The Student Room Group

Looking to Speak to Current Medical Students

Hi, I was wondering if there’s any current med students on here that can have a chat with me about what medical school is like? I’m year 13 and I don’t know any med students irl so I’m giving here a try!
Reply 1
Original post by kaoruliker
Hi, I was wondering if there’s any current med students on here that can have a chat with me about what medical school is like? I’m year 13 and I don’t know any med students irl so I’m giving here a try!

Hi, I'm a 3rd year at ARU, anything in particular you'de like to know?
Original post by kktrian
Hi, I'm a 3rd year at ARU, anything in particular you'de like to know?

Just, in general, do you know anyone who has taken Medicine at university but decided to drop out after not liking the course content? Because I can imagine for most degrees, people would be willing to stick it out even if they're unhappy with the course content, but Medicine is obviously six years long
Reply 3
Original post by InnateImpunity
Just, in general, do you know anyone who has taken Medicine at university but decided to drop out after not liking the course content? Because I can imagine for most degrees, people would be willing to stick it out even if they're unhappy with the course content, but Medicine is obviously six years long

As far as I know...no one in my year has dropped out no. Also generally would say even though we're tired and stressed I do think the vast majority love it. I do have one friend who is considering going into medical engineering rather than clinical practice, but she's very academic and loves to learn so I think she just finds alot of things interesting and likes looking into different fields, rather than disliking medicine itself.
To be fair, I think you'll realise medicine isn't for you during the application process. Getting in imo is deffo the hardest bit, so that will be the point I think alot of people might think it isn't worth it
Reply 4
Original post by InnateImpunity
Just, in general, do you know anyone who has taken Medicine at university but decided to drop out after not liking the course content? Because I can imagine for most degrees, people would be willing to stick it out even if they're unhappy with the course content, but Medicine is obviously six years long

Also it's only 5 years if you don't intercalate (although some uni's force you to)
Reply 5
Do you mind if I ask what other careers you're considering/why you're thinking of medicine?
Reply 6
Original post by kktrian
Hi, I'm a 3rd year at ARU, anything in particular you'de like to know?

Hi! I was wondering what it’s like being a med student? Do many med students have part time jobs, or is there too much work? Is your schedule filled from 9-5 most day? And what surprised you most about studying medicine! Thank you :biggrin:
Reply 7
Original post by kaoruliker
Hi! I was wondering what it’s like being a med student? Do many med students have part time jobs, or is there too much work? Is your schedule filled from 9-5 most day? And what surprised you most about studying medicine! Thank you :biggrin:

I would say it's definitely possible to have a part-time job! I have loads of friends who do, mainly tutoring or working in shops around town. Those who don't are involved in running societies, sports and hobbies instead. I can't off the top of my head think of anyone drowning so much in the course they haven't got time for anything else. I personally don't have a job (though I've put up advertisements for potential students that need tutoring), but I play violin and guitar and am a major bookworm, so I definitely have time for my hobbies.

Officially, our timetable is 9am till 4pm, though it's quite rare for the day to actually last till 4. Most days finish at 2 or 3 at the latest. Wednesdays we have the afternoon off, so it's only till 12pm. Friday afternoons are anatomy, which can be very variable. Sometimes its intense and there's alot of dissecting to do, currently for us it's more of a drop in session for revision as we're currently studying heamatology which has no new anatomy content. So basically, the timetable is quite flexible but alot of the time you will have gaps. Also, lectures for us are recorded and not strictly mandatory (though it's advisable to keep your attendance up), so alot of people will prefer to go through the work in our own time. I definitely think things feel better now because I have a good idea of what I need to know and the resources I need to learn it. So when you first start you might feel overwhelmed until you figure out what works for you.

I would say content-wise, medicine isn't difficult. I'd go so far as to say that certain aspects of A-levels were harder. It's just ALOT of content, so you need to find ways of working smarter, not harder (e.g using online spaced repetition flashcard systems like Quizlet). For us, emphasis is placed upon learning to identify conditions and how to treat them. We aren't tested on the underlying physiology too much, (I'd say about 15% of questions are science). That might be different depending where you go though, obviously somewhere like Cambridge will probably have long-aswer question based exams asking you to explain the science in detail, but most med schools (and all of them in later years) switch to multiple choice clinical based questions.
Reply 8
Original post by kktrian
I would say it's definitely possible to have a part-time job! I have loads of friends who do, mainly tutoring or working in shops around town. Those who don't are involved in running societies, sports and hobbies instead. I can't off the top of my head think of anyone drowning so much in the course they haven't got time for anything else. I personally don't have a job (though I've put up advertisements for potential students that need tutoring), but I play violin and guitar and am a major bookworm, so I definitely have time for my hobbies.

Officially, our timetable is 9am till 4pm, though it's quite rare for the day to actually last till 4. Most days finish at 2 or 3 at the latest. Wednesdays we have the afternoon off, so it's only till 12pm. Friday afternoons are anatomy, which can be very variable. Sometimes its intense and there's alot of dissecting to do, currently for us it's more of a drop in session for revision as we're currently studying heamatology which has no new anatomy content. So basically, the timetable is quite flexible but alot of the time you will have gaps. Also, lectures for us are recorded and not strictly mandatory (though it's advisable to keep your attendance up), so alot of people will prefer to go through the work in our own time. I definitely think things feel better now because I have a good idea of what I need to know and the resources I need to learn it. So when you first start you might feel overwhelmed until you figure out what works for you.

I would say content-wise, medicine isn't difficult. I'd go so far as to say that certain aspects of A-levels were harder. It's just ALOT of content, so you need to find ways of working smarter, not harder (e.g using online spaced repetition flashcard systems like Quizlet). For us, emphasis is placed upon learning to identify conditions and how to treat them. We aren't tested on the underlying physiology too much, (I'd say about 15% of questions are science). That might be different depending where you go though, obviously somewhere like Cambridge will probably have long-aswer question based exams asking you to explain the science in detail, but most med schools (and all of them in later years) switch to multiple choice clinical based questions.

Tysm for answering, this is really helpful!! :smile:
Reply 9
Original post by kaoruliker
Tysm for answering, this is really helpful!! :smile:

No problem! Feel free to ask about anything aru specific - and keep in mind what I've said IS aru centric. I'd say we as a uni are quite self directed as there aren't alot of check in points, we don't get many assignments and only one mock exam before the big exam in the summer each year. Essentially, we're kind of "marathon style" studying as we're preparing for a massive exam at the end of the year and have to be careful not to burn out before then. It gives us alot of flexibility. But I know at other uni's, like at Cardiff for example, they have more contact because they do CBL (case based learning) which is more like school-style close group teaching, and they also have multiple exams throughout the year. I would imagine that means they have to be more organised in the short term if that makes sense. Basically I recommend you speak to more people at different places to get a more rounded idea.

I should say though that the most difficult part of medicine is getting in, the competition is brutal. So if you do decide to go for it, you need to start doing lots of research and make sure you apply to your strengths. The problem nowadays is so many people apply to medicine, uni's literally CANNOT look over every application individually. Each uni uses it's own personalised computer alogorithm to select students for interview, and they won't make what that algorithm obvious. You won't find it on their website nor will they tell you about it in open days, you've got to look through past studentroom threads to get an idea of what they do. Let me know if you need help/advice with that (though my info might be a bit out of date now 3 years on). Good luck!
Hello, I am a second year medical student at ARU. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask them.
Reply 11
Original post by kktrian
No problem! Feel free to ask about anything aru specific - and keep in mind what I've said IS aru centric. I'd say we as a uni are quite self directed as there aren't alot of check in points, we don't get many assignments and only one mock exam before the big exam in the summer each year. Essentially, we're kind of "marathon style" studying as we're preparing for a massive exam at the end of the year and have to be careful not to burn out before then. It gives us alot of flexibility. But I know at other uni's, like at Cardiff for example, they have more contact because they do CBL (case based learning) which is more like school-style close group teaching, and they also have multiple exams throughout the year. I would imagine that means they have to be more organised in the short term if that makes sense. Basically I recommend you speak to more people at different places to get a more rounded idea.

I should say though that the most difficult part of medicine is getting in, the competition is brutal. So if you do decide to go for it, you need to start doing lots of research and make sure you apply to your strengths. The problem nowadays is so many people apply to medicine, uni's literally CANNOT look over every application individually. Each uni uses it's own personalised computer alogorithm to select students for interview, and they won't make what that algorithm obvious. You won't find it on their website nor will they tell you about it in open days, you've got to look through past studentroom threads to get an idea of what they do. Let me know if you need help/advice with that (though my info might be a bit out of date now 3 years on). Good luck!

Sorry for the confusion, I’ve already applied for medicine courses because I am a year 14 in NI! I wrote that I’m a year 13 to avoid confusion among people in England’s education system- People can probably tell from my past posts that I’m from NI though. It was probably a good idea to start talking to med students earlier but I thought it’s better late than never because I had looked up everything about being a doctor but I realised I don’t actually know much about being a med student.. It’s interesting to know that ARU does just one big exam at the end because the schools I’ve applied for all do lots of exams throughout the year I believe.
Reply 12
Original post by ARUStudents
Hello, I am a second year medical student at ARU. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask them.

Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me a little about how being a medical student is like and what a typical day is like for you? Did you find the transition to university hard?
Original post by kaoruliker
Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me a little about how being a medical student is like and what a typical day is like for you? Did you find the transition to university hard?

hello, as a second year my typical week consists of:
Monday: lectures usually in a 9-4 format
Tuesdays: practical day, clinical skills in the morning and then anatomy lab in the afternoon
Wednesday: mixture of lectures and workshops, as with the rest of university we have a half day and are finished by 13:00
Thursday and Fridays are usually online lectures.
In between we also have “free periods” referred to as student mediated learning time in which you can choose how to spend your time. I also work part-time so my week can look quite busy.
In our second year we also have 5 full weeks of placement, 4 weeks in hospital and 1 week in the GP.
I personally am a graduate so I can only speak from my experience but in terms of transition. I think that the first year of university you can adjust quite well to, as A-Levels to get into medicine including the prep for UCAT and interviews is already quite intense. The biggest jump for me was from first to second year. But by then you already have your routine in place and as long as you consolidate your learning, and know how you study best you can also adjust to this relatively easy. Hope this helps.
Reply 14
Original post by ARUStudents
hello, as a second year my typical week consists of:
Monday: lectures usually in a 9-4 format
Tuesdays: practical day, clinical skills in the morning and then anatomy lab in the afternoon
Wednesday: mixture of lectures and workshops, as with the rest of university we have a half day and are finished by 13:00
Thursday and Fridays are usually online lectures.
In between we also have “free periods” referred to as student mediated learning time in which you can choose how to spend your time. I also work part-time so my week can look quite busy.
In our second year we also have 5 full weeks of placement, 4 weeks in hospital and 1 week in the GP.
I personally am a graduate so I can only speak from my experience but in terms of transition. I think that the first year of university you can adjust quite well to, as A-Levels to get into medicine including the prep for UCAT and interviews is already quite intense. The biggest jump for me was from first to second year. But by then you already have your routine in place and as long as you consolidate your learning, and know how you study best you can also adjust to this relatively easy. Hope this helps.

Thank you, this is a great help!! What made the transition from first to second year hard?

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