MBChB Medicine and Surgery at the University of Birmingham: Student thoughts


My name’s Leo Feinberg, I’m a second year
medical student in the five year MBChB programme and I’m the President of the Medical Society
for the 2013/14 academic year. So I applied to Birmingham because when I
was at school I came to Birmingham a few times to stay with friends that were already studying
here and I thought that the campus and the accommodation, especially in the student village,
on the Vale, where absolutely outstanding, as were the sporting facilities and opportunities.
I think that Birmingham as a city provides absolutely everything and more that you could
ever want, as well as at a fraction of the prices of London. What attracted me to the
course here is the fact that Birmingham is such a vastly multi-cultural city and therefore
equally vast is the range of patients and pathologies that as a medical student you
will encounter, and so the medical education that you receive here is on a global scale.
I also like the fact that from a very early stage of the course you are put on clinical
placements at GP practices throughout the Birmingham area and so from very early on
you start learning clinical skills, you start putting the theory into practice and spending
time meeting patients. So the medical course here is divided into
a pre-clinical and clinical phase. The first two years here at Birmingham are integrated
exceptionally well in preparation for the clinical years so rather than discretely blocking
subjects into anatomy, physiology and biochemistry etc, the course is sub-divided into systems
which overlap very well and do include a good relevant clinical context. Those first two
years are predominantly lecture based although there is a significant amount of self-directed
learning and then the last three years are clinically based and therefore predominantly
based in hospitals and therefore your learning style really does have to adapt to this and
the fact that you’re spending a lot of time, a lot more time, with patients on the wards. One of the best things about being a student
in Birmingham is the access to the city centre. Within five minutes of a train ride from university
station on campus there’s something for everyone going on. With over 2,500 students we are
one of the largest medical societies in the country. We have over 16 sports teams which
accommodate abilities and experience of any level, whether you’ve represented at national
or regional level or even if you’re just a beginner and want to get stuck in. Personally
I’ve played for the Birmingham Medics rugby team which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and which
play to a very high standard. We also have over 12 charities and 21 societies ranging
from academic societies and support groups to religious and cultural groups. We also
have a very busy social calendar throughout the year, putting on a number of events throughout
Fresher’s Week, as well as ski trips and weekends away and an annual Med Ball. So I think it’s
fair to say that whatever your interests, Birmingham Med Soc has something for you.

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