For Shari, who asked about WJC

What are some other things you liked that Mona Western had to offer, that Mona didn’t? (pro/cons of both campuses).

You guys, this is my absolute favourite topic (barring Doctor Who, Jane Austen, The Bloggess, and also right now Hozier).

The Western Jamaica Campus was like a second home to me. I loved the people, the campus and the atmosphere; I am hopelessly biased. But I will try to give you some amount of objective information (don’t take my word as gospel, guys).

That time we found a starfish at the beach.

Disclaimer: This post is written based on my rose-coloured memories of life at WJC some 3+ years ago. The Todd just reminded me that life at WJC was actually not all that awesome.

We had to fight for some basic requirements (good sized classroom, proper streaming, actual anatomy specimens), and a lot of the time we were doing the best we could with what we had. What made it easier to bear was the relaxed, ready-to-help atmosphere of the western campus and the gorgeous, gorgeous surroundings.

wave goodbye

Additionally, things might have changed for better or for worse. You can get up to date information on WJC happenings from their Facebook page or on their blog, The WJC Insider.

Let’s get into that pro/con list.

WJC vs Mona

WJC Mona
Class sizes small – 20-30 people Class sizes HUGE – 200-400 people
Student:specimen and student:teacher ratio relatively good Brand new anatomy lab with lots of space and small group sessions
Tutors are (usually) readily available Lecturers have dedicated office hours, more students to compete with
Lectures are all streamed via network that might not work Lectures live or streamed depending on lecture theatre
Consultants teach anatomy Mostly residents and anatomists teach anatomy
Have to travel to Kingston for major labs No travelling required
Small, close-knit group of people Sprawling campus; easy to disappear
Breathtaking view of the Bay/beach/airport Mountains. Sometimes cold.
Hall of residence has a pool Campus pool that is currently out of service
Some clubs, some diversity of students Wide variety of clubs, wide range of nationalities etc.
The beach is RIGHT THERE. Liguanea is right there?
Less social events, almost no night life (except Hip Strip) Everything happens in Kingston. No, seriously.

WJC actually seems to come off worse in the comparison (sadface) but again I’m not exactly a valid or reliable judge (I’m actually a notoriously unreliable judge – ask anyone). If there are other specific concerns you have about either campus, feel free to post them in the comments or even call the campus of interest (I don’t have all the answers, guys, sorry) and share their response here.

Much love,


Opining medical school (UWI Class of 2015)

The western arm of UWI is going on four years now, and doing fairly well. The MB;BS programme (of which I am a proud pioneer) is only two years old, and still working the kinks out. But I’m still so much more attached to this little slice of UWI than I could ever be to the main campus at Mona and it’s not just because here I’m one of 25 rather than one of 300+.

Yes, my batch is huge, and while I rep 2KMillion all the way, I am secretly (and guiltily) glad that I don’t have to fight for survival with 300-odd prospective doctors who are at least 100 times more motivated than I am. We at the Mobay campus are alternately reassured and reminded that we are all one class, a lack of distinction which includes being a part of Mona’s goings on, and also ‘not being special’. I could go on about how innately unrealistic that expectation/affirmation is, but today I’m just going to complain about being eventually thrust into the wading pool of piranhas that is medical school in Mona.

Come September, 2K15 will finally be ‘one class’ when all 300+ of us get shunted around on Junior Clerkship clinical rotations, and this prospect is daunting. It’s not just the idea of (finally) leaving home, or of being yet another clueless face attached to a stethoscope, or of having to fight tooth and nail to make sure I excel among the hordes; maybe it’s a composite of all those and more, but I am deeply perturbed.

I will have to trade in my beaches and trees for cold hospitals and concrete and leave my close-knit campus to disappear into sprawling obscurity, the mosaic that is UWI: my place to shine. And the mere thought is intolerable.

This is where I get to go to school, y'all.


Okay, I may be overreacting a little, but I really, really, really don’t want to leave.