A typical week of a Birmingham Medical School student

Not sure what to expect before starting Birmingham Medical School? Take a read of Jess Bowie's week. Jess is currently a 3rd year medical student. 

Monday: 9-5 lectures, with 2 hrs break

  • Most of our Monday lectures are on a module called Decision Making, which looks at how doctors make decisions on difficult cases, such as people with mental health conditions, euthanasia, etc.
  • Evening: Medsoc meeting. I’m VPA (Vice President Academic) on MedSoc committee this year, which means at the moment I’m organising all the revision lectures we have before exams, taught by older students.

Tuesday: CBM placement (8.30am-3.30pm)

  • CBM means Community Based Medicine, so this is a day we spend at a GP practice, in small groups. There are four of us on my placement, and we’re in Hereford which is about an hour away, but I have my car this year so I drive everyone. We spend the day doing teaching activities, practicing clinical skills like examination and taking blood pressure, and every week we interview a patient individually, and then present a history back to the rest of the group (my favourite bit).
  • Evening: CAWC meeting (Curriculum and Welfare Committee, where I’m Education Technology Representative. This year I helped the Welfare rep make a slide with all the details of mental health services students can access that can be shown before and after lectures, and I also manage the CAWC page online)
  • Also evening: MedSoc Netball training

Wednesday: Anatomy for an hour in the morning

  • Wednesday is normally a half day, so some people play sport in the afternoon. I normally stay in the Med School for a bit to catch up on work.
  • Evening: Streetdoctors teaching session, 5-7pm. Streetdoctors is a charity, where volunteers are all medical students based at different medical schools across the country, and you go to youth centres, schools, and youth offending teams to teach basic first aid, with the aim of raising awareness of the consequences of youth violence. I joined this year and teach most Wednesdays: it’s definitely nice to get out of the medical school bubble sometimes!

Thursday: 9-4 lectures, with 2 hrs break

  • Thursday is when we normally cover the cancer module, so we’ll have lectures and SGTs (small group teaching)
  • Evening: Symphony Orchestra, 6-9. I play the cello in the Uni orchestra each week, which is nice to keep up with as I used to play at school.

Friday: 10-6 lectures, with 4 hrs break

  • Sometimes lectures are really spread out over a day, but I normally stay and work in between because my house is quite far from uni. Fridays are normally our reproduction module, and normally we’ll have anatomy on this day as well (either in small groups, or a lecture)

Jessica Bowie

Jess Bowie

Course: MBChB (five years)