Welcome to Cambridge!

On behalf of MedSoc and the wider Cambridge community, welcome! A massive congratulations first and foremost for achieving your place at Cambridge! I’m Azmaeen Zarif, a soon-to-be 3rd year at Gonville & Caius College, and your Cambridge MedSoc President this year! Despite these unusual circumstances, the committee and I are keen on ensuring this doesn’t disrupt you having a fantastic first year. We have got exciting plans for the year ahead and we can’t wait for you to be a part of them very soon.
Below, you can find a full break-down of what MedSoc does, but in short, we try to make sure you have the best university experience possible by organising exciting events, hosting academic talks by world-leading experts, holding wholesome welfare events and providing extensive year-round personal support. It’s no secret that studying Medicine at Cambridge requires a lot of hard work – but we want to ensure that this doesn’t stop you from having an incredible time!
I’m sure you will have plenty of questions about Cambridge and studying Medicine so we’ve got an FAQ section below to try and address them. If there’s a question we haven’t covered, please get in touch with me/ any other committee member; also, be sure to join our official Facebook group for important updates! We’ll be talking to you all in the new year and having our own (virtual) freshers fair, so you’ll be seeing a lot of us! Till then, enjoy the rest of your summer and be very, VERY excited for October – we can’t wait to meet you!
MedSoc Love and best wishes,
Az 🙂

What does MedSoc do?

MedSoc is here to make sure that you have a great time at Cambridge! Here is a summary of what we do. The committee all fulfill different roles and their contact details can be found on this website.



  • We run a series of talks around Cambridge each year which MedSoc members can attend. We invite world-leading experts to discuss their specialist subjects. Last year, speakers included Dame Sally Davies, Master of Trinity College and the former Chief Medical Officer. This year, the series is titled ‘Challenge After Challenge’, focussing on the onslaught of healthcare challenges the world has faced this year and will continute to face in the aftermath of the pandemic. This year, all talks will be virtual – keep your eyes peeled for details!
  • We produce academic guides. If you want to know more about the course structure and want any tips and tricks for the year ahead, please do check out our academic guide.
  • We provide financial grants to support you in undertaking research placements and attending conferences.
  • We ask for your feedback on the course and represent you at the MVST Part I Committee meetings.
  • We are a contact point for any questions you have about the course, revision tips etc! If you have any queries or problems, then feel free to contact our academic officer, Rahul Shah, at



  • We know that Cambridge can seem daunting, but MedSoc Welfare is here to remind you that everyone is in the same boat.
  • We provide personal support throughout the year (during term-time and vacations) for all medics (not just MedSoc members), and run a variety of wholesome events, including drop-in sessions, karaoke nights and petting zoos.
  • We provide tips on how to cope with stress and exams, and liaise with College MedSoc Welfare Officers so that if you have any problems, you have a number of people to turn to.
  • If you have any welfare-related concerns or questions, please do get in touch with our lovely Welfare Officers – Bolin and Athena – at


Social Events

  • Here at MedSoc Ents, we endeavour to shape MedSoc into much more of a community! We’ve got so many exciting events lined up for you, from the Freshers’ Week club night to the MedSoc Ball. We are also looking to hold a large variety of not just alcoholic, but non-alcoholic events too, so we make sure there’s something for everyone.
  • This year, we are putting a huge focus on collabourating with you for ideas, suggestions and contribution. We want to put on a wider variety of events, such as karaoke and pub quizzes, and we are looking to run joint events with other societies.
  • With the formation of our new MedSoc Ents committee, we are hoping to bring events closer to you throughout the year. Contact our Ents Officers – Alice and Jen, at – if you have any fresh outlooks and feedback. Watch this space!!



  • MedSoc is working with ClinSoc (Clinical Students’ Society) to make sure that everybody, regardless of their gender, race, schooling and background receive equal information about and have the same opportunities to study Medicine at Cambridge.
  • We deliver regional talks at schools across the country and last year, we hosted an exciting Open Day for prospective medics to come visit Cambridge and see what our course is really all about.
  • More details about how to volunteer and help out with access will be sent out in Michaelmas term, but if you have any questions for now, please contact our Access Officer, Alex McManus, at



  • At MedSoc Sports, we have 2 main events: 1) MedVet Varsity (where we show the vets that we are the superior subject outside the exam hall too), and 2) MedSoc Varsity (where we THRASH O*ford in various sports and have a fun social event afterwards).
  • We welcome all standards of sport from first-timers to university level, so this is a good outlet for the stresses of MedST and also a great way to mix with medics of different years!
  • Keep your eyes peeled for details about practices, and if you have any suggestions, please get in touch with Matthew West, at


Is there anything I need to do over summer to prepare?

Unless your College has specifically set you some work, there is no need to do any preparation during the summer. It’ll be much easier to get to grips with the course content once you’re actually here in Cambridge. For now, it’s more important to relax and enjoy the summer sun!

However, if you do fancy doing a spot of reading, then please do – but only if you truly will enjoy it. Your College may have sent you some things to read before you come and if so, you may like to see what they’ve suggested. If they haven’t and you would still like to do some preparation, we’d recommend looking at this page on the Faculty website.

Nevertheless, we would like to reaffirm that it is a lot easier to learn content when you begin term and the majority of students haven’t looked at anything before they’ve arrived. Cambridge may seem a little scary, but you all earnt your place here, you’re all very capable and there will be loads of people to help you out if you’re ever struggling!

I’ve forgotten everything from my A-Levels - is that a problem?

Not at all! You’ll be taught everything you need to know once you get here so don’t worry about revising anything from A-Level. 

Do I need to buy any textbooks?

We’d recommend not buying any textbooks just yet. Textbooks can be very expensive and once you get to Cambridge, you’ll probably find that your College library is well-equipped with all the books that you need. However, sometimes there aren’t always enough copies of a particular book in the library, so some people buy their own. If you do want to buy some books, then we’d recommend waiting until you get here – that way, you can decide which books are best for you, and also the 2nd Years in your College may be selling them for a fraction of the price!

Do I need to buy membership for medsoc?

Lifetime membership for MedSoc usually costs £25, but we will be selling it at a discounted price during Freshers’ Week (at the CUSU Virtual Freshers’ Fair on 6th and 7th October, and at our own Virtual MedSoc Freshers’ Fair on 10th October – more details to follow!). It’s important to note that while most medics do buy membership, some do not – so it is totally up to you to decide for yourself! Nevertheless, as a committee, we would wholeheartedly recommend that you do buy membership and we will do everything in our power to make your one-time payment worth it – by providing discounts on our ents events (e.g. MedSoc ball), discounts at various food stalls in Cambridge town centre, reduced entry for club nights, and the opportunity to apply for financial grants throughout all six years.

What MedSoc events will be happening in freshers week?

Lots! We’ll give you more details about all the events happening closer to the time – watch this space!!

Do I need to buy any equipment, lab coats etc?

There’s no need to buy anything before you get to Cambridge, as there will be scheduled sessions to buy a lab coat and safety spectacles once you arrive. If you do wish to buy your own, please make sure that it fulfils all the requirements – but we would recommend waiting. If you want more information, you can check out page 21 of the Medical Students’ Handbook here – you will be given this booklet by your College when you arrive as well.

Want to talk to other fresher medics, ask questions and find out who you’ll be meeting in October? Join our Facebook group, ‘Medsoc: Cambridge University Medicine Freshers 2020’


Also check out our instagram – @cambridgemedsoc