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Situated in a campus-based University with the city centre just a 10-minute walk away,Leeds Medical School is rated among the highest in terms of student satisfaction. The MBChB programme taught at Leeds uses an integrated teaching style within itsspiral curriculum to ensure that medical students receive the highest standard ofeducation in regard to patient contact and clinical exposure. With placement from yearone, students are able to become comfortable withlife on a ward early on while cementing their clinical skills with scientific knowledgein lectures.
Year 1: First Year medical students experience avaried and diverse timetable with each week comprising of lectures, seminars and smallgroup-work teaching to help tackle their learningfrom every angle. This is complimented with 2 hours in the dissection lab every week aswell as half a day of placement, which increases to a full day in second year. Year onefocuses on laying the foundations of scientifictheory behind medicine, with modules such as Intro to Medical Sciences and Body Systemshelping you to get an in depth understand of human anatomy and physiology. This issupplemented with modules on the effects of diseaseon entire populations and improving clinical readiness and excellence. Leeds pridesitself on having a strong focus on research, so modules on research skills and analysisare taught throughout all five years.
Year 2: Year two further strengthens student’sunderstanding of medical sciences and anatomy and begins to focus more on the individualdiseases that can affect the human body, withmodules including Essential Medical Sciences, Control & Movement and Clinical Pathology.Students are also exposed to more placement per week with multiple rotations in bothprimary and secondary care. The course also placesa high focus on communications with seminars led by the patient-carer community, anetwork of patients who have years of experience working with healthcare professionals,assessing students on their bedside manner and abilityto lead consultations.
Year 3: From third year onwards students areexposed to full clinical placement 4 days a week, increasing to 5 from fourth year.Students have access to Leeds’s vast number of teachinghospitals including the LGI and St. James (two of the largest teaching hospitals inEurope), Bradford, Wakefield, Harrogate, Pontefract, Halifax, Airedale and Wharfdale.Third students experience 5 rotations of generalmedical placements comprising of GP, acute medicine, surgery, special senses and elderlycare. This means that the focus of theory learning switches from primarily lecture basedto self-directed learning. Although thereare lecture weeks at the end of each placement rotation, the amount of learning studentsare expected to do on their own does increase from second year. Second- and third-yearstudents also get to choose from a wide rangeof student-selected projects (or SSPs) at the end of the first term where they are ablediversify their knowledge with teaching on anything from ambulance care and prisonmedicine to introductory Spanish and Sign Language.
Year 4: From fourth year placements become evenmore specialised including oncology, paediatrics and obstetrics and gynaecology.Students also undertake a two-year research projectknown as an ESREP which challenges involves putting into practice the research skillsthey have learnt over the previous two years. Students work in pairs and are supervisedby a clinical professional to create a paper,audit or report from a wide range of options or even a self-selected project.
Year 5: Fifth year focuses on preparing studentsfor their upcoming roles as foundation year doctors in the NHS including the culminationof their ESREP projects and a final selectionof placements that lead up to their final university exams and OSCE and the SJT andPrescribing exams taken by all medical students nationwide before graduation. Unlikeother medicals, with access to such a large pool ofhospitals the student body is not split up and sent to other parts of the country,meaning the medical student community stays together throughout all 5 years.
Experience the city – before applying make sure to visit Leeds if you can and see thewide range of amenities and adventures Leeds and Yorkshire have to offer. These includemultiple shopping centres, hundreds of student-focused restaurants and arguablythe best night life in the entire country! Leeds is a large, open and diverselymulticultural city with over 75,000 students living there from year-to-year. TheYorkshire dales and Roundhay Park are also only short drivesaway if you want to escape the city and experience breath-taking views and fresh air.
Research the course – different medical schools offer different styles of teaching.Leeds is integrated but other styles include problem-based learning (PBL) andtraditional so make sure to research and find out which style best suits you.
Be yourself – the application for Leeds Medical School places a strong focus on theinterview, so make sure not to only to prepare well for the questions they might throwat you but also to answer honestly! Interviewers are trained to be able to recognisewhen a candidate is being dishonest or isn’t able to truly understand the role of adoctor as well as the benefits and challenges that come with it. Remember the NHS wantsdoctors who are not only prepared but also kindand empathetic.
Do check the medical school’s admissions requirements, however Leeds no longerplaces any weight on the personal statement, meaning that a higher proportion ofcandidates are invited to interview, where a bulk of the assessment is carriedout.
-by Darius, current medicalstudent in the UK, at the University of Leeds
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