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Bristol offers a five-year medical course split into two years of preclinical studies and a further three years of clinical education. Students receive clinical teaching through placements in healthcare settings across the South-West of England.
The course involves early patient contact in GPs, hospitals and other clinical environments. Teaching is delivered through lectures, working on clinical cases and practicals. Essential anatomy is taught through modern facilities and prosections and even through the initial years of the course, students are simultaneously taught the biomedical fundamentals of medicine alongside the relevant clinical aspects.
The first year focuses on the body in health and the second year then looks at the processes and presentations of disease. In the third, fourth and fifth years, clinical education is principally based on placements in primary and secondary healthcare settings and involves experience with patients receiving elective and emergency care, attachments in different medical specialties and opportunities to work within a clinical team. The final year focuses predominantlyon extensive preparation for the roles and responsibilities of a Foundation doctor.
Students are offered opportunities to undertake a research project to develop research skills and experience. An optional year to obtain an intercalated BSc or BA degree or a Master’s degree is offered between the third and fourth year. Students can also take part in studying medicine elsewhere in the UK or abroad through an elective programme that takes place in the final year.
Hi! My name is Matt and I am currently a 5th year medical student at the University of Bristol. Before embarking on your journey, it is important to remember that life as a medical student provides many challenges however, it also comes with an extensive list of opportunities within and outside of Medicine. For example, being British Indian has enabled me to speak both Punjabi and English; allowing me to converse with many individuals from a multitude of backgrounds, which is extremely advantageous in certain scenarios. I am also currently intercalating in a research-based Master’s programme (Health Sciences Research), since clinical research is an important academic skill which is utilised throughout a physician’s career. The intercalated degrees offered at Bristol are diverse, useful, and enjoyable – if you even wanted to undertake a degree at a different university, Bristol are extremely supportive of students to do so. In addition, Bristol offers a whole host of opportunities including academic prizes, research and sporting activities, a variety of societies, electives, language skills etc! Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bristol. It encompasses a city culture that is vibrant and tight knit, with a student community providing endless opportunities and support! Although applying and joining medical school may feel intimidating due to the known hard-working environment it entails, please ensure you enjoy the process by timetabling a positive work-life balance and seeing medical school as an opportunity to learn and develop life-long skills. Best of luck!!
-by Matt, studying medicine in the UK, at the University of Bristol
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