FIFTH YEAR GUIDE
Fifth year is by far the most exciting, enjoyable, scary but amazing year at BSMS! We are placed on 3 regional 8 week placements and re-visit the specialties covered in third year. Each specialty is allocated 4 weeks (medicine/surgery/elderly medicine/obs,gynae,paeds/psyc/GP) and you decide how your time is spent on the wards. Having said that the ultimate focus is on shadowing the FY1 and really getting to grips with the job.
At BSMS we also have some of our final exams in fifth year. The year I graduated we did all our final exams in April of fifth year. The curriculum has recently changed with obs, gynae, paeds finals being held at the end of fourth year and only medicine/surgery being examined in fifth year.
The best advice I can give anyone entering the year is to work steadily from the start - cramming doesn't work this year! The medical school put on a fantastic revision programme that I would highly recommend. The revision is delivered by the clinicians who set our exams and the calibre of teaching is second to none. The exams that probably causes the most anxiety among students are the OSCEs. I think this is the exam where it becomes apparent who hasn't spent time on the ward practising and developing examination/data interpretation/history taking skills. Although you are much more independent this year, choosing how to spend your time, this exam can catch those out who haven't been on the wards as much as some of the other students.
There is a plethora of resources available to BSMS students and the books one student finds useful will not necessarily work for another. I found the compact 'Kumar and Clarks' brilliant for medicine revision and 'Essential Examination' was fantastic - the best book I bought at medical school!
Contributed by Sarah Thornley