60 Years of Selwyn MedVetSoc Anniversary Event!

On Saturday 3rd February, Selwyn medical and veterinary alumni from all generations returned to Selwyn to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Selwyn College Medical and Veterinary Society, founded by Dr Whitaker and Larry Baker during their time as students in the 1950s. In that time and since, the society has been a source of support for medical and veterinary students at Selwyn, hosting guest speakers, organising dinners and providing academic and pastoral resources.

It was a pleasure to welcome back alumni and hear how the medical and veterinary course, and indeed Selwyn, has changed, and what they went on to do after leaving. The day started off with a lunch in the new SCR followed by a series of talks on the Medical Elective Fund for 5th year medical students, the newly established Jamie Netschert fund to support veterinary students on their placements, “Veterinary Medicine – then and now” given by Richard Medd, David Chivers and Stuart Eves, and “Clinical Medicine – then and now” given by Henry Annan and Elizabeth Turner.

Following a break for tea, clinical medical students gave feedback on their electives including placements in New Zealand (Charlie Nye and Rebecca Haggie), India (Shalin Abraham), China (Hayley Johnson), Tanzania (Rachel Scott) and Kuala Lumpur (Mohammed Abdelaziz) – all made possible with the generous funding received from the Medical Elective Fund.

Rachel Scott talks about her Medical Elective in Tanzania.
The day started with lunch in the New SCR.
Current Selwyn Medical Students watch the talks
Two of the day’s speakers, Henry Annan (center) and Elizabeth Turner (Center Left) with preclinical director of studies Dr Roddy O’Donnell (Left), Dr Bob Whitaker (Center Right) and Dr Charlotte Summers (Right)

Summer Opportunities

Over the long summer holidays, there are many opportunities to do incredible things, including travelling, volunteering and research.  Recently we had a society presentation where second and third years talked about some of the things they had done, including how to get involved.

Click here to download a copy of the powerpoint.

Part II Taster Evening

Choosing your Part II subject can be daunting and scary! To that end, we’ve put together a page with some of our third years’ thoughts on their part IIs and whether they would recommend them, to hopefully give you a more realistic idea of what they’re like.

Whatever you choose and end up doing will have a way of working itself out so don’t worry about it too much!

Clinical Demonstration from 5th Years

On Friday evening, two of Selwyn’s 5th year clinical medics gave an interactive clinical demonstration to a full crowd of undergraduate preclinical students. They covered Chest X-rays including how they work, their uses and how to correctly interpret them using the “ABCDE” protocol: Airway, Breathing, Cardiovascular, Diaphragm, Everything Else. Clinical scenarios were discussed including some of the common things you might spot, and others which you might not. They then talked about fractures, including causes, symptoms and management. Cases involving fractures such as a Boxer’s fracture and avascular necrosis of the scaphoid were discussed. It was a great interactive session and we look forward to welcoming back more clinical students soon!


Sam Webb (left, seated) and Matt Lettis (right, standing) gave a great talk to a full crowd of preclinical medics.

60 Glorious Years Anniversary

We welcome all Selwyn MedVet Students and Alumni to celebrate our 60th anniversary!- A highlight event the year on the 3rd February 2018– not to be missed! You may take a look at the preliminary programme for the day: 60 Glorious Years Programme

History of the SCMV Society as told by Dr Robert Whitaker:

In 1958 two medical students, myself, Robert Whitaker, and my colleague Larry Baker decided that Selwyn needed a society for medical students. An inaugural meeting was arranged and Professor H A Harris, a retired Professor of Anatomy, was asked to address the group. We had met him in the Hat and Feathers on the Barton Road and considered him to be affable and distinguished enough to start the ball rolling. He turned out to be rather aggressive but the evening transpired to be a success albeit  somewhat challenging. Regular meetings followed in the next two years and we even devised a society tie  – Selwyn colours with an embossed homunculus. I have long since lost mine and indeed few were bought or worn!

In those days we all transferred to London medical schools for our clinical years and it was many years later, 1973 to be precise, when I returned to Cambridge as a consultant surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Larry Baker meanwhile was appointed a consultant physician at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. In 1976 a clinical medical school was established in Cambridge, based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and many of us clinicians were elected as Associate Lecturers within the University. We were a rich source of supervisors in physiology and anatomy and most of us were rewarded with a Fellowship at various colleges.

I was installed as a Fellow at Selwyn in 1986, just four years before Edward Ford retired in 1990. Fortuitously, this coincided with my own retirement from Addenbrooke’s and I replaced Edward as an anatomy supervisor and remain as such 27 years later. On returning to Selwyn in 1986 I was delighted to see that the “Med Soc” was not just surviving but flourishing.  The first veterinary student at Selwyn was Richard Medd in 1954 and he was followed by Bernard Morton in 1957. It was only some years later that the numbers of vets increased to today’s levels. They now take a very active part in the society and latterly there has been a Vet Co-President.

As Senior Treasurer I have watched a series of student committees expertly run the society over the years. We now hold at least one meeting per term and often more with invited speakers who have ranged from  both medical and veterinary clinicians,  researchers, administrators and senior students who have so skilfully provided their junior colleagues with clinical scenarios for diagnosis and discussion. As often as not, the speakers have been taken to dine that evening at High Table.

The students organise a dinner in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, to the first of which guests from other colleges are invited and in the Lent term an annual photograph is taken. Clinical students are very welcome as they give the more junior students an insight into clinical practice – a welcome addition to help make their long-term aims more realistic. Finally the year ends with a garden party to celebrate the end of Tripos and a year of hard studying. Latterly this event has been a joint occasion with the Medics and Vets of Newnham College.”