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Birmingham Medical School Applicants 2012

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by ilikesmiling)
    MedSoc is brilliant! I said i don't like the faculty. The people here (except for the ones still competing with each other because one got 14 A*s and the other got 15) are fantastic. The range of sports, hobbies etc. means there is something for everyone. The social stuff is good here. The med course isn't. The content (actually learning medicine - physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, clinical applications) is interesting, but you would find this at every med school if you are doing the right course.

    I was trying to do you younger ones a favour as you will be shelling out 9K, unlike us old, zimmer frames. Someone who pmed wrote (i hope he doesn't mind me quoting him), "You've essentially made me realise that I need to apply to places based on how their COURSE suits me rather than their selection policy"...yes, that was the message i was hoping to promote to you applicants. Getting into med school is an achievement, staying there is an achievement. My post was not intended to dissuade anyone from applying here, but provide a dose of reality.

    With regards to the unistats, know the phrase "lies, damned lies, and statistics"? Why would anyone rate their med school low in a survey that is published and determines people's opinions/reputation of their med school? There is a post at http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...812998&page=15 which makes an "interesting post" and has mutual agreement even by a dr - but ofcourse, stats are a better source than anecdotes!?! You can make stats prove whatever argument you want...complementary medicine statistically helps people get better and contributes to better psychological wellbeing, but the sceptic in me thinks that if every empathetic doctor was allowed to spend an hour talking to their patients than the results would be probably marginal.

    Prosection is something we do 2/3 times a year - i wish i bothered to find this out before applying. Normally, anatomy is "taught" by sitting in a room and answering sheets of questions on anatomy in hour sessions. No prosected specimens are brought into these rooms. There are some very poor and sparse plastic models in these rooms that are rarely used.

    FYI: I had all A*s at GCSE and that is why i applied here - i got 4 offers, but made the wrong choice in selecting birmingham (i believed the stuff the prospectus/paid tour guides told me and i didn't research the course properly). I am ranked quartile 1 for my preclinical years (top 25%)....oh no, but as an actual student here, i don't know what i've talking about!
    I have to admit I've been putting the fact that they don't do prosection at the back of my mind, quite disappointing. Thanks for informing me a bit more, although I really am hard pressed as to what criteria I should be using if, as you say, the prospectuses can be nothing to go by. I've gone to two open days and will likely go to a couple more if possible but I've got to get a move on with my choices and unistats and frustratingly varied anecdotes only get me so far!
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    (Original post by ilikesmiling)
    That post was merely for applicants to get an accurate picture of what they are getting for paying £9,000 tuition fees + accommodation costs. Imagine, that you failed first year === debt and you can't reapply again to other medschools after all that effort. This is what faced some of my friends and may face my medic son. I think your attitude of "u don't deserve to be here" is harsh/lacks empathy.

    Yes, they pedal out "only 10% of people fail" in term time, but the reality after results is different. Just see how many faces you saw in your year and don't return...see the empty seats in the LDLT that were packed in your first lectures and then tell people on TSR that hardly anyone gets kicked out.

    My medic son failed everything apart from CEP - there were 50 or so students sitting atleast 5 or more modules in your year (the year tutor told him when he had to meet him after he got his results, who's your source?). For my year, half of my year had one resit last year which is the same for your year as reported by my medic son (he was number 40-something and he said the seat numbers went upto 170 +). I know people who are quartile 1s and got distinctions and had to resit DEM in year 2 this year.

    You say if someone has failed after 2 sits they don't deserve to be there - what about people who have no empathy, are pathological liars, have no social skills and are nerdy book worms? They fail the GMC criteria of professional values and good communication skills, why aren't they chucked out in year 1? Academic success is only one part of being doctor. Honesty, integrity, good communication skills, ability to manage uncertainty, ability to prioritise etc are others. Some doctors excel at some more than others, it doesn't mean they should get thrown out in year 1 after working so hard to get in. My medic son marginally failed his exams - 49s/48s - you are telling me that someone who got 1% more than him will make a better dr than him. He got an average of 50 something % overall - seems to love CEP and got 90+ in it. If we go by your thinking and judge 1st years by their first ever uni exams: if he became an endocrinologist, he would know more than someone who just scraped a pass/probably more than you - i would prefer him as my endocrinologist than someone with generic knowledge.
    My attitude may lack empathy but then again if they can't deal with first year exams what are they gonna do when they have to sit the Royal college exams and loads of the other more difficult ones.

    As for your stats on the people who have to resit, I can't argue with that if you've heard from the year tutor but I can understand them being deliberately hard on first years just to make sure that only the "right" people remain on the course. This isn't a dig at anyone who has failed (I have quite a few close friends who have) but medical exams aren't exactly abstract or difficult to understand (e.g. UKCAT) Its pretty much factual recall and understanding. The med school give you all the material you have to learn so all you have to do is go away and learn it. There's no other way round it really and if after an extra 2 months of revising you still can't get more than 50% then, as harsh as this may sound , you dont really belong here.

    I get your whole argument about having other key qualities to become a doctor but practically there's no way of practically testing someone's honesty, empathy, integrity etc. So academic exams are the only way. I wish there was an alternative but there isnt...

    Your medic son may have done well in one subject but being a doctor is all about having a general functioning knowledge of all the systems. Yes he may be some whiz kid at CEP but are the other 5 systems not just as important?!?! I mean you can only specialize in endocrinology after you've passed all the exams that make you a fully fledged doctor. From your logic there no point in a medical course; why not just have a course tailor made for each specialty at uni. This makes no sense! Doctors need to have a certain degree of knowledge for every system not just the one they specialize in.

    I do sympathise with your medic son but unless he had any extenuating circumstances theres really no excuse.

    To all the applicants out here, if your basing your application on how kind the resit policy is or the % of people who get kicked out/drop out what does this say about you? I mean by all means look what each med school says but you shouldn't already be thinking "what if i fail" even before you apply - thats ridiculous. Medicine is medicine wherever you apply and it is difficult and hard work - please please look at the style of course, the uni, the city , expense etc. but dont get hung up on minor points like this.

    Good luck everyone and if anyone got any q's then fire away!
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    Hey, what exactly does it mean by good AS results?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by ribena-93)
    Hey, what exactly does it mean by good AS results?

    Thanks
    Most probably A's, as the big thing they seem to want is grades! But I'm not sure, a B or two may be fine.
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    (Original post by Jules65)
    My attitude may lack empathy but then again if they can't deal with first year exams what are they gonna do when they have to sit the Royal college exams and loads of the other more difficult ones.

    As for your stats on the people who have to resit, I can't argue with that if you've heard from the year tutor but I can understand them being deliberately hard on first years just to make sure that only the "right" people remain on the course. This isn't a dig at anyone who has failed (I have quite a few close friends who have) but medical exams aren't exactly abstract or difficult to understand (e.g. UKCAT) Its pretty much factual recall and understanding. The med school give you all the material you have to learn so all you have to do is go away and learn it. There's no other way round it really and if after an extra 2 months of revising you still can't get more than 50% then, as harsh as this may sound , you dont really belong here.

    I get your whole argument about having other key qualities to become a doctor but practically there's no way of practically testing someone's honesty, empathy, integrity etc. So academic exams are the only way. I wish there was an alternative but there isnt...

    Your medic son may have done well in one subject but being a doctor is all about having a general functioning knowledge of all the systems. Yes he may be some whiz kid at CEP but are the other 5 systems not just as important?!?! I mean you can only specialize in endocrinology after you've passed all the exams that make you a fully fledged doctor. From your logic there no point in a medical course; why not just have a course tailor made for each specialty at uni. This makes no sense! Doctors need to have a certain degree of knowledge for every system not just the one they specialize in.

    I do sympathise with your medic son but unless he had any extenuating circumstances theres really no excuse.

    To all the applicants out here, if your basing your application on how kind the resit policy is or the % of people who get kicked out/drop out what does this say about you? I mean by all means look what each med school says but you shouldn't already be thinking "what if i fail" even before you apply - thats ridiculous. Medicine is medicine wherever you apply and it is difficult and hard work - please please look at the style of course, the uni, the city , expense etc. but dont get hung up on minor points like this.

    Good luck everyone and if anyone got any q's then fire away!
    A number of people who do well in clinical years/are fully fledged drs failed exams in preclinical years. Extrapolating first year exams to MRCP/MRCS performance is hilarious.

    Exams test a selected quantity of your knowledge – the material the med school provides you is A LOT. They do not provide you with answers to the anatomy sheets and some of the anatomy demonstrators know as much as we do. I have been very lucky with exams, managing to get 70+, but there was stuff I didn’t know before I went into the exam. If the wrong questions came up, I wouldn’t be so lucky…and some people are just that. People don’t fail by huge percentages, they fail narrowly…and at Birmingham, they show no mercy.

    Right, so references/interviews that you need to get into med school and interviews/references that help you get jobs don’t assess these qualities? If it was as simple as exam success determining a person’s ability to practice medicine…why have interviews or references?

    He marginally lost out. Someone who got 50, compared to someone who got 49, obviously possesses more knowledge – really? That 1% really matters apparently to you and shows they have more of “general functioning knowledge”? Not everyone wants to be a GP. You make some preposterous claims – “with my logic there is no point in a medical course”...I did not infer anything of the sort?!? My whole point was first year is a time of adjustment and extrapolating first year performance to clinical years + is spurious – suggesting my medic son will apparently be a great endocrinologist because of his first year exams is as spurious as suggesting getting 49%, not 50% in some year 1 modules will determine how well someone does in MRCP/MRCS and how good they are as a dr….and that’s using YOUR LOGIC, NOT MINE . Did you know Nottingham’s pass rate is 40%....and they still manage to produce drs with “a general functioning knowledge”. What’s so great about 50%, you sound like Tony Blair with your obsession with exactly 50?!

    A number of factors should be taken account into deciding what med school is right for a person. If a med school has a disproportionally high failure rate and its exams are harder to pass….this shouldn’t be ignored. People who fail at med school are bright, and being naïve enough to think “I’m too clever to fail” is blinkered…everyone in the year below got atleast 8A*s and 3A’s – they are clever and they have shown they can work hard. Don’t get hung up on minor points like this?!! Oh I think it’s a pretty big deal if someone has worked hard for 5 years and gets kicked out of med school by getting 49%/48%, not 50%. You’ll only have yourself to blame and then you’ll come crying to TSR with a post saying “Oh no I failed my first year/second year exams, can I still be a dr?”

    That’s the exactly point….look at the style of course at Birmingham. Do you know what consultants say about Birmingham? It’s a GP factory and its med students don’t know their gluteus minimus from their gluteus medius…translation: they produce graduates with “Jules” beloved “general functioning knowledge” and no knowledge of anatomy because you spend 2/3 times a year in prosection (trying to distinguish one beige object from another), the rest trying to learn anatomy from 2-D diagrams/books. The constant examinations creates a disproportionate amount of stress for first year medics, no wonder people get depressed and have anxiety disorders…thinking “that won’t happen to me” is again blinkered.

    I was not intending to discourage anyone from applying here, by all means apply - it will make my med school look popular. I wanted to give insight that you won’t find from paid tour guides/prospectuses so then your expectations of this med school will be realistic and you won’t be disappointed. Read the post at http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...&postcount=283.

    In general, the thread of “pros and cons of your med school” in the current medics section will help to give you a realistic insight into med schools, as it is written by current medics.
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    (Original post by ilikesmiling)
    A number of people who do well in clinical years/are fully fledged drs failed exams in preclinical years. Extrapolating first year exams to MRCP/MRCS performance is hilarious.

    Exams test a selected quantity of your knowledge – the material the med school provides you is A LOT. They do not provide you with answers to the anatomy sheets and some of the anatomy demonstrators know as much as we do. I have been very lucky with exams, managing to get 70+, but there was stuff I didn’t know before I went into the exam. If the wrong questions came up, I wouldn’t be so lucky…and some people are just that. People don’t fail by huge percentages, they fail narrowly…and at Birmingham, they show no mercy.

    Right, so references/interviews that you need to get into med school and interviews/references that help you get jobs don’t assess these qualities? If it was as simple as exam success determining a person’s ability to practice medicine…why have interviews or references?

    He marginally lost out. Someone who got 50, compared to someone who got 49, obviously possesses more knowledge – really? That 1% really matters apparently to you and shows they have more of “general functioning knowledge”? Not everyone wants to be a GP. You make some preposterous claims – “with my logic there is no point in a medical course”...I did not infer anything of the sort?!? My whole point was first year is a time of adjustment and extrapolating first year performance to clinical years + is spurious – suggesting my medic son will apparently be a great endocrinologist because of his first year exams is as spurious as suggesting getting 49%, not 50% in some year 1 modules will determine how well someone does in MRCP/MRCS and how good they are as a dr….and that’s using YOUR LOGIC, NOT MINE . Did you know Nottingham’s pass rate is 40%....and they still manage to produce drs with “a general functioning knowledge”. What’s so great about 50%, you sound like Tony Blair with your obsession with exactly 50?!

    A number of factors should be taken account into deciding what med school is right for a person. If a med school has a disproportionally high failure rate and its exams are harder to pass….this shouldn’t be ignored. People who fail at med school are bright, and being naïve enough to think “I’m too clever to fail” is blinkered…everyone in the year below got atleast 8A*s and 3A’s – they are clever and they have shown they can work hard. Don’t get hung up on minor points like this?!! Oh I think it’s a pretty big deal if someone has worked hard for 5 years and gets kicked out of med school by getting 49%/48%, not 50%. You’ll only have yourself to blame and then you’ll come crying to TSR with a post saying “Oh no I failed my first year/second year exams, can I still be a dr?”

    That’s the exactly point….look at the style of course at Birmingham. Do you know what consultants say about Birmingham? It’s a GP factory and its med students don’t know their gluteus minimus from their gluteus medius…translation: they produce graduates with “Jules” beloved “general functioning knowledge” and no knowledge of anatomy because you spend 2/3 times a year in prosection (trying to distinguish one beige object from another), the rest trying to learn anatomy from 2-D diagrams/books. The constant examinations creates a disproportionate amount of stress for first year medics, no wonder people get depressed and have anxiety disorders…thinking “that won’t happen to me” is again blinkered.

    I was not intending to discourage anyone from applying here, by all means apply - it will make my med school look popular. I wanted to give insight that you won’t find from paid tour guides/prospectuses so then your expectations of this med school will be realistic and you won’t be disappointed. Read the post at http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...&postcount=283.

    In general, the thread of “pros and cons of your med school” in the current medics section will help to give you a realistic insight into med schools, as it is written by current medics.
    This discussion is good, if you feel strongly by all means carry on both of you! It's good to have such a detailed insight into the course, but I wish now that I knew more about the other med schools that I'm applying to, to ensure that I'm not going to make a mistake!
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    (Original post by ilikesmiling)
    A number of people who do well in clinical years/are fully fledged drs failed exams in preclinical years. Extrapolating first year exams to MRCP/MRCS performance is hilarious.

    Exams test a selected quantity of your knowledge – the material the med school provides you is A LOT. They do not provide you with answers to the anatomy sheets and some of the anatomy demonstrators know as much as we do. I have been very lucky with exams, managing to get 70+, but there was stuff I didn’t know before I went into the exam. If the wrong questions came up, I wouldn’t be so lucky…and some people are just that. People don’t fail by huge percentages, they fail narrowly…and at Birmingham, they show no mercy.

    Right, so references/interviews that you need to get into med school and interviews/references that help you get jobs don’t assess these qualities? If it was as simple as exam success determining a person’s ability to practice medicine…why have interviews or references?

    He marginally lost out. Someone who got 50, compared to someone who got 49, obviously possesses more knowledge – really? That 1% really matters apparently to you and shows they have more of “general functioning knowledge”? Not everyone wants to be a GP. You make some preposterous claims – “with my logic there is no point in a medical course”...I did not infer anything of the sort?!? My whole point was first year is a time of adjustment and extrapolating first year performance to clinical years + is spurious – suggesting my medic son will apparently be a great endocrinologist because of his first year exams is as spurious as suggesting getting 49%, not 50% in some year 1 modules will determine how well someone does in MRCP/MRCS and how good they are as a dr….and that’s using YOUR LOGIC, NOT MINE . Did you know Nottingham’s pass rate is 40%....and they still manage to produce drs with “a general functioning knowledge”. What’s so great about 50%, you sound like Tony Blair with your obsession with exactly 50?!

    A number of factors should be taken account into deciding what med school is right for a person. If a med school has a disproportionally high failure rate and its exams are harder to pass….this shouldn’t be ignored. People who fail at med school are bright, and being naïve enough to think “I’m too clever to fail” is blinkered…everyone in the year below got atleast 8A*s and 3A’s – they are clever and they have shown they can work hard. Don’t get hung up on minor points like this?!! Oh I think it’s a pretty big deal if someone has worked hard for 5 years and gets kicked out of med school by getting 49%/48%, not 50%. You’ll only have yourself to blame and then you’ll come crying to TSR with a post saying “Oh no I failed my first year/second year exams, can I still be a dr?”

    That’s the exactly point….look at the style of course at Birmingham. Do you know what consultants say about Birmingham? It’s a GP factory and its med students don’t know their gluteus minimus from their gluteus medius…translation: they produce graduates with “Jules” beloved “general functioning knowledge” and no knowledge of anatomy because you spend 2/3 times a year in prosection (trying to distinguish one beige object from another), the rest trying to learn anatomy from 2-D diagrams/books. The constant examinations creates a disproportionate amount of stress for first year medics, no wonder people get depressed and have anxiety disorders…thinking “that won’t happen to me” is again blinkered.

    I was not intending to discourage anyone from applying here, by all means apply - it will make my med school look popular. I wanted to give insight that you won’t find from paid tour guides/prospectuses so then your expectations of this med school will be realistic and you won’t be disappointed. Read the post at http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...&postcount=283.

    In general, the thread of “pros and cons of your med school” in the current medics section will help to give you a realistic insight into med schools, as it is written by current medics.
    I think your misunderstanding the tone of my reply. I wasn't trying to argue or contradict you in fact I agree with much of the stuff you have said. I'm just trying to offer a bit balance to this debate.

    I completely agree with you that 1st yr performance has very little to do with your performance in future exams. What I was trying to say was that if you can't cope with the volume of information or the style of learning/teaching now, things will almost certainly get more difficult as you become more senior.

    I agree with you to a certain extent about the anatomy sheets but I'm not sure that by providing all the answers anything will change. It may be a pain to find out the bits that are incomplete but often once you find what your looking for, it sticks in your mind longer because you found it not because someone just told you.

    The demonstrators are a mixed bunch and I know the med school are trying to rat out the poor ones but I can also say that some of them are brilliant. Ultimately its down to luck who you get (and I know this shouldn't be the case) but over the 2 years it should even itself out unless your really unlucky.

    As for the exams, you could say its luck of draw what q's come up but at the end of the day if you revise what they have given you properly you should be able to get atleast 50%. Its awfully cruel to those people who have jst missed out but where do u draw the line?? Bham has chosen 50% other med schools choose some other percentage. I dont really think its fair to compare between med schools as the exams vary in each place.

    Yes references, personal statements and IVs can give you an insight into someones character but we all know how easy it is to fix these things. IV answers can be learnt, personal statements get interfered with by school/parents etc and references can only say so much about a person. Once people know they need a reference from someone its obvious that there gonna be on their best behavior and loads of brown nosing goes on.

    I am sorry for your medic son but as I said before where do u draw the line?

    I think your being a little over dramatic about this whole failing thing. Your talking like its something out of our control and that even if you fail once your thrown out. THATS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. Your allowed two sittings at everything and even if you fail both times, the med school will still consider keeping you on the course - you may have to redo the year but thats better than being thrown out. The med school does not have a vendetta against anyone who fails. In my opinion they're pretty supportive and they really DONT want to throw anyone out. Its completely against their best interest to throw people out.

    On average it costs around £250,000 to train a med student - money that comes mostly from the NHS. From a simple financial point of view, every person they throw out wastes huge amounts of money and its something they want to avoid if at all possible. You will have had to done really badly for them to even think about throwing you out.

    Like i said before there are other so much more important criteria than the pass rate and in my opinion applicants shouldn't be wasting there time looking at this data because ultimately your in control if u pass or fail.

    Yes i get your point about Bham being considered a GP factory but that really doesn't mean anything when it comes to applying to jobs be it in surgury, medicine or whatever other specialty

    The anatomy teaching isn't the greatest here and I wish we had more opportunities to go the prosectorium but ultimately its down to the student to learn the required bits of anatomy and thats true which ever uni you go to. I'm sure other uni's have a better way of teaching anatomy but I think Bham has other strengths that you have overlooked. Its unfair to blame the med school for one or two students who are poor on their anatomy. This reputation came about 5-10 yrs ago and I pretty sure if you ask doctors know they wouldn't be so scathing of Bham like they may have been before

    Yes there are a lot of exams at Bham (maybe more than other places) and they can be annoying/frustrating but if you get depressed and have anxiety disorders over those, you have to wonder what these people will be like when they become doctors who will carry so much more responsibility and have a much higher workload then they ever did at uni. All I am saying is that its good preparation for the future. If you can deal with it successfully and learn to manage everything then that will definitely stand you in good stead once you become a doctor.

    The link you posted is well worth a read and its pretty accurate to an extent but there are a lot of good things people seem to miss/forget.

    Basically dont be put off with whats anyone has said on here. If you personally like the course, the uni, the city then don't let some randomer of TSR put you off. - and no thats not a reference to Ilikesmiling

    I don't get whether you hate the med school or not? Do you?
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    (Original post by Jules65)
    I think your misunderstanding the tone of my reply. I wasn't trying to argue or contradict you in fact I agree with much of the stuff you have said. I'm just trying to offer a bit balance to this debate.

    I completely agree with you that 1st yr performance has very little to do with your performance in future exams. What I was trying to say was that if you can't cope with the volume of information or the style of learning/teaching now, things will almost certainly get more difficult as you become more senior.

    I agree with you to a certain extent about the anatomy sheets but I'm not sure that by providing all the answers anything will change. It may be a pain to find out the bits that are incomplete but often once you find what your looking for, it sticks in your mind longer because you found it not because someone just told you.

    The demonstrators are a mixed bunch and I know the med school are trying to rat out the poor ones but I can also say that some of them are brilliant. Ultimately its down to luck who you get (and I know this shouldn't be the case) but over the 2 years it should even itself out unless your really unlucky.

    As for the exams, you could say its luck of draw what q's come up but at the end of the day if you revise what they have given you properly you should be able to get atleast 50%. Its awfully cruel to those people who have jst missed out but where do u draw the line?? Bham has chosen 50% other med schools choose some other percentage. I dont really think its fair to compare between med schools as the exams vary in each place.

    Yes references, personal statements and IVs can give you an insight into someones character but we all know how easy it is to fix these things. IV answers can be learnt, personal statements get interfered with by school/parents etc and references can only say so much about a person. Once people know they need a reference from someone its obvious that there gonna be on their best behavior and loads of brown nosing goes on.

    I am sorry for your medic son but as I said before where do u draw the line?

    I think your being a little over dramatic about this whole failing thing. Your talking like its something out of our control and that even if you fail once your thrown out. THATS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. Your allowed two sittings at everything and even if you fail both times, the med school will still consider keeping you on the course - you may have to redo the year but thats better than being thrown out. The med school does not have a vendetta against anyone who fails. In my opinion they're pretty supportive and they really DONT want to throw anyone out. Its completely against their best interest to throw people out.

    On average it costs around £250,000 to train a med student - money that comes mostly from the NHS. From a simple financial point of view, every person they throw out wastes huge amounts of money and its something they want to avoid if at all possible. You will have had to done really badly for them to even think about throwing you out.

    Like i said before there are other so much more important criteria than the pass rate and in my opinion applicants shouldn't be wasting there time looking at this data because ultimately your in control if u pass or fail.

    Yes i get your point about Bham being considered a GP factory but that really doesn't mean anything when it comes to applying to jobs be it in surgury, medicine or whatever other specialty

    The anatomy teaching isn't the greatest here and I wish we had more opportunities to go the prosectorium but ultimately its down to the student to learn the required bits of anatomy and thats true which ever uni you go to. I'm sure other uni's have a better way of teaching anatomy but I think Bham has other strengths that you have overlooked. Its unfair to blame the med school for one or two students who are poor on their anatomy. This reputation came about 5-10 yrs ago and I pretty sure if you ask doctors know they wouldn't be so scathing of Bham like they may have been before

    Yes there are a lot of exams at Bham (maybe more than other places) and they can be annoying/frustrating but if you get depressed and have anxiety disorders over those, you have to wonder what these people will be like when they become doctors who will carry so much more responsibility and have a much higher workload then they ever did at uni. All I am saying is that its good preparation for the future. If you can deal with it successfully and learn to manage everything then that will definitely stand you in good stead once you become a doctor.

    The link you posted is well worth a read and its pretty accurate to an extent but there are a lot of good things people seem to miss/forget.

    Basically dont be put off with whats anyone has said on here. If you personally like the course, the uni, the city then don't let some randomer of TSR put you off. - and no thats not a reference to Ilikesmiling

    I don't get whether you hate the med school or not? Do you?
    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....*
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    (Original post by marc_h94)
    Who are you referring to?
    ilikesmiling talks sense and makes some good points. I think Jules wound her up with his harsh way of thinking. She was making a good point. Med school is about preparing you for being a doctor and written exams in first year aren't always the best determinant - so med students shouldn't be asked to withdraw if they just fail marginally (just for the sake of 1%...i would be so angry and upset if that happened to me...i was very lucky this year). Whilst i visciously defend my med school and its policies (got a lot of neg rep for it on TSR- ouch!), her points are true. I had passed all my exams and was in a good mood post exams....and i may have been, erm...slightly optimistic about the med school in my review and not forthcoming with the negatives/glossed over stuff. I have made some brilliant friends this year and had a good time...but that wasn't due to the med school itself.

    She was very helpful for stuff i struggled with this year and her notes made me pass! Without them I would of failed. She is one of the nicest girls i've met and helps people quite a lot. She is going to make an awesome dr, partly because she isn't a douche. She is insanely clever and the med school are lucky to have her. She works so hard, not just in her academic life but to help other struggling med students. She is modest in just stating that she's in quartile 1, she did really well, better than me. Not only that, but she is very social and lends her ear to anyone who requires it.

    I can be a bit of an arrogant toerag/idiot, but she's still nice to me. She talks a lot of sense and is good for advice. She is one of the few people i've met who seems to genuinely want to help people and isn't one of those competitive medics, she's secure in her own abilities without coming across as arrogant. Finally, she's funny and is good at cheering disheartened medics up. Knowing her personally, I would feel safe if she was my dr.

    I thought you were a lad, Friar Chris, but name-calling has made you go down in my estimations, especially if you are name-calling an individual who is a legend in my opinion.
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    (Original post by Running1991)
    ilikesmiling talks sense and makes some good points. I think Jules wound her up with his harsh way of thinking. She was making a good point. Med school is about preparing you for being a doctor and written exams in first year aren't always the best determinant - so med students shouldn't be asked to withdraw if they just fail marginally (just for the sake of 1%...i would be so angry and upset if that happened to me...i was very lucky this year). Whilst i visciously defend my med school and its policies (got a lot of neg rep for it on TSR- ouch!), her points are true. I had passed all my exams and was in a good mood post exams....and i may have been, erm...slightly optimistic about the med school in my review and not forthcoming with the negatives/glossed over stuff. I have made some brilliant friends this year and had a good time...but that wasn't due to the med school itself.

    She was very helpful for stuff i struggled with this year and her notes made me pass! Without them I would of failed. She is one of the nicest girls i've met and helps people quite a lot. She is going to make an awesome dr, partly because she isn't a douche. She is insanely clever and the med school are lucky to have her. She works so hard, not just in her academic life but to help other struggling med students. She is modest in just stating that she's in quartile 1, she did really well, better than me. Not only that, but she is very social and lends her ear to anyone who requires it.

    I can be a bit of an arrogant toerag/idiot, but she's still nice to me. She talks a lot of sense and is good for advice. She is one of the few people i've met who seems to genuinely want to help people and isn't one of those competitive medics, she's secure in her own abilities without coming across as arrogant. Finally, she's funny and is good at cheering disheartened medics up. Knowing her personally, I would feel safe if she was my dr.

    I thought you were a lad, Friar Chris, but name-calling has made you go down in my estimations, especially if you are name-calling an individual who is a legend in my opinion.
    Haha very good to hear She was certainly helpful in giving sincere advice about Birmingham when I pmed her. I think I may still apply- at the end of the day, I'm going to med school to study medicine and that will involve exams. I know that they aren't necessarily the best way of choosing applicants but its inevitable that I'll have to pass them. I'm not going to kick myself because I could've applied to a uni where the pass mark is 45%. Besides, as long as I'm on par with my work, it's the social experience of uni that I'm really looking forward to, and by the sounds of it I won't be disappointed at Bham in that regard.
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    ffs, i thought i left all the drama behind after sixth form....
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    (Original post by marc_h94)
    Haha very good to hear She was certainly helpful in giving sincere advice about Birmingham when I pmed her. I think I may still apply- at the end of the day, I'm going to med school to study medicine and that will involve exams. I know that they aren't necessarily the best way of choosing applicants but its inevitable that I'll have to pass them. I'm not going to kick myself because I could've applied to a uni where the pass mark is 45%. Besides, as long as I'm on par with my work, it's the social experience of uni that I'm really looking forward to, and by the sounds of it I won't be disappointed at Bham in that regard.
    I don't think her made point was about exams in general, that was a bit of a tangent. As I said, Jules annoyed her with exams are the only way to examine med students mantra....you'll understand when you come across people who lied that they wanted to help people or are just socially retarded in your year...you'll think how do some people manage to stay on the course and others are thrown out? I think the med school gives exams that sometimes makes you think "when did we learn that?" and they do not give you good guidance on what you are expected to learn...i know one lecturer who loved to be ambiguous. So irritating, when asking him questions...his reply was always "we want you to be the best drs, you shouldn't aiming to pass exams" blah blah....which is true, but isn't helpful. Something i found quite difficult here was understanding how much detail i need to know and the learning outcomes are not detailed. But then you get some nice older years like ilikesmiling who make things a great deal easier for you.

    Oh yes, definitely apply here. Or Bristol. Or Oxbridge. They all love GCSEs (from my knowledge of the last admissions cycle).

    With regards to the social experience, you might find some of your year are nerds who hardly ever go out....atleast the older years (with less A*s) will be good fun . Go to MedBar! Go to all of fresher events and try and go out atleast once the week, it's good for the soul. They made us do a research project in the first week of freshers...the morning after the Hop we had to be in at 9am for a presentation.....that didn't go down well

    Remember to get those A's in A2, you can always apply with A*A*A*, but you can't with ABB, so don't get distracted with the interviews. If you haven't sat your UKCAT, pay for one of those courses, it helped me loads and wouldn't have got offers without it. Nearly freshers week soon, i can't wait to meet all these freshers who are geniuses (+ ECs!)...i heard they rejected people with 12A*s this year pre-interview on TSR, it's getting tougher at birmingham! Anyway, i'm rambling now, best of luck with the application process and i hope all goes to plan and you will soon be on the long road to becoming a dr.

    (ALSO, medic kids, come to daddy! I do hope I get some daughters who've inherited their good looks from their daddy , oh yes, i went there)
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    (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....*
    I have to say, this is the first TSR debate I have got involved in and I was rather enjoying it until you started personally attacking me. I still don't think you really understand why I posted here in the first place. I'm not trying to argue or contradict you, I'm just trying to share my experience of med school so far. Much of what you said I completely agree with I just think theres a touch too much negativity so I tried to balance it up a little.

    When I said the med school were trying to "rat the poor ones out" I wasn't making any presumptions. I was in a meeting with Dr.Kumar after the exams about evaluating all the modules etc. The quality of the AP demonstrators was discussed and Dr.Kumar was taking down names of the AP demonstrators who we had complaints about. I don't know what effect this will have but at the very least they will be told about their weaknesses.

    People can easily be taught/coached into giving a good IV. Is 15mins really enough to gauge someone's character in?

    I'm not sure how they set the pass rates but if what you say is true then I'm in agreement with you.

    I'm sorry but once you apply for jobs no one gives a rats arse which med school you come from. Yes they may have some pre-conceived idea about certain med schools but that should have no bearing on the outcome of the IV or whether your application is successful. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought you didnt even need to tell them which med school your from for your F1/2 application?

    I dont even get what you wanted to say in ur paragraph about depression/anxiety. If you thought I was somehow slating people who suffer from either of these conditions then you've completely misunderstood what I was saying. I really didn't mean that at all.

    I think its rather childish that your trying to judge my character from a few posts on an internet forum. I think that says a whole lot more about you then it does me. There was no need to get personal, I was just debating with you but obviously you can't handle someone who has slightly varying views/experiences to you.

    I wanna apologize to all the applicants who have probably been reading all this dribble. Some parts of it are true however most is just opinion and every person you ask is gonna have a different outlook. Please don't let any of this put you off and if you have any other Q's then ask away!
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    (Original post by Jules65)
    I have to say, this is the first TSR debate I have got involved in and I was rather enjoying it until you started personally attacking me. I still don't think you really understand why I posted here in the first place. I'm not trying to argue or contradict you, I'm just trying to share my experience of med school so far. Much of what you said I completely agree with I just think theres a touch too much negativity so I tried to balance it up a little.

    When I said the med school were trying to "rat the poor ones out" I wasn't making any presumptions. I was in a meeting with Dr.Kumar after the exams about evaluating all the modules etc. The quality of the AP demonstrators was discussed and Dr.Kumar was taking down names of the AP demonstrators who we had complaints about. I don't know what effect this will have but at the very least they will be told about their weaknesses.

    People can easily be taught/coached into giving a good IV. Is 15mins really enough to gauge someone's character in?

    I'm not sure how they set the pass rates but if what you say is true then I'm in agreement with you.

    I'm sorry but once you apply for jobs no one gives a rats arse which med school you come from. Yes they may have some pre-conceived idea about certain med schools but that should have no bearing on the outcome of the IV or whether your application is successful. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought you didnt even need to tell them which med school your from for your F1/2 application?

    I dont even get what you wanted to say in ur paragraph about depression/anxiety. If you thought I was somehow slating people who suffer from either of these conditions then you've completely misunderstood what I was saying. I really didn't mean that at all.

    I think its rather childish that your trying to judge my character from a few posts on an internet forum. I think that says a whole lot more about you then it does me. There was no need to get personal, I was just debating with you but obviously you can't handle someone who has slightly varying views/experiences to you.

    I wanna apologize to all the applicants who have probably been reading all this dribble. Some parts of it are true however most is just opinion and every person you ask is gonna have a different outlook. Please don't let any of this put you off and if you have any other Q's then ask away!
    It's making an enjoyable read for us freshers :ninja:
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    (Original post by SabreT)
    If you have a problem with her argument, at least clarify what parts you're referring to. It didn't really come across as opinionated to me. Simply resorting to name calling because you didn't like what she said just makes you seem a bit silly to be honest.
    (Original post by marc_h94)
    Who are you referring to?
    (Original post by Running1991)
    I thought you were a lad, Friar Chris, but name-calling has made you go down in my estimations, especially if you are name-calling an individual who is a legend in my opinion.
    (I'm a chap anyway )



    No, I simply couldn't be bothered at the time to make a full reply and I apologise; the walls of text, whilst full of points to cover, didn't really merit a full response because they contain a large amount of inaccuracy and opinion (to which ilikesmiling is entitled to, I grant) that was spewed violently as fact in a way that is very anti-Birmingham. Notably it also some more personal arguments between ilikesmiling and jules65 which are none of my business and, especially on the topic of spending on education, was a simple matter of statistics. I have no care for the argument between jules65 and ilikesmiling, but rather my emotivistic response was to the independent content of some of ilikesmiling's posts.

    For the people who think I came on, somewhat uncharacteristically, to name call, here is as best an explanation I can give with my apologies; I had been linked to his latest post criticising everything and anything at Brum, and I don't know if he has been right for the rest of his posts, but that one post, much quoted in this thread, is entirely out-of-order:

    In very short to cover a few; the anatomy department has much improved in recent years, we don't all suffer from a lack of knowledge and make excuses about 'general knowledge' and to be honest, I've met very few who are 'apathetic' to the medical school in a year there.

    'ilikesmiling' does have various valid points, I concede; the prosection isn't ideal and there are various sub-arguments here between ilm and jules65 which are related to how they perceive other's attitudes; I'm not interested in getting into those debates but he/she may well be right about some of them.

    Unfortunately, then there are the vast sweeping claims about the admissions being flawed, about anatomy teaching being poor, about unnecessary teaching and testing that are not only entirely unfair judgements, but some ones that ilikesmiling about the medschool playing people to free up space for clinical placements are probably also vaguely slanderous:


    • Apart from the fact that they absolutely do have sufficient places for everyone to proceed to the next year (which I have been categorically told by numerous senior members of the faculty, but will be emailing the administration for an official response in writing about the issue to confirm definitively whether it is I or ilikesmiling who is correct on this issue) ilikesmiling seems to me to be claiming that if they had less places this would be malpractice, when in reality it is something that I am fairly confident will occur in many medical schools across the country and the world, because drop-outs are inevitable and you can never precisely know how many people will fulfil the offers on UCAS - we all know that every university gives offers to more people than it has places.

    • Anatomy teaching has been a weakness recently at Birmingham, and we'd all love to do dissection instead of prosection (and more of it), but it's not an ideal world and once again the information was presented as if every or most other medical schools in the country do vast amounts of anatomy and dissection, which, as anyone who has read a few prospectūs can tell you, is absolutely not the case.

      In addition to this, I understand that anatomy teaching has vastly improved of late; and certainly in my first year I found that anatomy teaching, resources and practicals were everywhere. Indeed, it was my favourite subject, and there was plenty of it.

      A specific sarcastic example given by ilikesmiling was the claim that people at Brum wouldn't be able to tell 'the gluteus minimus from the gluteus medius'.... A claim that is wildly untrue and I think most first years would disprove, but even so is an amusing criticism to make so scythingly - I'd be amazed if the average success rate at such an idenfitication were any statistically significant value higher in medical schools across the UK on average.

    • What other complaints that have been made into massive slurs are there? Oh yes, that students don't know what's expected of them. And, may I say as I enter second year, this is the classic fresher's dilemma which is normally resolved by Christmas as not only do lecturers and tutors explain what you need to know, but they also provide comprehensive detailed lists of learning objectives that are even matched to the chronological order of relevant lectures/tutorials/practicals throughout the year. So you might see why I would be somewhat bemused by some of the claims.

    • If anything, the medical school is too supportive regarding exams and helping you avoid failing or being forced to drop out.

      Whilst mitigation is casually thrown out of the window by ilikesmiling who claims that they don't care about anyone who hasn't submitted any and just kick them out, it's actually massively explained and you're repeatedly informed about it throughout the year. I think as many as a third of people had some form of mitigation entered from minor disturbances in someone's life to trauma directly preventing revision - not as a way of getting easier exams, but to make sure that genuine complications were registered - and the system is very diligent in making sure that those who have a genuine issue are helped properly if something does go wrong, and if it doesn't, then they need not worry.

      In addition to this, you don't get kicked out if you fail... Even without mitigation at all you get at least one resit for every module you've failed, and can even do a third sit the next May if after the second sits you have only 2 modules left un-passed (one biological science and one social science permitted). Indeed, this is before applying mitigation; with which you have even more chances and can even re-take the exam as if it were your first time (ie allowing full marks as if you were sitting it without resitting at all) if your mitigation is serious enough.

      And even on top of all of this, you get immediate counselling on resits on the day of your results with senior lecturers in the relevant modules, and from then until the resits throughout the summer holidays, they are available to be emailed and contacted on the online WebCT forums to help you with your revision and address specific queries!!!



    But of course, these nuisance massive inaccuracies probably don't deserve me calling dear ilikesmiling a 'douche', so I shall digress from addressing the scathing list of poorly sourced criticisms given by ilikesmiling and proceed to the crux of the matter:

    So why would I get annoyed and call the poster a douche? Well, what really peeved, nay what riled me was how this individual makes such generalised criticisms (furthermore using what is, as I've tried to demonstrate, rather unsubstantiated opinion) as if he/she were too good for Birmingham, as if the medical school wasn't good enough for him/her and how he/she should have gone elsewhere; it is this attitude: the casual derision that astounded me, because whilst making a very good medical school unfairly look crap, the poster has managed to do it with an arrogant twist with the added flourish of telling people not to 'be deluded by the shiny, new buildings'. I must question, are we talking about the same medical school? Because the Birmingham Medical School was built in 1938, and the only shiny bits are the re-furbished LDLT and common rooms inside, there are no 'shiny new buildings'.

    I'm afraid that besides some of the outrageous claims that were made, it is the stinking attitude that makes me feel that, on the basis of that one post (and I concede that in some of the other arguments he/she is having with jules65 he/she may be entirely correctly), he/she deserved the title of douche, and definitely needs to get off his/her glorious high horse of judging medical schools based on self-inflated ideals that don't actually correspond to the reality of medical education.


    I'll let you know if and when I get the official reply about year places in writing.
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    (Original post by Friar Chris)
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    I didn't want to my post to come across like I was having a go, I just couldn't really see where you were coming from. Now I get your points though, it all makes much more sense.
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    (Original post by SabreT)
    I didn't want to my post to come across like I was having a go, I just couldn't really see where you were coming from. Now I get your points though, it all makes much more sense.
    No problem, I should have written this all in the first place but for my laziness.
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    Discussion is good, but keep it civil.
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    (Original post by Jules65)
    I have to say, this is the first TSR debate I have got involved in and I was rather enjoying it until you started personally attacking me. I still don't think you really understand why I posted here in the first place. I'm not trying to argue or contradict you, I'm just trying to share my experience of med school so far. Much of what you said I completely agree with I just think theres a touch too much negativity so I tried to balance it up a little.

    When I said the med school were trying to "rat the poor ones out" I wasn't making any presumptions. I was in a meeting with Dr.Kumar after the exams about evaluating all the modules etc. The quality of the AP demonstrators was discussed and Dr.Kumar was taking down names of the AP demonstrators who we had complaints about. I don't know what effect this will have but at the very least they will be told about their weaknesses.

    People can easily be taught/coached into giving a good IV. Is 15mins really enough to gauge someone's character in?

    I'm not sure how they set the pass rates but if what you say is true then I'm in agreement with you.

    I'm sorry but once you apply for jobs no one gives a rats arse which med school you come from. Yes they may have some pre-conceived idea about certain med schools but that should have no bearing on the outcome of the IV or whether your application is successful. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought you didnt even need to tell them which med school your from for your F1/2 application?

    I dont even get what you wanted to say in ur paragraph about depression/anxiety. If you thought I was somehow slating people who suffer from either of these conditions then you've completely misunderstood what I was saying. I really didn't mean that at all.

    I think its rather childish that your trying to judge my character from a few posts on an internet forum. I think that says a whole lot more about you then it does me. There was no need to get personal, I was just debating with you but obviously you can't handle someone who has slightly varying views/experiences to you.

    I wanna apologize to all the applicants who have probably been reading all this dribble. Some parts of it are true however most is just opinion and every person you ask is gonna have a different outlook. Please don't let any of this put you off and if you have any other Q's then ask away!
    Firstly, I didn’t start personally attacking you. I was just adding some banter, but apologies if it came across as personal attacking. I’m not like Friar Chris who seems to want to neg rep people into silence. It was a debate….that’s why I have never negged any of your posts or opinions. I believe in freedom of speech and I think everyone should be able to express their opinions, even if they disagree with mine. You are contradicting yourself. Making me out to be someone who can’t handle anyone’s opinion other than my own my calling my posts “dribble”. I haven’t ever slated any of your posts. If you provided any good arguments than ofcourse I will concede. If is personally attacking maybe I would have sent you a personal message of insults, but I didn’t because it’s not my intention to personal attack you.

    Anatomy demonstrators change every year, so how will that help students? Giving feedback to anatomy demonstrators who leave to take up SpR posts.
    The fact is patient consultations last 10 minutes..patients guage the opinion of their drs in that time. If you come across badly.

    I'm not talking about F1/F2, I’m talking about later. But obviously, I don’t know anything what with my dad being a surgeon and knowing his friends who interview. My medic mum got told that “Oh you’re Birmingham, we’re going to have to teach you anatomy now” etc etc

    Tell me what you meant by that depression/anxiety thing about how will they cope later if they can’t cope now? I'm intrigued, what did you mean?

    I’m not judging your character from a few posts, but if you really are affected by just some tongue-in-cheek comments and you thought i judged your character, then I apologise for being insensitive. Seriously, you shouldn't give a damn what i think about you or anyone else, especially people who haven't met you in person. But that's actually quite complimentary, you seem to care a lot about what i think. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings and i certainly wouldn't judge anyone i haven't met in person.
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    (Original post by Friar Chris)
    (I'm a chap anyway )



    No, I simply couldn't be bothered at the time to make a full reply and I apologise; the walls of text, whilst full of points to cover, didn't really merit a full response because they contain a large amount of inaccuracy and opinion (to which ilikesmiling is entitled to, I grant) that was spewed violently as fact in a way that is very anti-Birmingham. Notably it also some more personal arguments between ilikesmiling and jules65 which are none of my business and, especially on the topic of spending on education, was a simple matter of statistics. I have no care for the argument between jules65 and ilikesmiling, but rather my emotivistic response was to the independent content of some of ilikesmiling's posts.

    For the people who think I came on, somewhat uncharacteristically, to name call, here is as best an explanation I can give with my apologies; I had been linked to his latest post criticising everything and anything at Brum, and I don't know if he has been right for the rest of his posts, but that one post, much quoted in this thread, is entirely out-of-order:

    In very short to cover a few; the anatomy department has much improved in recent years, we don't all suffer from a lack of knowledge and make excuses about 'general knowledge' and to be honest, I've met very few who are 'apathetic' to the medical school in a year there.

    'ilikesmiling' does have various valid points, I concede; the prosection isn't ideal and there are various sub-arguments here between ilm and jules65 which are related to how they perceive other's attitudes; I'm not interested in getting into those debates but he/she may well be right about some of them.

    Unfortunately, then there are the vast sweeping claims about the admissions being flawed, about anatomy teaching being poor, about unnecessary teaching and testing that are not only entirely unfair judgements, but some ones that ilikesmiling about the medschool playing people to free up space for clinical placements are probably also vaguely slanderous:


    • Apart from the fact that they absolutely do have sufficient places for everyone to proceed to the next year (which I have been categorically told by numerous senior members of the faculty, but will be emailing the administration for an official response in writing about the issue to confirm definitively whether it is I or ilikesmiling who is correct on this issue) ilikesmiling seems to me to be claiming that if they had less places this would be malpractice, when in reality it is something that I am fairly confident will occur in many medical schools across the country and the world, because drop-outs are inevitable and you can never precisely know how many people will fulfil the offers on UCAS - we all know that every university gives offers to more people than it has places.

    • Anatomy teaching has been a weakness recently at Birmingham, and we'd all love to do dissection instead of prosection (and more of it), but it's not an ideal world and once again the information was presented as if every or most other medical schools in the country do vast amounts of anatomy and dissection, which, as anyone who has read a few prospectūs can tell you, is absolutely not the case.

      In addition to this, I understand that anatomy teaching has vastly improved of late; and certainly in my first year I found that anatomy teaching, resources and practicals were everywhere. Indeed, it was my favourite subject, and there was plenty of it.

      A specific sarcastic example given by ilikesmiling was the claim that people at Brum wouldn't be able to tell 'the gluteus minimus from the gluteus medius'.... A claim that is wildly untrue and I think most first years would disprove, but even so is an amusing criticism to make so scythingly - I'd be amazed if the average success rate at such an idenfitication were any statistically significant value higher in medical schools across the UK on average.

    • What other complaints that have been made into massive slurs are there? Oh yes, that students don't know what's expected of them. And, may I say as I enter second year, this is the classic fresher's dilemma which is normally resolved by Christmas as not only do lecturers and tutors explain what you need to know, but they also provide comprehensive detailed lists of learning objectives that are even matched to the chronological order of relevant lectures/tutorials/practicals throughout the year. So you might see why I would be somewhat bemused by some of the claims.

    • If anything, the medical school is too supportive regarding exams and helping you avoid failing or being forced to drop out.

      Whilst mitigation is casually thrown out of the window by ilikesmiling who claims that they don't care about anyone who hasn't submitted any and just kick them out, it's actually massively explained and you're repeatedly informed about it throughout the year. I think as many as a third of people had some form of mitigation entered from minor disturbances in someone's life to trauma directly preventing revision - not as a way of getting easier exams, but to make sure that genuine complications were registered - and the system is very diligent in making sure that those who have a genuine issue are helped properly if something does go wrong, and if it doesn't, then they need not worry.

      In addition to this, you don't get kicked out if you fail... Even without mitigation at all you get at least one resit for every module you've failed, and can even do a third sit the next May if after the second sits you have only 2 modules left un-passed (one biological science and one social science permitted). Indeed, this is before applying mitigation; with which you have even more chances and can even re-take the exam as if it were your first time (ie allowing full marks as if you were sitting it without resitting at all) if your mitigation is serious enough.

      And even on top of all of this, you get immediate counselling on resits on the day of your results with senior lecturers in the relevant modules, and from then until the resits throughout the summer holidays, they are available to be emailed and contacted on the online WebCT forums to help you with your revision and address specific queries!!!



    But of course, these nuisance massive inaccuracies probably don't deserve me calling dear ilikesmiling a 'douche', so I shall digress from addressing the scathing list of poorly sourced criticisms given by ilikesmiling and proceed to the crux of the matter:

    So why would I get annoyed and call the poster a douche? Well, what really peeved, nay what riled me was how this individual makes such generalised criticisms (furthermore using what is, as I've tried to demonstrate, rather unsubstantiated opinion) as if he/she were too good for Birmingham, as if the medical school wasn't good enough for him/her and how he/she should have gone elsewhere; it is this attitude: the casual derision that astounded me, because whilst making a very good medical school unfairly look crap, the poster has managed to do it with an arrogant twist with the added flourish of telling people not to 'be deluded by the shiny, new buildings'. I must question, are we talking about the same medical school? Because the Birmingham Medical School was built in 1938, and the only shiny bits are the re-furbished LDLT and common rooms inside, there are no 'shiny new buildings'.

    I'm afraid that besides some of the outrageous claims that were made, it is the stinking attitude that makes me feel that, on the basis of that one post (and I concede that in some of the other arguments he/she is having with jules65 he/she may be entirely correctly), he/she deserved the title of douche, and definitely needs to get off his/her glorious high horse of judging medical schools based on self-inflated ideals that don't actually correspond to the reality of medical education.


    I'll let you know if and when I get the official reply about year places in writing.
    I am not anti-Birmingham....i gave the reasons why i chose the med school. If they appeal to applicants, so be it. I have not told anyone to not apply, unlike Jules who is telling people to apply. Infact it just shows how both of you recognise there is truth in what i say, as you feel so threatened by it. If i was some arrogant idiot as you and Jules want to make me out to be....why get so defensive and tell applicants to ignore what i say if it is so "slanderous" and it is "dribble". Because, it's not my responsibility to make decisions for people.

    I am SHE, not a HE. Why do you think I am male, not female?

    It is your opinion that the "anatomy department has much improved in recent years", but i disagree with that. Those anatomy sheets have not changed much if you look at older years folders and compare. How has it improved if there are small changes?

    I did not mean anything to be slanderous....I was informing applicants of my experience and was merely pointing that from my opinion if there were 332 places available on the website, than why have a year of 400 (my year). There is someone who's wrote what you may call an "anti-Birmingham" review in the pros and cons of the med school, based on his experience. Just because others state their honest account of the med school, it is your opinion that we're all talking nonsense.

    • Yes, but it seems to me from comparing my med school to other med schools that drop-outs /failures are higher at this med school. Yes, Birmingham give out 800 offers and only 400 people take them up (and approximately 20 miss their grades). It has been my experience, that many students in my year say Birmingham wasn’t their first choice more like third/fourth and they only chose it because of their admissions policy.

    • my argument isn’t about changing it to dissection. I just don’t understand why we are only allowed to go to the prosectorium 2/3 times a year. You and Jules will have to sit that anatomy viva, Friar Chris....and when you are so unfamiliar with the prosected specimens and you find yourself struggle, despite your vastly improved anatomy knowledge outstripping mine.

    Anatomy demonstrators who come in hung over and leave half early was my experience. No name-calling is going to stop me from saying the truth. I wouldn't mind less anatomy small group sessions with the sheets of anatomy questions, as I would learn more if I was given than time to do it by myself. I find with Birmingham it's quantity, not quality.

    • That specific sarcastic example was a quote by a consultant – not my genius I’m afraid!

    • Maybe that’s you Friar Chris, but a lot of medics come to me, not knowing what’s expected of them and have across some lecturers who don’t help them and those learning objectives are not detailed in my opinion (but are detailed in your opinion). I’m sure you passed your exams will flying colours due to your experience and had to do less work than I had to so to achieve high grades because I didn’t grasp that the learning objectives/the med school were so detailed and helpful.

    • No, I did not say that mitigation is “casually thrown out of the window” and “claim that they don't care about anyone who hasn't submitted any and just kick them out”. I find it amusing that you misquote a lot of what I say to meet your argument and discredit mine.

    • I said that ONLY people who submit mitigation, are immune from being thrown out in year 2 (after 2 sits in my dialogue to Jules), whilst others who don’t have mitigation are thrown out if they fail...that is with the exception of the third sit rule only allowed in year one as you have rightly included.

    • Apologies for inaccurately stating my first impressions of Birmingham on the open day was of shiny new buildings, I should of meant shiny new re-furbished LDLT, common rooms and med café...but it was the same general gist. I love it how you descend to nit-picking and aren't able to address the core of my arguments which is birmingham isn't student-centred/treats each student as an individual....it's always quantity over quality.

    • I made the post to help applicants not fall into the same trap I did, as I was wowed by the “newly re-furbished” stuff in the med school. I made a foolish decision in my opinion. You want to promote a good image of the med school and because i don't comply/align my opinion with yours, you seem to want to discredit me. You will not give applicants a realistic expectation of what to expect and they will be disappointed, as they will now be paying 9K, not like us.

    • The irony is that your post is probably more opinionated then mine. Ofcourse my posts had opinion in. My experience, Running1991’s experience, your experience and Jules’ experience is opinion. I have never stated that my personal opinion of the med school is fact, yet you seem to give an “arrogant twist” to your own posts by suggesting that my opinion is somehow invalid compared to your superior opinion.

    Finally i don't need to plead with applicants to ignore "dribble". It is neither gain/loss to me if more/less people apply to this med school. I thought i was doing applicants a favour by being honest. Jules and Friar Chris, good luck with second year.... wait till you get to CVS and BAB, i suppose because you're so well-supported and the learning objectives are so detailed you will ace everything.

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