Skip to Content

Clubs and Societies

A Guide to Medical Student Societies at Queen’s

There are plenty of medicine-specific clubs and societies at Queen’s, meaning you’ll never be short on things to do throughout your degree. Fourth year student Kathryn is here to give you the low down on what’s on offer.

Students together for the Medic Toga Party at Queen's
Toga party - the quintessential Queen's medic night out!

Studying Medicine at Queen’s is full of excitement, learning and things to do, both inside and outside the hospital! With 5 years to spend together and so many sub-divisions of the subject itself, it’s no surprise that there are a range of medicine related clubs and societies that are very active, and span from chances to meet new people, to revision nights to ace your exams and ways to explore future career options. When I started in first year, we even had an afternoon of our intro week dedicated to introducing a variety of societies and our very own section of freshers fair!

With so many options, it can be hard to know what’s out there to choose from - I’ve done my best to round up what’s on offer!


Nearly every medical student at Queen’s will have a full 5 year membership to one or more of our 3 biggest societies, given what a big role they can play in the student experience of medics at Queen's.

SCRUBS is the Queen’s resident surgical society, starting in 2004 and winning best academic society at Queen’s 3 times since.

Even if you’re not a budding Derek Shepherd, this society has something for every student, from careers insights events, anatomy revision nights, mock OSCEs (clinical exams) and information on intercalated degrees and organising your elective. They also run wildly popular Emergency Medicine and Surgical Skills weekend conferences, creating chances to learn new skills and learn from those already in the profession.

Additionally, it’s practically a medical school rite of passage to attend a SCRUBS suturing workshop and spend your evening despairing over tying knots until you get the hang of it!

Two Medicine students completing suturing workshop

Suturing workshops

SWOT, standing for Students Working Overseas Trust, is the major charitable society for Queen’s medics, with the main fundraising goal of supporting the hospitals Queen’s students visit on their electives at the end of fourth year. Fundraising efforts include carol singing, marathon running and shopping centre blood pressure clinics, and centre around the SWOT Fashion Show - which this year, raised a huge £22,000 and was so much fun - you can check out more about my experience of taking part here!

SWOT fashion show

SWOT Fashion Show

SWOT also runs the annual and iconic Toga party, which is arguably the most important part of freshers for any medic and is always a great night out.

BMSA - or Belfast Medical Students Association - is here to make sure we’re not only here for a long time, but a good time! The committee, made up of fourth year students, takes their role of ruling the medic’s social calendar seriously. From freshers events and a 5-a-side league to mystery tours and SNIMS (a weekend of sports with Scottish universities for the fourth years), events provide a great chance to let off some steam in the midst of a busy course and get to know more people throughout medicine. The BMSA are also responsible for my fave night of the year each time- each year group’s formal.

Group of students pose at Medicine Formal

BMSA faculty (fourth year) formal

Academic societies

No matter the area of medicine you can picture yourself specialising in, Queen’s is likely to have a society for it!

GP Society - the GP society at Queen’s is one of the most active of the academic societies, running a range of events to highlight the diverse role of general practice in medicine and give you career inspo. Their long running series ‘Dear Colleague’ brings together GPs and secondary care specialists to talk about a range of interesting topics, including endometriosis, healthcare in prison, alcohol dependency, conflict-related trauma and palliative care, while other popular events include GPs in the spotlight and GPs with special interests nights. They even have a podcast and mock OSCEs, making sure you nail the key GP topics in exams!

Queen's GP Society Event

Event hosted by the GP Society

QUB IMS - a new society on the block, they’re here to cater to all things Internal medicine - which covers a variety of specialties like respiratory medicine, gastroenterology, nephrology, rheumatology and more! They have just finished a fantastic first year of a peer2peer scheme where students from older years taught key topics to younger years, making it an engaging way to learn.

We’d be here all day if I went into detail on each society for individual specialties, but all societies below run great revision events and informative talks from doctors currently in these fields - great to check out if you’re keen to get experience in a particular area!

Medicine students participating in the Cardio society colour run

Fun at the Cardiosoc's colour run for the British Heart Foundation

Charitable societies

Clubs and societies also offer a way for medics to raise money and give back, with lots of chances to get involved in work in the community.

Teddy Bear's Hospital - arguably the cutest medical society, TBH is all about teaching children in the local community about their health and reducing fear of healthcare. A school visit is an adorable way to spend an afternoon, helping kids to look after their teddies! The society also runs fundraising for pediatric charities, meaning there’s plenty of ways to get involved.

Medicine students together during a teddy bear hospital visit

My friends and I on a teddy bear hospital visit all the way back in first year

SWOT UP - if the memories of interviews, personal statements and UCAT exams are still fresh (and painful), you can imagine how having a helping hand in that time can be useful. SWOT UP is a widening participation society, and medical students can volunteer to help Year 14s with interview and application prep, which is a nice way to pay it forward!

Friends of MSF Belfast - medical students at Queen’s run this branch to fundraise for doctors without borders, including social nights, fundraising events, language learning and tropical disease workshops.

Interest groups

If there’s a particular part of your identity that you value, and you want to meet like-minded individuals from across the years of medicine as well as have a great support system, these societies have you covered.

WoMED - a branch of the Medical Women’s federation, this society is all about promoting professional and personal development of women in medicine through events focused on relevant issues - this includes women’s health topics, doctors speaking on their personal experiences, and closing the gap for women of colour. With the typical stereotype of ‘who’ a doctor is changing more than ever, it’s a great chance to explore what being a woman in medicine can look like today!

CMF - the Christian Medical Fellowship offers teaching on ethical issues as well as social events and mentorship to build a community across the year groups of medicine. I’ve written more about it here.

ACMS - the African Caribbean Medical Society at Queen’s offers both chances to build connections through social events like pub quizzes and game nights, and also provides stellar revision and advice events, with events for surviving first year and what to expect when you get to clinical years – it’s always so helpful to have mentors on hand who have been there and done that.

Banner promoting Queen's ACMS event on neglected tropical diseases

Instagram is a great way to keep up with events happening!

AMSA NI - The Asian Medical Students Association is also a great place for students to find community and academic support, with medicine-specific revision events, social evenings and a mentorship scheme.

As you can see, I really wasn’t kidding about the sheer variety of societies to get involved with - but regardless of where you end up, I can guarantee you’ll meet nice people who help you settle into your degree - us medics are a friendly (and busy) bunch!


Find out more

Clubs & Societies at Queen's

Study Medicine at Queen's

Also from Kathryn: My Experience of Finding Church Community in Belfast

Kathryn Allen

Medicine| Undergraduate Student | Lisburn, NI

I’m in my final year of Medicine at Queen's - I love my degree because it combines caring for people, learning fascinating things and working as a team. When I’m not busy surviving placement and exams, you can find me in one of Belfast’s great coffee shops with a friend, going to concerts to get my fix of live music, or curling up to read a book with a carefully curated Spotify playlist on in the background!

Kathryn Allen