only 40 were ubiquitous. Mapping these allows for treatment to be targeted at these mutations. SGUL: A genetic variant that increases the risk of a common type of stroke has been identified in a study comparing 10,000 stroke sufferers with 40,000 healthy individuals. This is one of the few genetic variants to be associated with risk of stroke. A mutation in the HDAC9 gene, involved in muscle tissue and heart development, was found to almost double a person’s risk of large ischemic stroke.


April 2012


News The NUGSC: Inspiration for up-coming surgeons Vamsee Bhrugubanda Guest Writer The second National Undergraduate & Foundation General Surgical conference took place at UCL on March 4th and 5th. With over 300 national and international students attending, it is one of the largest undergraduate surgical events of the year. The programme was packed with exciting talks, presentations and workshops. The talks were of many flavours with some that inspired while others that focused on being informative.

The list of speakers included some of the most eminent names of surgery in this country and internationally, with the likes of Prof. Lord Robert Winston, Prof. Sir Roy Y. Calne, Prof. David Rosin, Prof. Michael Baum and many others. The topics covered ranged from a historic look at how the art of surgery has changed to the current stated of surgery in this country and a look at what changes technology may bring to the future. The guest international speaker at the event was Prof. Paolo Macchiarini, who talked about Stem Cell Tracheal transplantations. Apart from fulfilling the needed

task of inspiring medical students, the conference also aimed to give an idea of the pathway on becoming a surgeon.

One that was particularly relevant for undergraduates was given by Prof. Paul O’Neill. He talked about the changes being brought to the selection

process for foundation training, including the allocation of selection points and the new Situational Judgement Tests. With examples, he brought a degree of clarity to understanding the reasoning behind the changes and how they will have an impact on applications. The conference was a platform for 20 posters covering various research projects from all over the country. All of the presentations were of an exceptionally high standard, reflecting the fact that they were carefully selected based on abstract submissions. This was capped by three oral presentations by medical students and a jun-

ior doctor. Prizes were also awarded from professional bodies such as the Royal College of Edinburgh, Society of Academic and Research Surgery and the British Orthopaedic Society. The NUGSC itself presented a prize and the International Journal of Surgery will publish the abstracts. Lastly but perhaps most importantly, the organizing committee deserve hard earned congratulations for the smooth running of the conference. Their hard work has ensured that the NUGSC has a bright future to look forward to and has helped hundreds of budding surgeons




"The NUGSC has a bright future to look forward to and has helped hundreds of budding surgeons"


Calendar of Events


19th April

GKT Global Health Conference

14th - 15th April

Sports Dinner

8th May

Sports Ball

21st April

Graduation Ball

29th June


April 2012



Features Editor:Bibek Das

Heavy Air Continuing our series of perspectives on healthcare around the world, Benjamin Kasstan reports from Lesotho, Southern Africa. Here, he received his introduction to the challenges and rewards of working in global health before starting medical school.

Image by Ben Kasstan


s a recent Anthropology graduate from Durham University with high hopes of studying Graduate-Entry Medicine, I was keen to accept an induction into global health and poverty by spending six months in Lesotho with Skillshare International. As a development organisation that works in partnership with local communities to share skills and manpower, I was offered a real lesson in understand-

ing the needs of others and working together towards a sustainable future. In the medical world, Lesotho is renowned for being the country with the third highest HIV infection rate and an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 23.2%, as estimated by the World Health Organisation. With almost one quarter of the population infected with the virus and infectious diseases being a key cause of death here, the average life expectancy has been dragged down to just 42 years.

I was sure to compliment these facts and figures with direct experience of the challenges facing health in Maseru, Lesotho’s capital district, through my placement at the S.O.S Children’s Village and nearby community clinic. This safe and stimulating environment provides for orphans and vulnerable children who are overwhelmingly affected by neglect, poverty and HIV/AIDS. As I pen this article one month after arriving, it is all too clear how much

HIV and AIDS are under the skin of this small state. When I arrived at my placement I was stunned as each child walked past the office to their dormitories and the manager would coolly state ‘double orphan, single orphan, that one there is a double orphan and also lost his brother and sister. In fact he arrived just two weeks ago’. She spoke as a matter of fact with no need for emotion or explanation, for what is unimaginable to us in the

UK is simply a reality for people here. My first day in the consultation room with the lead nurse was surprisingly quiet, no doubt owing to the fact that consultation and prescription costs had risen by 100% overnight. Although the clinic provides a not for profit service, the increased fee is to remain financially viable in light of ever increasing service demands. The only patients trickling through the doors were those from the com-


April 2012


Features munity receiving free tuberculosis and opportunistic infection treatments, a clientele with high rates of morbidity and mortality in Lesotho especially amongst the HIV positive population. Tuberculosis patients are caught in a vicious circle here, first catching the infection when they are immuno-compromised from HIV, and are then put at further risk of becoming active due to poor nutrition as well as crowded and poorly ventilated living conditions. Despite the medications and the Directly Observed Therapy Shortcourse (DOTS) programme being at no cost to service users, the cocktail of frontline drugs can induce hunger which then puts the patients at an unaffordable cost. Compliance presents a growing challenge to controlling the spread of TB in this community and the country as a whole, particularly because of the lack of benefits to support patients whilst on the lengthy medication regime. As I later walked into the makeshift waiting room I felt a heavy air of helplessness; to my left was a room full of women cradling their neonates and infants whilst waiting endlessly for the absent routine immunisations, and to my right was the empty consultation room usually bursting at the seams. In this staunchly Catholic society, it seems that today only the sound of gospel music from the radio will be able to tend to those in need. Another day spent measuring anthropometrics brought alive the increasing disparities between children in terms of their weight to height results. At first I was a little daunted

when given nothing more than a plastic ruler and pencil, but soon got started by lining each child up against a rickety filing cabinet and then guiding them on to the worn down scales. Although the equipment given to me lacked professionalism, the results and child growth curves reflected wider trends in Lesotho, particularly the difference between those underweight or stunted and the bulging rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension seen right across the population. The traditional Basotho diet is partly to blame as it largely neglects dietary fibre and is instead laden with carbohydrates (being almost entirely dependent on maize) and can be characterised by local deep-fried snacks such as ‘fat cakes’, which tend to replace breakfast because of their low cost. However when coupled with a relatively recent influx of processed food outlets and low amounts of exercise, particularly in the growing towns, the effects are all too visible in this developing country. From my first lesson in global health, it’s clear that there are many steps that need to be taken in order to begin reversing the country’s overwhelming and unsustainable double burden of disease. However, as a volunteer I am aware of my limitations and I know that my hands are only here to help, not to change or save lives. With approximately five months to go before I’m due to return home and sit the UKCAT, I can only hope that I’ll get to medical school and then one day return with the knowledge and skills to really make a difference


Beyond A,B,C... Alex Warren interviews students who have been setting up a paramedic training programme for medical students - the South London pre-hospital care programme

Image by Alex Warren


he South London PCP offers ambulance service placements, a varied programme of lectures and workshops to develop students’ interest in pre-hospital and emergency medicine, and also runs hands-on, practical training sessions. The two lead medical students are Abbie Sullivan and Chris Wearmouth, both in their third year at GKT. What inspired you to set up the South London pre-hospital care programme? AS: Where can I start? Personally, I’ve always had a long-standing interest in pre-hospital care, and there’s a massive gap in the curriculum, particularly since it’s been recognised as its own speciality. I think it’s really important that doctors appreciate what the ambulance service does for their future practice. CW: It really does throw you in at the deep end, getting you hands-on, actually treating patients in critical situations. Going out with LAS is by far the most exciting thing you get to do in your preclinical years of medical school. What’s a typical shift with the PCP like?

Image by Ben Kasstan

AS: Well, it usually starts and ends with tea! It’s important to be prepared, so the start of the shift is usually spent checking over the ambulance and the kit so you’re not caught

short by anything you’re called to. AS: Take my shift the other day - we spent the first half doing fairly routine jobs, then we were called to a flat-line outside in the snow. Straight after that we went to another critical patient and I helped save the patient’s life - we went from death to life in the blink of an eye.

an academic forum, where doctors and paramedics give lectures around a particular theme and students present cases they’ve seen out on the road. Nothing beats the shifts, though!

What will medical students actually do on a shift?

CW: We were called to a head-injur ed patient, no-one knew how it had happened. On arrival this guy was being held down by six police officers with a large open head injury, going in and out of consciousness. I dressed his head wound and managed his airway with a jaw-thrust, assisting the air ambulance doctors as they intubated him. AS: We’d been called to a man who’d fallen but was trapped in his fourth-floor apartment. No-one knew what was wrong with him, but we were worried about a possible fractured neck of femur. I ended up going up a ladder sandwiched between two firemen, breaking windows and assessing the patient on my own, it was a great experience

AS: A lot more than they’ll expect to - the whole point of the programme is to learn by doing. In resus jobs, you’ll more than likely be doing the chest compressions! CW: I mean, the jacket says “observer” but that’s far from the truth. My last shift, I diagnosed a cardiac arrest, at other jobs I’ve been responsible for maintaining a trauma patient’s airway. AS: On most jobs you’re doing observations - blood pressure, ECGs, blood glucose. That’s really important, and great OSCE practice. Often, you’re reassuring the patient as well, which is really important - unlike it is sometimes in hospitals, the patients are usually really glad to see you! What else does the PCP provide other than ambulance shifts? AS: Well we have the training sessions like these, which are quite flexible and based on what the students want to go over. Every month there’s

What’s the best job you’ve been to on the programme?


The South London PCP’s next academic forum will be at 6pm on Thursday April 12th, at Guy’s Campus, with a presentation of the ‘case of the year’. Those interested in the programme should email


April 2012



Comment Editor: Rhys Davies

O paradise, thy name is Slough! Zara Zeb Guest Writer

‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now,’ wrote John Betjeman in 1937. Having been born and raised in Slough (20 minutes from London Paddington), I have to say, I disagree. Slough is incredibly multi-cultural with Pakistanis, Indians, Somalians, Sri Lankans, White British, Polish, Afghanis, and many other cultures living side by side in harmony. It’s not perfect, but an interview with Richard Humphreys, the LPA Commander for Thames Valley Police, shows Slough to be the ‘most cohesive town’ he’s worked in. A local blog created by a charity called Aik Saath – which means ‘Together

as One’ in three different languages – shows some of the work Aik Saath does in trying to develop community cohesion. The blog can be found at

"‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now,’ wrote John Betjeman in 1937." Having grown up in Slough, I used to think it was boring but having relocated to the big city, I’ve realised it’s actually quite a fun place to be. You will love the parks – three big ones in central Slough all within walking distance of each other. Salt Hill Park has a play area for children that, I confess, many teenagers still use, as well as an

open area for people to play football or cricket or just laze in the sun. There is also a bike path, a café, tennis courts, basketball courts and recently, ten pin bowling. What’s more, along with bowling, there’s ice skating, swimming and a leisure centre all across the road from Salt Hill Park. The nearby Baylis Park has a lake with ducks and swans, a play area, and again lots of open space.

"It’s not perfect, but an interview with Richard Humphreys, the LPA Commander for Thames Valley Police, shows Slough to the ‘most cohesive town’ he’s worked in." If you were to walk further into

central Slough you’d find the shopping centre. Being a student, everything is pretty cheap as there are lots of small shops, as well as the larger chains of Primark, H&M, Next, New Look and River Island. There are kebab shops, burger shops, Subway, Greggs and fast food outlets so you could spend a whole afternoon in the High Street. Hidden away in central Slough is a memorial garden with absolutely stunning beauty. Maze gardens, trees, ponds, statues, benches, open space – it really is the perfect place to escape the noise of the town and life and just relax. West Wing Arts Centre also hosts cheap shows and cheap artistic classes related to dance and drama for good evening entertainment. Slough is currently under improvements for the Olympics so there is a lot of work going on in central Slough

but if ever you fancy a weekend or day away, why not consider Slough? It’s cheap for students, close to west London, with lots to do, and the buzz of a town without the congestion of a city.

"Hidden away in central Slough is a memorial garden with absolutely stunning beauty. Maze gardens, ponds, open space. It really is the perfect place to escape the noise of the town and life and just relax." On days when the sun is shining I remember walking the streets of home and yearn to once again be sitting in my garden with a good book


Disclaimer: Slough may not match artist's depiction. Proceed with caution. Image by Christina Krivcevska


April 2012


Comment Do you want some supersized McGenes with that? Robert Vaughan Guest Writer

A few days ago someone asked me if I thought genuine miracles can, or do, still happen in the modern era. I first thought about the strange behaviour of some certain sub-atomic particles over at CERN, and then how people today, in this scientific age, still pay for distilled water and have the audacity to call it ‘medicine’. Then I gave my answer: the 99p cheeseburger from McDonalds. I believe it to be the biggest symbol of the power, the weight, and the fiendish efficiency of consumer capitalism that there can, or will, ever be. The ability for a single corporation to manipulate the entire world and its industries to grow, farm, transport, cook and serve a staple inflation-proof beef sandwich, and to sell it to us for 99 pence for a profit. Wow. The keywords here are ‘sell it to us’ for 99p, but new scientific research shows that it costs us, and our offspring, much more than we had originally thought. It won’t be any real revelation for me to tell you that McDonald’s products, by and large, are disgustingly unhealthy; Morgan Spurlock demonstrated that better than I can

already. It also won’t be any revelation for me to tell you that by eating disgustingly unhealthy food frequently, we put ourselves at higher risk of many not very nice problems, namely coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension; three diseases which neatly make up the corners of what my A-level biology teacher referred to as ‘the triangle of death.’

the way back he feels a bit peckish, and so stops at the Mcdonalds at London Waterloo. He really is starving, so decides to order some 100,000 cheeseburgers with what is left of his student loan. In what can only be described as a gastrointestinal miracle, he eats all of them down in one sitting, and then stumbles back to halls and falls straight to sleep.

"We’re slowly unveiling a whole new level of gene information that is materializing a whole new level of genetics, aptly named epigenetics."

"Its not that the bases of your genetic code have changed per say, but however the expression and regulation of these genes is different."

Now, obviously our offspring during childhood live a similar lifestyle to ourselves via a reflecting diet, exercise pattern, etc. But beyond that, scientists now think that lifestyle choices actually change us in a way that we never previously been aware of, that is, at a genetic level. We’re slowly unveiling a whole new level of gene information that is materializing a whole new level of genetics, aptly named epigenetics. I’ll use an example to demonstrate. Picture if you will, a hungry 19-yearold male coming back from a central London pub on a Friday evening. On

The next morning, on top of some rather epic constipation, he realizes that he is now obese, but also, the tadpoles in his gonads undergoing spermatogenesis will contain genetic programming that, if successfully passed on to his offspring, would in fact go on to produce a child that is more predisposed to being obese as well. Now, in true Head and Shoulders style, here is the science bit. Genes, right? They’re in double helices. Key stage two. However, they then wrap into another double helix again around proteins called histones. The spacing

of these histones along the DNA helix regulates gene expression, as poorly spaced histones don’t leave enough room for genetic machinery like DNA helicase to get in there and do its thing. As well as the histone system, methyl groups can bind to cytosine bases in the DNA to limit expression. Methyl groups are also heavily involved in embryonic differentiation, that is, telling your forehead not to grow a vagina, and are known to change throughout life,

"Ethics is just a time bomb as well. If we’re aware that a nihilistic, crack-addled family who are known to have poor epigenetic prospects are getting ready to put a bun in the oven, should we let them? Or should we give more tax credits to a family of known salad munching marathon runners?" viz a vis, during puberty when genes in the skin of your face decide to give you horrible acne. It is only recently that scientists over at Imperial have realized that some these epigenetic tags

do in fact stay stuck onto your DNA during meiosis. It's not that the bases of your genetic code have changed per se, but the expression and regulation of these genes is different. For a suitable analogy, its not that the words in the sentence have changed, but the punctuation and rhythm of the sentence have been impacted in a way that will result in a completely different script. Just picture the consequences of this discovery. The definition of the self has changed entirely. ‘I’ is no longer the arrangement of those four beautiful chemical bases, it now encompasses how much my grandfather smoked as a teenager, and how many vegetables my mother ate when she was pregnant. Ethics is just a time bomb as well. If we’re aware that a nihilistic, crackaddled family who are known to have poor epigenetic prospects are getting ready to put a bun in the oven, should we let them? Or should we give more tax credits to a family of known salad munching marathon runners? It seems that even though I do get one penny back from my pound coin at McDonalds, with every delicious, chemical stuffed bite, I begin to alter the very fabric of who I am, and who my children may one day become. Epigenetics – I’m loving it


A case report of a most dangerous disease Rhys Davies Comment Editor

Did you wash your hands before picking up this copy of The Medical Student? I’ve always had a thing about infection. It’s what drew me to do medicine. I dreamt of being an intrepid SHO, exploring wards no-one had ever been to before, and discovering a pathogen, unknown to science, in the heart of darkest St. Mary’s. I fantasised that they would name it after me and that I would achieve immortality in the form of a nasty rash. But that dream was a lie – instead, it’s mundane things like staph, strep and TB. Lots of TB. But there is another infection that concerns me. Just as HIV/AIDS gets its day on 1st December, this disease is commemorated, celebrated even, on 14th February. Love, I think, is a disease. As a doctor-to-be, I feel it only right to know my enemy as to effectively combat it. Admittedly, love has already got the better of me so I’m starting at a disadvantage. But how do you study the pathology of love? Can you extract it with a needle or swab? Culture it, purify it, weigh it against Koch’s


"Feelings inspired by disease are not specific to love. Phaeochromocytomas induce a feeling of doom in their patients (and not just the thought of having to spell it) and propanolol, a common betablocker, can cause nightmares. Love stirs up our chemical milieu, adds a dash of dopamine or oxytocin, to warm us with affection and attachment." There’s no question that love is an illness. Palpitations, dizziness, excessive sweating or (depending on the person) urination are all symptoms in love’s casebook. The way it affects our judgement marks it as a disorder that strikes deep at the central nervous system. They say we all do stupid things for love - that’s because we’re all diseased. The rat infected with Toxoplasma will throw itself beseech-

ingly on the cat’s claws while we, the infected fools, throw open our wallets to the florists, chocolatiers and trinkettinkerers. It makes sense; if we can inspire love in someone else, through word or deed, the disease survives and spreads. Feelings inspired by disease are not specific to love. Phaeochromocytomas induce a feeling of doom in their patients (and not just the thought of having to spell it) and propanolol, a common beta-blocker, can cause nightmares. Love stirs up our chemical milieu, adds a dash of dopamine or oxytocin, to warm us with affection and attachment.

"They say we all do stupid things for love; that’s because we’re all diseased. The rat infected with Toxoplasma will throw itself beseechingly on the cat’s claws while we, the infected fools, throw open our wallets to the florists, chocolatiers and trinket-tinkerers." There is nothing gained in asking what the point of love is. Diseases have

no purpose, other than to thrive and propagate (Coincidentally, the same can be said of human beings). Love is not picky about how it achieves its succession. Sometimes, the disease burns brightly and lasts maybe only a few days. Other cases are far more chronic, even to the point of terminal. Previous exposure can provide a relative inoculation but there is no immune system that can hold love at bay forever.

"Love is not picky about how it achieves its succession. Sometimes, the disease burns brightly and lasts maybe only a few days. Other cases are far more chronic, even to the point of terminal." Every winter, when the flu strain du jour spreads its pall over London, you are always guaranteed to see someone walking about wearing a surgical mask. Half-decent protection against pneumonia, for about twenty minutes, but what barrier can you throw up against love? They haven’t made a mask big enough to wall it off. Short

of isolating yourself from all of humanity, there is nothing that can completely inure you, and if you did, what would be the point? Love goes where there is life. Love is unashamedly insidious. It can seep in and plant its seed even in those who, foolishly proud, declared themselves immune. The disease metastasises and infiltrates down in their bones and before long, they are riddled with love. By that time, any chance of a cure is gone. If there is a cure to love, I’m certain that the medicine is worse than the disease. I am sick with disease but please don’t send a 'Get Well' card. I apologise if this article irks the more cynical among you. Doctor, heal thyself! I hear you cry. Would if I could, or wanted to. But love is a disease to be reckoned with. Love is dangerous. It affects our bodies, it affects our minds, it affects our bank balance. I would be a richer man if it weren’t for my illness. I would remain perfectly self-possessed, my self-esteem dependent on no other creature. But neuronal misfiring and chemical imbalances in my mind make me see my girlfriend as someone very uniquely special, and make me feel very lucky to be with her. A chemical experiment beyond my control, yes; pointless, definitely, but it’s nice



April 2012



Culture Editor: Kiranjeet Gill

Some Like It Hot - ICSM Jack Bates Guest Writer For their main play, the highlight of their year, ICSM Drama performed ‘Some Like It Hot’ this March. The play, adapted from the 1959 film of the same name, was riotously successful, completely selling out two nights in a row, even after the provision of more seating. ICSM Drama, known for their penchant for comedy, have outdone themselves yet again. The story, set in 1929, revolves around two jazz musicians, Joe and Jerry, who accidentally witness the St Valentine’s Day massacre. To escape from the mob, they dress up as women and hide in an all-girl jazz band heading for Florida. Joe falls in love with Sugar, a member of the band with hopes of marrying a millionaire in Miami, while Jerry is the object of desire for creepy millionaire Osgood Fielding the Third. The play is filled from start to finish with witty jokes and wordplay as gender-confused hi-jinks ensue. Adapting a well-known and wellloved film for the stage, especially the amateur stage, is no mean feat but the two directors, Katherine Kennet and Tom Phillips, have done a fine job in balancing the pace and the humour of the original script with the

constraints of time, tech and space. Technically, the play was very impressive. Intent on re-creating the swinging 1920s, the stage was filled to the brim with bandstands, saloon bars, beds, bathtubs and even a ‘motorboat’ on wheels. This attention to detail was at the expense of some fairly lengthy scene changes but this was covered with enjoyable excerpts of jazz and swing music played between scenes. The sunny backdrop and authentic-looking period costume also added to the feel of prohibition-era Chicago and Miami. The danger with transferring a classic comedy such as ‘Some Like It Hot’ to the student stage is that the actors may fall short of their celluloid predecessors. However, the actors all gave credible and entertaining performances. Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe are all hard to emulate but the trio of main characters tackled them convincingly, supported by an altogether very strong cast. There were some interesting interpretations of American accents but this certainly wasn't enough to detract from the show. Fun and enjoyable from start to finish, ICSM Drama have outdone themselves with this production. The bar has been set high for all shows to come to meet the success of ‘Some Like It Hot’ but I've no doubt that ICSM Drama will relish the challenge


Image by Chetan Khatri

The Tooting Show - SGUL Durria Rubat Guest Writer

Image by Yuan Chao Xue

St George’s has a strong tradition of performing and RAG 2012 did well in the face of such historic pressure. The fortnight was full of thoroughly enjoyable, well produced and highly entertaining events, from the winning Face-Off performance, right through to the monumentous Tooting Show, The Tooting Show was hosted by the Afro-Caribbean Society and delivered to the wider student body by an array of talented thespians, dancers and singers. A variety of acts were on display, from spectacular choreography, impeccable piano-playing to dances that made you gasp – the show was as inclusive and diverse as the student body itself. The work of the equally talented production team ensured that all talents were shown to the best of their ability. A particular highlight was the singing. On a dimly lit stage and accompanied only by a guitar, the singers' voices were incredibly exposed – but every note was on key and goosebumps radiated throughout the audi-

ence, beginning from the first syllable and enduring to the last note. It really felt as though those brave singers were exposing their voices to the mercy of the crowd, but their efforts paid off and the applause from the audience at the end was heart-felt and well deserved. The dancers and actors were also fantastic, with the original pieces, mixed in with a homage to Face Off, which paid fitting tribute to the hard work that went into both performances, allowing the dedicated students another chance to showcase their hard work. Integrating many genres - ballet-inspired contemporary dance, for example - the performances were classily done, subtly catering to all tastes. The music was well chosen and all the dancers were awe-inspiring in their agility. From the moment the show began to the last word spoken on-stage, the Tooting Show was a brilliant and vibrant show-case of the multifaceted talents of the student body. The weeks of hard work ended in a nearperfect performance – and if there is one criticism that may be levied, it is a shame that amongst the fervour of RAG fortnight, some may have missed this fantastic end to a great month



April 2012


Culture Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicine Rhys Davies Comment Editor My housemate gave me this book for my birthday. and although I’m currently studying Medical Humanities rather than the History of Medicine, I still find this subject quite neat. The book is divided into eight thematic sections, going through 2500-odd years of medicine in terms of diseases, hospitals and doctors, to mention a few. Since you don’t have to wallow in a particularly dry part of history for any amount of time, the book feels incredibly pacy. It’s certainly a quick read – I don’t think it even took me a whole week. The downside of this is that at times, it can seem quite whistle-stop, simply namedropping a doctor here and there, a drug, a disease, before moving on to the next wave of medical enlightenment. The book is nicely illustrated with various drawings and diagrams from the entirety of western medicine. They range from the quasi-artistic illustrations from Vesalius, to satirical cartoons in 18th century newspapers. The prose isn’t particularly dry but they do provide the occasional break. A more holistic student might complain of the hemispheric bias in the book. Apart from the occasional nod to Ayurvedic or Chinese medicine, the book is rooted firmly in European

medicine (including Islamic medicine by Avicenna and friends, and America, once they got going). However, with western medicine going from hallucinating priests and the four humours to hospital institutions, patient-centredcare and drugs by the bottle-full, there is arguably a stronger narrative to tell. An alternative name for this book would be Blood and Guts: An Introduction to the History of Medicine, because that is what it inevitably feels like. Personally, I would have preferred to go into more depth into some of the times and subjects Porter describes, especially when I already knew more than what was being explained in the book. It is a very good introduction, to whet someone’s interest in this topic, but it is only the first, and smallest, stepping stone. Apart from a few oddly-worded sentences, Porter writes with an easy style. As I’ve already mentioned, the book is a swift read. Jargon is thankfully absent, as this book seems intended for a lay audience. As a medical student, this sometimes felt patronising but I’m willing to overlook that. On the whole, this is a good book, especially if you’re looking to be a bit academic but don’t want to be bogged down with a lengthy tome. Its scope is broad and extensive but lacks in depth. However, if it leaves you wanting to learn more, it has surely succeeded as a short history of medicine

What's On In London By Kiranjeet Gill (GKT) A number of big exhibitions on this spring seem to be variations on a theme that strikes fear into most medical students’ hearts – anatomy. So if you don't fancy the thought of revising all holiday but still want to feel like you’re almost doing something productive, you could do worse than to check out one of these.

Brains: The Mind As Matter The Wellcome Collection Considering the brain in its physical form, ‘Brains: The Mind as Matter’ looks at our attempts throughout history to uncover exactly what’s going on inside our heads. From a 5000 yearold trepanned skull to Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s early illustrations of neurons, and not forgetting a couple of bits of Einstein’s brain, this is an exhibition that might just make neuroanatomy seem a little more bearable. Until 17th June 2012 Free admission Nearest tube – Euston

Animal Inside Out Natural History Museum


This man might want to find ye olde hospital, pronto

Face Off - Universities go head-to-head Jessica Kanish Guest Writer

Image by Riverside Photography

'For pride, for honour, for respect', the motto of Face Off encapsulates the intense competition and excitement surrounding it. Eight universities, several weeks of rehearsals, an audience of 1500 and a panel of expert judges make it the biggest annual inter-university competition. The world-renowned Indigo O2 proved an excellent platform to showcase this all-singing, alldancing talent from across the UK. In all this excitement however it’s important not to forget the charities sponsored by the event which receive a huge amount of money made on the night. These include the Prince’s Trust and ADVRO. The Prince’s Trust aims to help young children in the UK in education and training and ADVRO strives to help the less fortunate in Sri Lanka. The universities which made it through the intense auditions included KCL, Leicester, Manchester, Not-

tingham, Queen Mary’s and South Bank as well as last year’s music champions, St. George’s, and dance champions, City, both hoping to defend their titles. Face Off continues to grow in popularity spanning out to diverse audiences through a wide spectrum of dances and music ranging from Street to a more cultural Gaana, incorporated into each act. The dedicated teams put in weeks of hard work as well as organising, choreographing and practising which paid off on the night of 10th March. Anyone present would agree it was nothing short of spectacular, with each university pleasing the audience in their own unique ways. An exuberant joker seen in the King’s dance act, a touching romance presented by Queen Mary’s and a more than impressive Michael Jackson piece by Leicester were just a few of the highlights that made the night. After a short period of intense nail biting, the champions of dance were revealed as St. George’s, and KCL the music champions. For now though, 365 days of anticipation lie ahead until an even bigger Face Off 2013


This new exhibition from Gunther von Hagen, creator of Body Worlds, features more than 100 plastinated and capillary animal specimens. Though the exhibitiion will undoubtedly attract a degree of criticism, it would be hard not to be impressed by the intricacies of the specimens on display. Until 16th September 2012 Concessions £6 Nearest tube – South Kensington

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace This showcase of Leonardo da Vinci's beautiful anatomical drawings follows hot on the heels of a sell-out stint at The National Gallery. Considered by many as one of the greatest artists of all time, he was also a pioneering anatomist, creating exquisitely detailed artwork based on his own dissections. The exhibition will also display a selection of his personal writings. 4th May - 7th October 2012 Concessions £8.50 Nearest tube - Victoria

Visited one of these exhibitions already? E-mail and let us know about it!


MY BROTHER IS AFRAID OF BEARDS By Rob Cleaver My brother is afraid of beards. I know it’s not the most fashionable of phobias - spiders, heights, enclosed spaces (the big three) - but it’s a phobia nonetheless. What is more strange though is that he, himself, is a beardkeeper. He is a man with fear written on his face. The story begins with an episode of Pingu in 1994, or maybe 1995 (I was four), and a solo trip to the south pole in search of ten minutes of claymation penguins. It was during this ten minutes that I proceeded to have a febrile convulsion, an epileptic fit, and lie lifeless on the floor against the sofa. I turned grey. My lips turned blue. I was an ocean of medical emergency. My mom wasn’t really well versed on the ‘what to do if your child has a medical emergency watching Pingu’ schematic - which is, no doubt, a ten point pictorial safety check to ensure all bases are covered - but she improvised. She rang for an ambulance and, not knowing what to drop first, my brother or the phone, she frantically circumnavigated every room as if it was Pat Sharp’s Fun House. My Dad was working late that night, so my mom had a big choice to make; to take my brother, babe in arms, to the hospital with us or to

Illustration by Elvin Chang leave him somewhere with a person of trust. Such life changing events, so little time to make a decision. As I was wheeled into the ambulance, my mom wheeled my brother, asleep (dreaming of the time he slept in a suitcase in Wales aged eighteen months) into the waiting carriage of the next door neighbours.

alone because everything smelt like the cupboard under the sink. Apart from that I don’t really remember much even though at four years, four days must feel like a forty year old endures month after month after month. I was okay though. I’m still okay. You’re allowed one, they say. You’re allowed one before they get really frightened.

‘We’ll take good care of him.’ I spent four days in hospital being prodded and poked, awake and asleep and prodded and poked all over again. My mom spent the nights in the hospital with me in the same bed. I didn’t want to be

My brother however had an imprisonment that was to last much longer, that has so far lasted a lifetime. For when he awoke from his sleep in his wooden cot, looking up through the flying animals of his mobile framed sky, he saw a

face. Not the face of God peering down at him. Not the sun with a baby’s face from Teletubbies. Not even Morgan Freeman. My brother saw my neighbour Graham, a jolly man covered in wispy ginger hair (predominantly over his chin), giggling back at him with warm, friendly eyes. The new face of terror. My brother screamed. He bucked. He kicked. He screamed even louder than he did before.He threw his own fit of sorts. He woke the neighbourhood where the ambulance’s siren could not. He won. He was so loud that if life was a game show he would have been awarded a significant cash prize.

My Dad still wasn’t home. My mom was with me. Graham took my brother up to his pot belly for the final nail in the coffin. My brother was now at his most lost, wrapped in the arms of a man who’s mouth he couldn’t quite make out. He didn’t stop clawing in desperation for his blanket, for something that still smelt like home, but he was brought up to the thing he feared most about this man. He was wrapped in a bristled embrace. The pivotal moment. The kiss of fear.

Are you dying to be part of the worst journalism practice you've ever had the displeasure of reading? You'd be daft not to. But luckily, daft is just what we like round these parts! So contact: or not. Your call.


April 2012



Mixed Results for London Medics Wednesday 21st March was the biggest day in the Imperial sports calendar, whether you’re a medic or not. Varsity 2012 began with the Netball 5s, where the medics defeated IC 33 – 3. Next came the Hockey, with the Men’s 3rd team managing a draw and the Women’s 2nd team conceding to IC 1 - 0. Meanwhile, the Netball 1st, 3rd and 4th teams all managed to win against their IC counterparts. Unfortunately the medics’ winning streak ended with the Netball .

IC did not lose a single game after this, their most notable win being in the Basketball, where they overwhelmed the medics 108 – 34.

The renowned rugby boys didn’t do much better. After losing against Bart’s in the UH Cup, the ICSM Rugby XIs were hoping for a better end to the season, however this was not to be. Despite some good play from the medics, there was no competition. IC won the JPR Williams Cup 31 – 0, and Varsity 2012 13 – 5. This was one of the worst defeats suffered by the medics, but we’ll be back with a vengeance next year: IC look out!


After losing the Macadam Cup to KCL for the first time last year, GKT were looking for revenge. The nerves of GKT supporters and players were high when KCL started a 2-0 lead following the waterpolo and swimming. On the day, KCL set the early pace with another victory in fencing (13569) but soon suffered a blow when GKT Men’s rugby won 36-22 and GKT netball smashed KCL 55-29, bringing the overall score to KCL 3 – GKT 2. GKT then began a winning streak with an impressive 5-0 in Women’s hockey over at Honor Oak Park, a solid performance in ultimate frisbee winning 15-3 and a convincing win with 15-9 in lacrosse. KCL managed to claw back a few points with a win in mixed tennis and a score of 4-2 in Men’s hockey down at Honor Oak Park, bringing the score back to KCL 5 – GKT 5. As the day began to wrap up a large crowd gathered at the women’s rugby game as it was obviously going to be a close game. A rather dramatic game saw 2 hospitalisations (3 including a joker in the crowd). After the match being paused, the paramedics took all three patients and the game continued. After a final push, GKT came out on top and reclaimed the Macadam Cup. Let's hope that they can continue this winning streak and retain the Cup next year!



April 2012



Barts capture well-deserved win

The triumphant team pose for a photo in the dead of night, after everyone else had gone home. Courtesy of James Beynon

James Beynon Guest Writer

After the disappointment of falling at the early hurdles in the United Hospitals cup competition for a number of years, the Royal Hospitals rugby team approached this year’s competition with the utmost caution, and entered every game with maximum preparation and focus. Hard work in the gym and on the training ground led to excellent results in the weekly league games, and produced a solid platform from which to launch an assault on the UH cup. BL secured their place in the first round after a solid performance against RUMS resulted in a convincing win of 43-8. In the semi-final we drew against

St. George's, a team we had learnt to respect following previous nail-biting finishes, where we had finished worse off. A hugely determined BL side ran out onto a muddy field in Wimbledon in front of a large home crowd and returned victorious, with George's not even making it onto the score board.

"Hard work in the gym and on the training ground led to excellent results in the weekly league games and produced a solid platform from which to launch an assault on the UH cup." The final was against Imperial, and BL were relishing the opportunity to get their hands on the cup. Our support

was there en masse with chequered flags waving and trumpets sounding, and the boys gave them plenty to cheer about. BL were playing the strong side that we were expecting and really rose to the occasion. The forwards enforced their strength and quickly dominated the scrum, while doing their best to compete with a threatening Imperial lineout. However, BL didn’t give an inch, and with brutal defence and some prolific ball carrying, flanker Tim

"The forwards enforced their strength and quickly dominated the scrum, while doing their best to compete with a threatening Imperial lineout."

Lloyd quickly crashed over the line to score the first try. BL continued to put the pressure on Imperial, aided by fly half Sam Anthony’s accurate kicking out of hand. The second try came after a clever grubber kick by Charlie Warburton, which caught the Imperial defenders napping, was collected by Lucas Rehnberg who carried it over for another 5 points. The second half continued to be a hard-fought affair with the pressure increasing on the Bart’s' line. A late tackle left BL with a man down for ten minutes and Imperial quickly capitalised with an effective maul ending in a try, leaving the score at 13-5. BL managed to keep the Imperial attackers at bay and close the game for the win. The cup was lifted for the first time in 26 years since Bart’s or The London had won it, and the first time since the

two hospitals unified. The victory was made sweeter as the trophy would join the UH sevens cup, which had already been sitting proudly in the cabinet since September, where a 57-0 victory

"The second half continued to be a hard-fought affair with the pressure increasing on the Bart’s line. A late tackle left BL with a man down for ten minutes and Imperial quickly capitalised," (also against Imperial) in the final had secured it. Two days later BL went on to win the ULU cup, completing the treble and topping off a hugely successful season




On your marks for the Bannister

Against a dramatic London backdrop, runners from the five medical schools compete, thoughts only of the coveted Bannister Cup. Courtesy of Sara Leddy

Sara Leddy Guest Writer

The Olympic fever spreading across London seems to have taken hold at Bart's and The London. On Wednesday 14th March, Bart's

and The London Running Club made a little bit of running history by hosting the Bannister Cup, the first United Hospitals Cross Country Championship, at the beautiful Hampstead Heath. Bart's is proud to be the first university to breathe life into old rivalries, especially with a new event. Teams of medical students from Imperial,

UCL, GKT and Bart's competed, following the usual London Colleges League route over eight kilometres for men and four kilometres for women. The cup was sponsored partly by Bart's and the London medical school and partly by Sir Roger Bannister. For those not in the know, Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in

under four minutes, when he was a medical student at St Mary’s Hospital (now part of Imperial). Bart's staff President Professor Charles Knowles, himself a keen runner, awarded the cup to the medical school whose teams earned the maximum number of points. The individual winners, James Pigot and Emily Bliss were both from UCL.

The teams to score the most points however were Bart's, much to the delight of Bart's captain Ryan Geleit, who organized the event. It is hoped that the Bannister Cup will become a regular event in the UH sporting calendar, and with Imperial hosting next year, the stakes will be raised as to who brings home Sir Roger Bannister’s Cup!


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RAG Weeks

The Charities






Barts: The Charitable This year at Barts and the London (BL), we tried a few new things. We held our very first Art Auction, which was successful enough that the London Metropolitan University, who donated a number of pieces, have suggested the formation of a partnership and this is to become an annual event. We also had our very own RAG does ‘Take Me Out’. This was an amazing event and everyone involved had a great time. Laird hall was packed, this event helped us raise over £1,500 for charity. There was a lot of hard work involved, but it was the highlight event of RAG week, with many people looking forward to the next one when we will be showing how the dates went. This year, Bart’s and the London Asian Society (BLAS), which is all about promoting culture, creating friendships and supporting charity, managed to secure the Savoy Theatre for their annual charity show 'Elegance.' This year’s committee is made up of medical and dental students, who work together to make one of London’s largest charity shows! More than 1,000 people turned up to watch students from London universities showcase their talents last year, with the money from every ticket sale going to a good cause. This year, we made the event even bigger and better with acts performing Bollywood numbers, street

dance, catwalks and new music acts never seen before in 'Elegance.' Rewind to September 2011 when the new committee took over BLAS. They organised the Plush: “Gangsters and Molls” night for fresher’s, and since then have put on Plush nights at a variety of popular London bars and clubs. In January 2012 they produced the most successful launch party to date, with over 400 students turning up to the classy Bond club, which was a night not to be forgotten. Elegance was the highlight of the BLAS year, and the committee have been tirelessly sponsorshiphunting to ensure that this year’s show can be taken to a whole new level – not only performance-wise but also where venue is concerned. BLAS Elegance continued to be a success, with amazing feedback from the show and after party, and acts blowing the audience away with unique performances! Thanks to the choreographers, the performers and especially the student body of Bart’s & The London and Queen Mary’s who have made Elegance 2012 a reality, raising over £11,000. The RAG fashion show was held this year at the O2 academy Islington, the show, along with Elegance, being one of the highlights of the BL's event calendar. It managed to raise nearly £5,000 for our very own London Air

Ambulance (LAA). The show also gave a chance to some of the people who work tirelessly to go on stage and model their distinct orange jumpsuits. BL Afro Caribbean Society is having their event Afrodesia for charity very soon. It is promising to be another great event at BL, and is on its way to becoming one of the most anticipated events of the year. Furthermore we had SKIP raising over £1,200 through Bart's Got Talent and KOP staged its first 5 a side tournament, in aid of its cause. This year with all the threat from London Underground, and not having a union for the better part of the academic year, we did quite well here at BL. Our Crash Course was best ever, raising a total of £31,500.80 in one day. This showed the great spirit of BL

when it comes to raising money for charity. For our RAG week we managed to raise £95,505.79 with our best RAGer, Darren Zurawel, raising £13,263 by himself. We had another very interesting RAGer, who is a prospective student and has got offers from at least two other medical schools in London, but he decided to get into the spirit of BL and

actually RAGed for us, raising £172.82 in a single morning. His name is Ayoob Ghani, look out for him during freshers. We wish him the best of luck, wherever he ends up. Here at BL we are now looking forward to our RAG ball and possibly our first RAG raid - and maybe even a couple of other events if time permits - to make sure that all our charities receive the largest sum of money possible. Finally, I want to thank our Freshers and the amazing committee who made sure everything RAG went to plan; plus those who participated in any of BL's fundraising events and anyone who supported us. The future of RAG at BL looks great, with the new captain having amazing ideas, and I have no doubt that the charity spirit at BL will only get stronger


GKT: The Drunkards RAG 2012 at GKT has been a monumental success this year. We have already raised over £40,000 for our charities and we're on track to hit our £50,000 target by the end of the year. Our first event of the year (after the horrific messiness that was the RAG Pub Crawl) was Jingle RAG. 135 GKT students braved the snow and the cold on December 9th to raise a massive £16,196.05, which is a record for one day of RAGging at GKT. Jingle RAG was just the beginning, and the anticipation was building for RAG Week, which took place from February 6th. However, before the real fun could begin RAG took a short jour-

ney to a mystery location - Brighton was the destination as most of the 50 RAG Raiders already knew thanks to loose-lipped committee members. Fuelled by copious amounts of Tesco's Finest Gin, the Raiders donned costumes (fire engines, victims of impalement etc.) and proceeded to shake the seaside town down. This was no ordinary Raid, as instead of returning to the warm bosom of the Dover Castle, we headed to the centre of Brighton to see what it had to offer (five Jagerbombs for £10). With the haziest of memories and the tenderest of heads, tour returned home the next morning to a soundtrack of Avicii's Levels, ready

to prepare for the week to come. The next five days were a blur of jangling buckets, banging nights and horrendously early starts, as RAGers went all out to raise as much money as possible for our charities. Each night, the amazing socials captured the imagination of our freshers. On Monday, the snakebite flowed as the Olympics came early to Guy's Bar, and the marathon continued on to karaoke at the Blue Eyed Maid, followed by a film screening on Tuesday at St. Thomas' Hostpital's branch of Medicinema UK, one of the charities we are fundraising for this year. On Wednesday, the excitement reached its crescendo as the special RAG Guy's Bar Wednesday. Queues were snaking around the block as hundreds clamoured to see the alluring Tit Squad work their magic and 'reward' some deserving freshers with their daily allowance of whipped cream and sprinkles. Thursday, traditionally a quiet day (for a good reason) was punctuated by the mythical Endurance, a sight that truly has to be seen to be appreciated in all its nutritious hilarity. Finally, a bittersweet Friday provided our best day's RAGging of the week, as over £8000 was raised, followed by a trademark pub crawl to Walkabout to banish the sadness that RAG Week was over. Over the week, hundreds of stu-

dents from Guy's, Waterloo and the Strand signed out a bucket and raised money for our fantastic charities. This year we are proud to support Evelina Children's Hospital, the Guy's Hospital Cancer Centre and Medicinema UK, as well as KCLSU student charities including the Kenyan Orphan Project, Unicef, the Sylvia Wright Trust, KCL Marrow and many more. Over the past year of RAG, there have been some very special people who deserve to be mentioned: Kazim Ghafoor raising over £2000, including £824.31 on one day, a possible Jingle RAG record! Sam Lazarus handing over the single heaviest bucket I have ever had the pleasure to handle with an astonishing £538.05 inside; Bernard H-V turning up in possibly the least alluring costume I have ever had the misfortune to see – a 6’4 rugby player wearing a lab coat and a Christmas bikini. It seems to have worked though, because he’s raised over £300 including his tattoo sponsorship (go to for more info); The band – an unbelievable amount of money raised by 9am. Ishani Rao and Matt Oxenham with their ridiculously cool Christmas jumpers Adel Raslan, who brought in a bucket with £125 of notes inside, including

a £50 note (the excitement in the counting room when we opened that bucket)! Nuala Sheils McNamee, Lottie Corr and Leah Bede who, despite only going out at 4:30pm on Jingle RAG managed to raise over £830 – unbelievable! Chris Yip being there (nearly) every morning at 6am, bright eyed and bushy tailed, when most of the rest of committee were not so enthusiastic... The brave souls who conquered Endurance: Daniel 'Babes' Sales, our Endurance winner, Harry Alcock, Paul Malcolm, Andrew Baigey, Sam Lazarus, Ryan Koay, Ben Thomas, Tharshan Umakanthan and Liam Jackson. There are so many more people that need mentioning, people like Andrew Baigey (FIRST RAGGER OUT this year at 5:59am on December 9th), Mark Maher, Victoria Hudson, Jeesoo Choi, Kate Rees, Joe Jolley, Neha Sandhu, James Baggott, Simon Tetlow, George Clewes and basically everyone else that came out! Finally, our amazing committee: Libby Richardson, Elisabeth Nuttall, Ben Thomas, Tom Fenner, Suba Thiyagalingam, Gabrielle Budd, Lucy Webb, Luisa Ramirez, Luke Anderson, Seb Kosasih, Segun Olujide, Joe Stammeijer, Harry Alcock and Sam Nayar. But we're not done yet: Jailbreak should take place after exams, and there will be a final RAG event sometime in June





St George's: The Enduring RAG 2012 at St George’s Hospital Medical School has been one of transition. Further to a clamp down by the Transport for London on mashing, it has proved to be a year of innovation and sheer gusto for RAG that has pulled us through. To the layman, mashing is a medical school tradition involving students dressing up in scrubs and compromising their dignity in search of money for charity. Owing to the small student population at St George’s in comparison to other London medical schools, we more so than others have heavily relied upon mashing. One only has to reflect upon last year whereby £18,000 out of the total £22,250 was raised from Mashing to truly fathom the importance of this tradition. Nevertheless, the challenge was placed upon the RAG committee to carry the mantle through these potentially tough times for RAG. The St George’s folk have rallied together this year to raise money for a variety of noble causes. To name but a few – Leonard Cheshire Disability trust, Right to Play, Show racism the Red Card, Teddy Bear Hospital, Marrow, Spectrum and the Prostate Cancer charity. Our RAG efforts began in November for Movember with a Battle of the Bands concert. It was a great success with a promising turn out which bodes well for RAG fortnight.

Our preparation for RAG stepped up a notch and soon RAG was upon us. As a result of the restraints placed upon us by the TFL we pursued a novel concept – Bucketeering. It involved students flooding the streets of Wandsworth in search of loose change for RAG. Despite the bitterly cold conditions the students did a tremendous job. Jacob Lovie and Kimi Citron must be commended for their magnificent efforts in raising over £500 over the 2 weeks each. Due to our discontent at mashing being banned, TfL kindly allowed 2 students at a select number of stations in the ticketing area for a day. The RAG events began with the Tube Disco, which was followed by our customary event Man O Man whereby Freshers battled it out for the title of 'Manliest fresher.' The 20 hearty contestants were systematically whittled down to eventually crown Alistair McManus as Man O Man 2012. Our next event catered for the staff and more sophisticated students in our inaugural RAG wine tasting event. Thanks must go to Angela Reddin who was a fantastic speaker on the variety of wines. RAG circles, Comedy Night and Family Fortunes rounded off a successful first week of RAG. Our second week began with 'Take me Out,' which was magnificently present-

ed by Pete Collett. The single ladies of St George’s took to the stage and had their pick over a variety of eligible bachelors. The week continued with a second RAG circle and a production of The Crucible followed by the Superheroes disco on the Friday night. By this point the RAG officers were left bleary eyed and exhausted, but there was one event still to come. To the sociably inclined at St George’s it was arguably the highlight of the social calendar. Yes, PRAM RACE. For those of you who are so unfortunate to have not experienced such a feat, it comprises of a team of four conducting a pub crawl on a Sunday afternoon in Wimbledon with the aid of a supermarket trolley! Despite the abysmal weather it did not stop the George’s students descending upon Wimbledon in Jenga, Army and Mermaid outfits. The camaraderie and spirit shown in aid on RAG at the Pram Race truly epitomised the St George’s spirit. It has by no means been easy, but due to our collective nature we have done extremely well. Our total currently stands at £8,116.05 and with events still to come we hope to close in on £10,000. I would like to thank the SGUL students and staff for giving their time and money to raise funds for a plethora of worthwhile causes


UCLU: The Daring This year’s RAG week kicked off with a good old fashioned pub quiz! Raising £60 for Spectrum, the minds of UCL’s elite were tested to the limits! Following this, the RAG Society headed down to Bloomsbury Lanes for a cheeky bit of bowling in aid of Bowel Cancer UK. Raising over £250, the event was a great success. As the sports teams went out for their standard Sports Night, we were hot on their heels with collection buckets, raising over £150 from the evening. Firewalking: it’s a catchy name for an event which, at a first glance seems like a silly idea given the simple fact that 1,000 degree heat will burn skin…or will it? UCLU RAG ran the event, a first for UCL, during the annual RAG Week on Thursday 1st December 2011. Monies raised from the event were given to Barnardo’s. Despite the light drizzle that was dampening the trade of the food stalls, the flames were, at the time, roughly a foot high. Nevertheless, the 22 participants departed for their one hour training and motivational session. This included exercises to separate the mind from the matter in hand. When they returned, the fire had burnt down to embers, but it was still burning at 1000 degrees centigrade (according to the laser thermometer). Bravely, the first people stepped forward and walked across the burning embers, red glows were still visible on the edges of the fire - clearly no-one was dawdling! After twenty minutes of walking, the firewalk was doused. Everyone agreed that it had been a fantastic event, and to the relief of UCL Estates, the quad tarmac had not been harmed! The event raised £2,452.10 for Barnado’s. Then came Jailbreak. 144 UCL Students hitchhiked deep into the heart of Europe for the second ever time at UCL. Having just 36 hours, students ran out

of the gates of UCL to get a head-start as soon as it hit 9:00am. As the hours went by, the fundraising total continued to increase. One team, the American Sueños, was even luck enough to get on Radio One! As the end point came close, teams rushed furiously to get as far as they could within the time. At 21:00 Sunday evening, teams had finally made it to Alicante, Budapest, Prague, Venice, and loads of other destinations. By this point the total funds raised had hit over £18,000 and now it has reached an astonishing £19,354.39! None of this would have been possible without the RAG Committee staying up all night to make sure the teams were safe, and all those who took part. It was an incredible event and claimed the prize for the best event of the year at UCLU.

At the beginning of the year, I never thought I would be guiding a 9m long, 2.75m wide, 160ton crane through the 3.10m wide UCL gates. As traffic continued to build up along Gower Street, the crane came increasingly close and finally made it through. From 10:30 till 18:30, students from all across London were jumping from a height of around 180ft, into the UCL Quad for charity. Although we only had 56 people signed up to jump in advance, over 114 students, a cow and Superwoman jumped throughout the day, with a plethora of emotions! This raised almost £5,000 for St Mungo’s and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. As well as this, it was an incredible sight as I’m sure you will be able to see from some of the photos!


Everyone was warned to cancel any plans they had made for the week of the 20-24th February, this week was for eating, sleeping, drinking, dreaming RAG! This year, ICSM RAG was collecting for the Teenage Cancer Trust, specifically supporting a local project to build a ward just for teenagers with cancer. Various activities were organised throughout the week, combining tradition with a 2012 twist. The week was a phenomenal success, raising just under £30,000! SO GOOD! MONDAY: No better way to start the week than at 5:30AM for an early morning collect. With the shiny buckets sealed, the RAG team dragged the freshpants out of their beds and into the heart of the city to get collecting! Fantastic efforts were put in, with some students even making it to Portsmouth and Reading for the cause! RAG continued full blast to the PM. A little show was put on, with participation being exchanged for more donations. TUESDAY Tuesday continued with just as much hype, with a midday competition to see who could raise the most in their break! Top money raisers were awarded prizes such as wine tasting for 2 and an iPod touch – who said charity was all about giving?! In the evening, RAG opted for a classier night out. After a slight mix-up with the London Fashion Week crowd (easy mistake to make!) RAGgers headed to Eclipse in South Kensington for a boogy - in preparation for Wednesday… WEDNESDAY Time for one of our all time favourites: INVASION. In line with the London 2012 Olympics, students donned their stretchy pants for RAG. With representatives from all sports and many nationalities (including the well known team ‘Jicaica’), freshers completed various tasks around London in exchange for donations. It was a very successful afternoon indeed, even getting the attention of news reporters (any publicity is good publicity). The day ended in style at the Union Bar to celebrate the day’s achievements. THURSDAY This was without a doubt one of the highlights of the week! With the sun shining, students gathered in Paddington for the traditional start of the Circle Line Pub Crawl! This was a tremendously successful day in every way, and a phenomenal amount was raised. We ended the night at Walkabout in Shepherds Bush, where the dance floor rapidly turned into a sauna… FRIDAY The week ended with a few chilled drinks, and a review of the misdemeanours carried out as well as recognising the RAGgiest of them all. The full buckets were piled sky high and ready for the RAG team to spend a FUN weekend counting (worth it). What a week!



The reason behi Barnado’s A children’s charity, running over 800 projects and working with more than 190 000 children each year.

Breast Cancer Campaign Provides funding for research into breast cancer. It currently supports 80 research projects in 35 centres of excellence across the UK and Ireland.

British Heart Foundation A charity that aims to reduce cardiovascular disease in the UK through research and education.

bibic The British Insitute for Brain Injured Children. Provides practical help and support for families with children who suffer from conditions that affect their social, communication and learning abilities.

Bowel Cancer UK Raises awareness about bowel cancer, and provides practical support and advice.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Enables world-class care to be provided for children, as well as support for their families.

Average amount raised by each student

Guy’s Hospital Cancer Centre A project that aims to provide cancer services in state-of-the-art facilities.

Evelina Children’s Hospital A specialist hospital in South-east London providing healthcare for sick children

Kenyan Orphan Project A charity committed to supporting the health and education of orphaned children in Africa.

Leonard Cheshire Disability Trust A charity campaigning for change and providing innovative services to give disabled people the opportunity to live life their own way.






London Air Ambulance Provides pre-hospital medical care to victims of serious injury, at the scene of the incident, throughout London.


ind the madness Macmillan Cancer Provides practical, medical, and financial support for people living with cancer.

Marrow A student group, working alongside Anthony Nolan to increase the number of donors available for stem cell transplants.

Medicinema UK Builds permanent cinemas to provide an uplifting social experience for patients requiring long-term hospital treatments.

Orchid Cancer Appeal Promotes awareness and pioneers research into testicular, prostate, and penile cancers.

Prostate Cancer Raises awareness of prostate cancer, as well as funding research, and providing support for patients and their families.

Right to Play Improves the lives of children in disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.

St Mungo’s Provides housing, care, and support for vulnerable and excluded people who are at risk homelessness.

Show Racism the Red Card An anti-racist charity that promotes equality by enabling role models to send such a message.

Spectrum Provides residential care, day services and education for people with autistic spectrum disorders.

Teddy Bear Hospital Aims to reduce childhood anxiety about medical environments, procedures and professionals.

Teenage Cancer Trust Provides care and support for young people living with cancer, as well as their families.

Unicef Works to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour.



Cabaret Kicks Off at Imperial This year’s IC RAG Fashion Show, Cabaret, at Clapham Grand, turned into a triumphant success as a string of sexy female and dashing male models paraded the catwalk in a variety of ensembles, from designers including Myla, Jaeger, Hawes and Curtis and Intimissimi, to name but a few. To add to the cabaret theme of the evening, the stage was overtaken by acts such as Belly Dancing, AfroCarribean soc Hip Hop dancers, Apex Beats, our very own modern day barbershop quartet, and Matt Woods, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter. They certainly did not disappoint. The afterparty was yet another highlight of the night, with numerous DJs keeping the beats going into the wee hours of the morning. With a packed dance floor and nonstop flow to the bar of students and doctors alike, there was no question as to whether they enjoyed the party. Most importantly, the event was in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity ICSM have been supporting since October 2011. Although we have not yet come to a definitive figure, we are pleased to say that our estimated total of fundraising for the show will be over £2000. Across London, Bart's hosted Vertigo at the O2 Academy, Islington. The show gave a chance for members of London's Air Ambulance, as well as students from Bart's and the London, to showcase their talents , in front of an appreciative audience. It was a huge success, raising almost £5,000 for HEMS


Editor Purvi Patel Layout Alexander Isted Image Editor Chetan Khatri Writers Elisabeth Kostov Dominic Putt Branavan Rudran Theodore Wilson-Parry Aran Selvakumaran Contributors Charlotte Boardman Elizabeth Cowan With







Bart's: Vertigo Makes Heads Spin



The Medical Student newspaper April 2012