(Original post by ilikesmiling)
Firstly, my main problem with the med school is that they do not give detail in what is expected of you. This can make the workload seem overwhelming at the time. With hindsight, i can see how much was required to learn.
In preclinical years, there is a lot of stuff that you learn yet has limited need. I asked my GP tutor about this drug we learnt – and he couldn’t remember the mechanism of the drug. Clearly, learning some things in first year will not make you any better as a practicing doctor. The volume of information is more manageable, there is on the job training (in some lectures you can actually walk away being more confused/not gaining anything), there is detailed requirements of competencies that you are expected to achieve and you specialise when you get more senior, whereas in preclinical years academics chuck everything at you (especially their research interests).
How do you know the answers you have found to all the questions on the anatomy sheets are correct? They could be incorrect. The med school are “trying to rat out the poor ones” – how do you know they are doing this? You build your arguments on a lot of presumption…”it should even itself out"...that's a lot of presumption there.
It is fair to compare exams between med schools. Exams shouldn’t vary that much as every med school should make all drs competent. These applicants are going to be sitting these exams, and if they fail and get thrown out.....I am sure they will thank you. What I write is to add a dose of realism – not to scare anyone off. If lots of you apply, my med school look popular. If you only apply because you meet the admissions criteria (which by the way has changed, so you are no longer guaranteed an interview if you have 12A*s – a new admissions is in charge) and because of the shiny new buildings, whilst you haven’t researched the course/you couldn’t really see yourself here....than get ready to be very disappointed. If you have very low expectations, than the med school will surpass itself.
Right, so what you are saying is that interview panels (consisting of consultants and people who have been interviewing for years) cannot tell learnt answers. Actually if you went to med ball (which you probably didn’t ‘cos you seem like you don’t get out much), they read a scathing reference that someone’s school had actually written – this anonymous student must have really annoyed their school. Similarly, when you apply for SpR posts, they look into references – and it isn’t like school, the nurses and doctors will not write you a good reference as a given, as they have nothing to gain/lose by being honest.
Why is it that the year at med school is 400 students, yet there are only 330 or so places on the website – they over-recruit on purpose, with the belief that people will fail (they cram you into a lecture theatre, despite it not being the best way to educate, as it saves money). Do you know that they actually set pass rates/normal distributions so the number of people who pass isn’t too high? Thus saying it’s all in a students’ control is naïve.
The med school will still consider keeping you on the course ONLY if you have submitted mitigation. How would you know “they're pretty supportive” and “they really DONT want to throw anyone out”. More people fail in preclinicals, more room on firms for clinical placements.
I agree that on average it costs around £250,000 to train a med student, - NOT a first or a second year. Actually in preclinical years, most of the money comes from the government – it is only in later years that the NHS fund it more. There are people who failed one resit my 49% and was thrown out in my year – “not really badly”. You make many unsubstantial claims – you’ve chosen the wrong career, you should be a politician, the next Tony Blair perhaps. It is jointly funded by HEFCE and the NHS. HEFCE's funding for medical and dental training amount to approximately £300 million each year. In 2009-10 the resource for each medical and dental student is £15,788 per year from year two for dentistry and year three for medicine, and £6,709.90 per year for the first years. The NHS funds CLINICAL teaching for undergraduate medical and dental students through a levy charged to local health authorities. Around £550 million is allocated each year. This is designed to compensate teaching hospitals for the cost of teaching undergraduate medical and dental students.
Being a GP factory is important as it shows that most people become GPs and secondly, people who interview you for SpR posts will have that opinion of the med school.
Learning anatomy in 3-D, is better than learning it in 2-D. I can reel off lots of muscles and innervations, but if you pointed at a muscle, I wouldn’t be so sure. Just wait till you have the anatomy viva, it was trialled for my year and the average was 30 something % - I hope you don’t fail it. Prosection/dissection has it’s +/-.......what I object to is only being allowed into the prosectorium for 2/3 times a year.
Name Birmingham’s “other strengths" that I "have overlooked”? Care to enlighten everyone on these “good things people seem to miss/forget”. Imfact I do mention in my other posts these positives that made me chose birmingham. We all know medsoc is excellent – but that’s because it’s run by the students, not the faculty. You go to uni for the course, other stuff is secondary.
I have asked about recently, knowing a lot of drs in the area, because my dad is a surgeon – that’s their opinion. It’s all well and good knowing the adductor longus is supplied by the obturator nerve (L2-L4), but identifying it poses a great challenge to med students here. You seem to strike me as very arrogant – so you’re amazing at anatomy and its just OTHER students that are poor. Despite my academic success, I don’t have such an unwavering opinion of myself.
How someone copes as an 18/19yearold at uni is different to how they cope as a 25 year old. I said the med school don’t allow for adjustment.
People who get depressed and have anxiety orders put in mitigation, which means they get more than 2 sits at the exams. Thus “these people” who you talk about are actually practising drs. It is discriminatory to say someone can’t be a dr if they suffer from depression or other mental illness based on that fact alone. If they show insight, they are taking anti-depressants/following medical advice and their illness does not put any patients in harm, then they still can practice. “These people” are currently doctors who “carry so much more responsibility and have a much higher workload then they ever did at uni”. It is likely that as a medic you will suffer mental illness and you will fail at some point in your career – I hope your “friends” show the same empathy you seem to possess.
Being examined on communication skills is “good preparation for the future” (just as the current exams are). If you can’t work in a team, get on with people or show empathy to patients than you will not be a good dr. Yet it is not tested in first year and people aren't thrown out for being arrogant, poor team workers and lacking empathy, but they are thrown out for failing marginally. The majority of complaints to GPs aren’t due to incompetency, but are for rudeness. Medicine is a caring profession, though its people like you that make me wonder if it will be in the future.
You make me laugh – forget politician, comedian would be more suited.…there are a lot of people who will corroborate with my opinion of the med school….freshers and pre-applicants who have no experience do not count by the way. That post got 11 likes, and some other more “positive post” got 4 likes – I think TSR has spoken or do you just think that there are 11 randomers on TSR who liked it? They like it because it's true.
I have a feeling of indifference to the med school. I should have read the signs when the tour guides that showed me round ware similarly apathetic about the med school - seeing as they were paid, but i reasoned they were just hungover,
I made a mistake and regret choosing birmingham. My advice always to applicants is yes apply to birmingham if your applications to other med schools are weaker, but when confronted with a choice....choose wisely and don't be deluded to think shiny, new buildings will provide you with a good educational experience (as i was). The open day wowed me and i made a choice that wasn't rational. I wish i had done more research...maybe apply to Bristol when all i wanted was atleast one offer, as they similarly operate a preference for good GCSEs.
N.B *At birmingham, a new admissions is in charge now and has less emphasis on GCSEs than the previous admissions tutor....*