Mondays are usually the busiest day of the week, and we start off with lectures based on the human body. It’s nice to begin with the week’s scientific focus, because we can link it to subsequent lectures throughout the rest of the week, and to practicals in the laboratories or dissection sessions. The lecture content can vary from anatomy to pathology or physiology, which I find particularly interesting.
Later in the day we break into smaller groups for our module tutorials. I really look forward to these sessions because we get to discuss previous lectures extensively and sometimes we have group quizzes where the best group receives a prize!
After a long day, I enjoy a nice dinner with my flatmates. We do some revision afterwards – living with your fellow medical students is great as we can study and make our way to classes together.
Tuesdays tend to focus solely on clinical practice (CP). In the morning we have a CP lecture on the importance of reflection and how best we should communicate with patients. We learn the step-by-step processes to initiate a consultation session with patients, signs to look out for and how to respond in certain situations. These sessions help me to be better informed and confident when dealing with patients and other healthcare professionals, vital skills in a patient-centred healthcare system.
Later, we break into small seminar groups and get to expand on these topics with our clinical facilitators. Sometimes we engage in role plays while we work through case studies, and it’s a good opportunity to learn from the other students. I particularly enjoy these sessions because my clinical facilitator always finds a way to break the ice before the sessions start.
During the afternoon sessions, we have clinical placements, workshops or our personal study time. Today, I have a workshop that teaches us how to take a patient’s medical history.
Workshops are very helpful because we are trained in the clinical skills we will need as a doctor. Later in the day, I visit my friends who live on the other campus, and we chill and watch a movie together.
In the morning, we have group meetings with our academic tutors and today we’re learning about, how to organise our presentations for later in the term. My presentation is on‘ the nudge theory’, which I had no previous idea about, but it’s good to practise with other students and present it to my group – it’s another way to learn.
Despite our busy workload, it is important for us to engage in social activities outside school, which is why we have a free afternoon to do sports or clubs. My football practice isn’t until Thursday so I go to the library and prepare my notes for the dissection room (DR) session tomorrow. I like to keep my Wednesday nights free so I can relax and cook a nice meal.
The day I’ve been waiting for. In the morning we have a symposium on health and disease. Symposiums are similar to lectures but we discuss topics in greater depth. Sometimes, we have patients come talk to us or we work through case studies. This usually ends at midday, leaving us with enough time to have lunch and prepare for the DR session later in the afternoon.
One of the many reasons I chose BSMS was because of the dissection sessions and early patient contact. The DR sessions allow us to visualise all that we have learnt so far, thereby helping us to understand our notes in greater depth. And as corny as this sounds, the dissection sessions make me embrace life as well as death. There is so much support from the anatomy staff, it’s a warm environment and everyone is ready to learn.
Later I have football and it’s nice to unwind after a hectic day. I love football, especially at BSMS, because I get to spend time with other medical students. We have an upcoming friendly match against another team and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s always something to do here.
As a medical student you can join any of the societies, activities and sports at the Universities of Brighton and Sussex – this includes lots of the less conventional activities and sports – I’m thinking of joining a fencing team.
The weekend is finally nearly here. Lectures usually start at 11 on a Friday, and today I have a lecture on the learning and development of infants and one on pathology. During lunch break, I have a Christian Medical Fellowship meeting – it’s a nice chance to meet people from different years and take a break from academic work. We talk about purpose and this leads to a lot of reflection, a skill which is necessary for doctors. I have a free afternoon because the second group has their dissection session so my weekend starts early.
Friday evening I head out with my friends to watcha movie. Starting at medical school was a lot to take in at first, but support from the other students has really helped me settle in quickly. There is a lot of work to do so I’ll try to organise my time over the weekend, recapping on the week’s lectures and preparing for the coming week, and leaving myself with free time for fun.