A Week in Medical School At A Glance - 2nd Year Edition

Updated: Oct 10, 2018

So I’ll admit, I had a bit of writers block this week and struggled to decide what to write about but having posted consistently since the launch of this blog I wasn’t ready to end that streak just yet. So I decided to share what I’d been up to this past week in Medical School as a 2nd year medical student studying in the UK. It hasn’t been that interesting and truth be told I’ve been quite stressed due to my upcoming exams but I’ve managed to push through and I’m all smiles right now. If you have any questions feel free to comment below or email us and we’ll respond straight away! Anyway, enjoy the read!


Live Venipuncture

Having practised venipuncture on prosthetic arms in last weeks clinical skills session and actually carrying out a real venipuncture on one of my closest (needle-phobic) friends, we were given another opportunity to carry it out on another person. I cannot lie and say this was not an extremely nerve-wracking experience but I can say it was such an amazing learning opportunity. For those who don’t know what exactly venipuncture is, it is the process of obtaining intravenous access for the purpose of intravenous therapy or for blood sampling of venous blood; so basically collecting blood for a blood test. As a second year medical student this is a big thing for us, you’re  piercing another persons vein with the real life risk of something going wrong. When I carried it out on my needle-phobic friend, I was surprised by my ability to stay calm and collected and go ahead smoothly with the procedure whilst she was squirming, almost in tears and holding the hand of our supervisor. Although I’m not sure what I would like to specialise in, I now know that A&E can potentially be added to my list.

Case Based Learning

Every Monday and second Friday 10 of us gather in a room to discuss a particular case; let me quickly explain the entire process to you. So we are first presented with a case scenario which is read aloud and we identify any unfamiliar terminology and define it, we then go through the case line by line picking out key clinical and social aspects (it is important to think holistically when thinking about patient decisions etc). We put this all on a whiteboard, linking them together and explaining what we know about each. During this process we are able to identify holes in our knowledge and come up with learning outcomes that each of us must look into and answer over the course of the week. These CBL sessions usually last 3 hours and each particular case lasts for 2 weeks. In the first session we are given the scenario and come up with learning outcomes. In the second session we share our findings and knowledge from the previous LO’s and are also given a reveal from which we establish another set of LO’s. In the final session, we share our knowledge from the previous LO’s and that’s it!



Tuesdays will either be great, or terrible, depending on your timetable. Unfortunately for me I was in the group that started at 8:30am, yes 8:30am! I had a 2 hour tutorial about Immunology which consisted of us researching and answering the questions we were given and presenting our answers to the rest of the group. Prior to the tutorial you are given a series of hard questions which you will be answering in the tutorial. You’re supposed to look over these questions in your own time and do the pre-reading they assign, this makes the actual tutorial session a lot easier. When the tutorial facilitator goes over the answers during the session it is at this stage you will realise that the questions were in fact very easy and you completely overthought all of them. Make sure you do the work beforehand.


We then had a debate about ‘The Use of Paracetamol as an anti-pyretic in children’ and also about ‘Whether vaccinations should be compulsory’. It was a very heated debate but we managed to reach a conclusion eventually. Initially, I questioned the usefulness of such a session as it was almost 2 hours long but I soon began to realise the importance of understanding possible arguments patients might present to you in the future and how necessary it is for you to be fully aware of this.



I had three lectures in the morning, 9-12. Nothing special but it was a half day giving me time to go to the library and study for my upcoming exams.