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The medicine course at Oxford is a traditional six-year programme divided into 3pre-clinical years (after which students receive a BA degree in medical science) andthen 3 clinical years (after which students receive an BM, BCh degree).
The preclinical year incorporate lectures, tutorials and practicals. In the first fiveterms students are taught the fundamentals of medical science, how the body functionsand the mechanisms of disease. In the remaining four terms, students undertakea research project to develop research skills and critical scientific thinking skills,alongside studying two of the follow modules: neurobiology, developmental biology,cardiovascular biology and pharmacology, metabolismand respiration, infection or immunity.
During the last three clinical years students begin their clinical education. The fourthyear focuses on developing the basic, core clinical skills and knowledge and includesplacements in GPs, hospitals and undertaking a special study module. In thefifth year, students expand their clinical knowledge through placements across a varietyof specialist placements in paediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology,orthopaedics, etc. The final year focuses on consolidationof clinical skills and aids students in preparing for their future role a Foundationdoctor. This year also includes senior rotations in medicine and surgery in Oxford andother District General hospitals, special studymodules and a chance to undertake an elective to explore Medicine in the wider world.
Hi! I’m Aaron, a second year Medical Student at the University of Oxford. I supposemy journey into Medicine formally began with work experience at the end of secondaryschool at a local GP surgery. I remember some of my earliest patient interactions inthis setting fondly and I believe they’ll stay with me throughout my career.Subsequently, placements in a radiology department and volunteering in a care home,confirmed my ambition to study medicine. While the application to medical school canfeel protracted and, on occasion, never-ending, I firmly believe the experiences Igained during it will profoundly shape my practice as a doctor when I finallyqualify. Therefore, I’d encourage you to view gaining work experience as a fantasticopportunity to gain real insight into the medical profession, rather than a hoop tobe jumped through on the journey to medical school.
I applied to Oxford University following encouragement, and inspiration, from myA-level tutors and, much to my surprise, a mere 12 months, a BMAT and UCAT exam and4 A-levels later, I arrived in Oxford. Oxford University has a global reputation forits academic rigour and high-quality teaching, yet, despite the lofty expectations Ihad for it, it surpassed everyone. While the course has limited patient exposure inthe first 3 years, the opportunity to really grapple with the science underpinningmedicine establishes a strong foundation for the clinical years. Despite the obviousrestrictions imposed by Covid19, I’ve enjoyed all the things Oxford has to offerincluding the balls, excellent range of talks and debates, sports opportunities andindulging in the history Oxford has to offer.
There are plenty of opportunities to further you academic interests and I wasfortunate to participate in a primary care initiative in my first year to providesupport to vulnerable patients during the pandemic. I have thoroughly enjoyed myfirst two years in Oxford and am happy to help should you have further questions.
-by Aaron, a second year Medical Student at the University of Oxford
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