26 Nov 2019

A busy week in Biology, including “A theatre of one’s own”

On Monday 18th November, Ms. Elizabeth Belcher, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Oxford University Hospitals, spoke to our Biology+ students about her fascinating career in a talk titled “A theatre of one’s own”. Elizabeth explained how the requirements to become a doctor are very different to becoming a surgeon. She then showed our students several somewhat “gory” videos of lung surgery (which entertained and horrified the students equally!) She also talked about the difficulties in carrying out keyhole surgeries and how robots might be used in the future.

She then really brought her talk to life for our students when she set up a number of stations to show some of the basic techniques that keyhole surgery requires. Tasks involved threading a shoelace through a polo mint or picking up dice or sugar cubes while looking at a projected image on a screen. This simulated the dexterity required by real-life surgeons*. The students enjoyed the activity and became either frustrated or elated depending on whether the shoelace slipped out of the hole or if they managed to tie a knot successfully!

In general, it’s been a hugely busy week for our Sixth Form Biologists with our Upper Sixth making their way to the Natural History Museum for a lecture entitled “Diversity of Animals: Darwin to DNA. Lectures such as this are great practice for our students as we prepare them for life beyond d’Overbroecks. In addition to this, we’ve held multi-mini interview simulations for our Lower Sixth, the renowned ‘speed dating’ format used by most Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Schools – keep your eyes peeled for our post about this tomorrow that will give more detail!

Many thanks to Shanti, Jaime and the Biology Department for organising and facilitating these events and making sure that our students experience high quality opportunities to expand their breadth of understanding. Giving our students exposure to real-world experts allows them to learn outside of the classroom, a habit we want to encourage beyond their time at school.

Finally, a huge thanks to Elizabeth for visiting d’Overbroeck’s to deliver this insightful talk and also for giving our Upper Sixth future medics and vets valuable interview advice.

*No polo mints or sugar cubes were hurt in the process.