Cardiff Medical School
By Sophie Simmonds
My name is Sophie and in September, I’m going to be starting 4th year at Cardiff Medical School.
Cardiff Medical School is a 5-year course, where you graduate at the end of it with a MBBCh (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) and can then apply for medical registration. There are many different routes into medicine, such as the traditional 5 years straight from A-Levels, however I chose the graduate entry route. As a graduate specifically for Cardiff entry requirements, you need to have studied one of the 4 approved BSc (Hons) degrees that Cardiff accept. I chose BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences from the University of South Wales. From this more non-traditional pathway, you enter straight into year 2 of the 5-year degree, so you’re only doing a 4-year course.
The medicine course is split in different phases, with Year 1 & 2 being Phase 1, Year 3 and 4 being Phase 2 and then final year being Phase 3. Phase 1 is all about core sciences and understanding the background of clinical medicine, with introduction to clinical practice through placement in hospitals and GP practices. You also will understand a human cadaveric dissection in your first year, which is an incredible opportunity. The main learning structure is through case based learning (CBL), where you are presenting with a case that you spent the next couple weeks working on and having lectures and practicals built around the learning objectives.
Year 3 and 4 is all about building on the foundations you learnt in Years 1 and 2 and applying them during full time placement. In Year 3, your placements are based on the key chronic diseases, you can encounter in a hospital setting or community setting. This could include disciplines like oncology, surgery or ‘hospital front door’, where you spend time in A&E, CDU and ITU, among other areas of the hospital. During this phase, you are able to follow the journey of an individual patient to really appreciate the care they received, and why they received it.
Placements in year 4 look further into chronic disease with a 2nd block dedicated to spending time on maternity, labour wards and paediatrics wards. You also have a split placement block for ophthalmology, neurology, and psychological medicine. Both Year 3 and 4 have a 6-week block for a student selective component (SSC), where you can choose a project of your choice in whatever specialty that interests you.