Sheffield’s five-year Medicine programme takes a patient-centred approach, with focus on common and crucial clinical conditions. The integrated structure of this course ties clinical Medicine to medical sciences and allows students to develop clinical competencies from the beginning of the programme.
In the first of four phases, through systems-based learning, students will learn about the normal structure and function of the human body. Fundamental disciplines such as Biochemistry, Physiology and Anatomy will be tackled in an integrated manner that is relevant to the body system being studied. For example, as the cardiovascular system is looked at, so will the structure and function and metabolism of the heart. Ethics, Public Health and Population Health Science modules will also be undertaken throughout the year too. At this stage, learning is done through practicals, lectures, self-directed study and tutorials.
Phase two is split into phase 2a and phase 2b – in the first part of the phase, students will develop their research skills through attachments to researchers within Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. Knowledge gained in phase one is built upon as students learn clinical presentation of diseases, immunology, microbiology and investigations used in diagnosis. Students will also receive training in various procedural clinical skills via simulations, such as obtaining blood from a manikin arm.
Phase 2b is when students will begin to spend a lot of time in hospital wards, outpatient clinics and operating theatres. There is a three-week introduction into basic clinical skills, with training being received by specialists for history-taking and physical examinations of all the key body systems. This is so students can have the basic skills before clinical attachments.
A 12 week integrated clinical placement then takes place in order to develop these skills further – students become part of clinical teams and take part in ward rounds, surgical operations and pathology meetings. Student selected components are undertaken in medical ethics and law, based on real cases that have been seen in clinical practice.
Phase three is clinically based and is a combination of study and clinical experience in primary and secondary care. Primary care involves community placements that focus on General Practice.
Phase four happens in year five and is all about preparation for becoming a junior doctor. It will begin with numerous lectures to consolidate knowledge over the course and develop knowledge on areas of clinical medicine. Placements are undertaken with a clearer role and responsibilities to previous placements and will reflect the increased competence gained on this course.
The programme’s teaching style involves lectures, tutorials, seminars and small group work. Clinical teaching also takes place in hospitals and GPs.
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