The patient-focused curriculum offered at Leicester Medical School is designed to integrate learning whilst being clinically relevant. The curriculum is delivered through a mix of clinical teaching, small group work and lectures. Students can expect the programme to be split into two phases, with the first focusing on laying the foundations.

Phase one lasts two years and will involve students taking on numerous integrated interdisciplinary modules that relate to human structure and are related to disease and health. Community attachments are also undertaken so that students can get to grips with the social and psychological context of Medicine. Skills needed for professional communication and physical examination will be taught – and examinations take place at the end of this phase to ensure basic clinical skills are understood.

Phase two is spent mostly in a clinical environment working with a mix of medical staff in hospital and community settings in order to apply knowledge. In each placement, students will become part of a team that cares for patients with varying illnesses. Placements will be varied and occur in the city, county and region so that students can experience a wide range of environments, patients and teams.

Year three involves longer apprentice-style placements in hospitals or GPs. Year four has a speciality block focus, for example, Child Health, Cancer Care and Psychiatry. The fifth-year involves extended foundation assistantships that aid students prepare for work as a foundation doctor. Each placement includes structures activities, procedural training and simulations. This learning is led by clinical teachers as well as workbooks.

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Case Study

Simon Cowell
Year of Study:
5th Year

What are the best things about your medical school?

  1. Leicester medical students are a varied bunch but one thing they all share is that they are friendly. The focus on empathy, compassion and communication skills creates a group of students who really want to see their peers succeed and fosters a supportive environment – if you think you can help someone else, you’ll go out of your way to do it. This, combined with early patient contact, creates thoughtful and caring doctors who are as prepared as possible for the challenges we face in the future of Medicine. However, more simply than that, it produces great friends who will be with you for the rest of your life.
  2. Leicester is not too big and not too small. Eventually you get to know the majority of your year and make a wide variety of friends with different interests. The focus on small group teaching really brings you together and allows you to meet so many people.
  3. The level of technology and the modern medical school means you feel you are moving forward with an innovative, future-focused course. With your main learning partner being an iPad from day one, you are in the privileged position to be at the cutting edge of technology and development of new medical ideas.

What are the hardest things about your course?

  1. The amount of things you have to be doing and learning about at one time can be exhausting. You often feel as if you are spinning plates and treading water simultaneously. Leicester focuses on integrating everything and exposing you to the clinical aspects early on, which can be daunting. While this integration is difficult to learn at first, it pays huge dividends later on and through your professional life.
  2. Dealing with failure. Whether this be your grades, your own expectations or something else, I can guarantee at some point it will happen. All medical schools are tough and at some point you’ll miss the mark. It’s so important to accept it, embrace it and learn from it.
  3. Making the move from A-Level. This is hard not only academically but also socially and emotionally. You’ll be independent, free to make your own choices and mistakes and while liberating, it can also be terrifying. You’ll have to determine what kind of learner you are, what kind of person you are and where you want to be in life.

What’s the social side of your medical school like?

I was very concerned about the social aspect of a city in the Midlands I had no idea about, but I needn’t have been worried. With some incredible socials through the year from the PJ Pub/Grub Crawl with its fantastic fancy dress to Pub Golf and the sheer audacity of the concept, Leicester keeps you busy all year round. That’s not even mentioning the two formals a year and the myriad of Medic sports! You will meet people in your first week that you’ll spend time with for years to come and you’ll struggle to remember a time when they weren’t there.

What tips would you give to someone applying to your medical school?

  1. Only apply if you meet the interview criteria – don’t waste one of your precious choices. Every medical school is worthwhile and suits a certain person. While I may think Leicester is exceptional and would never change the experience, it’s not your only choice – apply competitively. If you want to come to Leicester, look at the guidance the medical school provides and tailor your application to it!
  2. Be empathetic, think logically and smile. It’s always good advice.
  3. Say something different! Imagine reading everyone’s personal statement, interviewing all of these candidates and then trying to pick between them. It is not about what you have done, it is about what you have learnt.

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