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JaneGKT

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Hi,

My name is Jane and I am in the process of completing the Foundation course at Guy's, King's, St.Thomas' School of Medicine. Exams will be over in two weeks:clap: .

Are there any Canadians currently attending (or accepted to) any of the London medical schools? If so, are any of you planning on returning to Canada, in particular Toronto? I love London, but family obligations will necessitate a return to Toronto at some point.

Are there any GKT med students out there who would like to discuss their first year experience and offer any tips for first year?

Thanks,

Jane
 

bts4202

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Although St. Chris isn't a british school, there are a lot of canadians here in Luton and some of them want to go back (the rest want to practice in the US). If you PM me, I will give you some of their emails and you can get more info. :)
 

Jus

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Hi Jane,

I'm not from GKT, but I've got friends there, and first year there seems to reflect my experience of first year at Imperial. Basically, huge classes, tons of lectures, quite a bit of self-directed learning, very little PBL, and perhaps 1 or 2 visists to a GP surgery or District General a term. You can get by with not doing too much work, though you might suffer come the few weeks leading up to exams. Exams tend to be a mixture of MCQs and Short Answer Questions.

As an aside, why study medicine in the UK, if you are thinking of going back to Canada? Surely, its alot harder for you to get a residency there as an IMG? I'm personally thinking of the Canadian/US route for residency myself, and will be taking the Step I sometime next year (I'm in 2nd Yr now), and I'm abit worried about the whole process. Feel free to PM me if you have any q's. I can do a bit of digging among my GKT mates for you if needs be.

Jus
 

dire tribe

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Hi Justine,

I am a student at GKT, but I think some aspects of the 1st and 2nd years have changed quite a bit since I started in 1999 so this may not be as relevant now. Things that stand out as being really good were anatomy/dissection (just a really fantastic learning experience which unfortunately very few UK medical schools offer now) and group tutorials (valuable opportunity to ask questions and get things explained by a member of faculty [except for my tutorial group always seemed to have SHOs rather than distinguished professors as tutors, but it was actually quite nice] in a small group environment).

Histology practicals, stats tutorials and Practice of Medicine lectures were all seen as a complete waste of time. I think a spot test which forms part of the in-course assessment has been introduced at the end of each histology session to increase attendance. POM is something that people don't take very seriously but the exam is given a lot of weighting and if you don't do well in it it can significantly affect your overall performance.

The only other advice I can think of is to get any textbooks you're thinking of buying out of the library first, this may save you a lot of money and shelf space. The only book I used out of the recommended texts that I bought was McMinn's Atlas of Anatomy. In fact, you could probably get away with not buying any books and using the library, although can be nice to have your own books.

Hope this is of some use!

PS: Keep your eyes peeled for the 'sexual health' lecture given during fresher's week by some of the older students posing as doctors where they show lots of scary pictures and ask the audience questions of a very personal nature! It's not a lecture given for your benefit :)
 

JaneGKT

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Dire Tribe,

Thanks for the low down on first year at GKT! I believe that the Y1 curriculum has been modified for the incoming 2003 MB BS class...there will be more PBL and self-learning. We will see how things go.

Would you recommend any "summer reading" in order to make things go smoothly during Y1?

Thanks,

Jane
 

dire tribe

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Most people don't do any reading for two-thirds of the 1st year, let alone the preceding summer so don't feel like you must do some reading! However if you are feeling keen, I think a good place to start is with the revision/review books, such as the At A Glance or Crash Course series. The advantage of these books is that they give a nice overview without getting the reader too weighed down with detail and tend to be systems-based like the course.

The five modules covered in the first year are, in order of number of lectures devoted to them: Cardiovascular and Respiratory systems (CVR, 60 lectures); Gastro-Intestinal, Renal and Nutrition (GRN, 60 lectures), Cells and Molecules (CAM, 40 lectures), Musculo-Skeletal System (MSK, 35 lectures) and Practice of Medicine (POM, about 15 lectures I think). I'm not sure how much Biology the foundation year covers, but background knowledge of it is fairly important for CAM, probably more so than any of the other modules (except for the biochemistry in GRN, where topics such as carbohydrate and lipid metabolism are covered). I can't think of a good "summer reading" book that covers this.....anyone else got any ideas?

For CVR, which is the main module covered in the first semester, 'The Cardiovascular System at a Glance' is a great book that was written by Jeremy Ward, who will give all your cardiovascular physiology lectures, and Phil Aaronson, who'll do the pharmacology ones. There is also a 'Respiratory System at a Glance', again written by GKT people but I've never seen it so I don't know much about it.

That's all about I can think of at the moment. But my advice would be not to get too bogged down in reading, enjoy your summer, and start replenished in September. For most people, the first semester involves getting to know the other 359 people in the year and is a whirlwind of events and hangovers, with work coming down the list of priorites. So take it easy:)
 

JaneGKT

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Dire Tribe,

NICE ONE!!!!:love:

Thanks for the detailed information - it's greatly appreciated! I don't mind doing a bit of work up front and at a leisurely pace if it means that I can party guilt-free mid term. If you see someone reading summaries on the Anchor patio or the lawn of the Tate Modern this summer, you'll know who it is.

By the way, good luck hosting that "sexual health lecture" next autumn...I won't be fooled (just kidding ).:p

Jus,

Thanks again for the info posted...I sent you a PM

.....now back to the studying....

Jane
 

miscalculated

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Hi Jane!

I'm another GKT first year med student. Like dire tribe says, get Cardiovascular System at a Glance by Aaronson & Ward and for the respiratory system lectures after Christmas you'll find "The Respiratory System at a Glance" by Ward & Ward (both lecturers at GKT, tho not married! They apparently get asked this all the time and we even got an email from Dr Jane Ward about it!)

There are loads of easy marks to get on the in course assessment, like those histology practicals and the 4 CVR timed problems (your best 3 marks count for your in course mark). But the first yr course is majorly being revamped... you guys won't have as much anatomy as us (much to Dr Hunter's disappointment, the poor guy was gutted as he told us...) but you will have more IPE (interprofessional education) which is where you have lectures and seminars with nurses, physios and midwifes etc.

Tips for the 1st yr... just stay on top of the workload. Go over your notes after every lecture and don't allow yourself to get bogged down. The course is fun and well structured so you will enjoy it.

Dire tribe - how's your SSM coming along? And how did you find the exams??
 

dire tribe

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Miscalculated, hope your exams went well and you're enjoying some time off (apart from that pesky SSM). I'm actually in the 3rd year now after intercalating a BSc last year so my exams are still to come after another 3 months or so of clinics. If the weather stays this good its going to be tough concentrating on revision!

I think you made a great point about in-course assessment: I made the mistake of not taking them that seriously but all the little MCQs and timed essays add up, and make a difference to your overall mark.

Its a real shame about the anatomy teaching, I always thought it was one of GKT's strengths and definitely one of the classes where I learnt a lot.
 

miscalculated

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hello dire tribe,

yep a pesky little SSM it sure is and I haven't started on it yet... I'm leaving that til tomorrow. Were you at the May Ball yesterday? I was and I made it to the survivors' photo!! What a great event it was and Jane, make sure you go to it because it's fantastic!!!
 

Stephen Ewen

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'Dire Tribe"

Oh my gosh I just got a great belly laugh out of that username! :laugh: :laugh:
 

dire tribe

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Originally posted by miscalculated
hello dire tribe,

yep a pesky little SSM it sure is and I haven't started on it yet... I'm leaving that til tomorrow. Were you at the May Ball yesterday? I was and I made it to the survivors' photo!! What a great event it was and Jane, make sure you go to it because it's fantastic!!!

I was gutted not to go to the ball but it just would have been so expensive, especially so soon after the Halfway Dinner (which by the way is a definite highlight of the 3rd year. It's held at Tommy's so you have amazing views of the Houses of Parliament and keep the poor patients up all night). But I've heard it was an awesome night , well, that's what I deduced anyway from all the grunts and monosyllabic answers tthat I got when I asked my (still hungover) friends who went how it was.

By the way, just in case you're interested Stephen Ewen, I didn't think of my username all by myself :) it's actually a song by the band Gomez who are excellent (well their last album was less excellent but that's a different matter).
 
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