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    What is it REALLY like studying medicine at Birmingham- I'd like answers from current and past students please?
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    That's a pretty broad question. If you asked for something more specific I could probably help you more.

    Here's a bit of an overview of years 1 and 2:

    In preclinical years you do 4 modules a term, 3 basic science ones and one 'medicine in society' one. The MIS one is usually a bit of a doss and people rarely fail that. You get an average of around 24 hours a week scheduled time (I know because I counted), which is spent mostly in lectures, with some small group tutorials and anatomy sessions. The anatomy sessions vary between about 2-5 a week, and have sheets of work to do beforehand that usually take 2-3hours per session. Some people are very critical of Birmingham's anatomy teaching, I personally found it alright but admit it probably isn't as much of a focus as at some other unis.

    You also do one day a fortnight at GP placement learning how to take histories, do examinations, and take blood pressure. That's the only clinical experience you get in the first 2 years. You also do one day a fortnight of PBL, which is pretty easy and a bit useless honestly. And once a term you go into the prosection room, which is quite useful but pretty short. In my experience, tour guides vastly overstate how much time we spend in prosection. It's VERY little. Actually, take everything tour guides say at all the open days you attend with a huge pinch of salt. I know a lot of people who do them, inv arious subjects and at various unis, and they all lie and act way more enthusiastic about their course than they really are, because that's what they're paid to do. Just a word to the wise.

    In preclinical, you get some exams in January, and the majority in May. These consist of Short Answer Questions for the main 8 modules a term, True/False+ questions for anatomy, a written paper for anatomy and PBL, and a prosection exam for anatomy where you have to identify structures and describe their function. There's also a mini-OSCE at the end of 2nd year, which is all on normal patients with no signs and mostly to familiarise you with the process, and a few essays and group projects that you have to do, but not too many.

    In terms of facilities, I recommend you come on an open day and check them out for yourself. There's ample computers, the lecture halls and canteens are pretty nice. Birmingham campus is actually very nice as well, but you'll spend very little time there. The uni and city overall have a lot to offer.

    One disadvantage of Birmingham is that it is such a big medical school. With close to 400 students a year it's definitely not 'cosy' feeling. I still regularly run into people who I swear I've never seen before in my lfie, and it turns out we've been in the same year since day one. Also when you get to clinical years some of the placements are quite busy (60 3rd year students in one hospital is way too many!)

    Overall I've had a good experience at Birmingham, just ask if you have any further questions
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    Life will be extremely tough as a junior doctor working in F1 and F2. Thus its best to be somewhat prepared from medical school.
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    (Original post by Ghotay)
    That's a pretty broad question. If you asked for something more specific I could probably help you more.

    Here's a bit of an overview of years 1 and 2:

    In preclinical years you do 4 modules a term, 3 basic science ones and one 'medicine in society' one. The MIS one is usually a bit of a doss and people rarely fail that. You get an average of around 24 hours a week scheduled time (I know because I counted), which is spent mostly in lectures, with some small group tutorials and anatomy sessions. The anatomy sessions vary between about 2-5 a week, and have sheets of work to do beforehand that usually take 2-3hours per session. Some people are very critical of Birmingham's anatomy teaching, I personally found it alright but admit it probably isn't as much of a focus as at some other unis.

    You also do one day a fortnight at GP placement learning how to take histories, do examinations, and take blood pressure. That's the only clinical experience you get in the first 2 years. You also do one day a fortnight of PBL, which is pretty easy and a bit useless honestly. And once a term you go into the prosection room, which is quite useful but pretty short. In my experience, tour guides vastly overstate how much time we spend in prosection. It's VERY little. Actually, take everything tour guides say at all the open days you attend with a huge pinch of salt. I know a lot of people who do them, inv arious subjects and at various unis, and they all lie and act way more enthusiastic about their course than they really are, because that's what they're paid to do. Just a word to the wise.

    In preclinical, you get some exams in January, and the majority in May. These consist of Short Answer Questions for the main 8 modules a term, True/False+ questions for anatomy, a written paper for anatomy and PBL, and a prosection exam for anatomy where you have to identify structures and describe their function. There's also a mini-OSCE at the end of 2nd year, which is all on normal patients with no signs and mostly to familiarise you with the process, and a few essays and group projects that you have to do, but not too many.

    In terms of facilities, I recommend you come on an open day and check them out for yourself. There's ample computers, the lecture halls and canteens are pretty nice. Birmingham campus is actually very nice as well, but you'll spend very little time there. The uni and city overall have a lot to offer.

    One disadvantage of Birmingham is that it is such a big medical school. With close to 400 students a year it's definitely not 'cosy' feeling. I still regularly run into people who I swear I've never seen before in my lfie, and it turns out we've been in the same year since day one. Also when you get to clinical years some of the placements are quite busy (60 3rd year students in one hospital is way too many!)

    Overall I've had a good experience at Birmingham, just ask if you have any further questions
    How hard are the exams ( what's the pass mark )
    And how would you recco mend studying ?


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    The pass mark for all exams is 50%. That seems low, but trust me it's not, with the sheer amount of knowledge that you have to cram in.

    For preclinical years you can get an low as 40% in any individual module, but you have to average 50% across all the modules for one semester. If you fail any individual module (below 40%), or do not achieve a 50% average, you have to retake all four modules. This was changed the year after I had retakes, luckily for me, because it's a pretty brutal system.

    How hard are the exams... That's difficult to say. In first year the topics are actually pretty easy I think, but what makes it difficult is that going to uni is such a big adjustment and you're really finding your feet for most of that first year. Med school recognise this and let people retake the year even if they don't have extenuating circumstances. Honestly, first year is more about making new friends and becoming an adult than it is about studying, even for medics. Second year is widely considered the hardest year of the course and I agree with that. The first term is okay, but the second term is tough and then exams were intense. Before exams I spent over a month just solidly studying for hours a day. I used to be a crammer though, and actually managed to get away with very little studying during term time. You definitely have time to have a social life and get involved in clubs and things, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    I don't really have any tips about studying. It's really down to what works for each individual person. I still don't feel like I've worked out how to study, and each new year presents new challenges in terms f the type of material. First two years is all science-based, but then in third year you have OSCEs, fourth year psych stations, fifth year finals... you honestly just do your best to figure it out as you go along!
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    hey Ghotay.

    how was studying in uni? did you get any free time to yourself? how many lectures did you have a week? was students able to join a sports club as medics or just too much work~?
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    I've actually addressed all of those questions already
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    Wow thank you so much for such a detailed reply - shame tsr didn't actually notify me that my post had been responded to. Just came across this looking over my previous posts.

    I'm in the process of deciding which unis to apply to tonight and have to send off my ucas form tomorrow- I don't know why I do everything at the last minute- but I'm a bit unsure about Birmingham...it's competing for a spot with Leeds, Bristol and Keele.

    I'll definitely take everything you've said into account however, thank you v much...


    (Original post by Ghotay)
    That's a pretty broad question. If you asked for something more specific I could probably help you more.

    Here's a bit of an overview of years 1 and 2:

    In preclinical years you do 4 modules a term, 3 basic science ones and one 'medicine in society' one. The MIS one is usually a bit of a doss and people rarely fail that. You get an average of around 24 hours a week scheduled time (I know because I counted), which is spent mostly in lectures, with some small group tutorials and anatomy sessions. The anatomy sessions vary between about 2-5 a week, and have sheets of work to do beforehand that usually take 2-3hours per session. Some people are very critical of Birmingham's anatomy teaching, I personally found it alright but admit it probably isn't as much of a focus as at some other unis.

    You also do one day a fortnight at GP placement learning how to take histories, do examinations, and take blood pressure. That's the only clinical experience you get in the first 2 years. You also do one day a fortnight of PBL, which is pretty easy and a bit useless honestly. And once a term you go into the prosection room, which is quite useful but pretty short. In my experience, tour guides vastly overstate how much time we spend in prosection. It's VERY little. Actually, take everything tour guides say at all the open days you attend with a huge pinch of salt. I know a lot of people who do them, inv arious subjects and at various unis, and they all lie and act way more enthusiastic about their course than they really are, because that's what they're paid to do. Just a word to the wise.

    In preclinical, you get some exams in January, and the majority in May. These consist of Short Answer Questions for the main 8 modules a term, True/False+ questions for anatomy, a written paper for anatomy and PBL, and a prosection exam for anatomy where you have to identify structures and describe their function. There's also a mini-OSCE at the end of 2nd year, which is all on normal patients with no signs and mostly to familiarise you with the process, and a few essays and group projects that you have to do, but not too many.

    In terms of facilities, I recommend you come on an open day and check them out for yourself. There's ample computers, the lecture halls and canteens are pretty nice. Birmingham campus is actually very nice as well, but you'll spend very little time there. The uni and city overall have a lot to offer.

    One disadvantage of Birmingham is that it is such a big medical school. With close to 400 students a year it's definitely not 'cosy' feeling. I still regularly run into people who I swear I've never seen before in my lfie, and it turns out we've been in the same year since day one. Also when you get to clinical years some of the placements are quite busy (60 3rd year students in one hospital is way too many!)

    Overall I've had a good experience at Birmingham, just ask if you have any further questions
 
 
 
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