Manual Curriculum Focused Questions in Medicine: Relevant for all British Medical Schools

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During the last year, students choose a specialisation based on their interests and other factors and apply to residency programmes.


During residency, medical graduates train in hospitals with other healthcare practitioners. The residency can take between years to complete depending on their specialisation. After completing this stage, residents can undertake a fellowship, which lasts years and focuses on a sub-specialisation.

2. Admission requirements for medical school studies in the U.S.

To practise Medicine, physicians or doctors have to be licensed by the state in which they want to work. The criteria for certification are established by 24 Specialty Boards.

These boards require regular recertification due to the fast changes that occur in Medicine and Healthcare. Be aware that each university is free to set its own criteria, which is why we encourage you to check the admission details on the webpage of the study programme. It is designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. The UCAT helps universities select applicants with the right abilities to pursue careers in the healthcare field. The UCAT test is not based on a science-related curriculum. The format of the test covers questions that assess logical skills, such as decision making, quantitative reasoning, and situational judgement.

The next step is the Foundation Programme, which involves different practical placements and training in healthcare institutions.

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The Foundation programme provides salaries, and it takes 2 years to complete F1 — first year and F2 — second year. You can then start General Practice or Specialty training, which can take between years depending on what you want to focus on. It depends. The name of your Medical degree can vary greatly depending on where you study. They all refer to the Bachelor of Medicine, which is awarded to medical graduates. The DO is only awarded in the US. Other European universities might ask you to pass their own admission exams, a national test, or other international exams, like the IMAT.

Most universities worldwide require that you have prior studies in Biology, Chemistry, and other Science subjects, like Physics or Maths.

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Learning contexts at Two UK medical schools: A comparative study using mixed methods

It varies from one country to another. It generally takes years to graduate with a Medicine degree. In most countries, med students will then start the internship or residency period, which can take between years, depending on your specialisation. Most universities will pay close attention to the grades you took in Biology, Chemistry, and other Science subjects.

They want to see if you have the capacity to understand complex notions and memorise a lot of information, which is essential for all medical students. For example, some universities have a minimum score, while others allow all students to apply and only accept the top students with the highest results. Other med schools give students with great results at the exam more points, which makes their application stand out and increases their chances of being admitted.


No matter how much you prepare for an exam, stress can be overwhelming and impact your results. There are also situations where you can face family or health problems, which prevent you from having an impressive GPA. That distrust has spawned a cottage industry of online study aids. Most are a far cry from your high school SAT prep course.

SketchyMedical is one of the most popular guides. Andrew Berg and his co-founders, Drs. Saud Siddiqui and Bryan Lemieux, started sketching pictures and pairing them with stories while taking microbiology in their second year of medical school. Outside a storefront, the student finds construction workers, motorcyclists wearing brain-shaped helmets, piles of dripping-wet fish, and a man sporting an adrenal gland-shaped beanie. The illustrations are turned into narrated videos, which teach drug names and their mechanisms and side effects.

SketchyMedical has also produced videos on microbiology and pathology. Berg compares the work of Sketchy to hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt. But for many, Sketchy evokes a different technique used a thousand years later in ancient Greece: method of loci, also called a memory palace or journey. Memory palaces are typically imagined spaces in which a person can store information like a string of numbers or a series of words.

Each piece of information is placed somewhere inside the palace. When the palace builder wants to recall an item, she can take a mental stroll through the space to retrieve it. This technique famously enabled Cicero, the Roman statesman and philosopher, to commit his speeches to memory. SketchyMedical is not the only extracurricular resource students rely on. An entire industry cropped up in the last few years, marketing videos and self-quizzing features to preclinical students. Jason Ryan, the creator of Boards and Beyond, is a name and voice familiar to medical students across the country.

While both Ryan and Berg consider their products supplements to regular medical education, many students view them as necessary investments for success. Choosing which ones to use can be a challenge, however. This expanding corner of the medical education industry is both a product of a new attitude among students — born from anxiety surrounding exam prep — and a disrupter of the traditional classroom education.

Med schools now have to think more creatively about how they train their future doctors, Berg said. In , Harvard Medical School revamped its curriculum for the first two years to enable clinical exposure and boost class attendance with a flipped-classroom model: Students learn the content at home, and then apply it during in-class exercises. Richard Schwartzstein, director of education scholarship, said the program now emphasizes problem-solving and critical thinking — skills seen as essential to practicing medicine — instead of factual recall.

But while medical schools are de-emphasizing pure memorization, the national licensing exams have yet to reconsider, he acknowledged. Still, Schwartzstein is not a huge fan of external resources, citing their focus on memorization and pattern recognition as major weaknesses. Michael Barone, vice president of licensure programs.

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  6. So long as Step still requires intensive rote memorization, companies like SketchyMedical and Boards and Beyond will likely remain in business. Both Berg and Ryan agree that physicians no longer need to memorize as much as they did in the past. Back then, he said, she had to remember everything. Instead, they look information up on their cellphones, using a variety of apps on the clinic floors.

    Medical students are skipping class in droves — and making lectures increasingly obsolete

    But preclinical students still need to commit board-tested material to memory, a task often compared to drinking from a firehose. We ran a quick experiment to see if lecture or a related Sketchy video was more effective in teaching students content.

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    Both groups performed similarly on a follow-up multiple choice question test, with a slight non-significant increase in the lecture group. They took the same amount of time to deliver. I think we are teaching a generation of disconnected physicians who can only think in the context of a multiple choice question. Of course, the time frame of the path you take will vary greatly depending on your choice of career - the NHS states that there are over 60 specialities for students to choose from, like cardiology, psychiatry, surgery, teaching - all of which have their own rewards and demands.

    The wealth of choice when it comes to figuring out where your career in medicine will take you is something of a luxury in higher education. While some degrees are relatively limiting, you'll never be at risk of feeling pigeonholed once you finish university - as long as you're determined to help people, the world will be your oyster!

    Careers in Medicine

    A life in medicine has the potential to bring with it great prosperity and opportunities, but it's important to consider whether or not you're ready for the psychological commitment that healthcare brings. Firstly you need to ask yourself if you're prepared for the intense selflessness and round-the-clock focus that comes with many concentrations associated with medicine. While the answer to this may seem straightforward, remember that you may be required to keep that same mindset in the operating theatre at 2 am, or while running diagnoses at highly unsociable hours. This is a profession that's all-consuming once you enter your workplace.

    There are very few 9 to 5 working days within a career in medicine, and there will be practical and intellectual challenges facing you on a regular basis. We don't mean to start by painting an unhappy picture of the career but it's really important to point out that medicine isn't perhaps as glamorous as some students may have of it. Medicine is regarded as perhaps the most prestigious of all careers, helped by TV portrayals from the likes of House, Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy - the perception is often a lot more fun than it is in reality.

    What can you bring to this medical school?

    The last thing you want is to go down the long road of trying to secure a place in medical school only for you to regret that choice, either at medical school or during your training. Now you've had a good hard think about this, let's move onto some of the more positive points of considering a career in medicine! There will never be a time where doctors aren't in demand - medicine is a wholly future proofed profession. Medicine is always evolving, so it's a career that offers lifelong learning.