Student portrait of Rachel Subden

Medical student shares lesson in self-belief

Learning to believe in herself was the biggest obstacle Rachel Subden had to overcome when she applied to study Medicine at Edge Hill.

Rachel, 19, admits that she almost talked herself out of applying to study a medical degree after doubting her ability to become a doctor.

“I don’t think anyone finds a route to studying medicine straightforward. At one point, I almost talked myself out of it completely because I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough. Thankfully I regained the confidence to apply and it was the best decision I ever made”, Rachel said.

Fast forward to 2021 and Rachel is well in to her first year studying Medicine at Edge Hill’s new Medical School.

Rachel, who is from Lincolnshire, is the first generation in her family to study at university.
She explained: “No one in my family is from a medical background and I didn’t know anyone from that world before I came to university.

“In my Sixth Form, there were two other students who were applying to medicine programmes and both of them had a parent who was a surgeon, which gave them great connections and insight into the sector that I didn’t have access to. When I eventually started going to university interviews, I would look around and think about the competition I was up against and it was quite daunting. You have to constantly remind yourself why are doing it and to not compare yourself to anyone else.”

It was by chance that Rachel attended an Open Day at Edge Hill while she was visiting the local area, and her experience on campus left a lasting impression.

“I’m from a small village, so I completely fell in love and felt at home on the campus as soon as I arrived. It has a real community feel to it and everyone was so warm and friendly. It was quite different to the other Open Days I’d attended as I felt like the tutors really made the effort to talk to me and find out more about my background”, she said.

Reflecting on her decision to embark on her medical journey in the midst of a global pandemic, Rachel added: “It’s been a learning curve but I’ve enjoyed it. I really appreciated that at the beginning of the programme, the tutors were keen not to overwhelm us with too much information straight away and gently eased us into the teaching. They genuinely care about us as individuals.”