A day in the life of a medical student

Tamsin Dyer

Tamsin Dyer

Senior Writer at Medic Mind

Introduction

Hello! Today I’m going to talk you through a typical day in the life of a second-year medical student at the university of Birmingham!

My name is Camille and I’ve just finished my second year of medicine.

At Birmingham, although the course is integrated, it is still mostly split into preclinical and clinical sections. I’ve just finished my pre-clinical years, so my day to day life will be more lecture based, although we do have a day in GP clinic every other Tuesday.

If I were to tell you about my day in the life in October, I would be in hospital and having clinical skills teaching, and more clinical small group teaching.

The following example of my typical days is more of a busy one, some days we have late starts or we finish earlier, for example on Wednesdays we finish at lunch so sports can have training or games.

However, it really is very full on and I often only have a chance to stop at the weekends.

But if you’re wondering if you can keep up all your extra-curriculars going with a medicine course I can tell you that it is possible! As long as you’re well organised and self-disciplined you’ll be fine!

My Usual Day at Birmingham University

7:40am: usually wake up around here to get ready for a 9-6 day of uni!

8:40am: leave home to walk to med school

9am: lecture on chemotherapy mechanisms of action for our cancer module.

10am: SGT (small group teaching) on cancer metastasis, since each module has a specific day of teaching, so all our cancer teaching will be on a Thursday.

11am: break, I’ll usually go to a study space in our medschool and try to catch up with some lectures or prepare for an upcoming SGT.

12pm: anatomy practical in the anatomy rooms, with specimens.

1pm: lunch in medcafe in medical school. I might have a meeting at this time, for medsoc committee for example.

2pm: another lecture on tumour suppressor genes.

3pm: break.

4pm: prosection for 2 hours, where specimens have been professionally prepared and preserved and we can observe them and are tested by anatomy demonstrators about what we can see. We only get this twice a semester, so you need to make the most of it!

6pm: go home for a quick dinner!

8pm: rehearsal, netball training or choir. I usually have something every evening, so it really doesn’t stop!

10pm: I can get home as late as 10pm from rehearsals or training, where I’ll just chill in the evenings and get ready for the next busy day!

Conclusion

So I hope this gave you a good insight into what I get up to at Birmingham medical school! It is rather full on but it’s all about what you make of it.

As a little tip, make sure you’re self-disciplined simply by keeping up to date with your notes or flashcards, then it’s not too stressful.

You don’t have to be able to memorize everything as you go, you just need to have a decent understanding! Memorising can be for when you’re revising!

You should be studying something you’re really interested in, so hopefully you should enjoy all this teaching!

Also- each university is different! Some more PBL or CBL so will have more self-directed learning and less contact hours.

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