Category Archives: BM5

Semester I exams and Semester II

So, we are now well into semester 2. I am pleased to say I passed semester one and passed it well. The anatomy was hard to learn but the exam wasn’t nearly as hard as the practice exams in the practical sessions.

The exams (though this may change) are a written paper called “short notes”. This is like mini essays/bullet points/diagrams on questions with drug calculations at the start. Then there is the one best answer which is statistics and then multiple choice questions.

They’re scary but not too bad, honest. Most of the year group got C grades (around 100 people), while only 50ish got A-B grades. Seriously don’t expect A’s in med school! I was more  than happy with my B!

Semester 2 is “RCR” or “Respiratory/Cardiovascular/Renal” 1. So far it has been interesting, with a lot more practical sessions than foundation of medicine. Blood pressures, ECGs and respiratory examinations have been covered so far for example.

We also are continuing our student selected unit with the humanities module. It requires a creative outcome (art, scultpure, writing etc) and I am making a cake! As always there is an SSU essay (reflective) to go alongside it and Medicine in practice (kinda clinical sessions) will also be examined this semester with an essay, a presentation and being observed taking a patient history.

We’ve also got our big essay due in 4 weeks. This time it is on Infective Endocarditis and related drugs, lesions, ECGs and blood pressures/ABGs. Busy busy busy!

So that’s the run down of Sem II so far!

BM5 at Southampton – October

So I have been back a month. So far we have covered a variety of topics in the Foundations of Medicine course.

In anatomy we have covered the skeleton and muscle. Next week we start the nervous system. The course has been revamped however and is now much better. Small group study frequently means you get good one on one time with teachers.

We have covered muscle and bone in histology along with connective tissue. This is a series of practicals and lectures and ties in nicely with anatomy! Pathology is similar with small group studies (and we get to see a post-mortem!) and lectures on inflammation and edema (which we had a small symposium on, this is like an interactive lecture).

In biochem and cellular biology we have done cell communication (so action potentials for example) and we have also done biomembranes and ion distribution within the body!

We have also done a little bit of communication skills in lectures and tied that in during MiP – Medicine in Practice. Here we have already met out families who we will follow for a year, and practiced history taking. Next week we start on real patients.

We have done a little psych and sociology and are currently on IPL – Interprofessional learning week, although this is likely to be removed from the syllabus next year.

The first assignment – a 2500 word essay on chronic pain and depression is also due on the 5th of November and we have also had small group tutorials to support us with it.

There is lots to do and lots to learn but it’s a good start!
Will update in a few weeks time!

BM5: Restart!

So I had to drop out of the 1st year of BM5 just before Christmas but I am coming back in October to start again!

The blog will be more detailed and shinier than ever and I will try to post once a week about life as a medical student. To those joining me in Autumn, come say hi!

BM5: Anatomy

Just so you lovely applicants are aware, in BM5, semester 1 you learn all bones and muscles (except face). Where they start, and end, where they attach, the groups they make the movement they produce and every bump and notch on all the bones. Be prepared for this, maybe even start learning a little before hand. It’s a little bit of a killer!!

The sessions have been improved recently and you get a good book to learn from but a reliable book is always helpful and maybe some flash cards.

Don’t let it frighten you though. Everyone else does it, so can you!


So I’ve finally pretty much figured out what SSU is about!! It’s a “Student Selected Unit” where you get a (sort of) choice on a topic and for SSU 1 you need to make an academic poster on it. We’re doing teenage pregnancy. There is a group of 10 of us and initially none of us really had any idea what we were supposed to be doing! Academic posters are not something we’d come across before and the lecture on it just skimmed over all of SSU.

Recommendation: As tempting as it is to do 20 minute meetings and go home, it means that you’ll end up doing hours at the end. Do it as you go!

BM5: IPL Week

So IPL week is really odd. It’s interprofessional learning, so you get together with other healthcare professionals and make a game. We were only needed to be in uni 2 days in the week but available via the net for two others in order to do group work on our game.

It was really great to meet people from other professions and uni’s and our group were (obviously) pretty awesome. It was a bit drawn out and excessive and the first presentation is depressing but it’s interesting. Good time to get the first essay out of the way anyhow!

BM5: Induction Day

Today was the first medics induction day. Free stuff was good! (Make sure to get yourselves upstairs to the Medical Companies where you get a free MDU Dictionary, a free Clinical Examination Book, also a free USB stick from the BMA). Ordered my first stethoscope too, it’s completely black and looks quite sexy:

Getting Bethaney J Leggett inscribed in the bell thing at the end!

Didn’t go to the library talk, and the CRB check was really easy for us ex-BM6ers, just needing to sign something to say we’ve not committed any offences since last year…

Was amazing to meet even just a few of the new BM6 lot today (I saw you all with your stickers and badges on) and I hope you enjoyed our cheering of Carolyn!

So if you’re reading this in the future and are stuck for what to do on induction, head for the free stuff!!

BM5: It begins

Formally enrolled onto 2011/12 so I am officially BM5! Especially now the new BM6ers have their grades and offers etc. It’s real. Need to get a white lab coat and a stethoscope and stuff. Excited.

First post as a BM5! Wooo!!

Although now might be the time to mention that I am really scared right now. All the new scary BM5’s joining and some of them will not like us BM6ers. Already overheard one current BM5 telling a prospective student and her parents that BM6 was for special people. Not very nice at all.

One order of thicker skin coming up!