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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Third year perspectives

BSMS > Undergraduate > What our students say > Our students > Third year perspectives

Third year perspectives

Select a student from the menu on the left to find out their thoughts on studying with us.
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Shreya Badhrinarayanan

"As an international student, the encouraging and friendly atmosphere of both the medical school and the city of Brighton really eased the process of settling in. Both universities also offer extensive networks of support for international students.

"I loved how welcoming BSMS was to me, so I wanted to share that warmth by leading the International Student’s Society this year and hosting dinners for international and non-international students alike." 

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Wuraola Obadahun

"Having been exposed to the clinical environment from as early as our first year, talking to patients and practicing our history-taking skills, it wasn’t such a shock when I started my third year.

"Although the first two years were pre-clinical, it helped that we also had GP placements and spent some afternoons at hospital placements meaning we could start applying what was being taught in the scientific and clinical modules. It was like being given a head-start with the necessary foundation to build upon in the following clinical years." 

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Joanna Tung

joanna tung

What it’s like studying at BSMS?

BSMS is a relaxed yet ambitious and supportive environment; with small year groups and close relationships with the teaching staff, I like the fact I always know who I can turn to. The small cohort makes the course a lot more personalised than other large medical schools. I settled in almost immediately into BSMS, and think this is the reason why.

What do you like about the course?

I like the early integration with clinical skills - from year one, this keeps me inspired and thoughtful of medicine as a career, rather than just the academic medicine studying and passing exams. The placements are well organised and offer students the ability to have patient contact on almost a weekly basis.

How do you think the early clinical contact and dissection helps you in your learning?

The clinical days tend to be my favourite of the week, with such a great opportunity to start talking to patients, taking histories, and learning medicine outside of the syllabus. The dissection has been crucial to learning anatomy so far. It's been a highlight in my studying at BSMS so far, and I can't imagine trying to learn large volumes of anatomy from text books alone. 

What does Brighton have to offer as a place to live and study?

I have been living in Kemptown since moving to Brighton, and have loved Brighton as a city. It has so much to offer, and I have easily discovered the areas I like. There are amazing boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and we're so lucky to be close to both the seafront and the South downs!

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Chloe Knox

Chloe Knox Brighton seafront

"I chose the medical school because I was very impressed by the high student satisfaction rate. I also thought there would be advantages to being part of two universities (both Brighton and Sussex) and being able to use their facilities.

"In terms of the course, I was motivated by having patient contact from the very beginning and being able to do participate in cadaveric dissection. Also, Brighton is a lively city with plenty going on, so I was excited to live and study there!

"The best part of studying at BSMS has been the integration of clinical practice and practical skills. This has allowed me to ground my learning in a clinical context, and prepare me for the realities of being a doctor.

"With such a long and demanding course, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the ever-growing 'to do' list. There will always be some deadlines that you have to keep up with, but it is also important to learn when to take a night off. I have learnt the importance of getting involved in regular extra-curricular activities to keep things in perspective and also reflection and refreshment outside of study.

"The first year comprises three 10-week terms. Generally, there are about 8-10 single hour lectures each week, along with a 3-hour symposium on a clinical condition, a 3-hour dissection session and perhaps a tutorial. Tuesday is allocated to clinical teaching, and involves a morning lecture, followed by a group tutorial. The afternoon is spent in clinical skills teaching or at a primary or secondary care clinical placement. Wednesday mornings are usually spent undertaking your student-selected component (SSC) which allows you to explore a chosen topic in more depth in a small group. Wednesday afternoons are allocated to sports or personal study.

"The course has a more traditional lecture-based approach. However, aside from core lectures, most Year 1 teaching occurs in small group tutorials, dissection sessions, clinical skills practicals, laboratory sessions and interactive imaging classes. The course is systems-based, incorporating both biomedical and psychosocial science in a “spiral” model, so that you continually revisit topics, adding more detail or a different perspective each time. 3 hours are allocated to dissection weekly. The sessions involve working in small groups, with integration of clinically relevant prosections to provide further learning opportunities. 

"In first year, about a quarter of the teaching is clinically based, including placements in primary and secondary care. Clinical skills teaching sessions allow you to develop skills of taking histories, examining patients and communicating effectively in a simulated environment. Further opportunity for patient contact is afforded by regular meetings with a family with a new baby in the first year, and a longitudinal clerkship following a patient with dementia in the second and third years. Daily patient contact begins in third year and continues throughout the remainder of the course.

"There is plenty of time for extra-curricular activities with effective time management. I am a Student Ambassador, a near-peer teacher for the Association for Medical Education and Clinical Skills and am on the committee for the Student Anatomy Society. Additionally, I have written articles for the Student BMJ and have worked with the ”Teddybear Hospital” scheme in which we visit local primary schools, and teach the children about the job of a doctor.

"Don’t try to portray yourself as something you’re not. Admissions tutors are looking for someone who has the potential to be a great doctor, not someone who already perfectly polished. It’s also important to be aware of topical issues relating to medicine, to prove that you have considered the realities of life as a doctor and demonstrate your commitment to what will be a challenging, but very rewarding journey.

"There are a wealth of things to do in Brighton including restaurants, clubs and cultural sights, like the Royal Pavilion. The Fringe Festival is an annual event which has a number of events around Brighton in May and June and is always worth a visit!"

*This interview was previously featured in the Student BMJ journal.

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Ayesha Raheem

ayesha raheem

What it’s like studying at BSMS?

BSMS is a place where you really can be a balanced all-rounded individual. The course is academically rigorous, whilst enabling you to pursue other interests, which I feel is so important and a big reason why I wanted to study here. 

What do you like about the course?

I like the systems-based nature of the course, where we learn the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology of each system in depth for a set period. I also really enjoy having a clinical day each week where we go to a GPs' surgery, the hospital or participate in history and examination workshops on the system we are studying at the time. This really helps us to integrate the theory we’re learning in lectures to the practical skills and techniques we will need for consultations in the future.

What do you think this course in particular offers? What makes it different to other courses?

The course places a significant importance on our understanding of anatomy, which I think is vital, whilst studying medicine. BSMS offers full-body dissection, a unique aspect of the course, which really helps us to consolidate our anatomy knowledge. The early clinical contact in primary care and a range of secondary care placements also really gives us vital opportunities to have clinical exposure from the beginning of the course.

How do you think the early clinical contact helps you in your learning?

Early clinical contact really helps us to appreciate how the theory we learn in lectures is applied to a clinical setting, which is ultimately what we will need to know as junior doctors and beyond. 

What Brighton has to offer as a place to live and study?

Having studied in Brighton for my Undergraduate Degree, I was really happy to continue living in such a vibrant and exciting town. Being surrounded by the picturesque South Downs, yet also being so close to the beach, makes Brighton such a unique place to study in. Brighton is also a great place to study, due to the diversity of students from both Sussex and Brighton universities, as well as from BSMS.

What are you hoping to work as when you are qualified and why?

At this point in time, I’m really interested in pursuing a career in general practice. I’ve really enjoyed our primary care placements in particular, where we’ve been able to take patients’ histories and conduct examinations.