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Medicine at Southampton is a five-years long integrated course with clinical exposure from the very beginning of the course. Thus learning will involve lectures, tutorials, self-directed study and coursework. Clinical placements in the evenings and weekends will take place from early on in the course. Student Selected Units are also offered throughout the years.
There course is divided into four phases:
Phase 1: Phase 1 takes place over the first two years during which you learn anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology and psychosocial sciences in a systems-centred manner. Students also learn some basic clinical skills in history-taking and physical examination in both GP and hospital environments. Public health and medical humanities education are also covered in this phase.
Phase 2: Phase 2 in the third year includes doing in research project as well as many weeks of clinical placements focused on primary care, chronic illness, elderly care, surgery, orthopaedics, etc. There is also the opportunity to intercalatebetween your third and fourth year to obtain a Masters of Medical Science.
Phase 3: Phase 3 takes places from year four until halfway through year five. During this part of the course there is expanded focus on clinical medicine including: Acute Care, Ethics and Law, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry and other medical specialties.
Phase 4: Phase 4 is focused on preparation for becoming a junior doctor and includes an elective (which can be done abroad or in the UK) and a student assistantship to shadow a Foundation Doctor in Medicine and Surgery.
Hello, my name is Alex and I’m currently an intercalating medical student at Southampton. Applying to medical school was simultaneously one of the most nerve-wracking and exciting times of my life - theres a lot to prepare for and work to put in but trust me, it definitely pays off. I applied to medical school during my gap year as I decided I needed a bit longer before I went to university. However, this extra time allowed me to fully prepare for both the BMAT and UCAT exams as well as different styles of interviews whilst I was working - practice makes perfect!
Whilst medical school has had some fantastic highs, it hasn’t come without its challenges. I’ve really enjoyed the course at Southampton as it ensures that you see patients from early on in the course (in my case the first two weeks of university), which I think is really important in getting you to think clinically from early on. The first two years are your pre-clinical years where you’ll spend time learning the scientific basis of medicine through lectures, seminars and anatomy sessions - the neuroanatomy modules at Southampton are a real highlight and the teaching is fantastic! In third year you have an opportunity to do research and gain a BMedSc degree in addition to your medical degree. Then, from the second half of 3rd year onwards you start clinical rotations and spend more time in hospital and the community learning about different specialities and building up to when sit your finals and then (eventually) start as a doctor.
The medic community at Southampton is particularly strong, with lots of support and societies to ensure you get a good work-life balance and meet lots of new people, with everything from medic’s sport to the medical school’s acapella group to keep you occupied. Theres also plenty of opportunities to go beyond the curriculum and explore your own interests - some people take an optional extra year at university to do an extra degree or masters. I chose to do a research-based masters (mmedsc) which has seen me working with a number of very highly respected clinicians and academics who form Southampton University’s Breast Cancer Research team, which even after a year is still surreal.
You might not believe it at first but the years really do fly by and it remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made having met some of my best friends at Southampton and been able to physically and academically challenge myself whilst at Southampton. I would encourage anyone even thinking about applying to go for it and I’d love to be able to pass down any nuggets of wisdom I’ve picked up on the way.
-by Alex, studying medicine in the UK, at Southampton University
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