Medical Student

Hi all - first post.

I'm at 22 year old medical student studying in London. I was hit by a car in November last year and then was in a coma for 7 weeks. I dislocated both my knees so had them reconstructed as well. Hoping to return to medical school in September 2018. Just wondering if there is anyone similar on here who I could talk about my situation with?

Thanks in advance!


14 Replies

  • Hey Matt!

    Lovely to talk to you :) How are you today?

    I say go for it! You can do anything if you set your mind to it! I'm aiming to get back to commuting up London for my job. Don't get me wrong it may be harder to travel up there now but I'm determined :)

    What's bothering you about returning to study?


  • I'm good - I had a rehab session earlier and just decided to talk in this forum in case people that also had similar injuries to me had any advice. How long has it been since your injury if you don't mind me asking? And what happened?

    I'm bothered about memory issues stopping me being safe enough to practice to be honest. I guess if my memory isn't good enough I'd just fail exams anyway haha. At the minute I have to use things like to do lists to remember really mundane things which prior to the accident I would just remember without trying - so my memory needs to improve loads to be good enough for medicine. Nice to hear from you, thank you for replying!

  • Great to hear :) So I've been 4 months since my car accident. I was visiting my dad in South Africa and unfortunately he lost control on the motorway. I had 2 bleeds on my brain and fractured my spine in 2 places. A few broken bones too but they will heal :)

    My short term memory is a bit naff. However I have dowloaded an app called "peak". It helps to train the brain and helps with memory. I really recommend it!

    Honestly keep positive and don't let your memory issue put you off. You may have to work extra hard to remember the info learnt but keep practicing and you'll make it! I have full faith in you.


  • Welcome Matt. Can you tell us a little bit more about your particular brain injury, and also what issues you've been left with.

    After a brain haemorrhage in 2011 I have short term memory issues, severe fatigue and balance problems...............all common after effects of brain injury. x

  • I had a subdural which was ok after a craniotomy to let my brain swell for a bit. Currently my issues aren't huge - my memory isn't great and neither is my balance but my fatigue is improving actually. I'm undergoing cog rehab in London and they give me lots of ways to deal with stuff but thought this forum was worth it to just talk to other people who've also suffered. If I may ask, how do you manage your fatigue at the mo?

  • For those of us with no work commitments it's obviously easier as our time is more or less our own. It's mostly an inconvenience whereas, for those who work or study, it can be really challenging.

    We hear from people who've returned to work too early and found themselves struggling badly owing to fatigue and poor memory, often resulting in having to quit.

    But, as I'm sure you're aware, the concessions for students coping with the extra challenges of disability can make it possible to achieve goals, despite such issues as fatigue, by allowing extra time to allow for rest periods.

    The main problem for you Matt would, I imagine, be the one of memory. How would you assess yourself ; do you find yourself struggling to recall/retain information ?

  • Mjag

    i wish i could be positive but the plight of my grandaughter who was hit on R parieta by a panel of wood sept 2013 and since has suffered repeated bouts of stabbing pains from pint of impact many times every day plus post traumatic chronic migraine varying from 8/10 where somehow she copes for a few hours to 10/10 in a dark room for days or weeks at a time not one medicine helps nor do es TMS,gamma core,Lidocajne IV DHE ,botox

    she should be studying law at Oxford but since she can no longer even read a book or stand noise or lights i cannot see how its possible

    thanks to a shallow groove she has disclocated both knees but the pain of those is nothing to the day in day out pain and resulting fatigue from the stabbing pains and migraine

    No one has offered rehab and all 5 neurologists so far have been useless

    Who would you recomend

  • Hello! Firstly let me say I'm so sorry to hear about your granddaughter. It sounds like the effects of her TBI are horendously hard to cope with. Her unfortunate inability to return to her studies is just what I am trying to avoid - so I'm trying my best to stay positive.

    I receive rehab at the Wolfson Centre in Roehampton, London and would highly recommend it. When I was discharged I went to live at home with my dad in Yorkshire but it quickly became clear that if I wanted the best shot at medical school I needed the best rehab I could get which meant returning to London.

    Anyway - I do hope your daughter can find some rehab and if you want to know anything else just let me know. Send her my best!

  • allowances for students is sadly a total joke especially on a law degree or final exams

    its allvery well but theres no way she is fit to work yet theres no way her pain and suffering falks under PIP so how is she supposed to support herself whenbenefits are denied

  • Hi Matt and welcome, it's great to see someone with such a positive attitude post on here, I'm sure with hard work and dedication you will get back to medical school. I myself have had problems with my memory but didn't let that stop me getting back to work in the pretty intense environment of supporting adults with learning difficulties. I also have chronic fatigue which is a real pain at times but I somehow manage toe work through it.

    Stay positive is my best advice!

  • Hi,

    I had shocking memory and balance problems after my SAH / SDH accident but thankfully not broken bones other than the skull so I feel sorry to read what you've had to go through. I found brain training apps great from about a year after the accident (as I couldn't seem ti understand or competently tackle any of the 'games' before that. Peak has been useful, but Lumosity and Elevate have different games with similar aims, so have a look at all of them before you decide if you're going to upgrade to 'premium' version of any of them :) Inused the free versions of all of them fro several weeks before plumping for Peak. Also, keep an eye out for reductions on the full prices before you buy any, just after Christmas, peak was available with 40% off. Peak doesn't have automatic renewal, where some other games expect you to cancel your subscription, so I thought it might be best in light of memory problems.

    I started with written lists at first, but found that if I didn't look at them they were a bit useless, so I eventually started using the technology on my phone with audible reminders. Due to attention problems, they are sometimes not successful either (if a tap to acknowledge a notification but don't immediately do what it's reminding me to do). I feel lucky to have these things at my disposal and hope to return to work shortly.

    My advice would be to keep on going. Build 'rest' periods into your schedule if possible to prevent overload. Good luck with your studies. As a student who's in the habit of learning p, you should have good brain plasticity I guess? So don't let it slide, if you feel up to it, get right back in there and keep going. I'm finding two years on that I'm now able to do a lot of things I was able to befor but it's a lot more effort. You're right to seek the very best's definitely worth it. You'll have a far greater insight than many of your peer group when it comes to certain medical issues once you're qualified.....and this may be the clincher that gets you the job when it comes to interviews :) That's a positive thought ha ........I wish you every success.

  • I was hit by a car and in a coma for 3 days. It was a long time ago- 20 years- and I would encourage you to go forward with your studies. Throughout my 20's I did ok at courses, taught Music Theory 6 years after the coma and then passed Grade 1 with a distinction 8 years after. That was over 10 years ago and I have just returned to studying after working in promotion and find I can only focus on a screen for 2-3 hours so it will take a lot longer. Do it while you are young as your brain would have recovered well and you have less distractions! My concentration levels are not as good now, I think you can do well :)

  • Hi,

    For many, many years I used to be a highly paid consultant until I banged my head five years ago. I have improved quite significantly over the last few years and have been looking to return to work. However, my problem is that I am not that good enough to return to my previous high level but too over qualified and experienced for a junior role. I could still do a good job but finding someone to employ me in my mid 50's is going to be difficult.

    Your situation is different and in some cases a lot easier, you are at the initial stages of your medical training and career. Once your symptoms settle down and the "repair" process is under way you will know where you are in terms for the future - but it will come down to two "C"s - Confidence and Competence and both go hand in hand.

    Confidence, you will go through an emotional roller coaster over the next few years, personally and career wise. I would hold on to the notion of qualifying as that will give you something to focus on.

    Competency, there is a very good story of a female American physician whom retrieved a TBI, went through rehab and returned to medicine. She had to spend a year under supervision to get her full licence back but after that, she practised solo

    If you do go on to practice in general or one of the more specialised spheres, you will be in a very unique position - there are very few medical specialists whom truly understand a TBI as they have never experienced it or can't grasp what it is like living with one.

    All the best on your journey

    BTW, I waiting for 2 knee replacments and only have 9 years to go so I know what knee pain is like :-(

  • Hi, my son is currently an F2 and his dad, my husband is the one with the brain injury. But my son is dyslexic yet managed to complete all of his studies in Oxford. He had extra time in exams which helped enormously. Nothing is impossible and there are plenty of doctors out there with special needs of one sort or another. Support is out there but you do need to ask for it.

    Would it be possible to study part time and take two years to do one year? You could ease your way back in gradually and see how things go.

    Extra time in exams will help and maybe if fatigue is still a problem you might be able to ask for a short break in the middle of an exam (supervised of course).

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