By Divya Prabhu
Now a second-year medical student at the University of Nottingham, I can still remember submitting my application with my choice of medical schools. Here is what you need to know about Nottingham:
Firstly, the medical school is located within QMC hospital. It is something I find somewhat understated, as it forms a familiar and friendly reminder that one day you too will be doing your part in this bustling environment. Just across the footbridge connects the medical school to the main university campus, so you get the best of the student experience whilst still having an area just for you.
We have access to several libraries and study areas, as well as our own medical school library (they are all very cool and we all have our favourites). However, for those of us who work best in our rooms, Nottingham uses Echo which records lectures and puts them up on Moodle for us to access at any time – this is great for revision or when you are just not feeling it after a late night (which can happen a lot).
One of the best features of our course is that you get 2 degrees, both a BMedSci and the BMBS, within the 5 years. This is unique to Nottingham unlike other medical schools where an extra year is added so a definite win-win! It is also a very encouraging and supportive medical school, with a great welfare team and passionate staff. There are drop-in sessions for you to perfect your clinical skills and regular stalls, promoting mental health that include a free treat (usually hot chocolate) and sometimes even a therapy dog!!
As a medical student, you are automatically part of the Notts MedSoc, which has numerous societies to explore new and existing interests (do have a look at our student union page) and they are more than happy for you to create new ones. There are many specialty-based societies, where you get the opportunity to interact with guest speakers that are top in their field whilst having complimentary Dominoes (YES).
MedSoc also organises the medic parent scheme which pairs you up with a second-year student. This means you are the new addition to their medic family, as you are now their medic child. It is a great way of having someone you can reach out to throughout the course and we even have a MedSoc social called the Cocktail Party, where each medic family arrives dressed up to their chosen theme – mine was fairies and elves!
Another great feature of the Nottingham course is that you will learn anatomy through full-body cadaver dissection. We complete this in our first two years, and I think it is a very important opportunity to have. It adds to your respect of the human body and allows for a hands-on experience. This hands-on approach continues in practicals as well as hospital and GP surgery placements, which some medical schools only offer from third year onwards. It is my favourite part of the course at Nottingham, as it provides the perfect balance between teaching and independent development. For example, we observe during our GP placements, practise our clinical examinations on patients at the hospital and each student in their second year is a given a patient to follow for a year. On the one hand, we learn to reflect, apply and improve, and yet still get to follow a patient’s healthcare journey and hear their point of view. This early clinical exposure is vital in building our confidence especially when interacting with patients.
I hope this helped to give an insight into Nottingham medical school and that you choose to apply here. My top tips are to explore our website, check that the integrated learning style is for you and come visit us on an open day – there is nothing quite like coming here to Nottingham.