SAMS is now introducing a new segment on "Humans of Medsci" which aims to bring the SAMS community closer its MEDSCI Teaching and Research Community. Our first entry is with Anuj Bhargava, a Professional Teaching Fellow at the Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, and Butland Award Winner for Innovation in Teaching 2018.
What is your background? Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Bombay which is the financial capital of India and home to Bollywood….Both my parents went to university and did arts and ran a publishing business… It was key in the household to follow our passion… it took me a while to find mine
What are your interests outside of university life?
Whatever time is left from teaching and emailing and Piazza… is spent with my lovely family… Running is one of my key interests… it gets the endorphins going (I often get teaching ideas while running) and often is an excellent de-stressing element of my work day’s routine..
Contemporary New Zealand and Australian Art is my other key interest outside Uni life along with listening to Bach in particular.
What was your education pathway?
My educational background is in Medicine (MBChB) and clinical pharmacology/public health. I worked as a doctor in various places around the world whilst figuring out what my above mentioned passion was…It have me time to seek, learn and reflect.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on blended learning approaches and online labs - kuraCloud for Medical and pharmacy students. I like to bring my clinical knowledge and blend with conceptual such as physiology and present as case scenarios. In my view, it makes the subject relatable and interesting…
What drew you to your field of interest? Was there a particular moment you knew that this topic would be your focus?
Student feedback. I believe that “happy students are happy learners”. I like to engage with my students and ask what works for them and then develop ideas. I feel very fortunate that students are open with their respective feedback to me and this makes me confident in developing my current and past teaching initiatives.
What's a paper you have contributed to that you're most proud?
I presented my work on peer tutoring in Seville Spain (2015) and the I got the best presentation and poster award… It was a very proud moment for all involved in that particular project.
If you could give your undergraduate self any advice, what would you tell them?
Chill…but do not freeze….in other words… Relax but don’t be too relaxed. I was a very type A student who was always after a good grade and extremely competitive. This made me miss out on extracurricular activities. You need to have a fine balance of learn and fun. Balance out work and be strategic with learning and working….
I am still learning the above… ongoing development….
Many thanks to Anuj for taking part in our interview! If you would like to see more of Anuj, you can find him in Medsci 205, 206, 311, 312, but also MBChB Clinical Physiology, Pharmacy, and MAORIHLTH! Phew!
Hopefully, you are enjoying your well-deserved break and also preparing for Semester 2 as well! With Semester 2 lurking around the corner, here are some things to add to your checklist:
Semester 2 Checklist:
☐ Enrolments: Gen-Ed
Hop onto SSO and check that your timetable for Sem 2. Please make sure that you’re actually enrolled in a gen-ed paper too!
☐MEDSCI142: Pick up course guides
The course guide will be available for pick up prior to the beginning of Sem 2 so keep an eye out on Canvas for pre-semester announcement for MEDSCI142. Alternatively, you can visit our Biomed/Healthsci FB page for pick up times and locations.
☐MEDSCI 142: Perfect bound vs Ring bound
Though it might be a simple choice, such choice often leaves many students divided. The MEDSCI142 course guide will come in 2 forms - perfect bound or ring bound. Both have identical course content and students must choose one upon collection. Attached below are some pros and cons of both types of course-guide; there is no right or wrong, it is merely just a personal preference so don’t sweat it!
☐MEDSCI 142: Lab preparation
Labs for MEDSCI 142 will commence from Week 1, thus it is a good idea to pick up your course guide prior to Semester 2 so that you can prep and read over Lab 1. Pre-reading is especially crucial to MEDSCI142 as every lab is assessed at the end of each lab through 10 MCQs that are based not the lab & its associated content. Hence, we highly advise students to pick up their course guides before semester 2 begins so that you are able to go through the lab content & its recommended textbook readings.
☐MEDSCI142, BIOSCI106, PHYSICS160: Lectures & Labs
Hop onto SSO and familiarise yourself with your timetable. Double check to see if you have any labs in week 1. For specific information regarding your Sem 2 papers, keep an eye out on Canvas for course-related announcements.
☐What’s Next is coming up
For those who curious about what lies ahead after first year, What's Next will be coming up in Week 2 of Semester 2. Hosted by SAMS, What's Next is an informal networking event for first year Biomed/HealthSci/Physiology students who may be curious about the pathway of a science degree and/or clinical degrees. A range of students from science majors or clinical programmes will be there to answer your questions. This is an excellent networking opportunity that you don't want to miss! Keep updated via the official FB event page for What's Next.
Photo credits: Some photos are sourced from Pexels.com.