I have been studying Medicine at Norwich Medical School for the past four years - I have definitely learned a lot and gained a lot of experience over the years!
The five-year MBBS Medicine degree follows an integrated structure, with huge emphasis and early exposure to clinical and practical skills as well as theoretical knowledge - right from the beginning of Year One. Essentially, this means that we go and see patients within our first month of medical school! This is unlike more traditional medical schools that split the course into pre-clinical and clinical years.
Each year of the course is taught and organised according to different system-based modules, using the integrated structure which consists of:
Problem Based Learning (PBL)
Cadaveric dissections in anatomy
GP placement/primary care (usually one day per week in every module)
Hospital placement/secondary care (usually runs for four weeks in every module)
Opportunities for electives and intercalation
*In Year 5, the focus is majorly on clinical attachments with programmes such as student assistantships – in order for the final year students to solidify their clinical knowledge for their upcoming Foundation Year roles.
One of the best things about Norwich Medical School is the early patient contact that we get to experience, and the emphasis on practical skills teaching during placement. Going to placement so frequently helps to consolidate and build upon our theoretical knowledge that we would have been introduced to and learnt during the teaching week (via lectures, PBL, seminars, dissections etc.). It quickly prepares you for real-world scenarios and the clinical and professional environment. Also, it builds confidence in the clinical environment and allows you to develop the all-important communication skills required for patient contact. Another important bonus is the free transport and accommodation arranged and provided by the medical school for all placements throughout the entire five years. This is so handy since some of the placements can be quite far away from Norwich.
Societies & The Social Side!
There is a never-ending list of societies in UEA and in the actual Medical School itself, ranging from sports clubs, to cultural and religious societies, to academic societies.
There are always events being held, along with various commitments and opportunities that allow you to get involved in areas that appeal to you, as well as make unforgettable memories and new connections.
There is something for every single student and you will never run out of ideas on things to do, whether on-campus or off-campus in the Norwich city (there are so many huge landmarks and beautiful places to explore and enjoy).
It is a smart idea to join the medical societies, including MedSoc, as they run important revision events and social events throughout the entire year - pitched to whatever year you may be in, covering the range of medical specialities taught in medical school. The African and Caribbean Medical Society and the general university-wide ACS (African and Caribbean Society) are hugely supportive, welcoming, and provide good networking and mentorship opportunities throughout the year – so definitely check them out!
Final Advice & Tips
Having travelled from London to come and live in Norwich for medical school, my personal experience is that London is much busier, more convenient and more diverse. There are more options in London and travelling is much easier, so if needed, I always recommend bulk-buying black hair products, ethnic food, seasoning etc., before coming back to Norwich!
For those without a typical pre-med background, consider the Medicine with A Foundation year programme – something that a lot of people don’t know about!
Find a balance between working hard and actually enjoying your 5/6 years in medical school – don’t miss the opportunity to make great memories to look back on after all those years (this is why UEA is known as ‘The Home of the Wonderful’!)
Medical Student at Norwich Medical School