Liverpool’s MBChB degree is delivered through a spiral model that is revisited with increasing complexity throughout the course. Students will become lifelong learners who continuously commit to their professional development.
In the first two years, learning is focused on the basic and clinical sciences. This is taught using an integrated systems-based approach, with each system block including physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, anatomy, genetics and molecular biology. Year one looks at the conditions of the structure of the human body under normal circumstances.
In year two, content learnt in the previous year is built upon so that students can learn about abnormality and illness-related shifts and interaction with the environment. Students will also begin to apply theoretical knowledge and skills into clinical practice. In year three and four, there is more focus on the application of skills learnt in the first two years.
In year three, students gain exposure to the core elements of medicine and surgery. There is a series of four-week blocks spent on placement, with each one supplemented with an ‘academic’ week. This week entails lectures and rotation-specific teaching, clinical skills preparation and simulation sessions. There is also time for students-driven research and scholarship projects. Students rotate between hospital and community-based settings during their placements and have the opportunity to work with clinical teams.
In year four, the similar placement academic week structure is used again for more challenging and specialist placements in areas that include Neurology and Paediatrics. At the end of the year, students can undertake a four-week elective which can be studied abroad.
The final year is spent in intensive clinical experience in both hospital and community settings. Students will experience Emergency and Acute Medicine, GP and Psychiatry placements and have a shadowing experience block so that complex clinical skills are consolidated prior to their foundation year post. Students can also choose to take on a five-week research project, such as an audit, Quality Improvement Project, specialist placement or community-based project.
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- Kieran Kelly
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What are the best things about your Medical School?
- The Liverpool Medical Students’ Society – a truly unique and all-encompassing aspect of Medical School life. It provides academic, welfare and social support to all students, organises a mentor-mentee system for freshers, puts on extra lectures and revision days, runs sports teams and performing arts groups, unique annual events, charity fundraising, weekly world-class speakers and nights out!
- Early clinical placements and skills – in first and second year you begin to be taught the skills required to feel at home ‘on the wardsâ€™, as well as a huge focus on communication and empathy from the start of year one, which stands students in good stead for later years.
- Self-directed aspects of learning – gives you the opportunity to focus on your own knowledge and tailor your timetable to match your learning needs.
What are the hardest things about your course?
- Understanding the depth of knowledge required in first year. This is always a tricky aspect of a course with self-directed elements, but liaison with peers, mentors, older students and tutors can provide valuable guidance.
- As the course is a particularly large one, things can often feel crowded. For example, on placement there are occasionally several students competing to get some feedback from Doctors or tutors, or to see patients. However, being thick-skinned and confident (or even just pretending to be) is the key to succeeding in this.
- Similarly, competition for spots in the library or specific books can be difficult around exams times due to the number of students. It can be easy to be caught up in pre-exam revision hysteria, although Iâ€™m sure this is true with every course!
What’s the social side of your Medical School like?
The social side of Liverpool medical school is uniquely incredible. Liverpool itself was recently voted as having the best night out in the country, with a huge variety of bars, clubs and venues, as well as parks, museums and other things to see and do. As a medical student, a large part of your social life will be involved with the Medical Students’ Society, which organises a night out every single week of term, often following traditional ‘Ordinary Meetings’ featuring a wide variety of medical speakers, comedians and entertainers. The LMSS also organises days out such as trips to Theme Parks, Scavenger Hunts, Sports Days and Barbecues to ensure that all tastes are catered for. In my opinion, Liverpool is by some distance the most sociable medical school in the country.
What tips would you give to someone applying to your Medical School?
- Focus on evidence of teamwork, motivation and empathy in your personal statement/interview. These are things that the medical school loves to see in their students, and will stand you in good stead for your careers.
- Speak to a student! They can provide invaluable advice as an applicant, a new-starter, and at later stages. The support network at Liverpool is fantastic.
- Don’t be shy, and get involved! Medical School life is about more than just learning the science – the people you meet at University will shape the doctor you become, and the best way to do it is to throw yourself into everything that you do, and try as many things as possible. There are so many opportunities at Liverpool Medical School, don’t miss out!