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Student Support and Well-Being

Brunel Medical School

We understand that you may be coming a long way to join us. Our aim at Brunel Medical School is to make you feel welcome, supported, safe and at home on our international campus. 

We offer a comprehensive advice and guidance service from the admissions process and your arrival in London, throughout your degree until your graduation and progression into your career as a doctor.  

Our service starts with support on arrival at Brunel University London and will continue by steering you through the challenges you may face such as adapting to a life away from home, to studying in a new country and possibly in a new language and coming to terms with a foreign culture which might be puzzling or overwhelming.

Our student support is delivered by Brunel Medical School’s Student Support and Well-Being Team and gives you access to all Brunel’s Student Services in addition to the services and support tailored specifically to MBBS students.

Support

Brunel Medical School Student Support and Well-Being Team

The Brunel Medical School Student Support and Well-Being Team is your first point of contact for all the services available to enhance your journey through the medical school. The team will help you identify resources available directly through the medical school or through the University and ensure you are appropriately supported if any issues arise.

The team will also provide resources, organise events and offer advice to help you improve your well-being, and quality of experience at Brunel Medical School. 

Brunel Medical School Student Support and Well-Being Office

Our office is located in the Medical School building (Quad North Room 229).

Team members

  • Head of Student Support – Dr Katherine Smith

  • Student Support and Well-Being Manager – Mrs Debbie Dyson

  • Student Support and Well-Being Officer – Emma Bolton

  • Student Support and Well-Being Officer - TBC

Services on offer include:

  • House Tutors with learning coach role

  • Peer Mentor

  • Brunel Medical School careers advice

  • Support for USMLE and MCCQE exams

  • Clinical placement support

  • Tailored support services specific to international students

  • Events for MBBS students to enhance their experience

  • Brunel University student services.

Brunel Medical School Houses

All Medical School students will be allocated a ‘House’, which they will remain part of for the duration of the course. Each student will be allocated a House Tutor, who will support their personal, academic and professional development through a structured series of individual and group House meetings. The House Tutors will have a learning coach role, to encourage you to reflect on your development and progression by achievement of personal goals. Your House Tutor will be available to advise on academic matters and help liaise with the School’s Student Support and Well-Being Team, who can help you locate the relevant professional services either in the School or University.

Each House has a Senior House Tutor who is responsible for their resepctive House.

Learn more about our Houses and meet our Senior House Tutors 

Alexander Fleming House

Dr Robert Menzies, Senior House Tutor

Consultant Anaesthetist

Alexander Fleming House

 Q. What is the name of your house and what do you know about the person whom the house is named after?

Our House name is Alexander Fleming.  Alexander Fleming almost needs no introduction as the pioneer of Antibiotics. What impresses me most about Fleming are his modesty and integrity. He was very open about the “accidental” discovery of the first antibiotic and his tireless work to take this discovery into production.

Q. What are you looking forward to most about being a House Tutor at Brunel Medical School?

I am very much looking forward to seeing how the students progress and evolve into amazing young doctors. Obviously having been through the process myself, I’m keen to make the learning process for these students seamless and manageable. 

Q. What does your role as Senior House Tutor involve?

The Senior House Tutor role involves looking after a small group of trainees, but also having an overview of the House and its identity and activities.  The Senior House tutor has a role to make sure that all its members have a sense of belonging and an environment that supports them with not only their learning, but also their well-being.

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself and any relevant work experiences e.g. roles at other universities and research interests?

I currently work as a Consultant Anaesthetist in the NHS, but I also have a strong interest in Education.   I hold the role of Clinical Tutor in my current hospital, where I am responsible for the postgraduate learning for over 200 junior doctors. I am currently an Honorary Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London and I have a post graduate certificate in Medical Education from Cardiff University. Outside of work I am a keen runner, cyclist and skier.

Q. Our first cohort is incredibly diverse and international! – how do you think this will benefit the students?

Having met quite a few of the students now, I have been so impressed by how well the students have settled into their new home! The array of cultures is amazing and the suggestions for house activities have been so varied, largely driven by the huge diversity amongst students. They all appear to be very supportive of one another and recognise the importance of this support when living and studying away from home, family and friends.

Channi Kumar House

Professor Piyal Sen, Senior House Tutor.

Medical Director and Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist - Chadwick Lodge, Elysium Healthcare, Visiting Professor - Brunel University London, Visiting Academic - Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences, London Chair - Special Committee on Human Rights, The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Channi Kumar House

Q. What is the name of your house and what do you know about the person whom the house is named after? 

Channi Kumar House.  Professor Channi Kumar was a professor in perinatal psychiatry who came to the UK from India at a young age, worked for the NHS and after doing his training at The Maudsley Hospital, London, worked for The Maudsley and set up the first ever unit of perinatal psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, the academic wing of the Maudsley. After his death, the mother and baby unit at King’s College Hospital is named after him.  He represents the thousands of Black and minority ethnic doctors who primarily came from Commonwealth countries and made a huge contribution to British Medicine.

Q. What are you looking forward to most about being a House Tutor at Brunel Medical School? 

I am most looking forward to spending time with the students in my house, not only to assist with their academic activities, but also with any extra curricular activity in which they might be interested.  Medicine is not just about the science, it is also about humans and humanity and I particularly look forward to helping my students explore their humanity.

Q. What does your role as Senior House Tutor involve? 

My role as senior house tutor involves helping each student to achieve their individual fullest potential and also to function as a team to learn a skill which is very important in medicine.  My personal role involves overseeing the whole process, liaising with the house captain and other students in house leadership roles to ensure all the needs of the house are met and also being the tutor for 6 tutees.

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself and any relevant work experiences e.g. roles at other universities and research interests?

I did my basic medical training and my initial psychiatric training in Kolkata, India.  Prior to that, my schooling was in Kolkata as well.  I have been thrown into leadership roles right from childhood, acting as house captain for my own house in school and almost 4 decades later, we still discuss the highs and the lows of what our houses achieved when we get together as schoolfriends! I want the BMS students to develop that kind of spirit.  When I went to medical school, I was elected President of the Student’s Union and understood the importance of leadership and organisation in medicine, particularly the art of motivating and inspiring others.  One of my favourite activities continues to be organising reunions for my own school and college, bringing them together from various parts of the globe.

With regards to professional roles, I work as Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and Medical Director, running a department of 11 doctors in a 116 bedded psychiatric unit.  I am also a visiting Professor at Brunel University, maintaining research links with the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), Brunel University, as well as with the Institute of Psychiatry, the academic wing of the Maudsley, where I did my research prior to joining Brunel.  My areas of research interest are personality disorder, cultural psychiatry and medical ethics. I am particularly interested in research on marginalised groups, like asylum seekers and refugees.

I have experience of taking part in medical student selection, both at King’s College School of Medicine as well as Buckingham University.  I am also an MRCPsych examiner for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  I have a strong interest in Human Rights and am currently the Chair of the Special Committee of Human Rights, Royal College of Psychiatrists. I also lead in the delivery of the Professionalism, Ethics and Law (PEL) curriculum for Brunel Medical School, delivering TBL sessions as a content expert. 

With regards to other experiences and interests, I am keenly interested in debating and dramatics.  During my college days, I was the Assistant General Secretary of the Calcutta Debating Society, organising and speaking in public debates, and also acted in English and Bengali plays on a semi-professional basis with theatre groups, travelling to other cities in India for the performances. This helps me immensely in my current professional career, where I have to appear in court as expert witness and be cross-examined by lawyers and barristers. In many cases, my name has appeared in the media as expert witness for a high profile trial.

I also have an interest in films, and for a while was one of the film reviewers for the British Medical Journal (BMJ), reviewing films of interest to doctors and medical students. I continue to present talks, not only at academic conferences but also to medical school societies on topics of interest, like asylum-seekers and refugees. I have also given evidence to All-Party Parliamentary Committees on the mental health issues in this group, and spoken to the media as spokesperson for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Q. Our first cohort is incredibly diverse and international! – how do you think this will benefit the students?

 I consider the diversity and international nature of the first cohort to be incredibly exciting.  As someone with an interest in human rights, I have always personally had a global outlook. As someone who arrived in the UK as an immigrant and fell in love with the global population of London, I relish the opportunity to train our students to be genuine world citizens.  Medicine is in many ways a global speciality, I have friends who have started their training in Kolkata, India, but now practice in India and all over the world, not only in the UK, US and Australia, but also places like Papua New Guinea and even Congo. 

Medicine is their passport to global citizenship, it makes them feel at home wherever they go, and they are respected for their knowledge and humanity.  For our students, to start off with such an incredibly diverse and international peer group, they are very fortunate. Hopefully, it will train them very well for their future practice, whether it is in their countries of origin, in the UK or any other country which they choose to make their home.  I am thus very excited about the possibilities and potential benefit to students.

Cicely Saunders House

Dr Jean Potter, Senior House Tutor

Macmillan Consultant in Palliative Care, Clinical Lead for End of Life Care.

Cicely Saunders House

Q. What is the name of your house and what do you know about the person whom the house is named after?

Cicely Saunders House. Dame Cicely Saunders is internationally recognised as the founder of the modern hospice movement. She pioneered in the field of palliative care, binding patient centred care, research and teaching together. She trained as a nurse, social worker and then doctor. She epitomises lifelong learning, multidisciplinary working and how to successfully realise one’s vision. I was lucky enough to meet her when studying for my PhD at Kings College London. It was very special to share a pot of tea with her as I attempted to explain my thesis!

Q. What are you looking forward to most about being a House Tutor at Brunel Medical School?

Most definitely meeting and getting to know the students. I know they have come from many walks of life and I am interested in gaining their perspectives on the world and how they can contribute to this marvellous field of medicine.

Q. What does your role as Senior House Tutor involve?

I vividly remember the highs and lows of being a medical student and of being a doctor in training. These experiences have fed a longstanding interest in lifelong learning, wellbeing, resilience and professionalism. I hope very much to support students to find and develop their own abilities and strengths because these will enable them to flourish through medical school and for many years beyond.

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself and any relevant work experiences?

I studied Medicine at Imperial College, Sociology at University College London, and undertook my PhD – studying the prevalence, identification and natural history of neuropathic pain of various aetiologies - at Kings College London. Following my general medical hospital training, I spent three years in Clinical Oncology before finding my passion in Palliative Care. I have been a Consultant in Palliative Care for 15 years and during this time I have undertaken many roles aligned to this specialty, developing and delivering new services and supporting and teaching multidisciplinary specialist and generic staff.

I was a lecturer on the Palliative Care and Policy MSc at Kings College London for several years, as well as establishing the Therapeutics in Palliative Medicine Course at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Q. Our first cohort is incredibly diverse and international! – how do you think this will benefit the students?

We all have so much to learn from each other! It’s a fantastically fertile environment. I have no doubt students will make lifelong friends and colleagues, and in doing so create a supportive network across the world. That’s just so wonderful.

Dorothy Hodgkin House

Dr Anthony Barron, Senior House Tutor

Clinical Educator

Dorothy Hodgkin House

Q. What is the name of your house and what do you know about the person whom the house is named after?

Dorothy Hodgkin. She was a British chemist and the only British female to win the Nobel Prize for chemistry. She was crucial in identifying the molecular structure of penicillin, vitamin B12 (for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize) and insulin. She was a graduate of both Oxford (undergraduate) and Cambridge (PhD) universities and achieved incredible things in a male dominated specialty at that time, and all whilst living with Rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that caused her significant disability.

Q. What are you looking forward to most about being a House Tutor at Brunel Medical School?

Close interaction with students one-to-one to help them develop as learners and ultimately as the doctors of the future. I already hold a supervisory and educational role for junior doctors at my hospital at am excited to use this experience for Brunel students, especially at a point in their training when they will be full of enthusiasm for the future ahead.

Q. What does your role as Senior House Tutor involve?

Alongside the role as a House Tutor for 6 students this year, I also hold more responsibility for the other 16 or so students who have as their Tutor one of my colleagues. Part of my role will be supporting these colleagues, especially the two clinicians who have less time to commit to Brunel alongside their clinical duties than me ensuring they have someone to come to with questions on how to manage their students.

The Senior House Tutor will lead on establishing the house culture, the uniqueness that will make us Dorothy Hodgkin House, supporting students in leadership roles within our house and helping guide the sense of community that we all hope will give our students a feeling of home away from home.

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself and any relevant work experiences e.g. roles at other universities and research interests?

I have been a consultant cardiologist at Harefield Hospital for 6 years. We are a specialist heart and lung hospital. I specialise in heart failure (patients with weakened hearts) and cardiac imaging (scans of the heart). I also hold the position of the Royal College of Physicians Tutor for Harefield Hospital, a supervisory role looking after the education and welfare of junior doctors in the physician specialties. I also mentor the Physician Associates at Harefield, who are a relatively new staff group, some of whom graduated from Brunel!

Q. Our first cohort is incredibly diverse and international! – how do you think this will benefit the students?

Like our students, our patients are incredibly diverse and international. I'm sure we can all benefit (students and staff) from greater day to day interaction with people from different backgrounds and cultures. When our students start to see patients it will help them treat the person in front of them holistically, having a greater appreciation of what makes them unique, which can only be beneficial.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson House

Dr Senita Mountjoy, Senior House Tutor

Head of Curriculum Development, General Practitioner

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson House

 
Brunel Medical School’s Careers Advice

Brunel Medical School will guide you through your medical studies, whether you intend to enter the UK Foundation Programme or return to your home country after graduating. We will help you in researching and understanding the requirements for practicing medicine in your country. We will also work with you to identify any additional resources and support you may require to meet the requirements.

Support for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE)

Some of you may wish to pursue your medical careers in Canada or the USA. A dedicated assessment advisor in the School will offer guidance on the USMLE  and  MCCQE assessments. The assessment advisor will discuss individual needs, and provide advice on approved preparatory resources, including review texts, practice question banks and online courses.

Tailored support services specific to international students

  • Guidance on your visa application and compliance with the UK Home Office

  • The transfer of a Tier 4 visa status to a Tier 2 visa for Foundation Training posts.

Events and support for Brunel Medical School students to enhance experience and Well-Being

A range of events will be organised by Brunel Medical School throughout your educational journey to help you meet your classmates and fellow House mates, find out about new cultures, and you can join a range of social activities organised in collaboration with the Brunel Student Union.

English language support

Prior to starting the course - If your level of English does not meet the entry requirements of the MBBS, you will be offered the chance to attend an English language course at the Brunel Language Centre.

The Centre runs pre-sessional English courses lasting from 6–50 weeks, depending on your needs. As you progress through your Medicine course, the Centre offers free academic English support through group courses and one-to-one consultations. This means you can continue to develop your skills in academic writing, reading, listening, discussion, pronunciation and presentation skills.

Medicine specific language classes: An important part of the teaching programme are our subject specific classes. There are English language sessions dedicated to the field of medicine which brings together students who will be studying similar courses. The focus here is on the skills and vocabulary needed for the health sector. Students also get the opportunity to visit interesting London venues to explore the discipline outside of the classroom.

If you require English language support during your study, you have the opportunity to attend English classes at our Brunel Language Centre.

Brunel University student services

The Brunel Medical School Student Support and Well-Being team can direct you to central student services, which provides individual and group student support to help students overcome certain challenges so that they can achieve their university goals. This includes counsellors, study skills tutors and access to the assistive technology centre.

Brunel University London has a vibrant, rich and dynamic population of staff and students from all over the world. We provide support and guidance on a range of equality and diversity issues. If you feel you are being treated unfairly or discriminated against, being bullied or harassed, we can help you access support that is right for you. Access to our ‘Brunel Buddy’ system in your first year. Our ‘Buddies’ are trained Brunel students who use their own personal experience of being a new student to answer your questions and let you know about available support services at Brunel.

Useful documents 

Supporting medical students with mental health conditions (gmc-uk.org)

For more student support information please visit:

Support for International students

Brunel’s Student Support Services  

Contact the Brunel Medical School Student Support and Well-Being Office

Tel: +44 (0)1895 266435

Email: BMS-Support@brunel.ac.uk