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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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Emilie-Marie Sagripanti

"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

How did the early clinical experience help?

"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."

What kind of experience overall have you had here?

"Overall, I’m really enjoying my time here at BSMS, especially now that I am in my third year. Being let out on the wards has so far been an amazing experience! There’s so much to learn and see, building upon what we have been taught in the first two years and being more independent and responsible for my own learning. The staff are approachable and always happy to help and much is done so we can maximise our full potential."

What kind of extracurricular activities can you get involved with?

"There are lots of activities available so there’s bound to be something that will interest you. Many societies often hold various events such as talks and discussions, talent showcases and shows through the year. For example, last year the Zambia Link society organised a fashion show in the summer term which was so much fun! Being part of both Brighton and Sussex Universities, we’re able to get involved in societies and have access to facilities such as the gym in the other universities as well. So, it seems depending on your interests and hobbies, there’s lots to do!"

How does BSMS help prepare you for a career in medicine, and what you hope to do in the future?

"The medical training at BSMS places emphasis on approaching clinical problems systematically and developing sound clinical skills based on fundamental scientific knowledge. This will be useful even when we graduate and are faced with clinical problems we haven’t encountered before.

"Also, as chronic conditions are becoming more common, the multidisciplinary approach to patient care is increasingly needed to meet the various needs of the patient and BSMS provides many opportunities to see this in practice. This has enabled me to appreciate the complexity of good patient care through understanding the roles of different healthcare professionals.

"Furthermore, BSMS advocates self-awareness and kindness, which is important as the medical career is both physically and emotionally challenging. It is easy to neglect oneself in the name of trying to get things done but through the training at the BSMS, we are taught the importance of recognizing when and where we can get help."

 

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Florence Mouy

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"I chose to come to BSMS for many different reasons. I really liked the fact that the course in the first two years is system-based, meaning you cover fully one area of the body, learning the anatomy, physiology, conditions associated, before moving on to the other.

"Also at BSMS you get early clinical exposure, and each year builds on the one before, so that when the clinical years start you feel well prepared to speak to patients.

"Being a small medical school, BSMS provides the chance to have lots of small group teaching, which is really good if you haven't quite understood something and allows you to get to know your lecturers well. 

"BSMS has such a friendly atmosphere, the staff are really approachable and students help each other when they have an issue. 

"What makes the School stand out from other medical schools is its dissection sessions. You get the unique opportunity to really consolidate your anatomy knowledge, and start to visualise/grasp the complexity and diversity of the human body.

"I’m interested in cardiology as a possible career path at the moment, but there are lots of other areas of medicine that I also really enjoy. Luckily there is no rush to find a speciality yet!"

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Jake Bush

"I think one of the great things about BSMS is the size of the year. There are only around 130 students in my year, so when I first came here, I found making friends really easy and knew everyone in my year from term one.

It's not all work – you have lots of student societies and sport teams you can join. I'm running one that goes into local primary schools and teaches children and tries to inspire them into medicine and science."

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Tamara Mulenga

"The friendly environment that you get from having a small cohort is very beneficial. We are able to form strong relationships with our lecturers as well as the peers on our course.

If you have any questions, you are able to ask them. You can always be assured to get a valuable answer."

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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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