Category Archives: Medical School

Update on Southampton Selection Process for Medicine BM4 BM5 & BM6

Things are changing at Southampton! Here is a quick rundown of the latest info I have:

BM6
No real changes. Entry grades are BBC with interviews decided on personal statement. Graded on interview and personal statement and offers given to the highest scorers. Interview will also have a group task.

5A*-C grades at GCSE,

BM5
Big big changes. GCSEs 7A*-B grades, and A levels now required AAA. In addition, applicants will be ranked by their UKCAT. Those scoring the highest in the UKCAT will be invited to interview. The selection day will be a group interview and individual interview.

BM4
Still 2:1 in any subject, C grade now required in Chemistry A level though if your degree contains a lot this can be waived. All applicants will be ranked by their UKCAT. Those scoring the highest in the UKCAT will be invited to interview. The selection day will consists of a written component, group interview and individual interview.

Structure of semester II exams

Results day soon!!

The exams were much the same as the first. Short notes (that one required us to learnt a lot of complicated biochemistry – don’t forget your Krebs cycle/TCA cycle and glycolysis etc) and then a one best answer with drug calculations at the end.

Additionally there is:

Semester II Essay
SSU2 assessment – which was my cake and an essay
Medicine in practice assessment (a family report on the baby you’ve followed for a year, a presentation and an observed history taking)
IPLU essay and group presentation – scored a cool 100% on that one. Rather pleased.

 

Once you pass all 5 components and semester 1 then you progress to year two!

Offers and Southampton Interviews

Congratulations to everyone with their offers to study BM5/6 (and 4 of course). I met quite a few of you during the offer holders open days (with the BM6 one tomorrow). The university had a record number of applications this year so absolutely well done.

It would seem that the university is introducing interviews as of this year so you dodged that bullet well.

Lots of people ask me what they should study before starting and how to get ahead. I felt like that too. But to be honest, just enjoy it. Enjoy your summer and do nothing. You’ll miss that when you start.

Beth

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!

BM6: Overview of content

This is available from the Faculty of Medicine but seems to be hard to find, so I thought I’d share it here. It gives a general overview of the content covered in the BM6 year at Southampton. It’s not detailed enough for you to get started (so don’t, you don’t need to, you’ll be fine :D) but it’s nice to have a general idea of what lies ahead.



Human Structure & Function I
This will enable you to understand key physiological, anatomical & biochemical concepts and principles that you can apply in problem based scenarios.
This will prepare you to successfully undertake the early years of the BM programme. You will specifically study; the structure and function of biological macromolecules and the principles of metabolism; principles of homeostasis & homeostatic imbalance, particularly as applied to the cardiovascular system; the structure & function of cells & tissues; basic anatomy; nutrition & the digestive system; principles of enzymology and energetics; principles of medical microbiology and immunology.

Professional Practice I
This will enable you to understand and experience the practice of medicine through work placements and to help you evaluate & reflect on these experiences and to apply theory to practice.
The unit is designed around 3 projects; The roles of health care professionals; Communication in health care: The media and medicine. You will be introduced to aspects of health sociology and psychology as applied to medicine and also develop your skills in numeracy, statistics, IT and information retrieval.

Human Structure & Function II
This unit will enable you to build on your learning in HSFI as it is in a similar format with similar modes of assessment. Again you will be provided with an understanding of essential anatomical, physiological & biochemical concepts that you can apply to problem based scenarios.

The topics include the structure and function of the nervous system, muscle, the renal system & the endocrine system. Aspects of imbalance in these systems will also be considered. You will also explore the principles and applications to the human body of acid base balance, pH, dissociation constants, buffers and redox reactions. Also covered is cell division, the cell cycle, growth and the stages of human development. Finally you will explore the principles of genetics and some of its applications.

Professional Practice II
This unit will enable you to build on your learning in PPI as it is constructed in a similar format. As in PPI you will produce a portfolio of your placement experiences and project work.
In particular this unit will develop your understanding of the organization of health care ( primarily in the UK), the different factors that influence health and illness and ethical issues in medicine. You will further develop your understanding of IT, information retrieval and basic statistics and their application in health care.

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!

BM6: Reading list

So I noticed I was having a few hits from people looking for the BM6 reading list! The uni gives you a list of book that are helpful, but by far the best book for BM6 is by Elaine Marieb. Otherwise the others are just an expense. Try books before you buy them, read them and see if you like it. Remember they’re all available in the huge library so it’s not like you’re going to be missing out!

The recommended ones are the ones that the course uses most, but seriously, Marieb will be your bible for the biology part. Beth Alder (the book has a pregnant lady on the front smoking) is also great for the sociology and psychology side of things.  Other than that I didn’t find the others particularly useful personally!

Dictionaries are useful, but with the internet… a bit pointless. The rest of the list are books you’ll want to read for one topic or part of an essay. Nothing hardcore or serious.

Anyway, this is the (huge and scary) list:

Recommended Reading

The Highly Recommended Key texts are :

Marieb EN,Hoehn K Human Anatomy & Physiology. Pearson International Edition San Francisco : Pearson Benjamin Cummings; 8th ed.2009

Baynes J,Dominiczak MH Medical Biochemistry. Mosby;3rd ed.2009

Gatford JD,Philips N.Nursing Calculations. Churchill Livingstone;7th ed.2006

Alder B,PorterM,Abraham C,van Teijlingen E.Psychology & Sociology Applied to Medicine.Edinburgh:Churchill Livingstone;3rd ed 2009

AMedical Dictionary is also highly recommended, ONE from :

Black’s Medical Dictionary.Editor.Marcovitch H.A&C Black Ltd; 42nd ed.2009

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary.Mosby Publishing;8th ed.2009

The BMA-Illustrated Medical Dictionary. Dorling Kindersley;2nd ed.2007

Recommended/Useful texts

Bateman A,Carr N.The Flesh & Bones of Pathology.Mosby Elsevier;2009

Chandar N,Viselli S.Cell and Molecular Biology (Lippincotts-Review Series)International ed Lippincott Williams & Wilkins:2010

Dominiczak M.The Flesh & Bones of Metabolism.Mosby Elsevier ; 2007

Coggon D.Statistics in Clinical Practice.BMJ Books;2003

Ewles L,Simnett I.Promoting Health : A Practical Guide to Health Promotion.Bailliere Tindall ;6th ed.2010

Forshaw M.Essential Health Psychology.Arnold Publishers;2002

Goering R,Dockrell H,Roitt I,Zuckerman M,Wakelin D.Mims’ Medical Microbiology.Elsevier;4th ed.2008

Greenhalgh T.How to read a paper:the basis of evidence based medicine.BMJ Books; 4th ed.2010

Guyot A,Schelenz S,Myint SH. The Flesh & Bones of Medical Microbiology.Mosby Elsevier 2011

Helbert M.The Flesh & Bones of Immunology. Mosby Elsevier 2006

Hope T,Savulescu J,Hendrick J. Medical Ethics & Law.The Core Curriculum.Churchill Livingstone; 2nd ed 2008

McGeown JG, Master Medicine : Physiology.Churchill Livingstone;3rf ed.2007

Naish J,Medical Sciences . London: Churchill Livingstone; 2009

Nettleton S.The Sociology of Health & Illness. Polity Press; 2nd ed 2006

Noble A,Johnson R,Thomas A,Bass P, The Cardiovascular System; Elsevier Churchill Livingstone ; 2nd ed 2010

Norman RI,Lodwick D.The Flesh & Bones of Medical Cell Biology;Mosby Elsevier:2007

Petrie A,Sabin C.Medical Statistics at a glance.Blackwell Scientific ; 3rd ed.2009

Pommerville JC, Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology. Jones & Bartlett;9th ed 2011

Sarafino EP, Health Psychology:Biopsychosocial interactions.Wiley & Sons; 7th ed 2010

Schwartz L, Preece PE,Hendry RA.Medical Ethics. A case-based approach.Edinburgh: Saunders; 2002

Silverman J,Kurtz S,Draper J.Skills for communicating with patients.Radcliffe Medical Press ; 2nd ed. 2004

Sompayrac LM.How the Immune System Works. Blackwell Publishing ;3rd ed,2008

Spina D.The Flesh & Bones of Medical Pharmacology. Mosby Elsevier :2008

Tate P, The Doctor’s Communication Handbook.Radcliffe Medical Press ; 6th ed 2010

Taylor RJ, Smith BH,van Teijlingen ER,Health and Illness in the Community .Oxford Core Text; 2003

Timberlake KC,Chemistry : An introduction to general,organic and biological chemistry.Benjamin Cummings ; 10th ed 2008

Tortora GT,Derrickson B,Principles of Anatomy & Physiology.John Wiley & Sons; 13th ed.2011

BM5: SSU

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!