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Diary of an Intern – Bethany

Glasgow Memory Clinic Intern Programme 2022


This summer we launched our first ever Intern Programme, providing opportunities for new graduates to experience the research environment first-hand.
Bethany, a Psychology graduate spent July with us and shares some of her placement highlights here…


“As the final year of my psychology degree was coming to an end, I was eager to find some experience within a clinical setting. After getting through all the stages of the application process, I was offered a four-week position as a psychology rater intern at the Glasgow Memory Clinic. After accepting the internship, I was enthusiastic to get started and to take part in projects that aims to improve the lives of people with cognitive impairment.

Upon arriving at the Glasgow Memory Clinic on the first day of my internship, I was filled with mixed emotions, most notable anxiety and excitement. As I got a tour of the clinic, everyone was super welcoming, which made me feel more relaxed and eager to begin. I was situated in the clinical hub team and sat with the other psychologists who helped me throughout my four weeks and were always open to answering my questions.

One of my main activities was shadowing the nurses, doctors and psychologists as they conducted cognitive assessments on patients with various cognitive impairments. These tests included the MMSE, RBans, CLVTS, CDRs and many more. I have always found the subject of memory fascinating at university, so it was interesting to see the differences and similarities of each patient case and how they scored on the tests. Even though I had completed some training for the cognitive assessments, it was beneficial to experience them in real life, which helped me gain a deeper understanding of how to score and administer the tests.

I also got to witness the other departments within the clinic. Such as the patient liaison team where they book all the study appointments and is the first point of call for the clinic. Spending a day with them made me understand how important their roles to make sure the clinical trials run smoothly. I also got to spend some time in the Pharmacy; they showed me the drugs for each study and how they prepare them for each patient. I learned the importance of attention to detail when dealing with study drugs for the trials to be reliable and safe. Moreover, I also helped in the laboratory with various tasks, from processing blood to packaging up samples ready to be shipped to the study companies. I enjoyed helping in the laboratory because it gave me insight into the diverse job roles they have at the clinic.


One thing that surprised me the most about this internship was that they conducted clinical procedures occurred on-site. For example, on my second day, I was able to watch a lumbar puncture to test the central spinal fluid for amyloid proteins. Seeing this allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the whole study process and showed me the extent of what the Glasgow Memory Clinic does compared to other clinical sites.

Overall, my time at the Glasgow Memory Clinic has been insightful and fun. Being allowed to shadow every department provided me with an immersive and diverse experience, making me recognise how every single job and department in the clinic plays a crucial role in the running of clinical trials. This internship has allowed me to gain a wide range of experiences within a clinical setting and has helped me realise my passion for research with aim to improve the lives of others.

Posted 28th July 2022

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