Welcome to the 2nd week of the Virtual Medicine Open Day: giving you an insight into each of the UK medical schools and the opportunity to ask current medical students about the realities of studying there!
This post is written by Ankit, a 3rd year medical student at the University of Leeds.
Being at Leeds for 3 years, I have learnt an incredible amount and met so many amazing people. Leeds was the very first university open day I went to and to be able to study here is a dream. There’s always so many things going on in the city, and campus is just the start.
- An Overview of Teaching Methods
- Typical Timetable of a 1st year Medical Student at Leeds
- The Non-Medical Stuff
- 3 Top Tips For Applying to Leeds
- Your turn to ask questions!
An Overview of How We Are Taught
At Leeds we are taught via an integrated approach, meaning there is mix of traditional lectures, PBL classes and small group teaching/clinical placements. The main bulk of science is taught via lectures and supplemented by small group teaching sessions.
We also have anatomy teaching with prosections which allows us to handle and view cadaveric parts straight after we have been taught about them in our lectures.
During pre-clinical medicine, we get exposed to the clinical side of things around half a day a week to a full day a week; this can be in a GP setting or in the hospital. Here we get a bit of time on the wards speaking to patients, as well as a bit of formal teaching on clinical skills (such as: measuring blood pressure, taking bloods, cannulas etc.).
A Typical Timetable of a 1st Year Medic
IMS = Introduction to Medical Sciences.
RESS = Research, Evaluation and Special Studies.
I&P = Individuals & Populations.
C2C = Campus to Clinic.
IDEALS = Innovation, Development, Enterprise, Leadership and Safety.
The Non-Medical Stuff
Leeds is an incredibly city to be in outside of the Medical School. The university constantly runs events for all students, and whichever part of the campus you visit, it is always bustling with excitement. There are a HUGE range of sports that absolutely anyone can participate in, whether you are a beginner or whether you want to compete in the uni team. Freshers is a particularly exciting time as you will be able to meet so many people from so many different courses that share similar interests to you.
The city centre, including Leeds Trinity, is extremely close to the Medical School being just a 10-15 minute walk away. Food options, as you would expect, are pretty much infinite!
Pros of Studying at Leeds
As time goes on by studying at Leeds, I realise more and more that I made the perfect decision to study here. There’s so many positives I could include, but I’ll list the main ones that may also apply to you.
• Leeds is a great student city. The city itself has numerous universities, and wherever you go in Leeds, you will certainly come across students. There are tens of thousands of students going to universities in Leeds, so there’s no shortage of meeting like-minded people.
• The teaching staff are all super friendly. If you have a concern about absolutely anything, any of the staff that work either at the Medical School or the central university are happy to help. Being in small group teaching sessions as a new 1st year student can be daunting, but the teachers really help you to settle in quickly.
• All end of years exams are multiple choice (except OSCEs of course in later years)! This was perhaps the thing that made me happiest. I’ve heard other medical schools use essays, and short answer questions, but Leeds uses only MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and EMQ (Extended Matching Questions). If you’re like me, this is a huge bonus.
Cons of Studying at Leeds
In terms of things that could be improved on in Leeds, it is hard to say as I have had an amazing experience so far. However, I have included a few things below to hopefully try and get you to think about what you really want from your future Medical School.
• The very 1st term of Medicine is primarily medical sciences, with very little clinical exposure. There are the occasional 1 or 2 days you will be asked to speak to a patient, but seeing patients in GP/hospital comes in later in the 2nd term of university, along with anatomy teaching and physiology teaching.
• As of 2 years ago, Leeds stopped doing wet body dissection. If this is something you are really interested in, there is always the option to intercalate in Anatomy later on in the course and experience dissection. However, for the vast majority of students this is not the be-all and end-all of when it comes to applying to Leeds, it’s just something to take into account! Anatomy teaching is still one of the best experiences I’ve had.
3 Top Tips For Applying to Leeds
1. Show what you have learned from your work experience/volunteering on your personal statement. This is a huge part of the application process, and one of the only things you can tweak to better your chances. GCSE grades, BMAT grade and predicted grades can’t be changed but your PS can. If you are able to show how much those experiences speaking to people or patients taught you and inspired you to pursue medicine, it will definitely not go unnoticed.
2. Practice, practice, practice for your interviews. Leeds are incredibly big on communication skills and in interview, they want to see how you are as a person, not an academic. Practice formulating a few points about what you would say when asked a specific question (e.g. about your teamwork skills) or how you would speak to a patient who is very quiet. There are a bunch of different stations in the MMI interview, so it’s definitely wise to do some research and prepare well!
3. And finally, be yourself. As cliché as it sounds, the interview is the only thing that stands between you and your final offer for Medicine at Leeds. So relax, smile and be yourself to the interview examiners. A chirpy student who is excited to be at Leeds and uses real experiences in their answers, is almost definitely going to be picked over a student who appears robotic, and almost too well-prepared for interview questions.
A huge thank you to Ankit for such a interesting insight into Leeds, which was actually one of the universities I applied to! Find out more about him on Instagram:
Your Turn To Ask Any Questions!
Thank you for submitting all your questions! Click below to read the answers!