A week in the life of a medical student
A week in the life of a Three Counties Medical School student - Phase One
At the start of each week you will need to read the Study Guide which sets out the learning outcomes and learning opportunities for the week. On Monday the first formal session is in a lecture format and is called ‘Map Reading’ because the tutor will go through the ‘journey’ planned for the week - where you will go, what you will see and what you will bring back home.
The next session is Problem Based Learning (PBL). Here you will be in a group of about eight students with a facilitator who is a doctor. The facilitator is not there to teach; indeed, he or she will spend most of the time listening.
You will be discussing two or three ‘Presentations’, realistic patient scenarios that a doctor might encounter.
The aim is to identify what you know and what you do not know in order to understand the problem or problems (there are usually several) that the patient presents. The facilitator will keep you on track. The Presentations are carefully constructed to point to the learning required in the week. You will end up with a number of learning outcomes, things you don’t know or understand.
The next session is learning about the consultation, the key interaction between doctor and patient. This will be either talking to a simulated patient (usually an actor) or performing a physical examination. This will be examining each other but we have guidelines on how this is done to avoid embarrassment.
Most of the rest of the week is about finding out the answers to the questions posed in the PBL groups. Some of this is in the form of a ‘carousel’ where you will learn about normal and abnormal structure and function. This might include anatomical models or images. Another is called ‘applied physiology and procedural skills’ where you will learn skills and procedures such as venepuncture. These are all linked to the learning outcomes for the week and the PBL presentations.
One week in three you will be on a placement in primary care where you are likely to meet patients with similar problems to those in the PBL group and discuss your progress with the Year Long Case Studies.
At the end of the week there is a ‘wrap up’ session where we all go back to the Map and see what we have learned. Then it’s another PBL session where you discuss what you have learned; do we all now understand the Presentations, is there anything else we don’t know? We then have another session on the consultation.
A week in the life of a Three Counties Medical School student - Year 3
Every week will be as varied as the patients but here are some of the experiences you can expect. Not all will happen each week!
- Sitting in on a GP surgery
- Consulting on your own under supervision
- Attending a specialist clinic in the local hospital
- Attending an endoscopy session in the local hospital
- Spending an evening and a night on acute paediatric admissions
- Performing a ward round on patients in the community hospital with student members of other health care staff
- Spending time with the psychiatric ‘crisis team’
- Having your consultation skills observed by your educational supervisor and receiving feedback on them
- Taking part in a ‘communications master class’
- Attending a webinar.